Why is keyword research important and how do you do it?
I’d like to thank Louise Whitfield for coming onto the show as guest speaker and talking to us about keyword research. She has 7 years of experience in digital marketing which includes SEO, social listening, content and more.
About Louise Whitfield:
- Lou works in Strategy for Brilliant Noise agency based in Brighton
- I met Lou at Search Camp 2017 , which was the first of its kind and a two day SEO conference organised by Don’t Panic Projects agency founded by Kelvin Newman (who also founded the Brighton SEO conference.)
- She has worked for brands in many industries, including travel, music, finance, food and beauty.
- Apart from being an experience digital marketeer, she’s also a lifestyle blogger over at My Little Tale!
Why do Keyword Research?
Important and valuable way to create content. Keyword research can make or break a site and can help product return on investment which is important if you work for someone who you’re trying to persuade to do more of content.
It’s also a gateway to your audience; matching your audience to the content that you write about!
How to Match Readers to your Content?
See the demand and trends of topics with tools such as Keyword Planner Tool (link for tools below) which is essentially a PPC (paid advertising) tool that shows your search volume, how many people search for that particular search term on average per month and in what way do they write it also. The tool also shows you what month the search peaks which is useful for seasonal content and those writing about more time-sensitive information.
Google trends is perfect for that also as it shows the above, plus suggestions on what’s currently trending and helps you compare keywords side by side.
Create a journey for your site by talking around the subject, especially after the multiple algorithm updates that focus around semantic search and associations of references. Working around the topic is a great way to get new people to find your brand, even if they’re not necessarily looking for your product right now, they may think of you in the future because they found you useful. It’s about finding opportunities and going with them.
Long tail keywords (3 keywords and longer) are easier to rank for and convert better because these are specific searches and usually mean that the reader or customer knows what they’re looking for. There’s less competition for these and gives you the opportunity to own that subject if it’s of relevance.
Use the predictions when you start searching something in the search bar of an engine. This is one of the easiest ways to find what to write around that particular topic. In mobile you even get an answer in the predictive search due to the smarter ways of offering information to the searcher. You can already see the content that others are writing about, which brings us nicely to the competitor research for keyword research and content creation.
Location are key words as well. If you’re offering a service make sure you add location within your content and research what people are looking for around you too.
Use social listening for keyword research! Hashtags and people’s conversations can help you write around what your audience is talking about and what they’re asking about. Perfect for building out pages on frequently asked questions too.
A piece of content can be used to gain valuable natural links. Organic visibility can also shave cost
Free Tools & Methods:
- Google’s Keyword Planner Tool (if you’re signing up for the first time, be sure to click ‘skip this step’ otherwise you will be asked to add in your payment information – this is for PPC and not needed to use the planner tool.)
- Google Trends
- Answer the Public – a brilliant free tool that shows you how, where, when etc. which helps you write around the topic of your choice. It’s a good way to find what people are talking about and not what you think they’re talking about.
- Predicted answers in the search bar
- Looking at page one & competitors
- SEMrush; shows your the keywords you’re ranking for & competitors.
- Searchmetrics; content marketing platform that offers insights and data to help strategy.
- Brightedge; has Data Cube which can offer content ideas as well as other areas for keyword tracking.
- PiDatametrics; tracking keywords and visibility of your site and competitors.
Google Algorithm Updates:
- RankBrain; Simply put it’s artificial intelligence that helps Google’s results become more sophisticated by looking at associations, understanding partnering of topics and groupings of keywords (long-tail.)
- Hummingbird; the original update that looked at understanding the semantics of topics as a whole rather than individual search terms.
Keyword Stuffing (Don’t do this!)
Do not repeat keywords. This used to work and that’s how content used to be ranked. This is now seen as spam and you can get penalised for it. With updates such as the above it would mean you would not appear in the search results at all. Do not create content that isn’t readable because at the end of the day we want useful content and to read things we enjoy. This means the Google will only show the readable, useful and enjoyable content that the user expects.
Thanks for reading & listening and a massive thanks to Lou for coming on the podcast as a guest!
Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes