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Want to increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results? Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how to glean keyword insights from your competitors.

Video marketing is becoming a digital marketing necessity. (It’s not a “nice-to-have” marketing strategy anymore.) People love to watch videos, and videos can help you sell more products or services. In fact, a study done by Cisco last year predicted that by 2020, video will account for over 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic.

As video consumption increases, consequently so does video’s influence on consumer purchases. According to recent research by Brightcove:

  • Almost half (46 percent) of viewers say they’ve actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and a third (32 percent) say they’ve considered making a purchase as a result of watching a video.
  • 81 percent of consumers say they currently interact with brands on social media, and 43 percent say they’ve done so through watching branded social videos.
  • When asked for their favorite type of branded content on social networks, video was the most popular answer, with 31 percent of respondents listing it as their number one choice.

YouTube is the second most popular social media platform, based on market share. And you’ll find that most YouTubers are die-hard YouTube viewers. They’re constantly watching videos, searching for videos about everything from how to jimmy your locked door to how to create a Facebook ad — and everything in between.

How to optimize for YouTube’s algorithm

YouTube is essentially a search engine for videos. Not surprisingly, it uses a sophisticated ranking algorithm to surface content to viewers.

If you want to gain a following and rank your videos higher in YouTube search, uploading fresh content is extremely important. Users love new videos! And that fresh, newly uploaded content (as well as the latest actions taken by the users) is taken into consideration by YouTube when ranking videos.

Watch time” is a very important ranking factor as well. YouTube wants to surface videos that viewers will find enjoyable, so high user engagement is a great signal for the algorithm in identifying such videos.

In addition to user signals, YouTube also relies on input from the video owner to feed their algorithm. That means YouTube is counting on you to tell it what your video is about.

What you do to optimize your video in the first 48 to 72 hours is critical to the success of your video and how it ranks. If you get it right, your video could shoot to the top when people search for your video topic. Get it wrong, and you’ll sink like a rock.

Metadata is important

According to YouTube, metadata includes information about a video such as the title, description, tags and annotations. Metadata can help your video stand out and get found by the algorithm, so content creators should make an effort to optimize metadata to maximize visibility.

Here are some tips for creating effective metadata that can help your videos get found.

Now, this first tip may sound counterintuitive, but you want to research what types of videos your competitors are doing before you create your video. That’s right — the best time to optimize your video for SEO and get more views is before you even record it.

Once you have a feel for what your competitors are doing — the type of videos they’re producing, how engaging they are, how many views they have, what metadata they’re using and so on — it’ll make it easier for you to create a video that “one-ups” them, both in terms of having better content and being better optimized for YouTube’s algorithm.

After you’ve created your video, it’s time to think about uploading and optimizing. Again, the best time to optimize your metadata is before you upload your video — have your keywords, tags, title, description and custom thumbnail ready to go before you press the upload button.

YouTube tags: Doing the keyword research

When doing keyword research on YouTube, you want to try to find keywords that will drive traffic to your video. The best place to look for keywords is on YouTube, but you should also use more traditional keyword research tools (like Google Search Console, SEMrush, SEOProfiler, Moz or others.)

YouTube allows you to include “tags” to help categorize your video by keyword, but it limits the number of tags you can include. You’ll want to look for multiword tags (i.e., long-tail keywords) that specifically relate to your video’s topic. You should also use single-word tags and broad-term tags that relate to your video’s broader topic. (Note: Do not use trademarks or copyrighted material in your metadata unless you have explicit permission from the owner to use it.)

YouTube is effective at semantically understanding your tags. So here’s an example of some tags for a video about “how to ask a boy out on a date”:

Multiple-word tags

  • How to ask a boy out on a date
  • What to say when you ask a boy out on a date
  • How to ask a boy you like out on a date
  • Asking out a boy you like

Single-word tags:

  • How
  • What
  • Ask
  • Boy
  • You
  • Like
  • Date

Broad-term tags:

  • Dating
  • Dates
  • Flirting
  • Meet boys
  • Meeting boys
  • Talk to boys

One great way to get tag ideas is to look at the top-ranking YouTube videos that directly compete with your video. However, YouTube hides the video tags, which makes it more difficult to “spy” on your competitors and see their keyword/tag secret sauce.

Luckily, there are tools that allow you to get lots of insights into what your competitors are doing — including letting you see the tags competitors are using to get their videos to rank high.

Two of these video software tools are vidIQ and TubeBuddy. Both programs have a free version and several paid versions, depending on your company’s needs. There are pros and cons to each — so if you can afford it, I’d recommend you use them both.

How YouTube tools like vidIQ and TubeBuddy can help you get more eyeballs

Both vidIQ and TubeBuddy give you information on competitors’ YouTube videos. One of the cool things they show is the tags. So in our “how to ask a boy out” example, you can see the tags being used by the highest-ranking videos for your chosen search terms.

vidIQ results

 


 

With TubeBuddy, you can even zero in on the most used tags the channel used when setting up the SEO for their YouTube channel:

TubeBuddy Channel Tags

 


 

You can also find out a whole lot of other valuable information from these tools: the number of Facebook likes, their SEO score, how many words are in the description, average view time duration, number of views and so much more. You can consider these two handy tools to be your YouTube competitor spies!

spy-on-youtube-competitors

TubeBuddy also has a Tag Explorer feature, which is almost like a traditional SEO keyword finder. Enter the keyword that you’d like to rank your video for, and you’ll get some suggested keywords.

tubebuddy-tag-explorer

 


 

As part of the Tag Explorer, TubeBuddy includes a “Summary” section that shows the search volume, competition and the overall competitiveness of a keyword on a scale from 0 to 100 (where 100 is the easiest to rank for).

tubebuddy

 


 

If you have a newer YouTube channel, you’ll want to look for keywords that are easier to rank for. Already have a YouTube channel that’s rockin’ it? You can afford to try to get your video ranked for the more competitive keywords.

When planning your YouTube keywords strategy, you want to come up with 10 to 20 single keyword tags that you want to try to rank for. Remember, since YouTube limits the number of tags you can include, add your most important keyword phrases first and then use specific multi-word tags that are easier to rank for. If you have room, also include the single-word tags and broader-term tags.

You want to try to get as many views from as many different (relevant) search results as possible — which is an easier strategy than trying to rank #1 for a single keyword phrase.

By having a metadata strategy in place, you can increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results. And since video marketing will continue to grow and grow, mastering YouTube’s ranking algorithm starting today is a great way to kick your video marketing efforts into high gear.

Source: This article was published on searchengineland.com by Sherry Bonelli

Categorized in Search Engine

Since the earliest days of search engine optimization, there has always been some disagreement with regard to keywords. To this day, many small business owners, zealous to optimize their company websites as best they can, wonder about the best keywording principles: How many keywords should they use? What should those keywords be? Where should keywords be placed?

A key concept in any SEO endeavor is keyword research. Google AdWords provides a keyword research tool that’s invaluable, even if you’re not necessarily using it for PPC purposes. You can do research using this tool that informs all your on-site keyword efforts—showing you the best, most valuable and competitive words to use in your Web content, on your blog, and so on.

Branded vs. Non-branded Keywords

As you dip into keyword research, it’s important to understand that there are different types of keywords out there. One of the first distinctions you’ll want to make is the one about branded versus non-branded keywords.

Let’s start with branded keywords—the ones that are connected to your specific brand. Some examples of branded keywords include:

  • Your website name;
  • Your company name, if different from your website name;
  • Misspellings of your website name; for example, you have to prepare for the possibility that some people might search for Grammar Chick instead of Grammar Chic; and
  • Branded products—like Big Mac, iPhone, etc.

