Keyword research and strategy is the very first and most important step to the SEO process. It is the foundation of SEO by SEO Derby. Without keyword research an SEO campaign is built on a house of sand. Search engines rank keywords. Keywords are what people type into search engines to find relevant sites to their query. Therefore it’s important for businesses to rank highly for keywords that are relevant to their customers.It’s a good analogy to think of a search in Google as scratching an itch. When somebody searches online there is something they want to know. They have an itch that they want to scratch and they hope that by typing a certain key phrase into the search engine they will get a relevant result that satisfies their query.
The first job of an SEO is to find out what keywords are relevant to your business. It doesn’t matter if the keywords are for local SEO or for a national business. It’s important to know that the keywords that you as the business owner think are relevant may not actually be the same as your customers. Business owners can sometimes have a myopic view of their industry and use industry jargon that is not necessarily relevant for their clients. We work with you to compile a keyword list to target in the following way.
- We’ll ask you to tell us what keywords are important to you in your industry
- We’ll add to this keywords which we think may be relevant
- We’ll look at your website statistics and see what keywords people are already using to find you
- We’ll use various SEO keyword tools to find lots of other keywords relevant to your industry.
- We’ll use SEO tools to find out where you rank for every keyword we can find that is relevant to you.
Then we’ll analyse all of these keywords and find which ones have a sufficient amount of searches per month to make them worthwhile targets to optimise your website for. We may even run a very short adwords pay per click campaign to be sure that the actual traffic figures are accurate. Adwords management is one of our specialisms.
Once we have a list of keywords that are relevant and have good volume (number of searches), we’ll look at the intent behind these keywords. We are looking for keywords that lead to buying behaviour. There are many stages to the buying process and we want to be getting traffic to your website exactly at the point where the searcher is ready to buy. For example, if you were an injury claims solicitor would you rather rank for:
a) Whiplash symptoms (5400 searches per month)
b) Whiplash claim (1900 searches per month)
Clearly the symptoms search is an informational search, whereas the claim search is someone looking to buy! Finding buying keywords is an important part of the process.
Once we’ve got a list of keywords that are relevant to your potential clients, have lots of searches, and are buying keywords, there is still an important stage in the process. We then need to look at the competition for each of these keywords that you would like to rank for. Some keywords will be inevitably be easier to rank for than other keywords. To get the highest ROI from SEO we need to pick the right targets. Call it choosing your battles. Within the keyword set there will be great keywords that will be much easier and take far less time to rank for than others. SEO is not an overnight process and depending on the difficulty it can take anything from a few months to many years to rank well. We are confident we can take any keyword on and eventually rank it well, but it makes business to sense to choose your battles wisely!
If you’d like to read more, find out about on page optimisation and how building backlinks to your website will hugelly increase your rankings.