When planning a successful SEO campaign, keyword research is the place to begin! Keyword research, as we know, is the foundation of SEO; if done correctly, there is a good chance you will generate a lot of additional business.
Keyword research is often a neglected area, as most professionals think extracting keywords from Google’s Keyword Planner and arranging them according to the number of visitors per month is all it takes. However, it involves much more than that.
Keyword research is a challenge, and it can take time to learn. So, professionals need to practice. Once you are able to pick the right kinds of keywords, you will help your business win a great number of leads, which would otherwise be impossible.
How to Get Started with Keyword Research
Keyword research is not about bringing visitors to your site. Rather, it’s more about bringing the right kind of visitors to your website — the kind that convert. With the help of keyword research, you will begin to understand how the market shifts and what kind of content people are already searching for, which will later help you create content that will take your business to the next level
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to get information about relevant keywords for your website, but this information is not enough. In order to come up with an ideal list of keywords for your business, you’ll need to dig deeper!
How to Judge the Value of a Keyword
If you have a list of keywords and an estimate of how much traffic they’ve been bringing, then the real question lies in knowing how valuable these keywords are for your website. Unfortunately, there is no tool that can tell you exactly how much a keyword is worth, as every website and data collection method is different. However, you can use the following few ideas to estimate the value of keywords, and then decide if including them in your list will help or not.
- Google Analytics Data
If you are running a website and getting some traffic from search and other channels already, then this idea will work for you. The key is to evaluate your Google Analytics data and see which keywords are being used to search for your website. Unfortunately, due to the restriction of these “not provided” keywords, it has become difficult to extract data out of Google Analytics.
The picture shown above is a GA snapshot of one of my client’s websites, and, as you can see, the not provided ratio has moved up to 86.02 percent.
If you are in the e-commerce industry, there is another way of going about keyword research. You should look into your conversions and see which products are actively converting the most.
Search your SERP rankings and see how you are ranking for keywords related to your products. If you find an opportunity that can help you increase your conversions, you should consider including those keywords in your final list, which should be utilized in your SEO campaign.
- Ask Yourself Some Tough Questions
Trying to get your website to rank for a keyword like “clothing” when you specifically work with women’s clothing doesn’t make much sense because people who are searching for clothes might not be searching for women clothing in particular. While there will be a lot of traffic in this case, the conversion rate will be very low.
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the keyword relevant to my website?
2. Will a visitor find what they are looking for when they land on my website/page?
3. Will a visitor be satisfied once they reach my website using the selected keyword?
4. Will visitors convert to a customer using the selected keyword?
If the answer to all of the questions above is yes, you should probably go for it. If the answer is no, you may want to conduct further research.
- Analyzing Competitors’ Successful Keywords
When finalizing the list of keywords you need to target in your SEO campaign, you should always look into keywords being used by your own competitors. See if they are valuable or not.
You can easily get this list by typing their URL into the SEMrush search bar. The idea is to search and find out which keywords are present in a large amount of ad listings.
Usually people do immense research before choosing keywords for their PPC campaign. If ads from different companies contain the same keyword, it means there is a good conversion rate for that word. This method also allows you to determine how difficult it will be to rank for a particular key phrase.
- Test Your PPC Campaign
If you have a new website that doesn’t really rank anywhere before finalizing your list of keywords to target in your SEO campaign, it is always recommended that you perform a sample PPC test to see if your list is actually worthy. This might sound like a big investment at an early stage, but it’s good to invest a little money to start with, rather than changing your strategy six months down the line.
Once you run a test campaign, you will have a list of keywords that are performing well in terms of conversions, and you will also find out which keywords only drive traffic without resulting in conversions. Once you have these data, include the keywords that can convert in your final list, set priorities and proceed accordingly.
The ideas and tactics mentioned above are great for narrowing down your long list of keywords into a few that are valuable; they can also help in filtering out those keywords that are not going to benefit you in terms of conversions and traffic.
Being on the first page is not enough,because, according to the Slingshot’s CTR curve shown below, ranking on the first page, as illustrated below, will only give you around 3.09 percent or less of the total clicks.
Thus the war does not end there! After hitting the first page, you must at least reach the positions above the fold, if not the top position on page one.
As discussed above, keyword research is the core of your whole SEO campaign. Therefore, you should spend time and money on it, and figure out which keywords are beneficial for your business.
- Instead of choosing a particular keyword simply because you like it or because your competitors are ranking for it, perform the tests mentioned above and narrow down your list to see which keywords will actually impact your traffic and conversions.
- Just because your competitors are ranking for a keyword, this doesn’t necessarily mean the keyword will be valuable for your business.
- Spending time and money on PPC at the initial stage of your SEO campaign will help you figure out the exact value of keyword for your business.
Any other tips or suggestions for keyword research?
Image credit: Wikipedia & Pixabay