Keyword Research Is Not Dead

by | Dec 28, 2016 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Keyword Research Is Not Dead

by | Dec 28, 2016 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

Do you feel that keywords are passé, having landed in a grave years ago when Google decided to stop using them for ranking? The latest algorithms from Google, starting with Hummingbird in 2013, focus on topics to find relevancy rather than words. The way people search also reflects an emphasis on topics rather than matching words. This has led to many marketers saying goodbye to keyword research. However, researching into keywords remains just as important as it did back in 2012 before Google launched Hummingbird.

Keyword research is about much more than simply finding words to sprinkle throughout your content for increased rankings, which is how keywords were traditionally used. Putting in the time and effort remains an important component of your digital marketing campaigns, especially your SEO strategy.

Relevancy

Relevancy is an essential component of content marketing for many reasons, especially as it is one area that Google uses to match pages to searches. Using keyword research provides you with a larger understanding of all the relevant terms associated with a particular topic. For example, if you are writing about cars, you also want to include relevant terms such as vehicle, automobiles and auto. Simply including a diverse array of relevant terms increases the ranking of your page. Furthermore, incorporating a variety of relevant terms enhances the content and boosts your rankings through demonstrating your page has a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Learning the Nuances of Your Topics

No matter the nature of your business, the topics about which you write are multi-faceted. It is difficult at times to fully comprehend all sides of your business and adequately include those in your SEO strategy. Working with keyword research provides you an opportunity to learn more about all of the niches and nuances within your business, including those you might not immediately realize. Then, you can include this in your content by writing about more diverse topics, which provide even more ways to be found by potential customers.

Discovering Opportunities for Targeting Traffic

Target Market

Not only does keyword research help you remain relevant and discover additional nuances of your topic, it also helps you to find better opportunities for targeting traffic on your site. You can also find keywords and phrases that have the highest-volume for traffic. Often, these are highly lucrative keywords but also highly competitive and potentially expensive. Additionally, you can find terms that have less competition that might provide additional ways to find traffic. By performing adequate research, you have the information you need to create a strategic SEO strategy that intelligently uses your budget to attract the traffic you want with a combination of high-volume and low-volume terms.

Knowing the Language of Your Customers

No matter how brilliant your content or how much of an expert you are in your industry lingo, if it does not match the language of your customers, you will find that your pages do not rank well. Although you might feel that you have a strong sense of the language of your customers, keyword research provides invaluable insight that you cannot always get simply by interacting with your customers or performing market research. It includes ways that potential customers think about your products and services and the language they use to search for your products. Including this language alongside the industry lingo increases the number of people who find your information and see it as relevant, which in turn improves your organic traffic and your SEO rankings.

Match the Landing Pages and Other Navigational Information

When you create your website, it is important that you make it easy to navigate. If customers find it confusing, they will quickly bounce. Learning more about keywords helps you to create a navigation that matches the language and needs of your customers. For one, the keywords provide recognizable language in which to use as your menu buttons and other navigational tools. As discussed above, there might be a disconnect between the industry language and that of the customers. Using the laymen’s terms in your navigational tools ensures customers know where to go.

Additionally, keyword research also helps you to create more relevant landing pages. Landing pages are an essential component of any successful SEO strategy because they direct customers to the actions you want them to perform. They need to be relevant to the keywords so that there is no disconnect when the customers arrive. Learning more about how the competition and customers use keywords and understand them enhances your ability to create dynamite landing pages.

Get Inside the Searcher’s Head

To increase traffic, it is important to find ways to target all potential customers. Knowing what goes on in people’s heads helps you to create content that matches all stages of the sales process from contemplation to purchasing. It is important to understand what phrases match different parts of the stages so that you create content that is relevant to the customers in their present position.

If they are simply interested and looking for research, they will want to find information that provides answers to their questions. If they already own something and are looking to solve an issue, then they will search for troubleshooting content. Taking some time to see what pages rank highest for certain keywords and phrases provides insight into the headspace of customers when they use these words so that you can create content that matches it.

Researching Products and Services for the Future

When you research associated keywords in your business, you might also discover products and services you can add to your business to grow and expand. You might not have the ability to expand and grow your business at the moment, but it is beneficial to continually see ways that you could expand in the future rather than only looking into today’s potential business. For example, if you provide massage therapy services, you might find that many people who search for it also search for facials, acupuncture and other complementary services. Using this information, you might decide to work towards adding facials and acupuncture services to your massage clinic in the future to bring in additional customers.

Researching Your Competition

Research Competitors

Using tools for keyword research also helps you to have a better understanding of what your competition is doing. The Google Keyword Tool has a component where you can enter a website, including that of your competition. This search provides you with a list of keyword and phrase matches, as well as the search volumes for the keywords. Then, you can determine whether or not to use the same information on your content or focus on other areas based on what your competition is doing. This might also help you find information that expands your SEO strategy, especially if you do not have a large marketing budget and wish to target areas that are under targeted.

Better Content That Owns the Topic

Search engine rankings rely heavily on strong content. It is important to create relevant content that fully includes the nuances and niches of your business, which you now know after researching for keywords. It also needs to match your customers’ expectations for the results from their searches, which you also have a firm understanding of after you have explored keyword research and learned more about how customers use different languages. Additionally, content should be diverse while relevant, full of depth while remaining current.

When you have a complete understanding of all the different words associated with your topic, you will fully own it and create the best content possible.  Keyword research opens up so many new areas of topics on which you can write so that you do not end up continually rehashing the same content over and over again on your blog or other mediums. You can also use them to improve any existing content by adding in some additional language that helps with your rankings.

Develop Better Metrics

When creating your SEO and digital marketing strategy, it is important to have a strong way of knowing what to expect. This assists you in creating realistic goals and parameters with which to assess the metrics. Researching into keywords provides you with understanding about the efficacy of the keywords, as well as the competition. This ensures that your expectations remain realistic as you determine how to view the analytics and determine whether or not your efforts are working.

Boost Click Through Rates

Speaking of metrics, research into keywords also helps you to improve them. The research you discover leads to creating more relevant pages, connecting better with customers, and developing the best possible content for your digital properties. Using the right keywords improves your traffic by increasing the page rankings. When customers land on relevant landing pages, your bounce rate decreases. Appropriately using keywords also boosts the number of click-throughs you get from the SERPS. Using keywords correctly in your meta description and title tags does more than just help your rankings. It also matches your customer’s language to increase the chance that they will choose your page from the results page over your competition.

There are so many uses for keywords, and they still play an important role in your SEO strategy. Although Google might not search exclusively for keywords anymore, they still have a major role to play in developing the best SEO strategy so that you reach your business goals.

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Drew Allen

VP of Sales Strategy at BKA Content
Drew is the VP of Sales Strategy at BKA Content, a leading content creation services company. When he's not wow-ing you with his knowledge of all things content related, he's probably out practicing his finger dancing moves or trying to improve his golf game.
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