SEO: Creating Successful Keyword Strategies.

SEO_keywordstrategies

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.

Recap

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 hello@sagittarius.agency

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

25 Oct 2019 - 10 minute read
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