Keyword Research help you with one of the things that most often goes wrong in every single SEO strategy or Content Marketing strategy: prioritization.
This is why Keyword Research is one of the single most important activities you can do within SEO.Keyword Research will give you the overview of you keyword universe so that you can understand how potential customers search Google to find you products or services.
Basically what you want to understand is the search behaviour across your customers journey through your niche.
There are numerous areas where keyword research can help you do better decision. This post will take you through these use cases.
What is Keyword Research
Doing keyword research is basically about harvesting keywords that are relevant for you and your business, gather data on these keywords and then prioritize and categorize the keywords.
The end result is a big set of data with all your chosen keywords in one column and with data in the associated columns. This adds up to your keyword research dataset which you can use to drive the wanted decisions.
Before we go into how to actually perform the keyword research let's investigate some of the use cases behind performing it:
Use Keyword Research to determine focus pages in your SEO strategy
Prioritization of you onsite optimization is absolutely key. If you think about your website there is always a page to optimize, a title to improve or a link to be made. The keyword here is to find the right pages to spend your precious time on optimizing.
This is what the Keyword Research can help you find if you build your dataset with the right inputs.
When you have your keywords with data such as monthly search volume, competition, ranking url you can build your content map with priorities as to which pages should be optimized.
Keyword Research help you decide what new content to build
When you know customers search behavior i.e. what categories, products and questions they search for you can also decide what new content you need on your website.
Content Marketing strategies often revolves around building content for high funnel searches but way too often the content chosen is not based on what customers actually search for.
The symptoms and questions customers search with is valuable knowledge and gives you the insights into what troubles your customers and what problems they actually have.
Not only does keyword research here help you to harvest more organic traffic. It also helps you build content that customers actually wants. This simply leads to better and more useful content for your potential customers. Exactly what content marketing is all about.
Use Keyword Research as the foundation for your content mapping
Building a content map is key for you SEO strategy as well as your Content Marketing strategy. Here your keyword research data set is of great use in order for you to let data flow into your content mapping.
Data in your content mapping will let decisionmaking on your content much easier. Data from your keyword research can help determine what content needs to be deleted, merged, create or deleted.
Build a solid business case with your keyword research
You can actually use data from you keyword research to persuade other stakeholders in you organization whether the SEO or content marketing strategy is worth the investment. If you set up you Keyword research in the right way, it will enable you to calculate the potential within each keywords and sum these up to KPIs that prove the investment.
If you calculate the traffic gained from a given keyword you can also calculate the traffic potential from a given keyword. And by also introducing the value of traffic from your existing business you can calculate how much money that can be made from ranking #1 or #3.
This is very powerful when explaining the value of you SEO work or content work as it will show the potential. The investment side is more difficult to estimate but most importantly the keyword research gives you a very powerful tool in the internal budget discussions, persuasion of clients or even just persuasion of yourself.
Build the right site structure for your new website
When your building a new website Keyword Research is an essential part of choosing you site structure. Understanding the search behaviour gives you great insights into what pages, categories and content pieces your site structure should make possible to build.
The keyword research data is essential for all types of websites and will help you determine how many pages you need, how deep your site structure should be and how broad it should be. If you build you site structure with the influence of customers search behaviour the quality and robustness of your coming website will increase significantly.
Let Keyword Research influence your communication
Basically keyword research will unfold how you customers talk and think about your products and you niche.
The attributes associate with you primary keywords will tell a lot about what important when converting. Are they price sensitive? are they looking for the best solution? are they looking for the product or the relief of something? These are all questions that keyword research can help you answer
By studying the questions they ask in your keyword universe you will know exactly where they have doubts and what they consider before converting
This knowledge will, if use correctly, significantly improve the quality of you communication and thus also your onsite conversion rate. You will be able to write and show exactly what your potential clients are looking for by incorporating important areas from your keyword research into content, headings, USPs, images etc.
How to do keyword research
Basically you want to create a dataset in Excel or Google Sheets with keywords in the first column and then the wanted data and inputs in the coming columns.
One of the most important things on how to do keyword research is that it’s not a one time thing you do but a continuous process of adding keywords, removing keywords, prioritization in your SEO and content marketing work.
Step 1: Harvest keywords and get ideas
Obviously, you need to find keywords that are relevant for you business. In this step you will use various tools to gather keywords that you want to include in your keyword research
Step 2: Get monthly volume from Keyword Planner
After that you should get monthly searches for each of the keywords. The easiest way here is to use Google Keyword Planner.
Step 3: Get rankings and ranking url
The next step is to gather rankings for your keywords together with the ranking url so that you know your current performance on each of the keywords in the keyword research.
Step 4 Get keyword difficulty
An important factor when building your SEO or Content Marketing strategy is to also acknowledge competition on keywords. Some keywords are simply too difficult to rank for and not knowing that will let you invest too much time in keywords that are unrealistic to rank for.
Step 5 Expand with new keywords and iterate
Keep building and expanding your keyword research. It’s process and not just a matter of steps. So keep expanding the keyword set as you work your way down through the steps.
Step 6 Prioritize your keywords
Prioritization is matter of weighting out relevance, volume and competition with each other and using these to decide what to focus keywords really are.
Step 7 Categorize your keywords
Categorization of keywords can be a powerful way of understand areas of your customers search behaviour and to structure your keyword research.
Step 8 Calculate keyword traffic and potential
Now you can build in calculations into your keyword research so that you can find out how much traffic you gain from a given ranking and what the potential could be if you where ranking #1.
Step 9 Build visualisations on your keyword research
Now you can start to visualize your keyword research data for you own sake and for the sake of stakeholders. Use pivots and diagrams to tell stories about your keyword research data is key to better understand the search behaviour of potential customers.
Step 10 Remove keywords and fine tune the keyword research data set
Keep your keyword research data set nice and tidy by removing irrelevant keywords that don’t add value and skew decision making in a wrong direction.
Using your keyword research
When you have built your keyword research data set it’s time to use this knowledge to make smarter decisions.
Build your site structure with Keyword Research data
Now you can use the data and knowledge on search behavoiur to decide how to build you site structure.
Build your content map with Keyword Research data
Content maps are a very important part of prioritization of your work. Here you can integrated keyword research data into your content mapping to drive decisions on what content to build, delete, merge, as well as what content to optimize.
Set up Keyword reporting
Your keyword research is a perfect foundation for your keyword reporting. Here you can use your prioritizations and categorization to upload keyword sets into your favourite SEO reporting tool and build powerful dashboards for tracking.
Have the right keyword strategy
The Keyword Research will reveal what the optimal keyword strategy will be for you and your company or client. This is absolutely key in terms of how much to invest in SEO or Content Marketing. This is where data meets and strategy. The right way to perform SEO/Content Marketing.