SEO has become a non-negotiable for long-term success in today’s business landscape. Simply put, if you want to get noticed online by prospective buyers, you need to do so through search engines. A 2022 study by HubSpot discovered that businesses that publish blogs receive 55 percent more traffic. However, blogs can only drive traffic if they include the right terms and phrases. This makes keyword research necessary when optimizing your website for search engines.
71 percent of marketers state that their main search engine optimization tactic is utilizing strategic keywords. Therefore, it is essential to use content marketing services in conjunction when crafting your SEO plan.
The Importance of Keyword Research in SEO Strategy
Ranking on search engines isn’t as simple as using random buzzwords. To boost your online presence, you need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the search terms that users commonly used within your industry.
According to Ahrefs, only 0.0008 percent of keywords are searched 100,000+ times in a month, whereas a whopping 94.74 percent receive ten or fewer hits. This makes the need of professional SEO services imperative for today’s businesses.
Challenges in Conducting Keyword Research
Keyword research can be tricky for a couple of reasons:
- Changing trends: Certain terms trend for a limited time, making it difficult to ensure that the keywords you are incorporating are up-to-date.
- Competitor research: Competitors can dramatically impact which keywords are ranking. Thus, it is crucial to conduct a competitor analysis. This can help you strengthen your keyword strategy.
- Algorithm updates: Search engine algorithms responsible for ranking websites continually update. Therefore, SEO experts must stay updated with the latest search engine guidelines.
What We’ll Cover in This Blog
In this blog, we will discuss how you can utilize the power of keyword research within your SEO strategy. You will learn how to leverage it to improve your business’s search rankings and online presence. We will first discuss what the keyword research process entails, offerings tips to make your keyword selection easier.
Then, we will explore how keywords are incorporated into content and website, elaborating on both off-page and on-page optimization. Lastly, we will share the pros of integrating keyword research into content optimization strategy and ways to measure the success of your campaign.
Conducting Keyword Research
When performing keyword research, these are the initial steps you will need to do:
1. Brainstorming and Using Tools
There are several tools you can use and ways to brainstorm to determine which keywords are relevant to your SEO strategy.
- Affiliate networks: Find inspiration for relevant keywords by browsing product descriptions on affiliate networks like Linkshare, Neverblue Ads, Clickbooth, Commission Junction, and Clickbank. These networks offer insight into the keyphrases people use for product descriptions.
- Television Commercial: Notice what products are being sold in advertisements, the names of TV shows, and used them as seed keywords. It is great way to brainstorm keywords and phrases.
- Amazon Products: Peruse the products on Amazon to find root keywords. Note down the top sellers, key terms, and categories most mentioned within the descriptions of these products.
- Google Trends: The go-to tool for all non-specialists and digital marketers is Google Hot Trends, which shows you what users are typing into the Google search box the most.
2. Analyzing Data and Selecting Keywords
Data analysis and keyword selection are both primarily based on user intent. Essentially, you need to consider the searchers’ intentions and select keywords accordingly. Tools and software, such as HubSpot’s Sources report and Google Analytics, will help you identify the search terms your traffic is coming from. This can help you further strengthen your content by adding any missing keywords you identify alongside.
3. Regularly Updating and Refining the Keyword List
Your work doesn’t end after you’ve selected the keywords you will be targeting. Through consistent research, you will need to update and refine the list regularly.
Incorporating Keywords into the Website and Content
After conducting keyword research, you will need to incorporate the ones you’ve selected into your web content and blogs in the following ways:
1. Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Body Content
Meta tags appear above the webpage in the header, providing crucial page info. They help describe aspects of a service or product by using certain words that indicate the features, size, price range, or more.
You can even utilize a location meta tag to help people know your website location (the country, state, or city). Adding the meta tag category within blog posts and web content can assist in reaching audiences. Meta tags include:
- image Alt text
- schema markup
2. Avoiding Keyword Stuffing and Using Keywords Naturally
Keyword stuffing is the act of using the same keyword over and over within a content piece or site. It is a trick that some people used in the past to get higher search rankings. However, Google has confirmed it to be a negative factor in ranking a webpage.
