Blogging, Keyword Research, SEO
How to Conduct Keyword Research for Your Blog
It is no secret that the SEO landscape has changed over the past couple of years. Search engines are relying less on keywords as they try to delve into the deeper search intent of users. But that doesn’t mean keywords have lost their place in your marketing strategy. While it is now important to employ a more comprehensive approach, it is still important to choose your keywords wisely.
The first step is having a firm grasp on just what it is you’re looking for. Much of the time, keywords aren’t simply individual words. They are actually full sentences or groups of words that combine to accurately describe your product or services. They do not need to exactly match your product but should be related to the product and to each other. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are considered the future of SEO. These are words that are highly correlated with the topic within quality content. When used organically, keywords are great for driving traffic to your site and generating business. Over-use, however, will make your content come off forced and potentially even lead to Google penalties.
This is the idea of targeting longer, more specific searches. For example, a company that offers guided camping trips out of Eugene, Oregon might use the keyword “camping”. Sure, that would match a lot of searches, but competition for that keyword would be extremely high. Also, they would likely match users looking for places to camp themselves, or even those looking to buy camping supplies. If they were to extend to “guided camping trips Oregon” they would face less keyword competition. The people using that search are also very likely to be interested in their services.
Once you have outlined the types of searches you want to target it is time to get into specifics. Use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to see what’s been working on your site so far. Use this information to create a picture of your ideal user. Then add related words and phrases and build around this concept.
Before you make final decisions on which keywords to focus on you need to research how those terms fare online. Some words match well but are far too competitive, leaving you well down the search queue. Until you have established a strong following it is best to avoid keywords with the greatest difficulty rating. Google Keyword Planner can help you compare the different options and make wise choices.
Outline Your Strategy
Don’t just jam your keywords into content where it doesn’t belong. Instead, build your content around the keywords so they fit in a natural, organic way. Be sure to use the most important words early and as part of titles and headings. Include related words as a way to increase exposure and make the content less repetitive. Depending on the content, it can also make sense to sprinkle them throughout the metadata, alt-text and image file names.
Successful business in today’s competitive digital marketplace requires more tact and strategy than ever before. In order to fully maximize your marketing potential, it is crucial to perform effective keyword research. Faithfully following these steps will make sure your plan generates both volume and quality.
Steps to Improve Your Keyword Research
Try to boil your product or service down to a manageable group of concepts and descriptions. This is where you will want to focus your research.
Break these concepts down into a selection of simple keyword terms and longer, more specific versions. Both have their place and you will want both choices available when doing your research.
Use an analytics tool to see what has been driving traffic to your site to this point. Keep this information in mind throughout the decision-making process.
Before making any final decisions, you need to analyze all the top contenders to see how they compare for volume and difficulty. Do not overextend yourself by choosing only the most competitive words.
Having great keywords isn’t enough, you need to make sure they fit nicely within the framework of your overall marketing plan. Build content around them and maximize their effectiveness by using all the SEO tools at your disposal, including metadata and image file names.
By following these steps and ensuring your entire marketing strategy meshes well, you can ensure healthy traffic growth and maximum sales conversions.
These are all crucial steps that should be the focus of any business with more effective traffic in mind. However, it is important to remember quality content. Great information is just as—if not more—important than keywords when it comes to generating sustainable user volume. Seamless integration of the two, on the other hand, can result in an unbeatable marketing strategy.
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