The first and most crucial part of your SEO is keyword strategy. Before you begin to write high-quality content for your website, you should identify appropriate high-volume search terms. It is the best starting point if you want your SEO efforts to succeed.
Keywords are critical because they inform the direction that your content will take. It makes sure that the web content that you produce is easily searchable and relevant on Google. In summary, this is what keyword research encompasses. It is good to have this knowledge at the back of your mind while crafting your SEO strategy.
The challenge of crafting a perfect keyword strategy is that it consumes a lot of time. Also, you need to put in a lot of effort through numbers, details, and comparing long keyword lists. However, you have to make sure that you are getting everything right.
When you do thorough keyword research, you will have a strong foundation for your content development and SEO strategy. In this article, we are going to look at the seven steps of crafting a perfect keyword strategy.
However, we cannot assume that everyone understands the meaning of a keyword strategy. Therefore, it is crucial to explain this concept before we can move further.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the activity of finding and analyzing a list of valuable keywords to use in SEO copywriting. In most cases, the search terms or keywords guide the direction of your marketing and content strategy.
You can find a keyword that only has one word. However, in most cases, keywords comprise of several words, i.e., a phrase. Most people prefer to go for long-tail keywords because they target a specific audience. An excellent example would be the “best keyword search tool.”
Why Keyword Research is Important:
It is not enough to find high-volume search terms. You have to make sure that the SEO keywords you are using in your content match well with your products, services, or brand. These should be the keywords that your customers are using in their searches.
Keyword strategy comes in handy at this point. After performing thorough and adequate research, it will help you create a viable keyword strategy. When you have a good strategy in place, you will create a detailed plan of action to attain your goals.
For example, “Vacation homes” could be the focus keyword for a business that leases out vacation homes. Without proper research, you may find yourself using ‘vacation house.’ Therefore, it is crucial to do your homework well while setting up your SEO strategy.
Even though the term “vacation house” is technically correct, it may not match the search intent of your target audience. You need to use keywords that your potential clients are searching on Google. It will make sure that you have worthwhile efforts for optimizing your page.
Besides, two keywords that are similar have different competition levels, trends, and search volumes. You will get better results by choosing a higher volume and more relevant keywords. Therefore, you should not go for other related or semantic keywords.
How to Develop Your Keyword Strategy:
You can develop your keyword strategy in several ways. You can either use a keyword research tool or do it manually. There are several steps that you need to put into consideration regardless of the approach that you take.
The process ranges from outlining your SEO goals to the execution of your keyword plan. This step by step guide will help you to develop thorough and proper keyword research.
Step One: Study Your Niche
It is good to learn more about your niche or topic. This should take place before figuring out the best keywords that you should optimize for your page. It can suggest to you some of the out-of-the-box ideas include in your SEO strategy.
Besides, it will help you to discover new perspectives to use in your SEO and marketing strategy. You will discover that you have not thought about these new angles before.
There are some tips that you can use in studying your niche. The first thing is to talk to your current customers so that you can have a better understanding of their needs. You need to know the terms that these people use to describe your service, product, company, or brand.
You need to think about your potential customer’s point of view. If you were to share the offering of your brand to your friend, how will you do it?
Participate in the online communities of your niche of a topic like social media networks and forums. Read these discussions to find out any pain points that are coming out in your niche. The most important thing is to have a clear understanding of your niche.
Step Two: Defining Your Goals in the Keyword Strategy
The best way to begin your keyword strategy is by defining the end goal. However, you need to ask introspective and important questions before implementing this step. These questions include;
- Who are you
- What makes you unique
- What is your business about
- What is your online site about
- What promises does your website make
After effectively answering all these questions, you need to specify the mission of your brand. Your goal may be increasing the number of subscribers. You could also have a sales target to meet by a specified date.
Defining your goals is critical because it provides direction to your SEO strategy and plan. You have to make sure that the search terms that you are using align to your business goals. You should segment it into various content marketing funnels.
The other reason for defining your goals is to inform the purposes of your content and SEO copywriting. Therefore, you need to write down your keyword strategy goals and document them. It will provide the required direction and framework for the top-level online and content marketing strategy.
Step Three: Making a List of Ideal Topics
Break your topic into smaller buckets depending on the category of your business and the goals you wish to attain. Prepare a list of all the topics that are related to your business that you would like to rank in Google.
For instance, an FMCG business that specializes in personal care for men products may use the following topics;
- Male pattern baldness
- Antiperspirant deodorant
- Men’s facial wash
All these topics are related to men’s personal care products. The topics should be related to the personas of your buyers and important to your brand. Thank about the topics that your target audience are searching for in the search engine.
Later, you can break down the topic buckets to keywords that are related to them. Therefore, make a list of related keywords to guide your keyword research. It is a critical step that will help you get the right keywords for your content.