Often, branded keywords are the ones that prove to be the highest converting. That’s what makes it so important to optimize for these terms; they represent your best chance at turning traffic into paying customers. Additionally, it’s important for brand management. You wouldn’t want your competitor to outrank you for your own company name, would you? And can you imagine what Microsoft would do if they actually ranked better than Apple for the term iPhone? It certainly wouldn’t be good for Apple!

As for non-branded keywords, those are the ones that don’t fit into the categories above. These don’t convert as consistently, but are vital in reflecting the way people really search for information. A lot of people are going to Google for writing company rather than Grammar Chic because they simply don’t know that Grammar Chic exists; optimizing for non-branded keywords is important for reaching those users.

Informational vs. Transactional Keywords

These two broad categories of keywords can be further broken down into additional types—specifically, informational and transactional keywords.

  • Informational keywords are upper funnel keywords that attract users and creates awareness. You optimize these keywords with goal of wanting to increase new users and traffic.
  • Transactional ones, meanwhile, are the lower funnel and money-oriented keywords that are more likely to turn into a transaction of a lead, depending on website’s goal.

These types of keywords function differently, and you may want to emphasize one type over the other simply depending on the type of content you’re writing (that is, where in the sales funnel you’re trying to reach people). As you seek to determine whether a keyword falls under the informational or transactional heading, I recommend asking the following three questions:

  1. Use AdWords to see the kind of traffic and the kind of conversions associated with each keyword. A high-converting keyword is more likely to be transactional; a keyword with lots of traffic but not many conversions is probably informational.
  2. If you are not running AdWords or you don’t have sufficient data, look at Google’s keyword planner and find out the cost per click for each keyword (it’ll be abbreviated CPC) as well as the competition. If the CPC and competition are high, then that is more likely to be a transactional keyword because marketers often don’t spend a ton of money on informational ones.
  3. Finally, you can always just copy and paste each keyword into Google to see what Google returns. For example, if you type in “how to get an oil change,” most of the search results are blogs and articles, which are informational. But if you search for “where to get an oil change” then the results will change and show nearby mechanic shops, Yelp results, etc.—businesses where you’d make a transaction.


Author : Amanda Clark

Source : http://www.business2community.com/seo/not-keywords-created-equal-01790224#1BRj61G0CIZ8RlWD.97

Categorized in Others

For a while, keywords were one of a content marketer’s only tools for getting their content in front of their target audiences. But then, hashtags exploded on the scene with some help from Twitter, and now entire marketing strategies are often developed around these terms.

Does that mean keyword use is a long-gone tactic, only to be replaced by hashtag marketing? Certainly not.

In fact, there is a symbiotic relationship between keywords and hashtags, and knowing their differences and similarities can help you create successful content marketing strategies that effectively reach your prospects.

Hashtags are for short-term gains

Hashtag marketing is still relatively new, but its use has significantly grown in recent years. Mainly seen on social media sites, hashtags help you promote your content on these platforms, and get it in front of prospects who may not have otherwise known about your brand.

Hashtags are also excellent tools for increasing engagement. Instagram posts that include at least one hashtag have 13 percent higher engagement than those without.

Chances are you’ve participated in, or have been aware of, successful hashtag campaigns from many companies. Remember Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke strategy? It alone received 160,000 mentions on Twitter and 740 million impressions. 

Or how about the #RedCups from Starbucks that featured 13 customer-designed cups, and encouraged followers to share their own #RedCups designs on social media.

The results from using hashtags are usually short lived, but extremely effective for that small period of time. That’s just the nature of posting content on social channels where trends come and go overnight.

But don’t think about hashtags living in a silo of content marketing. Once your content is put in front of new prospects with a properly timed hashtag, the focus moves from engagement to conversion, and that’s where keywords come in.

Keywords are for long-term benefits

Keywords are some of the most vital components of content marketing. When coupled with quality writing and enticing visuals, keywords help drive traffic to your content.

Although hashtag marketing and other methods have come to the forefront in recent years, solid keyword use still remains one of the best ways to improve SEO and rank better on SERPs.

Psst… Want to learn more about the top SEO tactics of 2017? Check out our new eBook.

But, all said, the benefits of keywords are longer lasting than those of hashtags. Using pertinent, relevant and highly targeted keywords throughout your website, landing pages and blog content allows your brand to build a reputation with Google and establish trust with your audience.

It’s crucial to note that your content’s relevance to keywords is important in that regard. So don’t stuff a blog post or landing page full of keywords to earn Google’s “trust.” Focus on delivering content that meets your ideal audience’s needs.

But keywords and hashtags are more alike than you think

While they are different from each other, the truth is that keywords and hashtags share similarities as well.

Keywords and hashtags are more alike than you think

On their respective channels, they are successful tools for getting your brand in front of prospects and boosting organic traffic. Whether it’s searching for a specific hashtag on a social network, or typing in a phrase in a search engine, if you’re using targeted words and phrases correctly, your posts and content will be put in front of potential leads.

Additionally, conducting research and analysis on hashtags can help inform your keyword strategy, and vice versa.  For example, by looking into trending hashtags, you can identify some popular keywords and topics for blog posts. Then, you can share that content with those hashtags for an extra boost in visibility.

Keywords and hashtags are effective tools for marketers, both in different and similar ways. Knowing the relationship these terms share can help you create better content marketing strategies.

Author : Tressa Sloane

Source : https://www.brafton.com/blog/strategy/the-relationship-between-keywords-and-hashtags/

Categorized in Others

What keywords on Google are searched the most?

We know branded terms like “Gmail” and “Craigslist” are frequently searched, and are a common point of reference for users. But what about non-brands? What about true keywords that, undoubtedly, are the aim of many traffic-thirsty SEOs across the world?

This was the question we wondered earlier this month. With help from the team at the great keyword research tool SEMRush, we were able to get it answered.

The below visualization is a list of the 100 most searched for non-brandedkeywords on Google, in the United States region.

The list was determined by manually sifting through the most popular search terms overall to find keywords that were not associated with a brand. In addition, we also removed porn-related keywords.

For clarity, the top five most searched overall are “Gmail”, “Craigslist”, “Amazon”, “Yahoo”, and.. “Porn”. None of those are included on this list – because a giant list of navigational brand searches and porn isn’t interesting.

SM-Most-Popular-Keywords (2)

The list has several interesting insights that I did not see coming before receiving the data. First, it’s interesting to see Google Instant going to work – and accurately, with many searches of single-letter terms. Who knew “G” would be the most popular?

In addition, there were also some sad takeaways from the list. The most common reoccurrence throughout the group is several uses of “LOCATION lottery”, which means some of the highest demand searches are with search terms where Americans will pointlessly waste their money hoping to get rich.

Apparently Google’s easter eggs are also in high demand, as [do a barrel roll]manages to pull large volume. Thousands of kids desperately hope their school is closed, and search for the answer through [school closings]. Our internet is bad, and we verify it through an [internet speed test]. Most perplexing of all, many people wonder [what time is it].

HOW WILL THESE TERMS CHANGE?

It’s interesting to think about how these search numbers may change over time. People will always wonder the weather, but as Google Fiber hits more cities, will internet speed tests eventually have less demand?

Will terms like [videos] eventually dissipate in place of synonyms like YouTube, if they aren’t already? Oh, and how in the world does YouTube not rank for that keyword?

