Keyword Research Strategy

Getting a Start on Your Keyword Research

The shift in technology, the rush on digital and a more competent consumer may have changed how business works, but marketing remains the same. The first step into “keywords,” if you’re bold enough to take it, reveals the fundamental skill that all marketers need. The industry you work in doesn’t matter, for since the buying process remains the same, your central objective is still to understand your consumer.

Put the books aside. Tell the gurus to keep quiet for a moment. Anything that tells you otherwise is selling a lie. It’s best to demystify “the” keyword. Let’s keep it simple and define it by what it does. The challenge you face puts you and your reader face to face. Today, our readers are crafty, and you have to see them eye to eye, or your keywords become useless. Keywords define your readers and will guide the search engines.

Keyword Research Strategy
Keyword Research Strategy

Uncovering the user’s psychology is what we’ll do—but through words. Knowing how people think and behave is what will lead us. We start by deciphering the way society speaks. When you talk about the way your buyers do, the search engines will notice. There’s nothing more essential to search technology: the consumer is it. Put your intelligence aside. Education and experience are useless, for what the user will reign supreme.

Let’s discover it; let’s learn about who they are and how that builds the framework for SEO.

How the Audience is Using Words

What you write, speak and sing, as it relates to words, will come out, each, with different rhythms, use of syntax and levels of clarity. There’s a specific way that people are asking questions within search engines. Sure, you know that “A rose is a rose is a rose.” For your reader, in any particular moment, it could instead be “that red flower.” Some things don’t have the same user when different people are involved. Likewise, Webster’s dictionary won’t be entirely helpful.

What They’re Saying Instead:
Every “first step” in keyword research starts with a question: “How does the reader see the topic and industry that I work within?” It’s true; you know the British actor Rowan Atkinson, for example, but most people will only recognize him as “Mr. Bean.” Nasal rhinoplasty, if you can actually say those words, is what everyone calls “a nose job.”

What are your readers using?

How do they understand the world around them?

How Often: The Power of Volume:
Sooner than you might expect, the volume comes into play: this is the popularity of a keyword. Every word is “open game,” but not each one can be leveraged by just any brand. You have to look at the concept of keyword volume as it relates to real estate. There is no such thing as a free piece of property; likewise, every word has a numeric and an intrinsic price on it. Popularity, having the force to create trends, is what sets the market prices.

Now, you can actually use every existing keyword for free, but if another brand profits from that word, then their use takes it off the market in a sense. Keep this in mind.

Where Expectations can Lead:
Some readers, they simply don’t know what to search for. You may have also found yourself adjusting and adjusting your search until you discovered what you needed. Consider this and don’t expect your readers to get it right every time. Don’t build your entire strategy on this margin of error, but it helps to be aware of what it can do.

The Consumer Profile: Discovering More

There are endless pieces to keep track of regarding your audience’s identity. A consumer profile will help. The more you learn about your readers, the more you’ll add to this consumer document. The idea is to dig deep. Look into the psychology of your target audience and leave nothing unexposed. You want to uncover the dynamic of their public and personal lives. Consider organizing your file with demographics, sex, age, location, shared interests, wants, needs and passions.

Google Adwords:
There are many tools in the keyword market, which are confusing unless you have years of experience in wielding them. Google AdWords will always be a simple platform to start with. This is your initial “go to” when doing keyword research on a technical level. You don’t, however, have to use technological tools for a keyword strategy. Only looking to see the prices that are assigned to some keywords could be helpful information later on.

Enter the Market on Social Terms:
Anyone active online is essentially your target audience; much of them will use social media, forums and other UGC sites like Reddit. Put yourself there where they are. See what’s on the reader’s mind and what makes them tick. Keywords, though limited to the language you speak, aren’t always about the words that seem apparent. There’s “a window of opportunity” in your industry, and you can reveal it by better understanding your leads.

Why Your Goals and the Users’ Matter:
In the end, no matter how much research you do, there’ll be a conflict between you and your leads. Your interests and the consumers aren’t the same. The reader wants a solution. You want to offer it and also to reach a financial goal. “Who” your brand becomes a matter of your expectations and what you know about the market. Each time that you interact with an audience, you need to work between this dynamic.

The consumer always comes first, but be valid to the solution you offer as it defines them.

Common Sense: Using Search Engines First

The technical tools of keyword research are vast, but with direct-search results, you’ll have the live market before you. The entire world starts with a search engine, and what they eventually find ends off there.

Make a List of Your Own Words:
Now, before checking the market, consider what you already know. Put a list together. Write encouraging words or phrases down; these have to relate to your product and industry. There’s something unique about your knowledge, and you don’t want to overlook it. Take as long as you need to, list as many words as you can and then revise them. Prepare these words before entering them into the search engine to see what happens next.

Researching Your Terms and Getting Creative:
Putting each word and phrase into the search engine is time-consuming, but think about the value you gain. Your competitors are as eager as you are, they might have hired an agency and have spared no time in getting the results they want. Analyze the results you find; take apart each of the first-10 links that result from any keyword search. Ask yourself about why the listings you found appeared and check their links to see where they lead.

A Balance Between Volume and Competitors

As a small business, you will be limited due to volume. A word or phrase that is used a lot is more difficult to leverage and put into play. There’s more content, time and money invested into a high-volume word. These factors will leave entry-level SEOs and small businesses out of the picture. The balance you need takes into account what your consumer wants and what others haven’t used.

Competing with Long-Tail Phrases

Think in the way that the search engines are if you want to complete your keyword research. What forms the way search engines think, which is also affected by AI technology, is semantics. Every language has its fundamental laws and rules, but how a word is used, regardless of its proper use, is semantics. Semantics allows a search engine, by using its own graph of knowledge, to capture intent. What people say and what they intend can often be different.

That intent is why long-tail phrases have an important place within SEO. Semantics gives us a significant, strategic advantage as small businesses. Knowing your consumer, finding out their thoughts and being able to speak their language is now easier. Semantics is why. Just think of how many ways there are to say, “I need help.” You could start with, “Where can I find a way to …,” “What’s the best solution for …” or “How can I go about …”

Semantics allows you to capture the meaning of a keyword without using that word.

Why Questions also Matter
The final pieces of the keyword puzzle are achieved after formatting your content into questions. The objective, which your keyword research is driven by, is to match the reader. If you can envision them at a search engine, then you know the truth: they have a question to ask. Search technology will match what the reader asks for something that already exists. You can take advantage of this. Do it by using questions in your content.

You may have had your questions answered with “rich-snippet excerpts” before. These answers are taken directly from active webpages. Your content can be extracted in the same manner. This can happen, for search engines are using the subheads of your content. When those subheads are formatted as questions, they’re more likely to align with what someone types. The closer you are, the more likely your content will get presented.

Keeping Your Future in Mind and Preparing to Adjust

Developing your keyword strategy is an ongoing study. Your brand must improve. Position yourself into success by recording your work. Keep track of what you’ve discovered. Once you’ve built your keyword plan, consider an audit at the end of each year. What you created may have been useful, yet with an ever-changing market, you’ll need to make adjustments as you go.

Piece by piece, your brand’s image will be formed online, but it all depends on the work you do now. Be strategic, stay steps ahead of the market and seek to define who your readers are. Your job, though it may become a changing target, is to define your audience and to provide them with what they need.