I thought I would take a little time today discussing keyword research, I have discussed some aspects of this subject before in “Think Like a Buyer” but want to go into more detail for this post.
Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO, especially before developing your new site but also when looking to add new content and target new terms. What I want to do is give you a 4 step process to go through to help you find the right keywords and eliminate to wrong ones.
Step 1 – Getting The Relevant Keywords.
The start to all good keyword research is getting a long list of relevant keywords together ready to be wittled down to your super focused keywords. I love using the Google Keyword Tool for this. I have tried lot’s of other keyword tools some paid and some not, but none of them offer more than what you can get with Google’s Tool.
All you need to do here is type in some keywords that are “broadly” related to your content. Type in as many as you like and from the lists that appear add all the relevant ones to you basket. At this stage use the advice in my think like a buyer article, try and input the keywords you think your customers are most likely to use. Put youself in their shoes, what keyword would you type in to search for your product?
I normally compile lists of over 100 keywords, once you are done it is time to start narrowing these terms down.
Step 2 – Understanding Intention.
Even though a keyword may relate to your product/service, it may not be the most profitable one to optimise for. No one knows exactly which ones are going to be profitable for certain, but there are certain things we can do to increase our chances.
These keywords belong to the searchers who are looking for a specific product or service. For example a search for “Disneyland”. The searchers who type this in are more than likely looking for the Disney sites, you see many searchers don’t use bookmarks or RSS, they simply type the brand into the search bar.
If you have a well known brand you need to optimise and make sure your at number one for your brand name as these keywords will be ultra profitable.
If you do not have a brand but another brand is closely linked or very similar to your product or service, these type of keywords will normally result in a poor ROI. Even if you rank high, searchers are probably going to overlook your site in favour of the better known product.
A very small percentage of your keywords will be navigational ones.
These keywords are the ones searchers are going to use to buy your product or service.
“buy a used car”
“cheap flights to madrid”
These searchers are potentially wanting to make a purchase or are at least ready to be sold to. They are usually very profitable keywords with high ROI if you have a site that sells.
Informational keywords will make up the bulk of your keyword list. These searchers are simply looking for qaulity information on a specific subject. Most bloggers will rank highly for informational keywords as they are developed to provide searchers with free, high qaulity information.
The down side to these type of keywords is the fact that they tend not to convert very well, usually around 1 in 100 – 200. They still cannot be ignored as this free informational traffic will help build brand awareness and reputation.
Sort all your keywords into the above categories, as I said 70-80% will be in the informational list.
Step 3 – Some Deep Thinking.
Now comes the time to ask yourself some questions about your product or service.
What am I really offering?
What is the end result for the customer?
Time to cut out the rubbish, narrow down your keywords in the 3 lists until they are as focused as possible. Try to avoid the keywords that aren’t fully relevant to your product/service, for example:-
If your site sells dog training lessons, the keyword “dog products” is probably going to be too broad to bring in profitable traffic with most bouncing on the first page.
Take into account the location you are targeting and how to intergrate the area name into your keywords.
I know I have said it before but think like the buyer.
Step 4 – Content Integration.
Now you should have 3 lists of keywords as focused as possible. Time to implement them into your content.
First start by splitting the keywords into high traffic and low traffic. If there are under 500 search’s a month they will be low traffic. Anything over this put in the high traffic section.
How many pages are there going to be on your main site? Not your blog, but the main selling platform. You need to optimise each of these pages for one of your high traffic keywords, using it in the usual online optimisation areas. Don’t just use the exact keyword but use multiple variations.
The lower traffic keywords need to be used in your main content and in your blog, use them wherever it is natural to do so, but remember your traffic keywords need the main focus as this will bring in the most customers and increase your ability to rank for relevant variations.
Using the above method should help you narrow down and implment those all important, high profit keywords.
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.