The landscape may change, but it’s a strong certainty these numbers will only continue to climb. With that, strong SEO will continue be of high importance.

What keywords on the list stood out as particularly interesting to you? Let us know in the comments.

Source : siegemedia.com

Author : ROSS HUDGENS

Categorized in Search Engine

People love using search engines, but what do they search for? Here are the best ways to discover the most popular topics, keywords and trending stories.

 

Google Trends: Allows you to discover the most popular topics on Google’s database, along with the latest trending news worldwide or by regions and subregions.

 

It also allows you to compare the popularity of multiple terms at a time and the relevant search queries since 2004. Also,Hot Searches help you discover the latest trending searches. 

 

Google Trends

[moduleplant id="538"]

Google Autocomplete: Google’s autocomplete feature when conducting a search can be useful if you want a series of personalised suggestions, while it can also give you an idea of the relevant suggestions, or what other people search for similar queries. 

 

Bing Trends: A report of the most popular trends of the previous year, also providing insights and stats on the popular search queries.

 

[moduleplant id="552"]

 

Bing Webmaster Keyword Research Beta: Find what people are searching for with Bing’s data its organic searches.  A comprehensive description of this tool can be found in Bing Keyword Research Tool: Highlights & Limitations.

 

Bing Ads Marketplace Trends: This tool makes targeting easier for advertisers, as it analyses ad scheduling trends, device trends, and location trends. Read more about it in Bing Launches Marketplace Trends Site to Help Targeting.

 

Bing Ads Marketplace Trends

 

Adwords’ Display Planner (replacing YouTube Keyword Tool): Google has decided to replaceYoutube’s keyword tool with Display Planner through Adwords two years ago and many users were left shocked. Now you can search for your Youtube keywords through Display Planner on Adwords, by filtering the results to video keywords on “Get Ad Group Ideas”

 

Facebook Trending Topics: Facebook’s trending feature presents the most popular topics and hashtags, depending on the users’ likes, the location, and the general popularity of each story.

 

Twitter Search: Find what people are talking about on Twitter by keyword, hashtag, or user name. What’s more, advanced search offers many features, such as the use of emoticons and the attitude they are associated with.

 

twitter search

 

YouTube Trends: Youtube compiles lists of the most popular videos, by examining both the keywords and the video views. Trending videos are measured by the embedded video views, along with the actual views on Youtube, in order to highlight the unique trends that occur on the popular video platform.

 

 

AdWords’ Keyword Planner: Search for keyword ideas, compare how keywords perform, measure the keyword competition and improve your next campaigns.

 

Keyword Planner

 

Google’s Year in Search: Google presents the most popular topics of the year and the search queries they inspired and although it is only updated yearly, it may still offer an interesting insight on what people are searching  for.

 

Übersuggest: Übersuggest promises to help you find new keywords that are not available in Google’s Keyword Planner. Narrow down your search by language, country, or search type, among Web, Images, Shopping, Youtube, and News.

 

 

Top Searches, Questions, Topics, Trends

We’ve compiled a list of our past articles with the most popular topics and searches of the past years to give you a better idea of the top keywords, searches, trends for each year:

 

2015

2014

2013

2012

[moduleplant id="538"]

2011

2010

 

Source :  searchenginewatch

Categorized in Online Research

Google may have shifted its focus from keywords to "entities" in recent years, but columnist Stoney deGeyter reminds us that keyword research is still an important and useful part of the SEO process.

Ever since Google rolled out Hummingbird in 2013, there has been some question about the value of keyword research. Moving from a keyword-focused process to a topic-focused process has led some to devalue the long, arduous process of keyword research. Many wonder if it’s even worth the time.

After all, if Google no longer looks at keywords (Hummingbird), and people no longer search with keywords (voice search), we don’t need to research keywords, right?

Wrong!

As with most predictions of the death of anything related to web marketing — how’s that fork in guest blogging going? — more often than not, they turn out to be false. And in the case of keyword research, it turns out that it’s just as important today as it was in 2012. Maybe more so.

No, I don’t have a keyword research tool to sell you. But I do want to make sure that you don’t take a pass on keyword research because you think it’s no longer relevant to today’s SEO.

I could give you a dozen reasons why keyword research is still important. Oh look, I have! Plus one more for good measure. :)

1. Topical niche domination

There is no better way to get a full handle on any topic you want to dominate than to perform keyword research on that topic. Whether you want to write one exhaustive article or a series of articles, keyword research will show you every possible nuance of information that searchers are interested in.

Not only will keyword research help you write content for your products or services, but it will also give you plenty of ammunition for all your other content, such as blog posts, e-books, white papers, infographics and more.

2. Answering burning questions

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answer customers burning questions

Part of dominating a topical niche is answering questions that searchers have. There are great sites such as Quora and Clarity, where people ask questions that need answers, and social media is also a good place to monitor. But people still ask questions to search engines, and that presents an opportunity for you to provide the answer.

Due to low search volume, keyword phrases that are questions tend to get ignored. After all, you want to optimize where the money is! But don’t disregard these questions altogether. They can be the backbone of your blog content.

3. Making existing content more robust

You can always improve your content, am I write? (See what I did there?) Using your keywords provides ample opportunity to improve existing content, whether it is optimized text, a blog post or something else.

I’m not suggesting you rework your content just to add in more keywords for rankings. Instead, I’m saying you can use keywords to expand the depth and breadth of your content. Keywords can help you add in new information to keep content current or fill in some missing pieces that were not included and should be.

Remember, frequently searched keywords change frequently. Words that didn’t show up in research a year ago might be popular today. Continuing to perform keyword research to update your content keeps you current and allows you not only to make your content more robust but also to keep it evergreen.

4. Learning your customers’ “language”

yada-yada-.jpg

 

Almost every business has a handle on the industry lingo. They know what their products and services are called, as well as the language used to refer to what they do. But what many businesses don’t have a handle on is the language used by those who are less familiar with the product or those outside the industry.

Keyword research uncovers the nuances of product descriptions, and even the problems that are in need of a solution. When you only use your known industry lingo, you miss the opportunity to meet the needs (let alone get the attention of) the rest of the world that is in need of your solutions. Why? Because they are looking based on their understanding, not yours.

Keyword research will let you see how potential customers view your product or service and write content that speaks the same language as them. This lessens the learning curve and keeps visitors more engaged with your solutions.

5. Improving your website’s navigation

One of the first orders of business for many of the sites we work on is using keyword research to improve the site’s navigation. Not only do we use keywords to establish new pages of content based on what searchers need, but those very same keywords become the link text for the navigation options.

This is just another step to learning — and using — your customer’s language to meet their needs. When visitors land on your site, having a navigation that uses the terms they searched helps them find the content they want.

When they don’t see familiar words, you increase the amount of time it takes for visitors to get the information they are looking for, which can lead to site fatigue. Too much of that and visitors leave in search for easier grounds.

6. New product or service research

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keyword research can help you find new product ideas

When performing keyword research, it’s important you don’t stay so narrow that you only find keywords that are relevant for you today. By broadening your search a bit, you can uncover information that can help you expand your product or service offerings for a more robust business tomorrow.

Years ago, I had a client that sold bags of all kinds. Our keyword research indicated that many searchers were also interested in laptop bags. This opened up a huge opportunity for new business that they were not already targeting (or at least targeting effectively).

Keyword research can show you valuable new opportunities to offer products and services that you currently don’t have. That doesn’t mean you jump on those right away, but you can keep them in the back of your mind for when you’re ready to expand.

