Introduction to Keyword Research: A Guide

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Introduction to Keyword Research: A Guide

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the terms which people type into search engines in order to find what it is they are looking for.image-35-walteranalytics

It is possible to pay for your ad to appear when someone types in a certain word or phrase. The way it works in most cases is ‘Pay Per Click’ – you pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your advertisement. The more you pay, and the better your ad content is, the higher your ad will appear in the search results window.

From an organic standpoint, keywords relate directly to the content on your site. Inclusion of keywords in website content is one of the factors search engines take into account when determining the relevance of your website to the search term which has been entered by any user.

Keyword List

An optimisation process over time will focus on building a much more specific keyword list, including negative keywords and varying bids based on different keywords and competition. The importance of this list of keywords is often understated, to the detriment of the campaign.

Google AdWords offers a default setting to import a generated list of keywords which its algorithm defines as relevant. It’s good, but there are holes in the system.

For example, when asked to generate a list of relevant keywords for ‘aged care courses’, the following keywords are included in the list:

  • aged care course
  • aged care
  • aged care jobs
  • aged care facilities
  • aged care facilities location

Clearly, not all of these pertain to our business needs and the list needs to be curated and whittled down to provide a more efficient, cost-effective keyword list.

Topic Targeting – Be Aware of What You Are Currently Ranking For

The difference between topic targeting and keyword targeting is something that is far too commonly misunderstood. Targeting topics is far more important than targeting keywords as search engines constantly improve their algorithms to include semantic SEO. The move towards semantic SEO means that websites need to gear their content towards people, instead of trying to figure out what will rank well in search, as the two gradually align. Search engines are increasing their ability to search related topics even when the keyword isn’t the same. For example:  ‘motor repair’ and ‘car mechanic’ – refer to the same topic content, and now the search engine can draw definitive links between the two.

As far as understanding why it is important to know which search engine traffic comes to your website, the benefit in this is fully understanding which keywords and traffic hold the most value and drive the most traffic. Keeping with the example of ‘motor repair’, certain keywords are more likely to attract potential customers who are thinking to make a purchase, whereas other keywords may attract users simply looking for further information.

The knowledge gained through proactive topic and keyword targeting can provide explosive growth to your business if done correctly, and allow you to identify if there opportunities to rank on higher value and higher volume keywords.

Using Keywords

There are two main reasons why most organisations require professional assistance to help them understand keywords that their site is ranking on.

  1. Professional qualified providers understand the digital advertising landscape, have access to industry knowledge, and are familiar with and have access to the best tools. When a good search professional begins an SEO process, they look to the search environment and your keywords to identify why your site ranks on the terms that it does. Such a professional can then determine if there are keywords that exhibit search volume but are not currently captured by the topics and content on your site.
  2. Such a professional is an authoritative, objective viewer. By working with you, a professional consultant enjoys an objective external view. In collaboration, your specialised knowledge combined with a search professional’s objective view ensure that the best decisions are made.

What is Keyword Research

Keyword research is an SEO practice of researching keywords or search terms that users are likely to use during search. This practice is done with the help of keyword research tools.

Keywords play an important part in the ranking of a website. Careful preparation and analysis is ideal for a keyword research. It is critical for the right keywords to target the right kind of visitors.

Choosing Relevant Keywords

image-36-walteranalyticsThis part has less to do with metrics and numerical analysis, and more to do with business intuition. As part of the Search Audit, it is essential to intentionally construct your content and website with key words and topics in mind. If this is not done intentionally, the search engine will define your keywords for you, based on your website content, structure, and overall relevance to different terms. It is always preferable to take this control back.

As mentioned previously, you don’t have to generate these keywords yourself. Using available tools, take keywords from the lists of your competitors, add to them and customise this list for your own business purposes, and then assess the phrases and key words for existing volume and projected cost.

This process will yield your relevant keywords.

Understanding the Types of Searches

Before, it is important to have a grasp of the mind set a searcher may have. There are three types:

·         Transactional

These type of searches are made with the end-game in mind. That is – to transact or to buy.

·         Informational

These type of searches are made to find out more information about a product, service, organisation or brand before making a transaction. This is the most common type of search, nowadays.

·         Navigational

These type of searches are made for an online destination.

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