KEYWORD RESEARCH: THE GROUNDWORK OF SEO
Keywords are critical to effective search engine optimization, or SEO. In order to know the best ones to use, you need to do your research. Without research, you will not know which keywords are more viable for your company to rank higher for. Keep reading to learn where to start and how to continue in your keyword research.
Keyword Research: Where to Start
Since keywords are crucial to the success of your SEO, you need to learn which keywords are the most relevant and effective for your company. Where, then, do you start? The first thing you should do is research different keywords that align with your company. Then, you can compare the keywords’ aspects to see which will be the right fit. Below are a few aspects to keep in mind when conducting keyword research.
Monthly Volume in Keyword Research
The monthly volume of a keyword is exactly what it sounds like–the number of searches the keyword receives each month. Usually, it is easier to look at the volume as a range because then you can estimate the traffic the keyword generates from month to month as it will fluctuate. The monthly volume ultimately shows the demand for the keyword. Therefore, if a keyword has a higher monthly volume, there is a greater need for information and your site will likely receive more visits if you optimize for that keyword.
Before getting into what a SERP analysis is, you need to understand what a SERP feature is. According to Moz’s article “What is a SERP Feature?,” a SERP feature is “any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is not a traditional organic result.” Moz further highlights the four main types of SERP features: rich snippets, paid, results, universal results, and knowledge graphs. Read more about SERP features and analysis by reading Moz’s article.
Organic CTR in Keyword Research
Organic CTR, or organic click-through rate, measures the relative click-through rate for classic links, without other distracting SERP features. A higher organic CTR means that there are no other SERP features taking attention away from the keyword. In contrast, a lower organic CTR means that there are other SERP features present. However, a low organic CTR does not mean the keyword is a poor choice. It just means there are other SERP features available to optimize, like image packs and advertisements.
The rankings of your keywords determine where your site shows up when the keyword is searched. The goal is to be at the top of the search list, ranking at #1. Branded keywords that focus on your company name are usually the first to rank number one. For other keywords, they may rank higher locally rather than nationally. The only catch is that usually there is a lower volume of local searches than national searches. However, if you are a local business, then you would want to rank higher for the local keywords.
Continuing Keyword Research: How to Adapt Your Keywords
After you conduct your keyword research what are you supposed to do with it? This is where keeping track and analyzing the rankings of your keywords comes into play. Here are a few aspects to keep in mind when continuing your research.
Keep Track of Rankings Each Month
Keeping track of your rankings each month is critical to analyzing the growth of your keywords. If you don’t start recording how your keywords are ranking, it will be difficult to assess how they are actually doing. Look for any drastic changes. Maybe one month a keyword jumps up 10 ranks. If so, you should consider optimizing it on your website. If a keyword’s rank drastically drops, look into why this may have happened and then decide whether you want to continue using this keyword.
Compete with Your Competitors
Comparing your keywords with your customers is another form of assessment. Check out Michael Cole’s article, “Daily SEO Fix: Competitive Keyword Research,” at Moz to learn tactics on how to identify your competition, find their top ranking keywords, discover keywords to improve on, and to identify your competition’s gaps.
Adapt for Any Changes
Once you have done all of this, then you can adapt your SEO strategy as necessary. Maybe a new keyword is receiving a lot of traffic and features so you decide to optimize your home page with it. Or maybe a new keyword flops and you need to get rid of it. No matter what your research tells you, remember to keep up with it. SEO is always shifting, so the best practice is to keep track of and assess your keywords regularly.
Ultimately, keyword research is the groundwork of SEO. Without it, you would not know which keywords are the most likely to be successful in optimizing your content. Want to learn more about keyword research? RedMoxy is here to discuss any questions you may have! Click here to connect with us.