7. Finding high-volume opportunities

When it comes to delivering traffic to your website, there is nothing more compelling than optimizing for frequently searched keywords. This is one of the metrics that gives keywords value. No sense optimizing for keywords no one is searching for, right?

Optimizing for high-volume keywords gives you an opportunity to get a lot of traffic to your site, which can be a boon for business. Word of caution, though: Volume alone isn’t worth justifying the optimization of a phrase. You also have to look at the quality of traffic a keyword will deliver, among other things. But when the stars align, volume can be good. Really good!

8. Finding non-competitive long-tail opportunities

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don't discount long tail keywords

On the flip side of that, sometimes there are some highly profitable opportunities with the less competitive (and usually lower-volume) phrases. I’m talking low rather than no volume here. As long as a phrase has a potential to deliver traffic, it’s worth considering for inclusion in your optimization campaign.

Many times, these low-volume phrases are also very low on the competition scale, which can signal a big opportunity to create content where no one else has it. And that content can deliver rankings for which no one is currently competing.

Optimize for enough of these low-competition phrases, and you may find that collectively, they deliver more traffic more quickly than the high-volume phrases.

9. Increasing click-throughs from SERPs

Because keyword optimization is really all about creating content that uses the same language as your visitors, it’s important for you to use your keywords in a way that will entice visitors to click from the search results to your website.

This is where title tag and meta description optimization comes in. Don’t optimize just for search engine rankings. Additionally, write enticing title and meta description tags that compel searchers to click your result over competitors who are also ranked on the same page of the search results.

10. Understanding the searcher’s needs

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understand searchers' needs

Aside from getting the click from search results to your page, you also need to deliver searchers to the page that best fits the intent of their search. Keyword research can help with this.

We often think of keyword research as the process of uncovering phrases, but it is also the process of understanding them. It can often prove useful to perform a search for your keywords and assess the results. Follow a few links and look at the content. If all the results show similar content, this gives you a good idea of what searchers are looking for. If the content varies significantly, then perhaps even Google doesn’t know what searchers want.

When you can determine what information a specific searcher is looking for, you then have an opportunity to drive them to the… well, that’s my next point:

11. Delivering searchers to the most relevant pages

Only when you know the searcher’s needs will you be able to send them to a page that meets it. Not every search for a similar keyword wants the same thing, so you have to make sure to have content based on the need for a particular phrase.

Some searchers will be researching, some buying, some shopping and some just looking for how-tos. Each of these needs requires different content. By delivering the right content for the searcher, you will keep them engaged with your site and have the best chance of turning them into a customer.

12. Assessing your competition

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assessing competition

While keyword research itself doesn’t often give you any information on your competition, you can take your keywords and use them for competitive research.

Use your keywords to find out what keywords your competitors are optimizing for or bidding on. There are plenty of third-party tools that will let you do that, or you can just plug them into the search results and see what you find. While knowledge itself doesn’t help you overcome the competition, it can be used to produce a strategy that will.

One of the most important factors in creating an effective digital marketing strategy is setting the right expectations. Without knowing what to expect, in terms of what success looks like and when it will be achieved, there is simply no way to “win” at web marketing.

Armed with the keyword knowledge that you get above, you can set some expectations and metrics for success. This can be important for keeping the right people happy and feeling good about how the campaign is going.

So I hope I have wiped away all doubt you have had about the value of keyword research. By taking the time to invest in keyword research, you not only get a list of keywords to optimize, but you can get the information necessary to ensure a successful web marketing campaign.

reasons-to-do-keyword-research-infographic-1.jpg

Ever since Google rolled out Hummingbird in 2013, there has been some question about the value of keyword research. Moving from a keyword-focused process to a topic-focused process has led some to devalue the long, arduous process of keyword research. Many wonder if it’s even worth the time.

After all, if Google no longer looks at keywords (Hummingbird), and people no longer search with keywords (voice search), we don’t need to research keywords, right?

Wrong!

As with most predictions of the death of anything related to web marketing — how’s that fork in guest blogging going? — more often than not, they turn out to be false. And in the case of keyword research, it turns out that it’s just as important today as it was in 2012. Maybe more so.

No, I don’t have a keyword research tool to sell you. But I do want to make sure that you don’t take a pass on keyword research because you think it’s no longer relevant to today’s SEO.

I could give you a dozen reasons why keyword research is still important. Oh look, I have! Plus one more for good measure. :)

1. Topical niche domination

There is no better way to get a full handle on any topic you want to dominate than to perform keyword research on that topic. Whether you want to write one exhaustive article or a series of articles, keyword research will show you every possible nuance of information that searchers are interested in.

Not only will keyword research help you write content for your products or services, but it will also give you plenty of ammunition for all your other content, such as blog posts, e-books, white papers, infographics and more.

2. Answering burning questions

answer customers burning questions

Part of dominating a topical niche is answering questions that searchers have. There are great sites such as Quora and Clarity, where people ask questions that need answers, and social media is also a good place to monitor. But people still ask questions to search engines, and that presents an opportunity for you to provide the answer.

Due to low search volume, keyword phrases that are questions tend to get ignored. After all, you want to optimize where the money is! But don’t disregard these questions altogether. They can be the backbone of your blog content.

3. Making existing content more robust

You can always improve your content, am I write? (See what I did there?) Using your keywords provides ample opportunity to improve existing content, whether it is optimized text, a blog post or something else.

I’m not suggesting you rework your content just to add in more keywords for rankings. Instead, I’m saying you can use keywords to expand the depth and breadth of your content. Keywords can help you add in new information to keep content current or fill in some missing pieces that were not included and should be.

Remember, frequently searched keywords change frequently. Words that didn’t show up in research a year ago might be popular today. Continuing to perform keyword research to update your content keeps you current and allows you not only to make your content more robust but also to keep it evergreen.

4. Learning your customers’ “language”

Does your site sound like blah, blah, blah to visitors

Almost every business has a handle on the industry lingo. They know what their products and services are called, as well as the language used to refer to what they do. But what many businesses don’t have a handle on is the language used by those who are less familiar with the product or those outside the industry.

Keyword research uncovers the nuances of product descriptions, and even the problems that are in need of a solution. When you only use your known industry lingo, you miss the opportunity to meet the needs (let alone get the attention of) the rest of the world that is in need of your solutions. Why? Because they are looking based on their understanding, not yours.

Keyword research will let you see how potential customers view your product or service and write content that speaks the same language as them. This lessens the learning curve and keeps visitors more engaged with your solutions.

5. Improving your website’s navigation

One of the first orders of business for many of the sites we work on is using keyword research to improve the site’s navigation. Not only do we use keywords to establish new pages of content based on what searchers need, but those very same keywords become the link text for the navigation options.

This is just another step to learning — and using — your customer’s language to meet their needs. When visitors land on your site, having a navigation that uses the terms they searched helps them find the content they want.

When they don’t see familiar words, you increase the amount of time it takes for visitors to get the information they are looking for, which can lead to site fatigue. Too much of that and visitors leave in search for easier grounds.

6. New product or service research

keyword research can help you find new product ideas

When performing keyword research, it’s important you don’t stay so narrow that you only find keywords that are relevant for you today. By broadening your search a bit, you can uncover information that can help you expand your product or service offerings for a more robust business tomorrow.

Years ago, I had a client that sold bags of all kinds. Our keyword research indicated that many searchers were also interested in laptop bags. This opened up a huge opportunity for new business that they were not already targeting (or at least targeting effectively).

Keyword research can show you valuable new opportunities to offer products and services that you currently don’t have. That doesn’t mean you jump on those right away, but you can keep them in the back of your mind for when you’re ready to expand.

