Keyword research and implementation is as important as ever for SEO. But that doesn’t mean you can carry on the way you’ve been doing. It’s a new year and that calls for an audit & adjustments.
Instead of feeling at a loss when faced with this new chapter in SEO, simply read on. We’ve compiled a list of informative guidelines to help you navigate, do SEO with the right perspective and enjoy the results a new strategy can provide.
Do You Understand the Basics?
For those new to this game, it’s important to understand SEO fundamentals. Without utilizing the right keywords the chances of ranking is miniscule.
Search engines respond to consumers’ prompts in the form of words typed into search bars. If you want Google to list you on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) you need to prove you have content that relates to those words.
To do this you need to include terminology in your content that consumers are very likely to use during their searches. These terms (which can be single words or longer statements) are called keywords and are vital to whether your website will ever rank.
Discovering which keywords should be used requires some skill and time but you also have the assistance of many online apps. They’ve been designed to help website owners determine which words are popular and will help you rise to the top.
A practical example may clarify the process.
How to Do Keyword Research for SEO
This process requires technical skills as well as knowledge about your industry and some good old fashioned logic:
- Look for keywords manually: You can find many keywords simply by visiting forums, Wikipedia and Facebook pages. Compare what people say and see which topics are often mentioned. This is what people will type into their search bars.
- Research keywords with online tools: This is the more tech driven method where you use keyword tools from companies such as Ahrefs to research words related to your industry. You get feedback on:
- Search volume
- Traffic potential
- Top keywords
- Global trends
- Keyword difficulty
- Visit competitor pages: Type in keywords of your industry and see what type of content ranks high. Now you know what topics to cover that browsers find useful.
- Consider intent: It’s becoming more and more important to ensure your content relates to why someone typed in those words. Your website must answer the questions people have. More about that below.
- Write your quality content: With keywords and topics in hand you can create content you know your audience is already looking for. The operative word in this step is ‘quality’. You need to provide researched, in depth and valuable content that consumers will click on, stay on the page to read and interact with.
- Form links: Creating orphan pages (pages not linked to any others) will lead to a low quality website. Therefore creating outbound and internal links to your new content is essential.
This process will always stay more or less the same, but 2019 SEO trends require you to consider the following.
Your Focus Areas in SEO 2019
Google and other search engines’ algorithms & crawlers change over time because they must stay one step ahead; They must ensure they don’t get manipulated into ranking low quality sites. Because of the constant adjustments experts continuously test the ranking guidelines to help others improve their websites in the right manner.
If you make the wrong changes you’re wasting time & effort; In 2019, this is what you need to grasp.
Search Volume vs Intent
Above we mentioned search intent. Originally you may have researched a keyword’s search volume. If a lot of people are searching for the keywords you use, you’ll get visitors, right?
Consumers are only likely to navigate to your page if it’s absolutely clear that what they’re searching for (their intent) will be found on your pages. And there are a lot of reasons they’re searching:
- Looking for information: Can you provide an informative guide, researched facts or the answer to a ‘What is’ question?
- In search of transactions: For this you must show there are opportunities to buy (or download) information, services or products.
- Navigational searches: Here a consumer is looking for a specific website or brand. Google is smart enough to only list the top seven sites in navigational searches and trying to compete with all well known brands may not be the most successful plan. Rather look for keywords only you can rank for.
Some browsers may even find their answer in the short descriptions found on a SERP. They won’t click on any links, so these searches won’t increase website traffic.
Because there are different types of searches, you can’t allow search volume to be your only guide in picking keywords. You must use your insight and knowledge of the industry to gauge which ones will work for you, drawing traffic to your pages.
Understand, Use and Benefit from User Intent
Keyword research for SEO is done to show you which keywords you should use, but now you also have to use them in the correct manner. Incorporate them in content that matches one of the intents listed above, but which will ensure clicking on your page. In due time you can become known as the go to website for those types of searches in your industry.
Long Tail Keywords
The above shows the difficulty in ranking high in searches—there’s a lot of competition. One way around it is using long tail keywords with a lower difficulty ranking. Since fewer websites contain those, you have more of a chance to rank.
A unique feature entering the arena now is voice search. We’ll see a lot of developments in coming years, but it’s imperative website designers and copywriters start now already, making content voice search friendly.
Don’t only think of what people type in, but how they speak about topics. They may type in ‘plumping service New York’, but they’ll say ‘Where is a plumber in New York?’. This is why your content style must become more conversational, also mentioning these general phrases.
We’ve seen a lot of change, and there is still more to come. It’s best you schedule SEO revision time at the start of each year, and even each month. Knowing SEO trends is your key to success through your website.
Do you have questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
Theresa Le Roux
My name is Theresa Le Roux, I am originally from Montreal, Canada but I have spent the last 5 years in beautiful New Zealand. I write SEO/Digital marketing/SMM articles for businesses that want a different perspective on subjects that are important to their content output. This can also help grow rankings in the process so it’s a win-win! I regularly contribute articles about the always changing world of SEO to Clickthrough.co.nz. I am a diehard Game of Thrones fan with a passion for novels and live music! My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own. Connect me via email [email protected]