The foundation of an effective marketing plan is to map out your keyword strategy.
This has taken on a new meaning with the latest development of Google’s search engines in terms of how they assess and rank your website.
Search intent is the major element behind the development of your inbound marketing strategy.
Choosing a specific keyword and repeating it in your content is no longer required to optimize your pages.
Search engines read your entire site to assess the value it provides as a response to a specific search query.
Group keywords together that have the same search intent. This will give your pages the optimization needed through latent semantic indexing.
Most noteworthy, this method of assessment has been in practice since the Hummingbird update in 2013.
Google has continually improved the level of sophistication in determining the intent of search queries and assessing which websites provide the best solutions.
List Your Keywords, Key Phrases and Top Search Terms
Starting your strategy is as simple as writing down a list of keywords that are being used to describe your offerings.
Collect the data necessary to provide accurate comparisons when you are finished.
A keyword tool necessary to complete this part of keyword research. Free keyword tools are available online such as Ubersuggest.
You will find the best and most useful software on sites like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
The keyword tools on these sites provide additional metrics such as:
- the number of organic clicks
- top performing pages of your competitors
- the keywords your competitors are ranking for in the SERP’s
Complete a Technical Assessment to Filter Your Top Choices
The standard set of values you will need to make comparisons are the monthly volume of traffic, keyword difficulty and cost per click.
You want high commercial valued key phrases with a high volume of traffic and low keyword difficulty.
Three things to consider regarding the stated value of traffic for any keyword are the:
- organic clicks from the traffic of that keyword
- percentage of clicks that are generally awarded to each position
- fact that your website will rank for similar phrases with the same search intent.
Identify search intent
You should identify search intent in the first phase of your keyword research because it defines the motivating factors behind users who are performing the query.
Perform the search yourself to see how the results page is displayed. This is the first clue to identifying search intent.
You want to take note of the layout of the page in order to assess the type of content that is effectively ranking at the top of the page.
The potential displays on the first page of results include the:
- featured snippet
- video carousels
- shopping carousels
- local listings
Organic results typically follow these other types.
Strategically Target By Type of Results
If the top first page has a video carousel, it would be wise to create and rank a video to compete for that specific search term.
If there is a featured snippet, you will need to match and create a better response as a solution to the search query.
The way you create your content depends on the way the results are being displayed as a response to the keyword search.
The number of organic clicks plays a crucial role in the effectiveness the search term has on your website.
Further investigation of a first-page result may lead you to realize that although a search term may have a high volume of traffic, there may be a large percentage of “clickless” traffic that exists.
If a featured snippet can adequately answer a search query and there is no reason for a user to click on to find more information, that particular term will be useless for getting traffic to your website.
Let’s take the example search “How many kids did Brad and Angelina adopt?”
That search may get 100k searches but the organic clicks may only be around 4k.
94% of people will not get past position zero on that particular search because the answer found in the snippet satisfies their search intent.
Provide Solutions to Search Demand
Once you have an effective grouping of keywords, build content that satisfies the search intent.
To get a better insight on what content your page should include, search forums to identify the problems people are experiencing.
Write down the questions asked and include every question in your article to increase the value it provides to visitors.
Evergreen content is highly recommended to provide your site with a steady long term stream of traffic.
Evergreen content has no expiration date and will continually contribute to the value your website provides.
Your best content will teach your readers how to learn a specific skill or about a specific event, subject, or strategy.
Examples of evergreen content include:
- case studies
- round up articles
- how to guides
- best of lists
- top strategies
- historical highlights
Write about anything relevant to your audience that will not become dated in the foreseeable future.
Evergreen articles improve the onsite search engine optimization of your website.
When you have long-form content it takes readers longer amounts of time to read through the article.
In fact, it may take a visitor a few attempts at digesting the entire piece of content if it is long enough.
Encouraging return visits and increasing the length of time visitors are spending on your website are direct ranking factors.
Return visitors and increased time-on-site will improve the competitive position of your website.
Focus on Content That Doesn’t Expire
It will contribute building traffic to your site as time goes by and it moves up in the rankings.
Your evergreen article acquiring new backlinks through increased sharing improves your offsite search engine optimization.
If your article is truly answering search intent and providing value there is a strong likelihood that people will share their findings.
This in turn creates more traffic through the links they share with others.
Targeted keyword research enables the curation of content that is able to effectively answer search intent.
Using evergreen articles is one form of structuring the content of your site to include multiple keywords and phrases.
Publish what will adequately respond to demand and outperform competing pages that rank for similar search terms.
Incorporate these two pillars of success to develop a website that ranks highly in the search engine result pages.
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