7. Finding high-volume opportunities

When it comes to delivering traffic to your website, there is nothing more compelling than optimizing for frequently searched keywords. This is one of the metrics that gives keywords value. No sense optimizing for keywords no one is searching for, right?

Optimizing for high-volume keywords gives you an opportunity to get a lot of traffic to your site, which can be a boon for business. Word of caution, though: Volume alone isn’t worth justifying the optimization of a phrase. You also have to look at the quality of traffic a keyword will deliver, among other things. But when the stars align, volume can be good. Really good!

8. Finding non-competitive long-tail opportunities

don't discount long tail keywords

On the flip side of that, sometimes there are some highly profitable opportunities with the less competitive (and usually lower-volume) phrases. I’m talking low rather than no volume here. As long as a phrase has a potential to deliver traffic, it’s worth considering for inclusion in your optimization campaign.

Many times, these low-volume phrases are also very low on the competition scale, which can signal a big opportunity to create content where no one else has it. And that content can deliver rankings for which no one is currently competing.

Optimize for enough of these low-competition phrases, and you may find that collectively, they deliver more traffic more quickly than the high-volume phrases.

9. Increasing click-throughs from SERPs

Because keyword optimization is really all about creating content that uses the same language as your visitors, it’s important for you to use your keywords in a way that will entice visitors to click from the search results to your website.

This is where title tag and meta description optimization comes in. Don’t optimize just for search engine rankings. Additionally, write enticing title and meta description tags that compel searchers to click your result over competitors who are also ranked on the same page of the search results.

10. Understanding the searcher’s needs

understand searchers' needs

Aside from getting the click from search results to your page, you also need to deliver searchers to the page that best fits the intent of their search. Keyword research can help with this.

We often think of keyword research as the process of uncovering phrases, but it is also the process of understanding them. It can often prove useful to perform a search for your keywords and assess the results. Follow a few links and look at the content. If all the results show similar content, this gives you a good idea of what searchers are looking for. If the content varies significantly, then perhaps even Google doesn’t know what searchers want.

When you can determine what information a specific searcher is looking for, you then have an opportunity to drive them to the… well, that’s my next point:

11. Delivering searchers to the most relevant pages

Only when you know the searcher’s needs will you be able to send them to a page that meets it. Not every search for a similar keyword wants the same thing, so you have to make sure to have content based on the need for a particular phrase.

Some searchers will be researching, some buying, some shopping and some just looking for how-tos. Each of these needs requires different content. By delivering the right content for the searcher, you will keep them engaged with your site and have the best chance of turning them into a customer.

12. Assessing your competition

assessing competition

While keyword research itself doesn’t often give you any information on your competition, you can take your keywords and use them for competitive research.

Use your keywords to find out what keywords your competitors are optimizing for or bidding on. There are plenty of third-party tools that will let you do that, or you can just plug them into the search results and see what you find. While knowledge itself doesn’t help you overcome the competition, it can be used to produce a strategy that will.

13. Establishing expectations of success

One of the most important factors in creating an effective digital marketing strategy is setting the right expectations. Without knowing what to expect, in terms of what success looks like and when it will be achieved, there is simply no way to “win” at web marketing.

Armed with the keyword knowledge that you get above, you can set some expectations and metrics for success. This can be important for keeping the right people happy and feeling good about how the campaign is going.

So I hope I have wiped away all doubt you have had about the value of keyword research. By taking the time to invest in keyword research, you not only get a list of keywords to optimize, but you can get the information necessary to ensure a successful web marketing campaign.

reasons-to-do-keyword-research-infographic

reasons-to-do-keyword-research-infographic

Source : searchengineland

Categorized in Search Engine

Arguably the most important aspect of writing or editing an article with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind is choosing the best target keyword phrase. It can also be one of the trickiest strategies of content SEO to master.

But if you choose the right keyword phrase for a given article and weave it into an engaging and well-written piece, your article could be well on its way to a page one ranking in search engines for that phrase.

The target keyword phrase should be a two- to- four-word phrase (maybe even more words) that conveys the article’s core topic or message. While a given article might rank in search engines for a handful of different keyword phrases, the target phrase best conveys what the article is about and thus is emphasized more than other keyword phrases. If you could wish for your article to rank highly for any phrase, this would be it.

Beyond the importance of shooting for a page-one ranking, there are at least three additional reasons why the target keyword phrase is so critical.

  1. It will make up a significant portion of your headline and meta title —usually the first part of your article a potential reader will see. It’s in those nanoseconds when you’re most likely to hook or miss a potential reader.
  2. The research you put into choosing the target keyword phrase can trickle down to the rest of the article. What you don’t choose for the main phrase can become secondary keyword phrases that will enrich the article’s deck, intro, subheads, etc., further enhancing the article’s clout in search engines’ indexes.
  3. Studying the keyword phrases people search for will make you a better writer and editor. Simply put, the research gives you insight into how your potential audience thinks about and looks for information.

Below is a step-by-step look at how to choose the best target keyword phrase for an article, including a hypothetical example to illustrate the steps. There can be plenty of nuances to this setup depending on different situations, but the basic steps can be applied whether you are writing or editing and whether your article is an online-original or the digital version of your latest magazine piece.

After you have a headline with a strong target keyword phrase, don’t consider your SEO work done. The best SEO isn’t just bolted on to an article or to the editorial workflow. What you learn via keyword research can be applied throughout the whole writing or editing process to improve the article’s readability and findability.

The ultimate goal here isn’t to just please the search engines’ algorithms. It’s to make an article better for and more easily accessible by its potential audience.

1. Consider The Article

What is its main topic? Not broadly, but specifically. What is its main reader benefit? What questions does it answer?

Example: An article about the advantages and disadvantages of cork flooring — why it’s “green,” its pros and cons for different rooms in a house, different options of colors and textures, how much it costs, etc.

2. Brainstorm Your Keywords

Before you go anywhere near a keyword research tool, ask yourself what you would search for if you wanted to find an article on this topic. Scribble down a few phrases of varying lengths, but nothing shorter than two words (more on that later).

Example: cork flooring, cork flooring cost, is cork flooring green?, cork flooring uses, cork flooring options

3. Do Your Keyword Research

keyword-planner

My favorite resource for this step is the Google Keyword Planner. There are numerous keyword research tools out there with a variety of different options. Some of them are free; some are not. For me at least, it’s hard not to use the tool from the No. 1 search engine. When you open the (free) Google tool, start by entering the best phrase(s) from your brainstorm list in the “Word or Phrase” box. Leave the “Website” box blank, unless you want to limit the results to keywords that bring your website traffic.

4. Review The Results

At the top of the results list, you’ll see the phrases you searched for. Below that will be related phrases. The columns to the right of the phrases show search volume and trends in different ways, and there are a few options to sort and customize the information. After you have your feet wet with this keyword tool, check out those customization options. But for now, I recommend focusing on the Global Monthly Searches column.

Jot down the search volume numbers for the phrases you searched for and any of the related phrases that truly reflect what the article is about. Avoid phrases that aren’t natural language because they will be difficult to work into headlines and the text (more on that below). You may need to repeat steps three and four a couple of times to find good phrases, or you might find great options right away.

Example: cork floors (90,500), cork flooring (74,000), cork flooring pros and cons (5,400), cork flooring prices (1,600), cork flooring cost (1,000)

Even though you’re looking at bunches of numbers, don’t forget that those numbers represent real people using search engines to find the information your article might provide. If you’re unsure whether a particular phrase matches the article’s topic, or you’re looking at words that can mean different things in different contexts, Google the phrase. The results will show you what the search engine regards as relevant results for that phrase. Googling the phrase will also reveal the competition for that phrase (both who and how much).

