Published: 25 October 2019
Last month we partnered with search specialists, Pi-Datametrics, to deliver a webinar focusing on SEO and how to build successful keyword strategies. In this piece, I'll explore the highlights from the event and how you can translate this to your business in a bid to optimise your keyword strategy!
Identify your keywords
The first step is to look at which keywords you're already bidding on and which ones you think you should be.
For example, if you're selling sofas then ideally you would want to be the first result on Google, so you bid for 'sofas', but this is a high-volume term with approximately 246,000 searches a month. It's also highly competitive, and Google will tend to give preference to the larger brands when returning results for a broad term such as this.
In this instance, brands have two options: find another holy grail keywords (a high-volume search term that no-one else is bidding on), unlikely I know. Or to bid on long-tail keywords. Now, these key terms are a little more niche with a much lower search volume, e.g. 'black leather two-seater sofa' but they also show user intent. At this stage, users are more likely to be further along in the customer journey and ready to buy, so while they have a lower-search value and will generate less traffic, they will be more likely to convert!
Align your strategy with your business goals
Before you can continue, you need to determine which goal is best for the business:
- Do you want to improve site visibility; increasing brand awareness
- Or do you want to focus on achieving more conversions
How easy it is to achieve this goal depends on a multitude of factors. For some keywords, it'll be easy, for other brands will need to put in the hard work.
Define your strategy
To get started, brands need to determine their key themes; these act as seed terms forming the basis of initial research for the keyword list which might, as in the example above include terms such as sofa, however, you might also want to include similar terms such as settee or couch.
To help with this, there are a series of free tools, one of the industry's favourites being Google Keyword Planner which is part of the Google Ads platform which provides you with monthly data around specific keywords such as the number of searches and how competitive they are. To use this simply input the terms defined above and the tool will return a list of similar and related keywords for you to export.
Another useful tool is Google Search Console (also free); this tool provides users with lots of information about how Google views a particular website. The performance section also tells you which terms a site appears for, its position and its click-through rate. This tool is perfect for identifying 'low hanging fruit:' terms that a website already ranks for but only on pages 2-4. Focus on those that have either a high number of impressions, as this suggests there is a lot of possible traffic, or on those that have a high CTR as if your site is already being shown in search results then a relatively small amount of work will be required to improve rankings.
Another useful source of keywords, particularly long-tail phrases, is the 'people also asked' and 'related searches' you see on Google search results pages. You can extract these by using a tool called Keywords Everywhere which allows you to export the lists. You can then use the Keyword Planner tool to check search volumes.
With your list of key terms derived from these tools, you can set to work improving your landing pages to better optimise them for search, and soon, with a little work, improve your rankings!
Considering search intent
Throughout this whole process, it's equally important to consider how to target each of your key terms depending on the searches intent, for instance:
- A transactional search is performed by people who already know what they want to buy, so when you think about targeting them make sure the content is serving them with information such as price, stock and delivery.
- Information searches are performed by those who aren't yet ready to buy, they're most likely in the early stages of a purchase and they'll be just as interested in knowing about the business as they are about the product so be sure to serve them with detailed product information, information about your sourcing and ethics as well as relevant reviews about the product or your business.
What to do with all the data
All the information gathered should be collated in one central spreadsheet and sectioned out into key areas or categories. Once you've inputted this data, you can then go on to define the intent of each of your search terms, map each term to a page and decide if you need to update the content on these pages or create new pages.
This document should define your action plan for future SEO work, helping you to prioritise your next steps. Remember to include metadata, headings, content, internal and external links when building out your landing pages.
When building out successful keyword strategies, it's not about just looking at the highest-ranked search terms. Instead, you need to consider which angle is most useful for your business. With these outlined follow the steps above to form the basis of your ongoing SEO strategy.
If you'd like to find out how Sagittarius can support you in the creation and implementation of a keyword strategy for your business, then please get in touch on 020 070 7820 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org