How to build a keyword strategy that actually drives traffic?
19 min read
19 min read
I get it. You're new to SEO. You have no idea how to do keyword research. This post will simplify some of your tasks by showing you, how to establish a keyword strategy that will generate traffic.
Table of Contents
How do you feel, after you have set up your page and have reviewed the pages, through the SEO lenses? After a short break, I'm back and hope we will have a nice time together.
It was close to a month, which I was not present here so I thought, I will put for every day I missed talking to you, one tip to build a good and effective keyword strategy.
Before we jump to the tips, let's think about the term strategy, and join me for a short deep dive into strategy vs. tactic. What comes first - strategy or tactic?
Strategy Vs. Tactic
The tactic is the means that you are using to achieve your desired goal! If I wanted to, for example, win a world cup, my tactic would probably be practicing all day long football, but my overall strategy would be winning it.
So, always make sure you know what you want and how you are going to do it.
Okay, but what has this got to do with SEO? Well, you should know what is your goal or desired outcome in order to make a good keyword strategy for your site.
So if the tactic is choosing keywords - the strategy would be doing proper research and understanding why you are doing that.
For example - your strategy might be to rank for a specific term that will allow you to lead customers from organic traffic to customers who are ready to convert. Moving further, you should know the difference between long tail and short tail keywords. Short Tail Keywords are keywords that usually have less than 4 words in them while Long-tail keywords usually contain more than 4 words.
Short Tail Keyword: Red leather handbag
Long Tail Keyword: Best red leather handbag under 100$
Short tail keywords are usually used by people who are looking for the quick results - they want to find out information rather than purchase anything or just want to know something. Usually, when you don't enter in the long-tail keywords, you will get less targeted traffic. People who look specifically for what you offer, more likely to convert.
So if you want to get targeted customers who are more inclined to buy your product - stick to long-tail keywords and don't go for short-tail keywords which will definitely give you a boost in traffic but the bounce rate would be higher than usual because of it!
This can be done in different ways - you can either use Analytics tools like Google Analytics, Keyword Planner tool of Adwords by Google, there is another option to use some third-party tools like SE Ranking, Keywordhero, or MOZ. or if you are on a really limited budget then keyword research can also be done manually. My friends, handcrafted keywords are the most difficult to outrank your competitors for. So if you have time - do it manually, but if no then the tools mentioned above would be helpful for you.
For my, it's the sexiest part. It is all about checking the monthly search volume, new suggested keywords, and what you would need to rank for those terms.
Monthly Search Volume shows how many people are searching for a keyword per month, so the more is the search volume, the bigger is your chance of being noticed by Google which will result in ranking on top of my SERP! The news suggested keywords are really important because they are the terms which are recently suggested by Google. So you can be on top of it before anyone else jumps on that bandwagon!
Now, this is a really important point - checking your competition. You just can't go for any keywords! I mean it - you need to know what kind of competitors you have and how good they are at their game. So the keywords you choose should be better than your competitors who are also much better at SEO compared to you.
So going back to my original example - I wanted to rank for a "red leather handbag" keyword, but how do I know which one is worth ranking for? Yeah, that's a good question!
I will take a look at the monthly search volume and check if there is any new suggested keywords that I can use in my article.
I used Google keyword planner to find out what other terms I might need to include in that page and then googled those queries and checked if anyone is using them along with "red leather handbag"! That's how I reached my final list of keywords that are targeted for my article!
So far so good, but now the time has come to analyze even more - I checked out Google keyword density estimator and that helped me a lot to find out what kind of density should be included on that page.
Here is an example - what is the average keyword density in an article?
Well, according to SEO professionals it's around 1.5% - 2%. So I need to keep that number in mind while writing! So if my final list of keywords was like this: red leather handbag, best red leather bag, cheapest red leather bag then what words should I use in my article?
Red Leather Handbag - 5 times, Best Red Leather Bag - 3 times, and Cheapest Red Leather Bag - 2 times.
So I used this list to create a product description page that I will optimize for all those keywords from my list! I hope that helped you out when it comes to keyword research and analysis!
Do you need time to digest this appetizer or are you ready to move to the main course? Ok so follow me to my keyword strategy tips & hints. No tricks - I never loved these rabbit hats.