5. Resist The Temptation of Big Numbers

I know I said to focus on the Global Monthly Searches column, but don’t just run with the short and broad phrase that has the highest number of searches. Your odds of ranking on page one will be higher for a more specific phrase that gets less search activity. It’s far better to rank on page one for a phrase that gets a few thousand searches a month than to be on page 19 for a phrase that gets a few hundred thousand searches a month.

The trick is to look at phrases that most accurately reflect what the article is most specifically about and then use the numbers to weigh the different options within that. There’s no magic number of search volume to choose or ignore. I’ve found that, for people who are new to SEO, choosing one phrase out of the options is the hardest part of optimizing content and that the temptation of big numbers is hard to resist. It’s really important to focus on the relevancy of the phrases and use the different search volume numbers more so as a tiebreaker than a compass.

Example: In this case, all the phrases related to cork flooring are specific enough for consideration. But say the writer had turned in the article with a vague headline like “Great Flooring Option for Green Homes” or “Great Green Flooring Option.” “Flooring” (4 million) is way too broad and too big. “Green homes” (74,000) isn’t necessarily too big but is broader than the specific topic of the article. And “Green flooring” (6,600) isn’t specific. Say the author used a headline like “Why Cork Makes for Great Floors.” The problem with that is that it doesn’t really target any phrase. It doesn’t cover “cork floors” (90,500) because there are other words in between.

6. Choose The Long Tail

011_kw_planner_longtails

After you have experience researching keyword phrases, if you still have trouble weighing the options and/or feel the temptation to choose vague phrases with super-high search volume, try this: You can get a sense of the ideal search volume for your topics and website by using Google Analytics.

Look up the top entrance keywords for your website, then enter those phrases into the keyword tool. Then compare their search volume to the number of visitors they actually bring to your website. You might be surprised that some of the most continually productive entrance keywords for your website don’t have huge search volume. Enter the Long Tail theory.

Whereas a shorter and more general phrase may have a much higher search volume than a longer and more specific phrase, the people searching for the latter are on a more focused and determined path. Generally speaking, when people search for short and broad phrases they are in early research mode and they’re likely to refine their search quickly to something more specific. When people search for a longer and more specific phrase, they are closer to making a “conversion,” which could be any or all of the following: read the article, share it on Facebook, sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your magazine, etc.

These days, ranking for long tail keywords is more important than ever. People are becoming increasingly savvy with using search engines at the same time as the amount of information those engines access continues to expand exponentially. On a related email exchange with Josh Loewen Co-founder at The Status Bureau, he mentioned that “Nearly 60 percent of search queries are for three words or more, and the fastest growth in number of searches is for six- to seven-word queries”.

Example: “Cork flooring pros and cons” caught my eye from the beginning. It conveys the content of the article and speaks to an audience that knows about cork flooring, but needs to know if it’s right for them. And this phrase is especially advantageous with the next tip in mind.

7. Double Up If You Can

Know that if you target a multiple-word phrase, you’ll also effectively target the words and phrases within that phrase. A win-win scenario is when a high-volume, broad phrase is verbatim in a longer and more specific keyword phrase.

Example:  “Cork flooring pros and cons” effectively covers both that phrase and “cork flooring” (74,000)

8. Write The Headline

Look at your short list of target keyword phrase options and write different headline options for the article. If you want the article to rank on page one for the phrase, odds are the phrase needs to be in the headline. Your best bet is to start the headline with the target keyword phrase.

If that’s awkward, place the phrase as early in the headline as possible. A strong keyword phrase early in the headline will please the search engines’ algorithms. It also will hook the attention of quick-moving readers when they see the exact same phrase they searched for in a headline on a search results page.

Keep in mind that your final headline needs to be clear and engaging, with natural language. The last thing you want is a franken-headline that makes the reader do mental acrobatics to understand it.

Example: “Cork Flooring Pros and Cons” is pretty strong. Ideal headlines for SEO are a little longer (about six to 12 words), but I think adding another phrase to this headline would make it awkward. This example isn’t an especially challenging one, but it’s not uncommon for a headline to fall into place like this once you have a good target phrase.

9. Weave It In

If you want an article to rank for a given phrase, it must be in the article. If it works naturally, use the target keyword phrase again in the deck and subheads of the article. If not, use secondary phrases. Definitely use the target phrase at least once within the article’s introduction. Then sprinkle it here and there throughout the piece.

There’s no magic number for this — too little or too much will depend on the context of the article and what the search engine considers natural for that topic. Generally speaking, for a feature-length article, aim for at least three uses in the body copy: intro, middle and conclusion. But don’t force it.

“The target keyword phrase should be a valuable phrase for the article, so using it a handful of times shouldn’t be awkward,” said to me Mariia Lvovych the founder of Getreviewed. “If you find yourself struggling to rewrite a sentence to get the phrase in there for the Xth time, stop” she continued.

Example: It should be easy to use “cork flooring pros and cons” in the introduction and in the conclusion. But it may not be natural to use it more than that, which is fine.

10. Use Secondary Phrases

Phrases from the cutting room floor are great for to use in the deck, subheads, body text, etc. You may even discover new ideas for related articles or sidebars.

Example: Phrases such as “cork flooring durability,” “cork flooring installation,” “cork flooring prices” may naturally be in the body text and lend themselves to subheads.

All of this may sound like a lot of steps, but with practice, you’ll find that the whole process generally moves swiftly and smoothly for most topics. Each time you do it, you’ll get faster, and you’ll learn something new.

The payoff can be enormous — 15 to 30 minutes of work in choosing and applying a target keyword phrase can lead to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more people reading your hard work. Plus, you’ll become a better writer/editor because you will be all the more in touch with your audience.

Source : searchenginejournal

Categorized in Others

When creating and implementing a digital marketing campaign, you first need to design your keyword strategy. This strategy is more than just finding keywords that will bring you the highest number of visitors. It’s a top-to-bottom concept that will influence how you design your site, select keywords, optimize your pages and measure the success of your campaign.

Define Your Keyword Goals

Before you can start delving into keywords, search intent, search volume and click-through rate, you have to define what it is you’re trying to accomplish with your SEO. After all, how can you be successful if you don’t even know what you want? There are two basic goals when it comes to SEO campaigns:

  • Conversion: This is the most common campaign goal when it comes to digital marketing. Using a conversion goal means you want your keywords to attract users that wind up converting on your website, whether that be making a purchase, completing a contact form, signing up for an email newsletter or downloading an app. If you go this route, you should focus more on longtail commercial keywords.
  • Branding: This campaign is looking to generate lots of impressions and pageviews and focuses less on conversions that happen on the landing page, if they are even possible. For a branding campaign, ranking highly is its own reward as it establishes your brand as a thought leader and an important player in your niche.

You aren’t constrained to one or the other though. You can use a hybrid keyword strategy by dedicating the majority of your keywords (around 80-90%) to a longtail approach, while reserving the remaining for keywords that will get your brand and content in front of a lot of eyeballs.

How you define success will impact the keywords you choose and how you evaluate their performance.

