Most guides on keyword research tell you to set clear goals and choose the right tool to identify competitive keywords. Unfortunately, those tips are usually not enough for SEO rookies to identify the right keywords.
In this article, you will learn how to choose the keywords you can rank for high in the SERPs.
Pay Attention to the Search Intent
Search intent is the reason why a user performs a search. There are several types of search intent:
- Navigational – a searcher performs a search to land on a specific website (“Samsung”).
- Informational – a user searches for a keyword to learn something (“Where is Samsung from?”).
- Transactional – a customer wants to purchase a product (“Buy Samsung Galaxy A71”).
Always consider the search intent when targeting keywords. For example, if someone searches for “buy Samsung Galaxy A71,” they do not want to read a blog post on this phone model. They are looking for online shops where they can purchase the phone.
On the other hand, if someone wants to learn about the best smartphones in 2020, they expect a lengthy list-based article with thorough explanations and quality photos.
Map the Buyer Journey
Collect customer data – their age, location, education, gender, family status, frustrations, interests, hobbies, etc. Based on this data, you need to map the buyer journey. Identify the steps a typical customer takes when moving down the sales funnel, from learning about your brand to making a purchase.
Customers typically go through several stages:
- Awareness: A customer realizes they have a problem and starts performing educational research to understand it (“how to post social media content consistently”).
- Consideration: Once a customer defines their problem, they will start looking for different approaches to solving it (“social media management solutions”).
- Decision: A customer takes a long list of options and compares them to find the best one to purchase (“top social media management tools”).
Logically, customers in different phrases of a buyer journey have different needs, problems, and expectations. For example, you cannot expect a user in the awareness phase to make a purchase the first time they hear about you. They will use natural, long-tail keywords and click on helpful resources. On the other hand, if a customer has already done the research, they will look for deals or offers to decide between the two similar products.
Target Long-Tail and Conversational Phrases
Today, most of your website traffic comes from mobile devices. However, with the rise of wearable technologies and artificial intelligence, the way mobile searchers interact with browsers has changed.
With the help of voice assistants, searchers do not need to waste time typing keywords into the search box. To perform searches, they can ask a voice assistant a question and get instant feedback.
Instead of short keywords, they can now ask questions, use long-tail keywords, and even pronounce entire sentences. Research studies show that 70% of all requests Google Assistant receives are in natural language.
Apart from optimizing your website for exact-match keywords, you should also target conversational and long-tail keywords. Optimize for questions beginning with “what,” “where,” “how,” “why.” Target local keywords like “near me” or “open now," too. While such keywords have a lower search volume, they are less competitive than short-tail keywords.
Now, apart from traditional keyword research software, use alternative tools such as Answer The Public, Google Trends, Google Suggest, Google’s People Also Ask. They will show you the most common questions your audiences ask.
Choose Content Topics
Content marketing plays a vital role in your digital marketing strategy. Precisely because of that, each post you create needs to be optimized for the right keywords. Just performing keyword research and creating a list of your target phrases is not enough. You need to group your most relevant keywords into content topics.
Creating topic clusters around your keywords is one of the most effective ways to maximize your rankings. For starters, you will need to pick your main topic, based on your keywords. It could be, for example, “small business security.” Then, you will need to choose relevant subtopics, such as “cybersecurity tools for small businesses” or “best cybersecurity practices for SMBs.” That is where tools like BuzzSumo can help.
Monitor the Performance of Keywords
Targeting keywords and optimizing your pages for them is just half the job done. The other half is measuring the performance of those keywords to make sure whether you have chosen the right ones.
Tracking the position of your site for specific keywords is called keyword monitoring. It lets you understand the effectiveness of your SEO strategy and start optimizing your pages for keywords that do not deliver results.
There are many rank tracking tools to use, including:
- SEO Profiler
Just choosing high-volume keywords is not enough. You need to research them carefully, evaluate your competition, set end goals, and create relevant topic clusters. Above all, you need to keep measuring the performance of your keywords so you can improve your SEO strategy. I hope these tips will help!
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