Keyword planning is more important than ever. It is crucial for your website’s success to figure out which keywords you should target.
More and more website owners use attractive website themes, software tools for keyword planning, writers for suitable and appealing content, etc. Hence, it becomes more and more difficult to successfully rank in the first search results of Google with your website.
Times have changed
In a distant past, it was possible to type in a keyword in Google and then receive 10 search results of which 5 were completely useless search results. Today, this is no longer the case.
The search results you get presented are all valuable results which display websites tackling things the right way.
Long gone are the days when you could throw some content online together with some keywords to push your website to the top of Google’s search results.
Google and other search engines become more and more selective concerning the information they want to share with website owners. As a consequence, you are forced to start working with the proper tools to take your keyword planning to a higher level.
Keyword planning happens before building the website
Keyword planning is the first step you need to take before you start outlining a detailed content plan for your website. It is crucial not to skip or neglect this important step. You need to take keyword research very seriously.
If you neglect keyword planning, the number of website visitors will remain disappointingly low. Meticulously performing keyword research is the first step towards a stable and clever SEO strategy.
If you don’t know exactly what people are looking for on the Internet, then how can you know your content will ever be read? More importantly, how can you actually help people online if you cannot reach them?
More specifically, we are capable of identifying the best keywords for your website and target audience, and matching them with the products and services you offer.
How we do keyword planning for your company
We approach keyword planning in phases:
Phase 1 – You talk, we listen
We listen to your story: What are your activities and how do you solve certain problems for your customers? It is important for us to understand what your company stands for. This conversation serves to identify general topics and points of view.
Besides that, it is also extremely important to identify certain pain points. When someone buys something, this usually means he/she wants to solve a specific problem. Which problems do your customers face and how can they solve them?
It is in this area we can work very specifically and in depth. We can search for valuable long tail keywords. These are longer keywords consisting of multiple words and which often have a very specific intent such as buying. Often these long tail keywords are characterised by less monthly search volume but also with less competition from other websites.
All these keywords can then be divided into silos and can subsequently be investigated with professional software.
Each category of keywords can become a potential new page on the website.
It is important to design a basic framework, a sort of basic structure which consists of silos per broad topic. After that, the goal is to do a deep dive into each category. Each silo can later be used to create relevant topics for the website’s content.
Phase 2 – Analysis of your current website traffic
If you already have a live website, then this is the best place to start with gathering and analysing data.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are perfect tools for this (free to install) and help you with gathering important insights and data. Normally, both software tools should already be connected to your current website installation (this is often included in the basic service of website builders).
More specifically, we investigate two things:
- Which keywords currently drive traffic to the website?
- Which pages on the website receive the most attention?
By answering these two questions based on the data, we get important insights which can then serve as the basis to optimise and direct the new website.
For example, we can see what interests the visitors and possibly assign extra keywords to extra pages around the same area of interest.
In case of pages which already have a decent amount of visitors and a decent ranking in Google’s search results, we can also leave the pages as they are. This means we can focus more time and effort on the optimisation of pages which do not yet deliver enough results concerning visitors and ranking in Google’s search results.
Phase 3 – Competitive analysis
This is an important phase because we can already learn a lot based on how a competitor’s website is organised concerning design and architecture. The structure reveals how serious your competitor is about SEO optimisation and on which keywords they focus per page.
Even if one did not gather statistics with Google Analytics for your current website, you can learn a lot while doing this benchmark analysis.
The question “Which keywords does my competitor use?” is a crucial question which needs to be answered extensively and in detail.
Even if you already have a lot of internal data at your disposal (via Google Analytics), you should not neglect this benchmark analysis.
By using specialised software, we can gather lots of detailed information which can then serve as a source of inspiration for the selection of the proper keywords for your own website.
Phase 4 – Keyword planning tools
We already addressed this above: specialised software for keyword planning.
This step is important as we make the switch here from abstract subjective silos of keywords to objective, statistically-based silos of keywords.
To measure is to know! During this phase, we separate the wheat from the chaff by making a tough but honest selection of the keywords with the highest potential (enough search volume combined with a feasible competitiveness).
