SEO Disciplines: Keyword Research
In many cases potential search engine optimization clients reach out to search engine optimization agencies to win the ‘BIG’ keyword for their industry on the internet; when, in fact, this is somewhat likely not to be the best strategy.
Of course, ranking the big keyword is of importance and cannot be taken lightly, but, unless the competition is doing it all wrong or there are existing hazards impacting the potential client’s site negatively, it will take some time to win the big keyword.
Discovering the positioning of the potential search engine optimization campaign client’s competitors websites or finding hazards that negatively impact the client’s website or both, will be uncovered in an in-depth site performance audit of the client’s website.
Finding that the potential search engine optimization campaign client’s competitors are not performing well in a particular search engine’s search engine results pages may provide a clearer path for winning important keywords / keyword phrases or the big keyword more easily than usual.
Uncovering a hazard and removing the hazard may also make it easier to win important keywords for the potential client.
Coinciding with the site performance audit there needs to be keyword research conducted.
Just What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research can have a host of different meanings. Meanings such as, but not limited to:
Keyword Competition: How hard is it going to be to rank important terms well in the search engine results? Who are your potential client’s actual online competitors?
Additional Keyword Discovery: Are there other keywords / keyword phrases of importance and value that are not being considered?
Keyword Value: What is the potential value of the keyword? Does it have a high search volume? Does it have low search volume but high potential conversion factors such as it specifically speaks to what the site is about and has low competition levels?
Current Keyword Ranking Results: Where does the potential search engine optimization campaign management client’s website currently rank for keywords / keyword phrases found in the keyword discovery process described below?
Keyword Discovery: The process of identifying what keywords / keyword phrases that the potential search engine optimization campaign management client’s site is currently recognized for and what their competitors’ sites are recognized for.
All of which leads to the final step in the process; that of building a matrix of existing and new keywords from which to select keywords / keyword phrases to build a strategic guide of how the work on these keywords / keyword phrases will proceed when contracted to do so.
It is imperative for any search engine optimization campaign to succeed that there must be clear client understanding of the keyword research matrix being presented.
It is important to highlight new keywords / keyword phrases that may have been discovered and their potential value.
It is important to focus in on the value of any low hanging fruit keywords / keyword phrases. These types of keywords may have low search volume, but also have low levels of competition thus easier to win and gain trust with the client and, most importantly, more qualified visitors to the site.
It is also very important to keep the potential client’s wish list of important keywords / keyword phrases in the forefront. Make sure to point out the level of competition for the keywords / keyword phrases and the timeline of work projected to gain ground with these keywords / keyword phrases.
The Keyword Research Process
When engaging the potential search engine optimization campaign client at the onset of the keyword research process you must gain a list of keywords / keyword phrases that the client considers of high importance to them.
Then you must review the potential client’s site for keywords / keyword phrases that the site appears to be about. In addition, you will need to do this for your potential client’s competitors’ websites.
Believe it or not, we have had potential clients submit their wish list of keywords / keyword phrases and found them to not be on the site at all or appear in such low quantity that the site is not recognized for those keywords / keyword phrases.
Once that you have all the keywords / keyword phrases from your client, the client’s site, and the client’s competitors’ sites, you can begin your research for additional keyword terms that may provide value to your potential client’s search engine optimization marketing campaign.
After you have performed your additional keyword identification research you will need to bring in the competitors’ performance data; where they currently rank for each and every individual keyword / keyword phrase, what their search engine optimization elements look like, how many competitors are there for the individual keywords / keyword phrases. You will need some industry standard formulas and, in our case, proprietary mathematical formulas to complete what will now be your keyword research matrix.
Then you can begin the process of evaluating the keywords / keyword phrases in your keyword matrix.
The results of your keyword research may be astonishing or possibly rather lackluster. We have had client’s that have thousands of appropriate keywords that were discovered and some with less than one hundred.
We try to keep our initial keyword research matrix results to a maximum of three hundred. This requires a great number of resources and some really smart decision making on behalf of our potential client’s interest. Besides, how would you allocate resources to work on thousands of keywords all at one time?
Keyword Research: Summary
When we have made our selection of target keywords / keyword phrases to work with and we have reviewed these with the potential search engine optimization campaign management client we look for final feedback and approval from the potential client.
We have found that in many cases the potential client is very surprised to learn what other keywords / keyword phrases are out there that require minimal effort to gain ranking results traction. “Do you mean that there are adequate search volumes on these several keywords / keyword phrases that I was not even considering and they have the potential to rank well in a reasonable amount of time?”, is often what the potential client asks when reviewing one of our in-depth keyword research results matrixes.
We have also found that clients may not have understood the level of competitiveness that their chosen keywords / keyword phrases face.
Keyword Research: Why We Do It
Keyword research is just one step in our initial analysis report (IAR), but one very important step. It helps to determine which keywords / keyword phrases to pursue; which keywords / keyword phrases apply to existing pages; which keywords / keyword phrases to work on first and build out an ongoing strategic plan for the contracted term of the search engine optimization campaign management engagement.
The end result is a planned steady improvement in keyword rankings in the search engine results pages that drive qualified visitors to your site. Qualified visitors can lead to more leads, conversions or sales considering the site is providing an acceptable user experience.
Contact one of our sales consultants today to learn more about our in-depth keyword research process or order your very own initial analysis report and see just where you stand in the search query term universe.