Measuring Success

Before you begin any marketing campaigns you need to ask yourself, “what does success look like?” Or, what metric will you track to determine if you’re achieving your campaign goal? When talking about an SEO campaign, most people first think of measuring improvements to your site’s ranking, or increasing the number of new visitors. If you’re running a branding campaign, then these are your top metrics to track. However, you should also keep track of important SEO indicators like click through rate (CTR), time spent on site and bounce rate, as these metrics will help you evaluate your landing pages’ relevance to the target keywords and content quality.

If you are measuring your campaign against a conversion goal, determining success by SERP ranking and traffic is overly simple, and can even cause you to waste time and effort optimizing pages for keywords that aren’t achieving your goal. To measure your conversion campaign, use your analytics to evaluate visitor behavior by keyword. Some important metrics to track for conversions:

  • Pages/visit: How many pages are users viewing per visit? This will tell you whether or not your site is engaging users and piquing their interest in your products or services.
  • Bounce rate: A high bounce rate can be a sign of a few different issues with your keyword, your page or both, which we’ll cover in a little bit.
  • Average time on site: Do users leave your page right after arriving? This is often closely related to bounce rate — low time on site and high bounce rate is a sign that your page’s content doesn’t jive with your keywords.

And, finally, the most important metrics to track for conversion campaigns are conversions and conversion rate. The reason you want to track indicators other than just conversions is because that number alone doesn’t give you much context, and you could otherwise be missing opportunities to target keywords that have higher conversion rates.

Google Analytics conversion tracking

How to Choose Keywords

Now that you know what endgame you’re optimizing for, you can start to find keywords to target with your SEO. To get the best list possible, start with your product (or service). Ideally, you know this inside and out. Start by brainstorming keywords that come to mind when you think of your business, or how you would answer the question “What is my website about?” or “What does my business do?”

Since Google’s Hummingbird update, it’s more important than ever to base your keyword strategy around the way humans use and interact with search engine results. Target keywords that will help you answer questions that users would ask in order to learn more about your industry, company and products.

One nice in-house resource you have for this is your very own customer service team. Keep a record of the conversations you have with your customers, or if you’re big enough, have your customer success team keep track of their tickets. Take note of:

  • The most commonly asked questions your CS team handles.
  • Any particular features and/or services people ask about or mention, both positive and negative.
  • Any concerns or comments left by customers.

This exercise will result not only in a better experience for your customers, but a solid list of potential keywords for you as well. If people are contacting you to ask a question or leave a comment, you can bet they’ve already done so online.

If you have a search bar on your site, update the settings in your Google Analytics account to track what your users are searching for. Click on the Admin tab then under View, select View Settings and switch Site search Tracking on. You can then provide the query parameter used in your search URLs to begin tracking. This will help you to understand user intent, as well as highlighting content gaps where no relevant content exists on your site based on the search query used.

Search Intent

Along with understanding how your potential customers are searching for your company and/or product online, you also need to decide what part of the sales process you want to target. Are you looking to start a prospecting campaign that attracts users at the very beginning of the process, and then convert them later via email marketing or retargeting? Or do you want your website to be shown in front of in-market searchers who are looking to buy right away?

Digital marketing conversion funnel

To effectively find your right target audience, you need to understand the search intent behind the keywords. The stage of conversion you want to target will determine what sort of keyword you optimize for:

  • Informational: These keywords represent the very beginning of the conversion process, and are not very likely to convert on the first visit. If you’re running a branding campaign you’ll want to be sure to include informational keywords on your list. If you’ve got a conversion goal, you still can’t afford to ignore these keywords as they make up the majority of searches. Informational keywords often use words/phrases like “how to”, “do I need” and “where to find”. Consider these leads to be converted later via your website or a retargeting campaign.
  • Research: These searchers are further down the funnel than informational searchers. They’ve already decided that they want to buy a product, but they haven’t quite decided which one is best. They’re looking for more information, so product keywords usually include words such as “review”, “top 10”, “comparison”. And while it may look like spam to you, a word like “cheap” can actually help turn researchers into conversions.
  • In-market: These are the “shut up and take my money” searchers. They expect search results to take them directly to the product they’re trying to buy. These keywords typically include words like “deal”, “free shipping”, “discount” and “buy”. They don’t have high search volume, but should more than make up for it with high conversion rates.
  • Freemium: These are people looking to get free versions of products and digital goods (movies, TV shows, music, books, etc.). Unless your product uses a freemium model, avoid these keywords. A person looking for “free Game of Thrones episodes online” is probably never going to buy the box set.

Quantitative Analysis

Part of designing your keyword strategy is making sure you target keywords that will bring in enough traffic to be worth the effort. There’s no minimum number of searches for a keyword — that depends on your niche and your ability to convert visitors into sales. If you’ve got a Pro or Premium WooRank account, use SERP Checker’s new search volume feature to track estimated monthly searches for your keywords, as well as historical ranking data. If you’re already using SERP Checker, the search volume will appear for your keywords automatically. If you haven’t used it yet, just enter your keywords in the tool and you’ll see your data within 24 hours.

WooRank SERP Checker estimated monthly search volume

If you haven’t created an Advanced Review yet, you can use Google AdWords or Bing Ads’ Keyword Planner tools to find search volume for your keywords.

Keyword Planner Search Volume

Note that if you aren’t a big spender on AdWords, your data in Keyword Planner might get throttled. That means you won’t see the actual search volume for your keywords. Instead, the tool will display an estimated range of monthly searches, like this:

AdWords Keyword Planner throttled data

Don’t base your whole strategy on chasing volume though. Pay attention to the competition column in the keyword research tools. Even though these tools use pay-per-click (PPC) data to determine competitiveness and suggested bid, you can still extrapolate this data for organic search. High competition and suggested bid is a strong indication that there’s money to be made off of these keywords, as advertisers generally won’t bid high CPCs on poorly performing keywords.

Of course, don’t go overboard targeting competitive keywords with high suggested bids. They can potentially send you a lot of traffic, or highly qualified traffic, but they’re incredibly hard to rank for. Don’t avoid them entirely, but make sure you have a healthy blend of keywords that are both high and low competition.

Optimizing Landing Pages

Choosing landing pages for your keywords is an important element of your keyword strategy, and can be critical for both your SEO and your user experience. Look at it this way: When you click through to a site that really isn’t relevant to your search, what do you do? You most likely leave that page after a few seconds and likely won’t consider it in the future. So having poorly optimized landing pages can cost you sales. But they’ll also damage your SEO efforts, making it hard to rank.

Google uses bounce rate as a ranking signal, so if visitors are leaving your page without interacting with any other pages, the search engine will see that it’s either not relevant to the keyword, or the content is not very useful. Optimize these elements of your landing pages to show that the page is relevant to the keyword:

  • Title tag: This is one of the most important on page SEO factors. Search engines rely heavily on title tags to determine the topic of a page. Use your most important keyword at the beginning of the title, and keep your titles between 50 and 60 characters. A correct title tag in the <head> of a page looks like:

    <title>This is the title</title>

  • Headings: Search engines look at heading tags as well as title tags to figure out what a page’s content is about. Use keywords in your heading tags, and make sure to maintain your heading hierarchy.

  • Page Content: The days of minimum keyword density are gone. The number of times you use a keyword is really determined by the length of your content. If you are creating unique, quality content your will naturally use your keyword throughout your page. Sprinkle latent semantic keywords throughout your content to strengthen the page’s topical relevance.

  • Images: Even though search engines don’t really see images, you can still use them as part of your keyword strategy. First, make sure they are relevant to your page content, and add to the overall user experience. For search engines, use the alt attribute to help crawlers “see” what an image is about. The alt attribute is a part of the image HTML tag that is used by search engines, text-only browsers and screen readers to “see” an image. Use your keywords in the alt text, but be sure to do so naturally. Stuffing alt attributes full of keywords and synonyms will make your page look like spam and do more harm than good.