Step 4: Creating a List of Seed Keywords for Your Keyword Strategy
By now, you have broken down your primary category into various subtopics and buckets. You can now begin to create a list of your seed keywords. You have to make sure that these keywords relate to different topics. These should be the terms that your target audience are using in their Google search.
Focus keywords or seed keywords are critical because they form the foundation of your keyword strategy. Apart from defining your niche, seed keywords also identify your competitors.
If you are not sure how to find focus or seed keywords for your products or brand, you don’t have to worry. The process is much easier than you could be thinking. The only thing you have to do is describing your offering in the simplest way possible.
You also need to brainstorm how other individuals may search for it in the search engine. You cannot move further without creating a list of focus or seed keywords. It is one of the defining factors of success when it comes to implementing your keyword strategy.
Step Five: Make Use of Keyword Research Tools
Most people think that keyword research begins with the use of a keyword tool. To be honest, there is no right or wrong answer to this concern. However, it is more advantageous to start by researching keywords from the point of view of your business.
It will make sure that keywords don’t bog you down. Besides, it will give you a broader perspective of your SEO and content strategy.
After identifying a list of your seed keywords, topics and goals, you can use the keyword research tools to refine your search terms further. One of the best options in the market is Google Keyword Planner. The main weakness of Google is that it only provides approximate search volumes.
Therefore, you can use an advanced tool such as a keyword tool. It will give you a lot of details to support your keyword strategy. Besides, you will narrow down towards the appropriate direction of your search terms. It will also give you more ideas on the other related keywords.
You only need to type the seed keyword or topic in your search box. It will generate for you a list of all the alternative keywords that you can use. You will also get the ones that have questions and prepositions.
Step Six: Study the Search Intent
It was very easy to plug in high-volume keywords to increase the rankings of your page. However, it is not that easy nowadays. Currently, the learning search algorithms of Google compare user queries with search terms to learn about the search intent.
We can define the search intent as the reason why users search for a particular term. There are so many underlying factors behind the search habits of human beings. Some of them include;
- Why they are searching?
- Are they searching for a particular website?
- Is the search because the users have a question and would like to get an answer to it?
- Is the search because the people would like to buy something?
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Ask yourself why they should search for your topic. You also need to know who they will key in the search terms. Know where they are looking to purchase something or they need a service to solve a particular problem. Once you know the Intent of the user, you will be able to solve their problems in a better way.
You need to have a clear picture of the search intent of your customers or potential readers. You can use this information in fine-tuning your keyword strategy. It is a good thing to get a long list of high-volume keywords that relate to your topic or brand.
However, it is even better to find keyword phrases that directly match the intent of the searcher. Carry out this step with a lot of keenness so that you don’t miss out on anything.
Step Seven: Identifying Long Tail Keywords
In most cases, seed keywords are short search terms that have a close relationship to the main category or topic of your brand. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are highly descriptive and related to the smaller sub-topic buckets of your brand.
It is far much easier to match the search intent of your brand to the long-tail keywords. For instance, you can publish content that talks about golf equipment reviews on your website. The long-tail keyword can read “what is the best 10 iron golf club.”
Such a keyword strategy will help you to attract a more relevant audience. It is better than concentrating on a focus keyword like ‘golf club.’ It is much easier to convert a target that comes from a long-tail keyword.
In most cases, long-tail keywords get fewer clicks. However, because they focus on a particular product or service, they get a higher rate of conversion.
Step Eight: Learn More about Your Topic
It is not enough to do research about your brand on Google alone. You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. Once you have a better understanding of the content landscape in your niche, it will work well for your SEO and keyword strategy.
You should understand the competitiveness of various keywords. This knowledge will help you in identifying some of the search terms that may seem to be so hard. Also, it will help you to identify keyword opportunity gaps.
The opportunities come up when you get keywords that are related to your industry or brand and have medium to low levels of competition. Therefore, you need to take the time and learn more about your topic.
You can perform keyword research on competitors to get these keyword opportunities. One tool that has a competitor function that works well is the premium version of the Keyword Tool Pro. Key in your competitor’s URL into the search box. The results will display all the keywords that the page is ranking for.
These steps will give you sufficient insights to help you in crafting excellent content and keyword strategy. It will also give you adequate data for your content’s SEO copywriting. It will make sure that you are getting the best from your keyword efforts.
All people who have an online site require a keyword strategy to kick-start. It does not matter whether you are a brand marketer, small business owner, or run a content-focused blog. It will make sure that all your content and marketing activities succeed.
However, we cannot run away from the fact that keyword research is time-consuming and tedious. The good news is that using the right keyword strategy pays off in the long run. For further support in crafting a keyword strategy, feel free to get to contact us.
Do you have any suggestions or questions about crafting a perfect keyword strategy? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!