We possess the necessary licenses and can provide you with correct and indispensable insights for your new website project (or the upgrade of your current website).
We combine free online tools with paid software packages to identify keywords with the highest potential.
Examples of free tools are Übersuggest, LSI Graph and Keyword.io.
We combine these with paid tools for keyword research in order to acquire more detailed data and information.
By making use of professional software tools for our keyword planning we avoid guessing and making mistakes…
The software tools give us insight into related keywords which are potentially more interesting than the keywords which were initially in the keyword silos.
Both monthly search volume and competitiveness play a significant role in the selection process of the correct keyword.
Phase 5 – Grading the keywords – Priority to long tail keywords
After all the previous steps, we now have a huge list of keywords, divided into silos per topic.
Each silo or category contains related keywords and in this phase we need to analyse each silo in detail. We need to determine which keywords will function as focus keywords and which other keywords will be playing a role as alternative keywords on the same page.
Our strength regarding keyword planning is competently selecting the correct, longer keywords.
Very often, we avoid keywords which are too general and lack sufficient intent. Examples are: Shoes, bicycle shop, plumber, contractor, software, gardener, insurance agent, travel agency, bed and breakfast, air purifiers, desk lamps, etc.
We always try to select more valuable, longer and more specific keywords. Technical language for these types of keywords is long tail keywords. These are keywords which consist of multiple words and demonstrate a clear intent.
Examples are: leather shoes for gentlemen for sale, plumber in london with emergency service, bicycle shop in amsterdam with repair service, good contractor region east miami, reliable travel agency to travel to nepal, what is the best air purifier, red led desk lamp buy online, etc.
Important to understand is that it is impossible to cover all long tail keywords with the pages on your website. But that is not necessary either.
The goal is to select long tail keywords which align as well as possible with your specialty, niche and your customers’ typical problems.
We always try to avoid tunnel vision during this phase. For example, it is possible there is a big difference between a singular and plural keyword when looking at the search volumes. Also the order of the specific words can influence your keyword’s relevance!
Phase 6 – Priority to keywords with proper intent
During this phase, we further detail our goals. We need to select the keywords which can generate valuable website visitors. In other words, we need to select keywords which demonstrate the correct intent of the person using the search engine.
This is where we also need to take into account the average customer journey and buying cycle of a customer. We need to analyse the remaining keywords to match them with the multiple phases of the buying cycle.
An easy example as illustration:
- A male user can search for “how to fix leather shoes” which does not necessarily mean that he is looking for a new pair of leather shoes.
- On the contrary, another male user who is searching for “best price men’s leather shoes” shows clear intent to buy a new pair of leather shoes.
- For a shoe store it is obviously very interesting to optimise a web page for the latter and not the former keyword.
If you deliver services, we also need to pay attention to your potential customer’s attention. Say you are a dietitian or fitness coach and you generate the majority of your income with services.
Then it’s better not to focus on keywords such as ‘food to lose weight’ because such a person wishes to buy food that would help him or her to lose some weight.
It’s a much better idea to focus on keywords such as ‘how much can I eat and at what time’ or ‘why do I not lose weight while doing sports’. These individuals show much more intent to possibly buy your services as a dietitian or fitness coach.
Finally, we compare our final list of keywords with our benchmarks’ keywords (good websites belonging to competitors). As such, we can add some extra keywords to our list in case we forgot certain angles and keywords.
Measure, adapt and repeat is the key to success
No matter what your plans are for your online strategy… Don’t forget the following three words when it comes to keyword planning: measure, adapt, repeat.
Keyword planning is never really finished and is actually a never-ending process. Your website’s performance needs to be constantly monitored. Pages which are not performing well need to be changed (more content, more backlinks, a mix of both) or need to be optimised around a new focus keyword.
The process of measuring and adapting is a continuous process.
When you take the time to professionally approach keyword planning, you are much better prepared to design a content plan for your website. As such, you can offer quality content in a consistent manner. This is important from an SEO perspective.
Contact us for custom keyword planning
Would you like professional keyword planning and research for your company? Then contact us right now to discuss your needs and wants.