Biz Tips: The Importance of Keyword Research to Effective SEO Marketing

Biz Tips: The Importance of Keyword Research to Effective SEO Marketing

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The Importance of Keyword Research to Effective SEO Marketing

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The world of SEO has changed so much over the years that older methods, like keyword stuffing, aren’t even familiar to new adopters. SEO techniques have moved far beyond the antiquated and basic, “use as many keywords as you can in your blog post.” Today, everyone from website designers and content creators to marketers and business owners have to understand the fundamentals of SEO — not only is it digital marketing 101, it’s the only way to create a website that’s favored by both Google and your audience.

Content Design and Formatting

Both design and SEO have a huge influence on content visibility. A brand’s SEO strategy should be clearly communicated to the designers so that the content can be leveraged to its full potential.

Content structure should follow a meaningful hierarchy with H1, H2, and H3 tags, which refer to the article title, headings and subheadings respectively. They should also contain your keywords, and the search engine results pages (SERPs) you want to rank for will inform which keywords to use in these tags.

SEO-optimized content formatting should also include internal links to other pages on your website. These links tell search engine bots which website pages are the most valuable. Since the homepage is the most-visited page on most sites, it’s naturally the best place to start adding internal links.

Google uses the mobile version of your website to rank pages, which means designers need to create responsive content. That doesn’t just mean that the content can adapt to different-sized screens, but that it can be easily read and engaged with on those screens — the experience should be great no matter where the content is being viewed.

New Page Creation and Existing Page Updates

In 2019, a cornerstone of your SEO strategy should be organizing your website’s content around a topic or set of topics. This makes it easier for Google to understand and deliver what a user wants when they’re searching. When you choose a topic and then optimize a page around that specific topic, you have a better chance of ranking high in SERPs for long-tail keywords.

This resource by Page One Power walks you through the entire process of creating a list of keywords. Once you have your list, you’ll want to start building website pages for each topic. Basically, you’ll want to take your pillar keywords and build a web page for the ones that offer a high-level view of the topic. Each of the pillar pages will include small sections with sub-categories of the pillar topic.

Let’s say you’re building a website for writing services. One of your broad niches is real estate. Your pillar page may be something like “real estate writer” or “real estate content.” The categories on that page would be related to that primary keyword. For example, you may have “Paris real estate writer,” “ski resort real estate writer” and “vineyard real estate writer” as the categories. Then each of those topics would have a short description that would link out to a more elaborate blog post.

If you want an idea of what others in your industry are doing on their websites, consider using SERPWoo. According to Page One Power, “SERPWoo’s Keyword Finder will pull the top ten domains for any given keyword you enter into the tool. Keyword Finder will then also generate related terms, and allow you to create and export custom lists.”

Search Competitor Analysis and Identification

There are two ways to use SEO to compete:

1. Prioritize the high-volume keywords that your competitors are not yet ranking for. This is the best approach if you’re looking to fill in a gap and take advantage of an opportunity your competitor missed.

2. Prioritize the keywords that your competitors are currently ranking for. This is the more aggressive strategy of the two, and it’s the best option if you want to want to compete for the specific keywords your competitor is already ranking for.

According to Page One Power, “SEMrush is particularly useful for competitive keyword research. Within the ‘Organic Research’ tab of SEMrush, you can find where your competitors are ranking and uncover which keywords are driving the most traffic to their sites. This is invaluable information as you can learn exactly which keywords are attracting the attention of your competitors’ audience (also known as your audience).”

When updating an existing page, you’ll use similar tactics.

The most important change you’ll make is to update the H1 heading (the page title) to include the keyword you’re optimizing for. For example, let’s say you’re updating your dog training page. You want to optimize for “dog training NYC” to attract more local customers. The original page title is “Dog Training Services.” The updated page title could be, “Dog Training in NYC.”

You also may want to add or change your images. Once an image is uploaded, use your keywords to create the alt and title tags for the image. Just make sure that the image is closely related to the keywords you’re using so you don’t go into black hat SEO territory.

You’ll never truly be finished when it comes to SEO. Your customers’ needs will shift and change. Google will continue to update its algorithm, and you’ll have to stay on top of it all in order to keep your website relevant. There are a lot of tools out there to help, whether you need a freebie right now or can pay for a more advanced service.

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