Creating an Effective Keyword Strategy

What is a Keyword Strategy?

A keyword strategy are segments of keywords that you are targeting to attract customers to your site. This can be done organically (SEO) or with paid adverting (PPC). This is done with keywords such as "SEO company" or long-tailed keywords such as "SEO company in Las Vegas"

Why Develop a Keyword Strategy For SEO?

A keyword strategy is a wonderful way to organize your search marketing activities.

It helps understand your business audience. For example, someone searching "SEO" vs "How to rank on Google" are going to be in two different segments. What phrases and terminology a customer is using is critical, because that is how Google works, on a keyword based model. It is going off of search quires used and content provided on your website. It crawls the site using "spiders" to present relevant information to the visitor.

For example, here are several ways of searching to remedy a pigeon problem

Oftentimes, businesses rely too heavily on branded terms that describe their own products or methods -- however, these terms rarely work in a keyword strategy. By developing a keyword strategy you know what people are searching in the industry and are able to match those search terms.

Choose a tool for research and tracking

You can use Agency Analytics to track keywords over time, Moz or Keywords Everywhere Chrome extensions to measure keyword metrics, and BuzzSumo, SEMrush, and SpyFu for deeper research.

MD Marketers prefers SEMrush, the most detailed tool on the market.

How Do I Know What Keywords Are Best?

Here are a few items to consider when developing a keyword strategy. Use a tool for research for tangible measurements.

  • Relevance to your business - If someone is searching "Tax Accountant Near Me" they are worth an accountant bidding on Vs. "How to file your own taxes".
  • Search volume -- This is usually expressed in monthly searches. (Note: High volume usually comes with high competition)
  • Competitiveness & difficulty -- If you’re new to your keyword strategy, you won’t have a lot of domain authority. You want to be realistic when analyzing competition
  • An existing ranking URL -- If you are already “ranking” for a key term that is already showing up in a Google search, it may be a good target because you have some momentum building

(Note: Break segments up even further with low, medium, and high priorities based on these analytics.

Analyze and iterate

Be sure to track your effort over time. This is really important if you're investing time and money into your SEO strategy. Periodically you need to check your progress over time:

  • How many visitors are you getting to that page?
  • Which position are you in, and for which URL?
  • How many visitors are you getting to that page?

An example of position tracking.

Note: set alerts for when you hit or drop below rank 10. The first 10 searches are typically on (or very close) to the 1st page.

The metrics here will tell you how to optimize your strategy. By refining over time you will create a stronger SEO presence.

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