Thirty-One tips for building your keyword strategy
Every blogger and SEO knows that, although it is a dirty secret, keywords are the most important thing on your blog. A good keyword strategy will make sure you attract relevant traffic from search engines. It is an integral part of SEO.
The major question of this session is: "How do you build a keyword research strategy that drives traffic?" This is one of the most common questions we get from new SEOs and it's easy to understand why - they want to know what keywords they should target with their content, and whether or not they're on the right track.
Firstly, keywords are meant to drive traffic. Keywords are the foundation for your content creation strategy, you should know that every piece of content that you create has a purpose behind it right? That purpose is usually driving visitors to your site.
What I will do today, will give you some tips which can lead you towards effective keyword research. So let's get started, shall we?
Secondly, you should know that keywords are not created equal. Some keywords will bring more traffic than others; some keywords will result in traffic to your website through organic search results while other referrals (e.g., social media or PPC) or direct visits to the site might also occur; and there are some keywords that will drive traffic, but not enough for you to consider including them in your content.
Consider your user intent when choosing your keywords.
Long-tail vs. short-tail keywords.
Choose your keywords based on what you'd like your content to accomplish.
Create a content map.
Find out what your competitors are ranking for.
Don't make your content too keyword-heavy.
Find out what types of questions people have related to your industry/niche and create blog posts that answer those questions.
Find out what types of problems people are facing and solve them.
Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Use the Google Related Searches feature.
Explore websites outside of your niche.
Find out the most common questions people ask on forums.
Use the Google Autofill feature to find related keywords.
Use Google Trends to see how popular keywords have been over the course of time.
Brainstorm keywords on a piece of paper.
Come up with fresh new content ideas by doing keyword research.
The more different keywords related to your niche, the better.
Sign up to Google Alerts so that you can keep track of your keywords.
Write blog posts with your target keyword included in the title.
Look up how other blog posts rank for specific keywords.
Narrow down keywords by checking their search volumes.
Change your blog post titles if necessary.
Include links in your post, especially to authority sites with lots of domain trust.
Link out to relevant pages from your footer or sidebar.
Add a blog roll or other related lists of links.
Keep track of how well you're doing with your blog posts.
Don't overdo keyword placement.
Don't forget about your images!
Don't forget about your internal links.
Don't forget about your external links!
Don't keyword stuff or overuse your keywords.
Number 1: Consider your user intent when choosing your keywords.
One mistake that some beginner SEOs make is to produce content around a keyword-based on what they think may bring traffic, not taking into consideration how likely a visitor is to make a purchase or follow-up action after arriving on the page.
If your user intent is to find a solution or an answer to some kind of question, like: "What is this?" "Why should I use it?" and "How does it work," for example, you will notice that these types of questions usually consist of more than one word; therefore, you should focus on keywords that contain more than one word.
Number 2: Long-tail vs. short-tail keywords.
It'll be better to produce content around long-tail keywords because they usually bring less competitive, and therefore less expensive traffic; besides, people who use long-tail keywords are generally further along in the buyer's journey - they are more likely to have already made a purchase decision.
Short-tail keywords, on the other hand, typically attract more competitive traffic because people who use them are often just beginning their research and haven't yet arrived at the point of making a buying decision.
Number 3. Choose your keywords based on what you'd like your content to accomplish.
Every piece of content that you create has a specific purpose behind it, and the keyword that you choose will play a major role in determining whether or not your content achieves that goal.
For example, when your blog post is focused on increasing conversions, here are some keywords you might consider: "10 ways to increase conversions" or "how to increase conversions on landing pages."
When your blog post is aimed at building brand awareness, you may want to target keywords like: "this year's holiday gift guide" or "trends for 2021." On the other hand, someone who wants to drive traffic to their site might target keywords with lower search volume but higher click-through rates.
Number 4: Create a content map.
Content maps, sometimes also referred to as keyword maps, are an effective method for organizing your keywords and making sure that you're not missing anything - they can help you group keywords around various topics and themes within the same piece of content or across multiple pieces of content (i.e., micro-content).
When you create a content map, it will allow you to get an overview of all your keywords and start thinking about the link structure of the content. In other words, they help you visualize all aspects of your article before you even begin writing - this can help lead to increased conversions and coherence in terms of how keyword research is tied into the entire content marketing process.
Number 5: Find out what your competitors are ranking for.
Before you even begin looking for keywords to target, it's important that you know what your competitors are targeting so you can take a look at how they're doing and keep an eye on the search results. Tools like SE Ranking and Keywordhero can help you accomplish this.
Number 6: Don't make your content too keyword-heavy.
Just as having a bunch of keywords stuffed into your copy isn't going to help you rank, neither will creating 'keyword soup,' which is when you create a huge amount of keywords and stuff them together throughout the article.
When you create a high density of keywords in your content, not only will it make the article hard to read but it could also cause those keywords to be considered as spam by Google.
As always, integrating your keywords into your content is a delicate process that requires taking a step back and examining the bigger picture. Don't just go for a high keyword density, but instead focus on creating a natural flow with the content - it's a good idea to analyze your article for any noticeable increase in how often certain keywords appear.
Number 7: Find out what types of questions people have related to your industry/niche ...
... and create blog posts that answer those questions. One of the best ways to come up with ideas for keywords and blog post topics is to identify questions that people are asking about your industry or niche.
For example, if you have a travel blog, somebody who is interested in going on vacation may be wondering: "what's the cheapest month to go on vacation?" - so they would type that into Google. The best thing you can do in this case is creating a blog post that answers the question and targets it with keywords like: "cheapest months to go on vacation," or "cost of vacation each month."
Number 8: Find out what types of problems people are facing and solve them.
Another great way to come up with blog posts and keyword ideas is to identify problems that people are facing in your industry or niche.
For example, if you have a travel blog, somebody who is thinking about taking a vacation but they're not sure where to go may be wondering: "where's the best place for a honeymoon?" - again, this is something you could create a blog post about and target it with keywords like: "best place for a honeymoon," or "ideal destinations for honeymoon."
Number 9: Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Google's Adwords Keyword Planner is one of my favorite keyword research tools. It allows you to come up with keyword ideas by using the search terms they already have, which is great for discovering keywords that you may not know about otherwise. If you've ever used Google Keyword Planner before, you will know that it's not perfect. It does come with some drawbacks - but overall I think it's an extremely useful keyword research tool for beginners and advanced marketers alike, and here's why.
The main reason I love Google Keyword Planner is that it allows you to filter your results by location - so if you're targeting specific countries or states with your content, this can be extremely helpful for finding new keywords that may otherwise have been left out of the equation. If you don't mind doing a little bit of work, I would recommend using a combination of Google Keyword Planner and SE Ranking to find keywords that you may not have know about otherwise. The process is simple: First, use Google Keyword planner to come up with potential keywords related to your industry - then simply plug those keywords into SE Ranking and see what new keywords pop up.
Number 10: Use the Google Related Searches feature.
One of the best ways to find new keywords for your blog posts is by using Google's related searches feature, which is provided directly underneath every search result on Google. Since this tool provides you with highly relevant results that are closely associated with whatever keyword you plugged in, it can be a very useful tool for finding keywords that may otherwise have been left out of the equation. The only downside to this tool is it can be a little bit tricky - because there's no clear-cut way to find new related search terms, you might need to do a little trial and error testing in order to get the results you're looking for. But after a little bit of work, it can be extremely fruitful for finding new keywords you may not have otherwise known about.
Number 11: Explore websites outside of your niche.
This tip is one that probably isn't talked about enough when it comes to SEO, but it's incredibly important. When you're looking for new keywords and blog post ideas, a lot of people make the mistake of only looking within their own industry for keywords and topics that they can write about. However, this is not always the best course of action - because if you're writing an article on "how to bake a cake," you would be limiting yourself by staying just in your own niche. In order to come up with blog post ideas that are truly going to be in demand by search engines and your audience, it's important to take a look outside of your own industry from time to time.
Number 12: Find out the most common questions people ask on forums.
One of my favorite ways to find new keywords is to do a Google search for certain keywords related to your niche, but change them up a little bit to include words like "forum," or "Q&A." In most cases, the questions that people ask on forums are incredibly targeted - meaning they're often searching for keywords that they want answers to. So if you can find these popular questions and create blog posts around them, chances are you're going to be providing your audience with extremely high-quality content that they're likely searching for.
Number 13: Use the Google Autofill feature to find related keywords.
Just like Google Keyword Planner, Google's autocompleting or "autofill" feature is great for finding new keywords and ideas - but the difference between this tool and the planner is that this one provides you with search queries that are being typed into Google right now. By using this tool, you can find out what people are currently searching for - which gives you a lot of insight into what your customers may be looking for as well.
Number 14: Use Google Trends to see how popular keywords have been over the course of time.
One excellent tool that I've found very helpful is Google Trends; if you haven't heard of it before, essentially all this tool does is show you which keywords have become more popular and which ones have become less popular over time. All you need to do with this tool is plug in whatever keyword you're thinking about targeting, and Google Trends will show you the ups and downs of that keyword's popularity over time. This can be a very helpful tool when it comes to finding new keywords, because if you see that another keyword has become more popular over time then chances are good that your current keyword may not be as popular; this means you should probably consider using something else.
Number 15: Brainstorm keywords on a piece of paper.
Finally, if you're really struggling to find new keywords for your website or blog posts, one final tip that may be helpful is to sit down and do some brainstorming. Once you sit down and think about all the different words related to your niche (and especially the ones that people are typing into search engines), it's quite probable that you'll be able to come up with a number of different keywords that can work. This process can be accelerated by using tools like Google's Autofill feature, but if you don't have time for that then brainstorming is still an effective way to find new keywords all on its own.
Number 16: Come up with fresh new content ideas by doing keyword research.
Once you find your target keywords, it's important to incorporate them into your posts in unique ways so that you can get more traffic and stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to brainstorm blog post titles, subtitles, and topics for each individual piece of content based on the keywords that you're targeting. This way, you know going into the writing process that the keyword is going to be included in a lot of your posts - which can help you to increase SEO traffic and rank for that keyword much quicker.
Number 17: The more different keywords related to your niche, the better.
In general, when it comes to search engine optimization it's better to have one super-specific blog post filled with keywords than it is to have several posts containing more general terms. The reasoning behind this has to do with something called "keyword density," which basically refers to the percentage of times a keyword appears on a page compared to all other words on that page. So, if you have a blog post with 15 different keywords and each one appears only 2-3 times (and the rest of the words are filler) then that page will likely not rank very highly for any specific keyword; in this case, the website owner would be better off creating 10 or so high-quality posts rather than just 1. However, if you can create a single post filled with 15 different keywords and each one appears many times throughout the text - then chances are good that you'll rank quite highly for all of those keywords.
Number 18: Sign up to Google Alerts so that you can keep track of your keywords.
Setting up an account with services like Google Alert is a really good idea, especially if you want to make sure that your website is always updated with up-to-date information. Basically, Google Alerts is a service where you can enter certain keywords into the system, then they'll email you every time that keyword appears online. This means that you get fresh new ideas for blog posts on a regular basis - which in turn means that your website will always be relevant.
Number 19: Write blog posts with your target keyword included in the title.
One of the best ways to make sure that you rank well for specific keywords is to include them in your blog post titles. Of course, it's important to create a title that actually makes sense - so people are more likely to click on it and read the article. But, you can increase your chances of a viewer clicking by including a keyword in the post title - just note that this doesn't mean that you should stuff every single word possible into your titles just for SEO purposes.
Number 20: Look up how other blog posts rank for specific keywords.
In addition to writing a blog post with a keyword included in the title, it's always good to see how other people are doing on search engine results pages. There are various tools out there that you can use to find out what the page rankings for certain keywords are - and this way, you can see where your own blog posts rank compared to others. This means that you can find out what terms to use in your article titles, which would be best to include within the body of text, and so on.
Number 21: Narrow down keywords by checking their search volumes.
Before you even start writing blog posts related to specific keywords, it's a good idea to take the time to look up exactly how many searches there are for those terms. This is because if you choose keywords with low search volumes, it's likely your blog posts won't attract that much attention - and in turn, the keyword won't give you much benefit when it comes to SEO. So, before you write anything, take time to find out just how many searches each keyword gets every month.
Number 22: Change your blog post titles if necessary.
As mentioned in the previous point, it's important to write unique, quality blog posts; however, you should also keep an eye on search engine results pages to see how other people are doing with their articles concerning keywords that overlap with your own. If you notice that a competitor is ranking well and their blog post title gives them an edge, then there's no reason why you can't change your own titles to match. And this doesn't just apply to blog posts - if you see that a competitor has used a certain keyword within their website URL and yours isn't, do the same so you don't lose out on search engine traffic.
Number 23: Include links in your post, especially to authority sites with lots of domain trust.
When it comes to search engine optimization, one of the best things you can do is link out to high-quality websites so that people are more likely to click on your own website link when they find it online. However, this also applies to having links within your own website - it can help to include a couple of 'click here' links within your blog post body, but make sure that they link back to high-quality sites.
Number 24: Link out to relevant pages from your footer or sidebar.
Another way for you to help improve the SEO value of a blog post is to link back to high-quality, relevant pages on your own website. For example, you could include links within the footer or sidebar of each blog post that point back to other posts on your site which are similar - this means that users can read more related information if they're interested in the topic. With that said, it's also a good practice to include links that link back to high-quality external sites - this not only helps users who click on your links, but it also gives you a chance to build more domain trust.
Number 25: Add a blog roll or other related lists of links.
Along with linking out from your own blog posts so that people can find more information on the topic, it can also be a good idea to have lists of links within the body that point back to other relevant blog posts on your site or from other sites. It's always a benefit to include related links within your own blog post - rather than just having normally formatted text.
Number 26: Keep track of how well you're doing with your blog posts.
You should always be keeping track of how well you're doing with blog posts so that you know which ones are performing well and which ones aren't. There are a number of tools out there, including Google Analytics, to help you keep track of how many people visit each page - all you need to do is set it up properly. You can also track your on-page SEO by using a tool like this - it's one of the best ways to stay on top of your on-page SEO efforts.
Number 27: Don't overdo keyword placement.
Keyword placement is important for search engine optimization, but you shouldn't go overboard with it - especially within blog post titles. If you're too heavy-handed, Google may see it as keyword stuffing and lower your page's ranking.
Number 28: Don't forget about your images!
When writing a blog post, don't forget to include at least one image - preferably more. Once again, make sure that they're relevant to the post and give them alt tags and title tags. This will help Google to find them easier, and it could also encourage users to click on the image when they share the post with others.
Number 29: Don't forget about your internal links.
You should always be linking out from your blog posts - this helps other pages on your website rank better for specific keywords, and it also helps your blog post rank better for certain keywords. However, you should also be linking out internally - this means that you link back to other pages on your own website so that users can find more related information if they're interested in the topic.
Number 30: Don't forget about your external links!
As well as linking within your own posts, it's also important to link out externally. This helps your blog post to rank better for certain keywords and it also builds more domain trust - which means that you're more likely to rank higher in the SERPs because Google trusts your website as a whole.
Number 31: Don't keyword stuff or overuse your keywords.
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no when it comes to on page SEO, and you should also try not to overuse your keywords - especially within the title. Keywords are important if they're relevant; however, Google may lower your overall ranking because it doesn't consider them to be natural.
I know that some of you would like to ask me, which is my golden tip out of these 31 tips. It's number 11. You don't want to publish the 100th copy for the same topic, you don't want to feel, like someone, who missed a big chance, just because, you have been too lazy. Be curious and ask yourself, what is so far away from my core topic? If you write about music, search what car sellers are asking. If your niche is recipes for meat dishes, have a look at how sensitive our vegan & vegetarian friends write about their favorite meals. Do you understand me?
What shall you take away from these 31 tips for keyword strategy building?
In no way do you have to follow all these tips. However, what you should take away from them is that keywords are important and they're something that Google takes into consideration when ranking a website. It's much better to focus on naturally implementing your keyword strategy into your posts rather than going for a "quick fix" method.
Not only will you have a stronger chance of ranking higher in the SERPs, but you'll also gain more traffic and followers. Users will be able to find your website easier and they'll be able to follow your blog posts for future reference.
In addition, it is important that you optimize each post with targeted keywords (if it makes sense) or at least use a few keywords as a title and include it at least twice in the opening paragraph. The more related content you have, the easier will be for Google to rank your website.
In future posts, I will discuss other important SEO topics such as social media optimization, how to boost rankings with infographics, link-building strategies, etc... If there is a certain topic you would like for me to cover, please feel free to leave a comment.
P.S.: I apologize in advance for any mistakes or typos made - English is not my native language so it's very likely that there will be some. If you have found one, please leave a comment so that I can correct it. Thank you in advance.