Marketing Technology Manager
If you’re doing any kind of digital marketing for your business you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. Without a solid SEO strategy, plan, and execution team, you won’t see much (if anything at all) in terms of results for your efforts. When it comes to SEO, the first step you need to take is keyword research.
Keyword research should be the core of any SEO strategy. The starting point. The jump off from which the rest of your plan is based. The simple objective of keyword research is to find out what your target persona is searching. If you’re using the wrong keywords, you’ll be targeting the wrong audience and all of your SEO efforts will be going to waste – simple as that.
Here’s How to do Keyword Research in 4 Steps
To ensure that you’re getting the most out of all the hard work you’re doing to optimize your website content, you have to start with good keyword research. But how?
To find the best keywords for Search Engines that your website will really be able to rank for, you must first recognize your site’s strength and your competitive analysis. In doing this, you’ll discover the best keywords for both your main website’s Search Engine Optimization and topics for content development.
Step 1: Prepare a list of relevant topics based on what you know about your business.
If your business is providing services to other businesses then you should create a list of keywords/topics based on those services. For example if you are a VAR/MSP, include keywords/topics like “Managed IT Services” “Cyber Security Cloud Solutions” etc.
Next, you should create a list of keywords where you are offering these services that means using the combination of service + industry. To continue with the VAR/MSP example try “IT Services in Edmonton” or “Best Managed IT Services for Law Offices.” Whatever applies best to your specific solutions or services.
Although search volume for these keywords would be less, however traffic from these long tail keywords combination is relevant and actually they will have higher conversion rate.
Step 2: Use a Keyword Research Tool (Google Adwords Tool, Moz) to find important keywords
Keyword research will help you find a broad range of keywords including less obvious search terms that could potentially drive traffic and result in conversions.
If you have your website then use your analytics tool/Google Webmaster tools to see what search terms people are using to get to you. If you have access to data on your internal site search, look at those search terms to see what people are searching for.
Step 3: Refine Your Keyword List
There are several ways to refine your keywords. When you add a keyword into a Keyword Tool, like Moz, then this tool generates a broad list of search queries along with their Google search volume and competition.
Keywords are only as valuable as they are relevant to your business. You don't have to add every suggested term. It is preferred that SMBs use medium volume and medium competitive keywords.
Step 4: Discover how competitive your keyword phrases are
Performing a keyword analysis on your competitor’s website is an excellent way to get focus for SEO and content marketing strategy. It’s an important part of learning how to do keyword research effectively.
The following are the benefits to performing competitive keyword analysis:
- Discover how well competitor’s website performs
- Identify missing keywords and opportunities for your own site
- Remove unrelated keywords that are out of your reach
Never Stop Researching
You've invested a lot of time into identifying the best keyword opportunities. Use all your findings to create content for your website. It's important to remember that just because a keyword tool suggests a keyword doesn't mean you'll be able to rank for it in search engines, or that the traffic it sends will end up converting. You have to focus on the keywords that are driving conversions and actually bringing you business, and figuring out which those are will take time, efforts, and trial and error.
You can acton that findings by constantly analyzing how those keywords perform on your site. If you really want to know how to find the best keywords for your website, make frequent keyword research a priority and be observant about tracking, analyzing and acting on keyword research to improve your conversions or results.
Have questions about keyword research? We'd love to help! Reach out today if you're interested in how we can help optimize your entire digital marketing strategy. Feeling shy? You can submit questions to our monthly (anonymous) advice column to have them answered by our expert team (that's me, this blog's author, in the bottom left photo) by clicking below.