Updated Practices For Keyword Research In 2016
One thing that won’t change for Inbound Marketing is keywords, but what has changed is how you effectively research and come up with a strategy for the right keywords that will drive traffic.
Keyword research in it’s simplest form is looking at when users input words and phrases into a search engine and taking that data, then forming it into a strategy of keywords that your website could rank for.
Let’s have a look today at how to effectively keyword research in 2016!
Understanding your business and the relevant topics associated with it
How much do you know about your business? If you struggle to answer this question then maybe you need to take a step back and understand your business a bit better before delving into keyword research.
What are the most important topics for your business that you want most users to find you by? Create a list of these 10 keys areas, as these will form the basis for coming up with more specific keywords at a later point.
Understanding your audience (and/or any customers you may have had) is key to knowing what keywords should be targeted. For example if you are a company that sells shoes and a customer who has made a purchase started the journey to that purchase by inputting red trainers into the search engine. That is a keyword you should use.
Of course finding that information is not easy. You need an analytics tool that will trawl through all the search data. The best tool I can recommend to you is Google Analytics, it’s free, comprehensive and will give you all the information you need to find and fine-tune the keywords your audience is using.
Starting to flesh out the keywords
Now that you have got your list of the 10 key areas of your business, it is time to identify and narrow down keywords for each of those areas. For example if one of the key areas of your business is SEO, one keyword you might use is backlinks as it is relevant to the topic of SEO. Another example (long-tail) may be search engine optimisation services.
Come up with 3 keywords for each key area you listed. Doing this will give you a good start at 30 keywords, enabling you to increase as your SEO efforts expand in the future.
A good practice is to put yourself in the customers shoes, use the search engine as if you were looking to buy a product/service you sell. Look at the results that appear and see if there are any keywords you can put to use.
Looking at the competition
Similar to understanding the business you are in. It is paramount that you know who your competition is. Get a list together of your main competitors and research each of them individually, using the search engines to discover any keywords that may be ranking well for them and improving upon it yourself.
Another good idea is to look at keywords that the competition may not be fully behind. These represent a great chance to rank well for keywords that are not being utilised by your competitors.
Make use of related search
A good way to find inspiration is using google’s related search feature at the bottom of the SERP (search engine results page). This is a great way to find keywords you may not have found or realised could be put to use.
I would recommend this strategy only if you are really struggling to meet that 30 keyword target as the related searches are sometimes not that consistent nor contain useful phrases.
Finalise that strategy
Using these updated practices for keyword research in 2016 I have mentioned above, you should be close to having a strategy in place that can be carried out onto your website.
Of course that doesn’t mean keyword research is over once the website has been optimised, it is a constantly evolving process that requires you to be on the ball the whole time. Continue looking at the competition and expanding the keyword goal every couple of months to rank well for even more keywords and boosting your website in the search engine rankings.
For more information on keyword research, visit our dedicated page on PPC
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