According to a 2016 study, 49% of respondents said that keyword research is an effective tactic in their content creation strategy.

It’s no longer debatable that digital marketing is the new frontier. For many firms whose customers are starting their buying journey online, the need for digital marketing is critical. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of tools that help these firms to increase their online ranking. For better SEO results, the right marketing keywords are mission-critical.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to choose the right SEO keywords.

Figure out Your Overall SEO Objectives

Businesses today have a better understanding of SEO marketing’s power, but to harness the benefits, you must use SEO strategically. When it comes to deploying SEO keywords, how effectively you get to use them depends on getting your strategy’s foundation right.

Decide on the overall objective you want your SEO campaign to achieve. Are you trying to generate results in the immediate term, for example? Then your keyword strategy will have to focus on those that don’t have as much competition and deliver higher volume.

A well-defined objective can help you sidestep using approaches that aren’t relevant to what you need to hit.

Understand the Users Intent

When it comes down to it, keywords are just a reflection of the intent users have when looking for ways to fulfill their needs. Your goal, as deceptively simple as it sounds, is to read the minds of your users and deliver what they need.

At a basic level, there are four kinds of intent users have when looking things up online:

  • Navigational intent where a user is searching for a specific website
  • Informational intent where a user is looking to find out more about a question they have
  • Investigational intent where a user looks for information that could eventually lead to a transaction
  • Transactional intent where a user searches while they are ready to buy

Transactional keywords will typically include words like ‘buy,’ ‘purchase, etc., followed by a clear description of what a user is looking to buy. Although navigational keywords tend to remain the same, informational and transactional ones change depending on the device a user is searching from.

Knowing the kind of user intent you plan to target helps you further refine your keyword selection for optimal success.

Determine the Best Blend of Long-Tail and Head Marketing Keywords

Head and long-tail words each come with different implications, and it’s the optimal mix of the two that gets your SEO train going.

Head words are the shorter, more general phrases that typically span one to three words long. Long-tail keywords are conversation-oriented and typically span three words or more in length.

Head words have higher search volumes while long-tail ones deliver lesser search volumes, but don’t think that’s a bad thing. You need to create the right balance between the two so that you can achieve short-term success while still tapping into long-term growth.

When a keyword has high volume, you will need to put in more work to rank well (also known as keyword difficulty). The higher the search volume, the more people you have to compete with. Additionally, high search volume keywords risk drawing users whose needs don’t align with your content’s objective.

But if you opt for keywords that have too low a volume, you risk attracting very little traffic to your site. Hence searching for the sweet spot between the two.

Keywords Your Competitors Are Using

Conventional business wisdom dictates that your priorities ought to be set by your customers and not your competitors. While that is true, having a sneak peek at how your competitors are setting their priorities does help you better figure out the competitive landscape.

When you have an idea of the keywords your competitors are looking to rank for, it can help you figure out which keywords are best to pursue. For a start, when you notice your competitors are investing in ranking for keywords that are on your list as well, then it means you should invest in getting better at those too.

Apart from identifying the similar keywords you and your competitors are after, getting a sense of the ones they aren’t using can help you approach the market differently. Pay attention to the high-volume keywords that the competition isn’t ranking for. You will be able to capitalise on the opportunities they end up missing.

Resist the Fallacy of Numbers

Numbers are a critical SEO success marker but to avoid falling for one of the most common SEO mistakes, you need the right perspective.

For example, it may seem more attractive to try and rank for a keyword that pulls in a few hundred searches a month than one that draws in less activity. However, you have to dig deeper to find the truth. It is far better to rank on page one of a more specific phrase that generates fewer searches a month than be on page 18 of a keyword that drives hundreds of thousands of searches a month.

How do you determine which numbers to look at from a keyword perspective? The key is to identify the performance of phrases that most accurately depict what your content is about. The relevancy of the keywords is what signals whether the performance numbers are acceptable or not.

Regional Keywords

If you want to identify keywords that drive traffic in a particular region, you need to narrow down your research to the region of interest when using research tools.

The trick with regional keyword mapping is to keep the effect of culture top of mind. For example, when trucking companies narrow down their search, they might find that the phrase denoting a truck in New York is ‘tractor-trailer’ while in Texas ‘big rig’ can rank for the same thing.

Keep in mind that regions with significant populations are the most likely ones to witness faster GDP growth, and you need to focus your keyword search on them.

Guide Your SEO Strategy to Victory with Relevant Keywords

Today’s businesses must adapt to the changing customer behaviour leading to buying journeys beginning online now. As SEO is the lifeblood of your content marketing strategy, you need to learn how to effectively use marketing keywords that help you better predict and serve your customers’ needs.

Samson Web Design is passionate about and skilled at helping businesses grow online. Talk to us to begin making SEO marketing fruitful for your organisation.

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