Competitive keyword research is the basic foundation around which the major search engine optimization and internet marketing strategies are developed. This first step is crucial from each and every aspect of SEO, since everything from site structure to paid media campaign depends on traffic driving keywords in a sense. However, many SEO strategies fall flat in this primary step itself leading to failure of the marketing campaign. So how should we proceed with this crucial keyword research and URL mapping process? There is no elementary course in this context, but we will cover the most vital requisites for selecting the best keywords for SEO purpose in this article.
Keyword research involves mapping your target audience’s behavior on search engines, and directing that traffic to specific URL targets. This is the basic part, but the forces which actually impact this process can be summarized in a 5 interconnected step cycle.
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(5 key areas that impact the Keyword Selection process)
Step #1 Understand Searcher Persona and their Behavior
Before we start targeting specific keywords, we must analyze our target audience’s behavior on search engines and evaluate the people’s estimated level of interest around them. Some keywords may be hot while some may find their popularity plunging down on Google and Bing. Hence, one must not chase high traffic-leading keywords, since they may be hot right now but nobody knows if that will remain same in the long-run. Therefore, SEO professionals must understand the evolving user persona and intent while deciding upon final target keyword set.
Step #2 Conduct Thorough Competition Analysis
While chasing top rankings on Google, you should know that you aren’t alone in that race. There is competition at each step where there are individuals and organizations that both knowingly and unknowingly are pitching like you for top Google and Bing rankings. Competition analysis helps in determining the authoritative and trusted domains that need to be outranked, besides channeling the specific keyword verticals on a page by page basis. Chasing hyper-aggressive keywords needs more hard work, whereas targeting moderate search demand using free market gaps requires less effort and more smart work.
Step #3 Figure out Budget Limitations and Compliance with Business Goals
Every effective SEO campaign and internet marketing strategy is developed around specific budget and business targets in mind. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to do greater work than large corporate firms in this regard. Experts have opined that SEO professionals should aim those keywords that are perfect for monetary considerations, besides favoring the overall business objectives associated with the campaign. In all fairness, there should be a confluence between budget limitations and business goals.
Step #4 Augment Conversion Rates
The actual purpose of all search engine marketing tactics is simple- healthy lead to sales conversion. The bottom line isn’t getting about just increasing organic/paid traffic and top SERP rankings, but it is about returning better revenues. Internet marketers strategize SEO such that the paid campaign returns a positive return on investment (ROI) in the long run. Number crunching keyword strategies shouldn’t be a tactic, and must be an indication as to how effectively should we run an SEO campaign instead.
Step #5 Apply Scalable approach in Keyword Research
Scalability means that a specific keyword set, comprising high-converting money keywords and traffic generating keywords should effectively be mapped to a one target URL. This strategy is extremely beneficial from both SEO and business point of views. Scalable keywords set helps in diverting traffic from both in-demand keywords and passive phrases, all of them directing to your target URL. If we are able to divert traffic to one or more high lead-sales converting webpage with priority keywords, then those efforts could easily be scalable for other webpages as well.
Search engine optimization is sometimes considered a marathon, which is why one should implement a strategy that is proactive in nature and seems meaningful for the long run. It is here when competitive and business-oriented keywords come into picture, since they actually are influential towards carving your niche service area. The 5 steps we have discussed in this article include the most vital areas that must be looked into while conducting competitive keyword research. Understanding searcher persona and competition breakdown provide the outline to keyword research, while business goals and conversion metrics work more for value addition. There are definitely plenty other undertones linked in this context, but if you are able to apply the above discussed steps with finesse then a majority of work is already done.