In terms of search engine optimization, or SEO, keyword research is crucial to achieving a high rank. For a website owner to reach his goals, the goals must coincide with his keyword research.
Keyword Research’s Role in SEO
The wrong keywords do not reach the target audience, and long-tail keywords may limit traffic. Also, competitive keywords can keep websites from ranking on search engines. For keyword research to work, it must answer the audience’s questions.
Three Types of Keywords
Each major keyword type corresponds to each sales funnel stage. Keywords at the top of the funnel provide information to visitors. Keywords at the middle of the funnel give solutions to visitors, and keywords at the bottom of the funnel center on the buyer’s intent. Site owners should identify the keywords they are targeting for each part of the funnel. Every on-page SEO change should target those words.
The company’s goals, needs and intended audience should dictate the keyword research. For instance, a large project for building a long-term audience should target keywords at the top and middle of the funnel. However, an e-commerce website campaign should target keywords at the bottom of the funnel.
The content is defined by the campaign’s goals. Site owners must know their conversion, traffic and revenue goals. After the goals are identified, owners should set an appropriate pace for their plan.
Identifying the Competition
By finding websites in the same niche and noting each site’s traffic, website owners can determine what companies are their competitors. Then, owners should figure out what companies are ahead of them in traffic numbers by six months, one year, two years and five years. Owners can use competitors’ traffic numbers to create a growth goal that includes mini-goals at specific points in time.
Businesses can find out what works by delving into their competitors’ links. To accomplish this, site owners should:
- Look at the URL structures.
- Review traffic patterns.
- Use the internet’s digital archives.
- Connect traffic increases to website changes.
Keywords That Give Competitors Traffic Surges
Backlinks and keywords go hand in hand because links play a role in keyword rankings. Therefore, competitors’ anchor texts can help website owners figure out what keywords are the most important. Owners can locate effective page links by:
- Searching anchor text and link profiles.
- Finding keywords that cause a sharp increase in traffic.
- Reviewing the content that brings in traffic.
Track Past Influences
To find effective keywords and eventually outrank a competitor, businesses can profile a competitor by modeling the competing website’s structure, content and links. Site owners should utilize the competitor’s current traffic number and link gain rate to make a six-month to one-year profile for that website. This profile can help site owners build a strategy to surpass the competition.
Putting Together the SEO Plan
A business must compile all of the above information in order to meet their ranking goals. To make the SEO plan come together, the website owner should:
- Create the URL structure in a way that at least matches a high-ranking competitor.
- Write content that includes the chosen keywords.
- Conduct link acquisition.
- Break down the plan into projects and content.
- Assess the campaign’s progress by reviewing the plan every month.