Mastering the keyword search strategy involves really going beyond the Google Keyword Planner and doing some intuitive research about your target audience. Despite its great utility in coming up with words related directly to your search item, the Google Keyword Planner has its limitations. For instance, it does not produce words that may not be directly related to your search item, but are still likely to be in the mind of your target audience.
Getting into the target user’s mind
The question is how to get into the audience’s mind and get the search terms that they are looking for. The best way to do this is to first develop a realistic profile of your target user and then explore the aspects of the search topic that they are likely to be interested in. Different user groups think about the same topic in different ways. Create a profile of your user group including the age bracket, median income, interests, educational and professional level, and other similar details. Next, search for online forums about the search topic and visit the most popular threads. This will give you a good idea about the questions that your target user is thinking about online.
Using the Google Keyword Planner
As stated earlier, the Google Keyword Planner is an amazing tool that helps you identify the popular keywords related to your search item and use a variety of filtering and other tools to refine your search. To use the Google Keyword Planner, you first need to set up a Google Adwords Account. Once you have your own account, you need to go to the Tools and analysis section and select the Keyword Planner feature. The program then asks you to choose from three options.
The ‘Search for new keyword and ad group ideas’ option helps you to generate keywords by using various exclusion and inclusion criteria. The ‘Get search volume for a list of keyword or group them into ad groups’ helps you to construct a cluster of keywords for a search item. Finally, you can use the ‘Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas’ option to create endless combinations of keywords to aid your strategy.
Each of these options is quite simple to use and the program takes you through each step in a user-friendly way. All you need to remember is to enter keywords and search criteria specifically according to the profile and search behavior you have identified in the previous step.
Avoiding Competitive Keywords
To identify keywords that will take you to the top of the search results, you need to think smartly. It is not always advisable to compete with your competitors in the same arena. The Google Keyword Planner typically throws up results that are variants of the keyword you have entered. These can only be useful to some extent. What’s more, Goggle Keyword Planner has probably churned out the same keyword for your competitors too. So you end up with a large number of keyword variants that your rivals are also going to use.
To avoid competing in this kind of a scenario you should focus on long tail keywords. The question is how to gain access to long tail keywords. There are many places where you can find what you need. For starters, you can try the bottom of the Google search page where a list of related searches is shown. These offer important keywords and in an arrangement that shows what aspects of the topic are closely related to your search area. You can also enter the keyword in the search window along with the words ‘forum’ or ‘discussion post’ to locate online forums and blogs where the topic is being discussed. Quora is a website where you can view related discussion posts and pick up long tail keywords from there. Google Trends is a useful tool that shows you the rising or declining popularity of specific keywords.
Keywords that Sell
When deciding on the selection of keywords you need to think strategically. Not all keywords have the same power to influence visitors to part with their money. But that is exactly what you want. Unless a visitor is not motivated to make an online purchase, the keyword is of little use. What needs to be done is the selection of those keywords that lead visitors to make a purchase. To do this, you need to analyze the different types of behavior users engage in when searching for a product and what they do with the information. For example, some keywords indicate a greater readiness to make a purchase than others. A user who enters the search term ‘buy’ is more likely to make an online purchase sooner than a user who enters the search terms ‘review’ or ‘how to’ for the same product.
You can ferret out these strategic keywords from the Google Adwords feature. Select Keyword Planner from the Tools and Analysis menu and choose ‘Search for new keyword and ad group ideas’. Enter your keyword in the product box and click Get Ideas. You will see a list of suggested keywords along with the suggested bid value and the average number of searches for that keyword and the intensity of competition over that keyword. The words that generate the greatest bid are the ones you should be aiming at.
Weighing Your Keywords
At the end of the day, you want your content to contain the keywords that will bring them to the top of the search results page. However, you should choose your keywords wisely to avoid losing out in a competition where you absolutely have no hope. There are two tools that will help you decide which keywords are weightier and carry greater credibility. The first of these tools is SEO Quake. You can easily download this tool and install it on your computer. Once installed, SEO Quake will display how the page is ranked by Google as opposed to the page authority. This data appears in the form of a horizontal bar below each search result. How is this useful to you? Well, the page with the greater page rank is highly competitive. You should be looking for pages with low page rankings so that you can target them and design your own page to take their place on the search results list.
SEO Quake will also provide you information about the linking domains or how many pages contain links to that particular page. This information also gives you a good idea about how competitive that particular page is.
The second tool you should install is MozBar. This can be installed on Firefox as well as Chrome. This tool works in a similar way to SEO Quake and provides information about the page authority and referring domains. It tells you about the credibility of the content on that page and how many other pages are referred to on that page. You can use this data to inform your competitive strategy.
Doing Your Research Systematically
The preceding sections have offered some useful guidance on how you can make your keyword search more strategic and competitive. Now that you have developed the right attitude to develop and select keywords for your content, you are ready to use keyword research tools to refine your research strategy. These tools will use similar processes to the ones you have been using manually with the Google Keyword Planner. However, these tools will do the job is a faster and more thorough way, producing endless results for you to choose your keywords from.
These tools can be downloaded and installed on your computer with no hassle at all. You use them simply by inserting a keyword and the program generates a list of results for you. In addition, you also get useful metadata about the keywords including the intensity of competition for the keyword, traffic volume and changes in search trends for the keywords. Some tools will even give you a measure of the difficulty of the keyword, indicating that getting a higher rank with the keyword is more difficult than for other keywords. You may also get a list of keywords that your competitors are using.
Producing SEO Content
Once you have selected keywords that are strategic in terms of offering less competition and being able to lead to online purchases, you need to create content that is based on those keywords. You need to keep certain things in mind to ensure that your content does the job well.
Pages that rank high on Google’s rankings are those that content the keywords within the headings. When developing tags or headings for your content to include the keyword. You can further enhance the potential ranking of your page by including the long tail keyword along with the head keyword. Producing long content also helps to bring up the ranking of your page in search results. Also, make sure that the keyword is introduced earlier in the text, preferably within the first 50 or 100 words of the text.