This is the third part of a multi-part series that explains the major factors of a successful SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. In this article, we will explain the importance of keyword research and how it relates to your website and digital marketing content strategy.
Finding Those Who Are Looking For You
Keyword research is the method of finding relevant search terms people are entering into search engines. Regardless if you are doing an organic or paid-per-click (PPC) SEO campaign or both, keyword research is an important first step in matching people searching online with your products or services you have to offer.
Initial keyword research actually starts when a good SEO agency interviews your organization. From this, they have a macro view of your products and services and what you want to accomplish with an SEO campaign. From there they would use tools provided by search engines to find relevant keywords that would be used for a content strategy on the website and/or paid ad placement.
Why is this Important?
Keyword research provides the information necessary to start an effective content strategy. Everything from existing pages on the website, to new content, internal and external linking labeling, other digital platforms such as video and others, are all dependent on having effective keywords strategically inserted into the content plan.
The Search Begins
When doing keyword research, criteria must be established for the keyword selection:
- Is the keyword relevant to my business and the products and services I have to offer?
- Does the keyword have sufficient search volume every month to warrant developing a content strategy for it?
- What is the keyword difficulty in ranking on search engines? Is the level of effort worth it for the campaigns?
- What is the current trend of a keyword in search engines? Trending up, down, or natural?
- What is the cost-per-click (paid-per-click or PPC campaigns)? Does it fit within my ad budget?
The SEO expert doing your keyword analysis should look at all of these factors and develop an approach to content creation.
The List is Ready. Where do we Start?
Depending on the marketing vertical, keyword research will reveal dozens to hundreds of keyword opportunities. With so many to choose a short and long-term strategy to content creation is needed.
In competitive spaces for keywords, it is often best to focus on what is called: long-tail keywords. Long-tailed keywords are like short sentences in search engines rather than one or two-worded search terms.
When starting out on an organic SEO campaign these are much easier to rank and start to gain traction with search engines. At this point, some emphasis should be to tackle some of the harder to rank keywords, but a focus on long-tail keywords and easy wins. Later, as your SEO campaign grows more emphasis should be on some of the more difficult keywords to rank. Usually, the harder to rank keywords have more search volume so naturally, you should start to see an increase in website traffic.
On a PPC campaign, keyword research is an invaluable resource to what words are to be placed on ads. Also more important the page the ad goes to have the same keyword. We often find PPC ads that have one keyword and the page it references is another keyword. (i.e. the ad advertises apples but the page is for oranges.). In a competitive space for ad positions, this type of ad will not rank well in search engines.
Now that we have the keyword research completed and have started on a content campaign we will take our campaign to the next level. In the next article, we will look further into an effective SEO campaign and look at what your competition is doing online.
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