The introduction of the Google Hummingbird algorithm changed the way almost all SEO marketers complete their research. No longer are marketers simply competing for top keywords. Now, they’re able to focus on producing quality content built to respond more precisely to audience search queries. As they continue to build their keyword resources for 2015, this article focuses on the keys to keyword research success in the year ahead.
1) Review Niche Associations
Niches associated with brand keywords can become useful subjects for content in the year ahead. Where previously, a marketer might place a keyword phrase into Google and select an alternative from the list provided, now content creators must be more creative. For example, instead of simple using business chairs, as an alternative to office furniture, the marketer could focus on office design, or office renovation. Using creative subject links can help drive a greater level of online engagement. To find their ideal niche topics, marketers can use tools such as Google autocomplete or Yahoo Search Assist.
2) Use Precise Words
Relevancy is now critical in creating a keyword list. Marketers must go through their current keyword selection and remove those phrases that are not relevant to their product or service. To maximize their return on campaign investment in 2015, marketers should try to focus on precise long tail words. Long tail keywords receive a more limited search volume, but they may allow the growing company to reach the first page for the query on Google. In selecting words, it’s also important that you consider intent. For those looking to convert search users, consider words with commercial intent such as “buy”, “discount”, “deal” and “coupon”.
3) Complete Comprehensive Analysis
Once marketers have selected their ideal campaign keywords, they must review the search market to find out how difficult it will be to rank for their selected keywords. Tools such as the Keyword Difficulty Score and Keyword Effectiveness Index take a variety of factors into account, and provide insights that will help campaign managers organize their keywords for a greater return.
4) Evaluate the Competition
In completing their SEO strategies, marketers must review the competition to find out how difficult it will be to rank for their chosen keywords. When reviewing the results after entering their keywords into Google, marketers should check the top-ranked sites for the following factors:
Scan the descriptions, titles and internal links to determine the strength of their on-page optimization.
Review the quality of the site’s content. If the content is useful and receiving many comments from users, this could indicate the reason they’re so highly ranked.
The more backlinks a competitor has, the more difficulty a marketer will have in outranking them. Marketers must determine the number of backlinks to the landing page, to see the scale of the challenge ahead.
Search marketers must also check the company’s domain authority on Alexa, as well as their popularity on social media to see how well the company is established within the online business community.
By discarding keywords that their largest and most established competitors have ranked for and only keeping those with little competition and a high score on the Keyword Effectiveness Index, companies can achieve greater SEO campaign performance in 2015. Careful keyword selection and continuous campaign analysis are set to be crucial success drivers for SEO marketers in the coming months.