Why The Key To SEO Success Lies In Keyword Research
SEO is one of the highest ROI contributors in your digital back pocket and keywords are the golden eggs. Do you really know what it takes to successfully determine the most beneficial keywords for your campaign? As an SEO Agency, clients often expect we’ll be able to pluck industry appropriate keywords from the top of our techy heads. And we probably could; but the truth is, meaningful keyword analysis that leads to conversions requires a thought-out, effective strategy and involves tons of research.
What Is Keyword Analysis And What Can It Do For You?
In a nutshell, keyword analysis is the process of strategically investigating which terms people are looking for when they’re hitting up search engines and identifying which one of these terms you want to target with your website’s SEO strategy. The goal? Ranking higher on the search engine results page – and ranking for keywords your audience is actually looking for.
Keyword Analysis Is Target Market Research
Unless your business resides in a complete niche position, it is likely that obvious keyword optimisation will not have you seeing the results you may expect. High volume search words are highly competitive and very difficult for a start-up or small business to infiltrate. Your rank may improve over time; but it is not likely you’ll see significant bottom-line improvement, conversions and business growth.
For example, in 2019, there have been 90,500 searches per month for the term “Marketing”, in Australia alone. This could be people looking for anything from a dictionary definition, to Sunday Market advice. This wide search accounts for under 30% of the total searches around the topic. The other 70% of users are instructing Google to find specific answers with middle and long-tail phrases such as: “search engine marketing” or “search engine marketing agency near me”, according to Neil Patel’s keyword research tool Ubersuggest.
Discovering what works for your competitors will help you find out where your opportunities lie. Competition analysis also allows you to understand how you’re doing in comparison. You should know that competition is based on a variety of factors, amongst them: domain authority, page authority, and content quality. Many SEO tools will give you a detailed insight into what you’re dealing with exactly.
It is up to SEO specialists to research and identify these phrases that will lead the right people to your site. Not oceans of people who are all looking for something generic; but ‘buyers’ that are searching for your specific offerings. It’s a simple but essential difference for the success of your keyword optimisation strategy.
Attract qualified traffic to create leads
You might say traffic is traffic, but there is a massive difference in the impact that quality traffic has on your conversions. A visitor landing on your website by accident is unlikely to become a customer and increase your sales and revenue. The keywords you choose influence the kind of traffic you attract. This is as relevant for your SEO efforts, as it is for any PPC campaigns you’re launching to drive traffic to your site.
Our tip? Get acquainted with your users’ interests and search habits and use your new-found knowledge to optimize your keywords. Only in doing so, will you create content that drives high-quality traffic and increase your chances of creating a lead.
Long-Tail Keywords Set You Up For Success
Search marketing experts discovered long-tail keywords often produce better conversions. The rule of thumb is: The shorter the keyword the higher the search volume. Since the competition around those keywords is extremely high, it is equally hard to rank in searches for these terms.
The people that search for these long-tail phrases are consumers who have typically moved further down the line and have a specific search intend instead of just being mindlessly browsing the web. They progressed from “browser” status into the potential “buyer” category. As an example: Instead of “cars” (short keyword, very high search volume) they search for “used cars for sale in Brisbane” (long-tail keyword, low search volume).
Unfortunately, many keyword researchers still follow the same old path:
- Come up with industry obvious keywords.
- Stick them in Google’s Keyword Planner.
- Choose a couple of phrases that you like.
- Throw away time and money trying to rank for them.
A comprehensive keyword analysis is much more complicated if it is to succeed. Google’s keyword planner is a good tool (we discuss a few more keyword research tools our team loves in this post) but the terms it comes up with are usually very closely related to your original words. Innovating new ideas is not something keyword planner likes to do. Finding phrases that your buyer persona is using to search the web means digging a lot deeper. Researching your competitors is paramount.
How To Identify Low Competition Keywords That Will Rank
How ‘low competition’ you must go, very much depends on the content of your site. The key is to find the perfect balance between a) keywords that are relevant to your subject matter and b) keywords with low enough competition with a high monthly search volume. The truth is: It is a slippery slope and you’ll probably find that this is a rare combination.
Most people will find the keywords competitors are ranking for and try and compete directly with those. That’s okay, but the real trick is to identify buyer keywords that your competition may not be aware of. For example, someone who’s interested in engaging an SEO Agency Brisbane based will no doubt search for highly competitive terms such as ‘Digital Agency Brisbane’.
But they may also search for something like ‘free SEO advice for Brisbane small business’ in which case they will arrive at our doorstep and we’ll welcome them with open arms.
The Three Essential Steps To Successful Keyword Analysis
1. Balance Your Strategy
First and foremost it is important to balance your strategy. Mixing up long and short tail keywords will work towards your long-term goals while giving you wins and conversions in the short-term. Keyword research doesn’t end with the first round; it should be ongoing and ever-evolving. Start with diversifying your research tools.
Once you’ve started to build a good list, look for words that don’t necessarily have the highest monthly search volume, there will be several nearby terms with less CPC and competition. Keyword optimisation is time-consuming and unless you’re us, it is often accused of being boring. What’s not boring is the amazing results that can be achieved when it’s performed correctly.
2. Optimise Your Content
The second step in successful keyword analysis is to effectively optimise your content. Without this, you may as well throw your dollars out the window. When optimising, keep in mind that relevance holds more importance than density in SEO.
On page you should optimise the title where possible. Use keywords in the URL and variations throughout the page copy. Remember to update meta tags and descriptions. Use keywords in image file paths as well as the images’ alt text and utilise your keywords as the anchor text links within your copy.
3. Analyse Your Traffic
Lastly, continue to regularly analyse your website traffic with Google Analytics and re-evaluate the keywords at least every month. As you’re starting to be seen in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), you can get to work manipulating the keywords and continue to experiment with new ones. This will work to maintain the presence you’ve worked hard for and prove to drive higher rankings in time. Your keyword analysis should only ever cease to be if your website ceases to be.
Understand What Your Target Audience Wants
Now that you’ve learned how to properly conduct keyword research and know which mistakes you need to avoid at all cost, it is time to move on to the next step: Creating content your visitors will love. Maybe we can lend you a hand in the process? Anchor Digital is a crew of creative strategists, copywriters, search engine marketers and techs. With us in your corner, you can expect tailored expertise and measurable results. Our goal is simple: Consult, Create, Convert. Through close collaboration, accountability and total transparency, we combine the forces that set your digital brand sailing. From the ground up, we’re your partners in climb.