Integrate keywords into content in a way that flows naturally and doesn’t seem out of place. It shouldn’t look forcefully placed within the content. Therefore, use them only if they are relevant to your topic and industry.
3. Role of Keyword Clusters in the Content Strategy
Keyword clusters are simply a collection of key phrases representing searches of the same user intent. Essentially, the clusters denote what your website’s core topics are. Their role in a content optimization strategy is crucial, as search engines like Google have advanced algorithms now. They require a more sophisticated keyword research strategy that provides value to all targeted users.
4. On-page and Off-page Optimization
On-page SEO involves all the ranking factors search engines consider that are directly related to the webpage. These are not limited to but include:
- website performance
- image optimization
- heading structure
- title tags
Off-page SEO encompasses the factors beyond your site that increase or decrease your ranking. The main example of this is backlinks. All in all, you need to consider both off-page and on-page optimization components to solidify your SEO and content strategy. This can be done by incorporating a keyword cluster than resonates with both on-page and off-page content.
Benefits of Keyword Research and Incorporation
Conducting keyword research and incorporating the clusters within your webpage content and blogs can be beneficial in several ways, including:
1. Increased Traffic and Improved Search Rankings
You can guide your target audience to your website through keywords and provide users with the information and content they are searching for. Since keywords are a primary ranking factor for websites, targeting the right ones can allow your search rankings to improve significantly.
2. Tracking and Measuring Success
After incorporating your keywords within your content, you will need to track and measure their success. This allows you to refine or change them entirely if they aren’t working.
3. Testing and Optimizing the Keyword Strategy
The keywords you have selected after conducting research need to be tested to see if they’re working to improve your search rankings. Moreover, you can optimize your strategy by enhancing and optimizing keyword selection.
Recap and Next Steps
This blog covered the crucial components involved in performing keyword research and how to incorporate them into your SEO strategy. Moreover, we discussed the significance of using tools, brainstorming, data analysis, and conducting keyword selection carefully.
Other than this, we also uncovered what role on-page and off-page optimization play, the advantages of keyword research, and the process of measuring the success of your strategy.
Put These Tips into Action
Since you know the process of conducting keyword research and integrating it within your SEO strategy, you can utilize these tips effectively! Start by brainstorming potential keywords and using research and data collection tools to help you confirm their efficacy.
This will help you pick the most valuable and relevant keywords and naturally incorporate them within your web content. However, you should regularly refine and update your keyword list by examining its role in off and on-page optimization. Lastly, you should track whether your strategy is working and make necessary adjustments accordingly.
Further Resources and Tips
If you want further guidance on what SEO and keyword research entails, then you can check out these resources online and follow these tips:
- The Digital Caterpillar Blog: You can find great insights within the in-depth articles posted on this blog about everything digital marketing related, including SEO and keyword research.
- Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO: In this guide, you can read about SEO basics, including keyword research information.
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer: With this tool, you can perform keyword research by analyzing competitors, search volume, and more.
- Google’s Keyword Planner: You can find this keyword planning tool within the Google Ads platform and use it for research and keyword selection.
- Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO: You can find several SEO topics, such as keyword research, how to use long-tail keywords, how to create backlinks and more.
- Participate in an SEO workshop or conference: You can find several workshops and conferences, both off and online, where you can receive training and valuable insights. Keep an eye out on the DC Linkedin page too – we’ll be holding some soon as well.
- Online SEO communities: There are several online forums and communities where you can read advice and tips from SEO enthusiasts and professionals on performing keyword research.
- Hire an SEO agency: For those businesses that do not have the resources or time to perform keyword research in-house, an SEO firm can be an excellent option. Digital Caterpillar is a top-edge digital marketing agency offering SEO services that include comprehensive keyword research.