To get traffic, you need people willing to visit your site. To get them to visit your site, you need to know what they are looking for, which words they use, and what type of content would fit their intent best. In short, you need a keyword strategy. In this SEO Basics article, we’ll take a brief look at what keyword strategy is and how it goes hand in hand with keyword research.
What is keyword strategy?
You’ve probably gotten the advice to conduct a keyword research to find out what terms you should use. Which is good advice, but it isn’t a keyword strategy. That comes after your research.
A keyword strategy is about how you want to target those keywords, now and in the future. It contains every decision you take based upon your findings in your keyword research project, whether it’s about the content you’re planning to write or how you’re going to track the results in Analytics.
Read our ultimate guide to keyword research for SEO for an all-encompassing overview of all things keyword research. In addition, we have online training on keyword research as well.
A keyword strategy forms when looking at yourself and your environment
You need to have plenty of insights if you want to make informed decisions about your keyword strategy. Start by thoroughly investigating yourself, your product, and your competitors.
Look at yourself
A good keyword strategy starts with asking yourself the following questions:
- What is your business doing, and why?
- What are your goals?
- What’s your uniqueness in this world?
- What is the message you want to send?
- How’s your branding?
- Why would anyone want to visit your site?
Better insights lead to a better understanding of what you want to achieve. You’ll safe yourself time, and make sure you’re not focusing on the wrong things.
Look at search intent
After you’ve fleshed out your uniqueness, it’s time to look at search intent. Search intent is the why behind people’s search and click to your site.
So, ask yourself: Do you know your audience? Are people only looking for information on your site, or are they willing to buy stuff as well? And are there ways for you to target specific search intents with focused content, so you can influence this?
Look at the words your audience uses
By doing keyword research, you should get great insight into the words people use to find what they are looking for. Next, make sure the content you write (and that your audience is interested in) fits with your users’ search intent and the language they use.
Look at the competition
Don’t forget to take a good look at your competitors! What are they doing? How well are they ranking for terms you’d like to target? What kind of content do they have? Are there ways for you to improve on that? Have you thought about looking at the long tail?
Look at the search engines
Of course, while looking at your competitors, you’ll often use search engines to see how they are doing. Doing these types of searches can give you great insights into the strategy of your competitors. It also gives you a very good feel of what happens when you type in your main focus keyphrase. What’s the on-screen real estate like? Are there featured snippets you could target? Are there other types of rich results? Is there a local pack?
In some markets, if you track developments over time, you might see that search engines are increasingly giving answers that lead to no-click searches. Always keep an eye on search engines, but don’t go obsessing about every little algorithm update.
Look at data
Of course, analyzing data plays a big role in the success of your keyword strategy. Both before and after, Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into the performance of your site. Even Google Search Console can give you a lot of stuff to think about and opportunities to pursue!
How are you targeting your keywords?
Checking your analytics regularly to keep track of your SEO performance is incredibly important. But you can’t have performance without content that’s specifically tailored to the needs and goals of your strategy.
If you’ve ran through all the steps and did a thorough keyword research, you should have an idea of what you should target and how you should do that. You can use these insights to create the content you need to make a success of your strategy. There’s a lot you can do:
- Make landing pages
- Create specific types of content for different search intents
- Maybe make specific content to get featured snippets
- Perhaps voice search is something that might fit your strategy?
- Or apps?
- Something else entirely?
Many roads lead to Rome, but some roads are more difficult than others. You could say that the highway is the fastest way to Rome, but you might run into a traffic jam because everyone wants to take that route. Sometimes, it’s better to take the rarely traveled mountain pass — the results might wow you!
Update your keyword strategy
Through the years (sometimes even months!), there’s a lot that can happen and change in the online world. It might be that your users’ language changed, or that a new competitor is gobbling up market share. Your keyword strategy should take that into account. So, regularly re-evaluate your keyword strategy, and adjust where necessary!