Use the search intent of a keyword to help determine what sort of page it should be used on. Informational keywords should be used on pages optimized for a branding campaign with content such as how to guides or product comparison articles. Avoid using these pages to target more specific in-market keywords. Those searchers have no use for a how-to guide or product comparisons. Use those to target your product pages that include specs, reviews, options and, most importantly, price and the “buy now” button. Of course, the “buy now” button could also be the email sign-up page or contact information form, depending on the type of goals you’re targeting.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve devised your keyword strategy you can move on to more sophisticated on page optimizations like URL canonicalization, creating an XML sitemap and making your website mobile friendly. If you’re new to SEO, do some research to avoid making common mistakes that will hurt your ability to rank and get quality organic traffic.

What keywords are you targeting? Enter your URL to the right to generate a free WooRank SEO audit. Find out how consistently you’re using your keywords and how well your site is optimized for them.

Source : https://www.sitepoint.com/your-guide-to-creating-a-keyword-strategy/

Categorized in Search Engine

“Google, what are the best Italian restaurants near me?”

“Siri, where is the closest coffee shop?”

“Siri, find me a barber in New York City.”

What you’re looking at is the new face of search, and it’s coming at warp speed.

As it stands right now, voice search is growing faster than any other type of search out there. Today, 41% of U.S. adults use voice search every single day, and that number is increasing daily.

When you think about it, it’s not surprising that voice search has become so popular. As our lives get increasingly busy, voice search represents a simple, hands-free, accurate way to track down all of the things we need online – from a great cup of Joe to the answer to a pressing question.

The only potential downside of voice search is that it’s changed the way SEOs and online marketers do things behind the scenes.

Before voice search exploded to its current proportions, short-tail keyword research was enough to help companies rank well and appear for relevant queries.

As search terms get more complex, though, and voice search drives a shift toward more complex, conversational search queries, short-tail keyword research may be dying.

Read on to learn more.

The Difference Between Typed and Spoken Search

Do you type the way you talk? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. As it turns out, this is one of the biggest things search engines have had to deal with in recent years.

Say, for example, you’re looking for a place to exercise. If you’re going to type a query into Google, it might look something like this:

Screenshot

If you were going to conduct a voice search for the same query, though, it’d likely look more like this:

Voice Search Screenshot

In addition to the fact that the search terms are different for these queries, the search results are, as well.

This just goes to show that voice search and short-tail keyword search are notcreated equal and the companies who want to rank in the dynamic and ever-changing environment of voice search will need to adjust their strategies accordingly.

How to Adjust to the Passing of Short-Tail Keywords

As voice search continues to gain prominence, the best thing marketers can do is stop relying so much on short-tail keywords.

While short-tail keywords used to be incredibly valuable for delivering targeted, relevant results to users, today’s search algorithms are much more focused on context, value, and semantics. This means that, as search engines have gotten smarter, they’ve begun to consider the intent behind a person’s search.

For example, if I ask Google where I can work out in Austin, it understands that, in addition to some listings for gyms, I probably also want a compare-and-contrast piece that helps me decide which workout classes are the best for me. If the writers of that article were just targeting short-tail keywords, they never would have ranked for my query.

By providing results that help to answer my questions rather than just showcase what’s available, Google and search engines like it are beginning to drift toward intent-based search, and away from short-tail keywords.

While this may feel scary if short-tail keywords have been a big part of your content strategy, these tips will help you adjust.

SEO, keywords, english

1. Create FAQ Pages

Since many voice searchers are looking for quick answers to questions, it’s smart for modern marketers to implement FAQ pages. For an example of a company that’s done this well, check out PetMD, which ranked as the top result for my simple query here:

PetMD Screenshot

FAQ pages are simple, but they’re also a great way to accommodate the trends of voice search and ensure better rankings for common questions.

2. Make Your Seed Keyword Phrases More Conversational

While many marketers familiar with keyword research have used stuffy seed keywords, for example, “content marketing specialist Los Angeles,” now is the time to start making seed phrases more conversational.

Instead of the above example, it’s a great idea to research a phrase like “why do I need content marketing help in LA?” Since the latter phrase is more in line with what people will search for on voice-enabled platforms, it’s more likely to provide data that marketers can use to rank well in the voice search-dominated climate.

3. Redouble Your Long-tail Keyword Efforts

Long-tail keywords, which often correlates with long-form content, have always been a valuable marketing tactic, but they’re more important now than they’ve ever been before.

Since long-tail keywords are more detail-oriented and more in-line with the natural patterns of human speech, they’re better equipped to provide targeted search results and help your pages appear in front of the correct audience.

4. Ensure Your Site’s Local Data is Spot-On

If you have a map or physical address on your website (and you should), ensure that it’s accurate. This helps you appear in “near me” searches and can have a dramatic positive effect on your local ranking.

5. Use Schema Markup in Your Favor

Schema markup is a great way to boost relevance and local SEO. Designed to be placed on a website, schema markup is code that allows search engines to interpret your business correctly and deliver relevant results to Google users.

Ideal for any company with a local presence, schema markup can go a long way toward overhauling your search results.

Short-Tail Keywords, Make Way for The Future

While short-tail keywords have long since been a valuable part of marketing strategy, their time in the limelight is ebbing off. As search engines and search terms become more complex, conversational, and human-focused, short-tail keywords have been forced to step aside for long-tail phrases and semantic approaches.

While this may seem tragic, it’s actually a very good thing.

When marketers embrace the dissolution of the short-tail keyword, they position themselves to prepare more effectively for voice search, and all the things it has to offer.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Categorized in Online Research

Google recently made a change to its AdWords Keyword Planner tool, which now delivers ranges of data based on how much you spend on ads and how frequently you use the tool. This means that advertisers with low monthly spend are getting ranges of data instead of exact numbers. For example, if you have been affected by this change, a keyword with 590 searches per month will now display as ‘100–1K’.

This change was made to prevent bots from abusing the tool, not to frustrate advertisers. However, that’s exactly what it has done. Being met with ranges of data makes it difficult for advertisers to accurately determine which keyword to target or how much to bid on them. Google’s suggested solutionto this? Try using the forecasting feature that’s built-in to Keyword Planner.

“While search volume gives you a sense of the market size, other settings such as bid, budget, device, and more, affect how much of this search volume a single advertiser can receive. Forecasts, on the other hand, let you customize these settings for a more comprehensive view of how keywords might perform.”

How to Use Forecasting in Google Keyword Planner

The forecasting feature in Keyword Planner can assist with determining a budget and selecting keywords by following these steps:

  • Navigate to Keyword Planner and sign in.
  • Select the option to search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.
  • Enter the keywords you want to look up, and click get ideas.
  • Scroll through the suggested keywords returned by the tool, clicking add to plan on keywords you may want to target.
  • Enter forecasting mode by clicking review plan on the right-hand side of the screen.
    • Once in the forecasting screen, you can glean more keyword data in the following ways:
      • Enter bids and budgets for a detailed forecast of the keywords added to your plan.
      • View forecasts based on location, device, or expected conversion rate.
      • If you’re not satisfied with your forecasts, go back to the drawing board. Click back to search on the top right and look for new keywords to add to your plan.
      • Once satisfied, either download the forecasts or save the plan to your account.

 

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/frustrated-lack-google-keyword-planner-data-try-forecasting-tool/172364/

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