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Winning Keyword Research Strategies for 2018

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Our #KnoxHUG Meetup for Q1 2018 covered winning strategies for keyword research in 2018. This presentation includes insights on how search and search engines have changed over the years and how SEO focus has shifted to topics and content structure vs. trying to rank for single keywords.

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Winning Keyword Research Strategies for 2018

  1. 1. Winning Keyword Research Strategies for 2018 #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  2. 2. Meet the Knoxville HUG Leader and Co-Leader Holly Yalove /hollyyalove Mitch Transue /mitchell-transue www.vieodesign.com • Agency Partner Certification • Inbound Marketing Certification • HubSpot Marketing Software Certification • HubSpot Design Certification • Contextual Marketing Certification • Inbound Sales Certification • Growth Driven Design Agency Certification • Email Marketing Certification • Content Marketing Certification • Certified Google Partner • Certified Yext Partner • HubSpot Beta Testers Agency Certifications:
  3. 3. A Special Thanks to... HubSpot - HUG Sponsor HubSpot provides SWAG and funding to support local HUG events. Lauren Nelson – Graphic Designer, VIEO Design Thanks for your all your help over the years with our HUG presentations! #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  4. 4. What We’ll Cover • HUG News • SEO Term Definitions • How Search Has Changed • Strategy Prep Work • Keyword Research Strategies & Tools • Q&A #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  5. 5. HUG NEWS Future Meetup Dates Planned • Q2 - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 • Q3 - Thursday, September 13, 2018 • Q4 - Thursday, November 8, 2018 Topics & Speakers TBA INBOUND 2018: September 4-7, 2018 Boston, MA #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  6. 6. By: Holly Yalove Principal & Chief Strategist VIEO Design #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com Winning Keyword Research Strategies for 2018
  7. 7. SEO Term Definitions #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  8. 8. February 2017 - February 2018 88.27% 6.68% 4.08% 0.52% 0.14% 0.10% Google Bing Yahoo DuckDuckGo Yanex RU MSN 0.00% 50.00% 100.00% Source: StatsCounter We’ll Focus on Google US Search Engine Market Share Google processes at least 2 trillion searches per year (worldwide). Check your analytics to determine the value any other major search engines may have to your strategies.
  9. 9. Search Ranking Search ranking pertains to the process search engines use to decide where a page or content item should appear on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  10. 10. Search Visibility Search visibility pertains to how prominently a page or content item is displayed. Highly visible content = likely to appear at the top of the search results. Search visibility is impacted by the many Google SERP features that exist today.
  11. 11. SERP Features A SERP feature is a result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that’s not a traditional organic result. In the early days, all SERP results looked very similar - text and links (somewhat like the result below).
  12. 12. Popular SERP Features Today, Google offers several different types of results. The most popular include: • Universal Results • Rich Snippets • Paid Search • Knowledge Graph Data #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  13. 13. Popular SERP Features Universal Results appear in addition to organic results. These include things like image results and featured snippets. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  14. 14. Popular SERP Features Rich Snippets add a visual layer to an existing result. These include things like product rating review stars. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  15. 15. Popular SERP Features Paid Results include things like AdWords or Google Shopping. They’re indicated by a “sponsored” notice. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  16. 16. Popular SERP Features Knowledge Graph Data like Knowledge Cards and Panels appear in the search results as boxes or panels. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  17. 17. Why Care About SERP Features? SERP features should be considered in your keyword research strategies. • The presence of SERP features impact click-through-rates (CTR) • CTR metrics act as ongoing feedback to Google that influence ranking #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  18. 18. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com How Search Has Changed
  19. 19. How Search Has Changed • Searcher habits and expectations have changed • Search Engine technology and platform options have changed • Search device options and usage has changed #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  20. 20. Major Google Updates
  21. 21. Search Phrases: Years Ago Searchers used fragmented keyword queries. • In 2012, Google started penalizing spammy SEO tactics like keyword stuffing. (Penguin Update) • In 2013, Google began to understand semantic search (Hummingbird Update) • In 2014, Google started considering a person’s geographic location and distance from local businesses. • In 2015, Google began to understand the context of search queries using machine learning to analyze people’s past searches and SERP features began to be served. (RankBrain Update)
  22. 22. Local PackLocalized Organic Local Search Examples
  23. 23. Search Phrases: Today • Searchers use complex sentences and natural language patterns. • They vary their phrases and questions. • Search results are impacted by a person’s past search behavior, search device, and geographic location as well as real-time events like breaking news and social posts.
  24. 24. Did You Know? 15% of Google’s daily searches are unique phrases that have never been searched before. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  25. 25. Devices: Years Ago Most people used desktop devices and typed in keyword queries. • In 2015, Google released the mobile-friendly ranking to boost mobile- friendly pages in mobile search results. (Mobilegeddon) • In 2016, Google integrated Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) listings into mobile search results • In 2017, Google rolled out a penalty to demote sites with aggressive pop-ups and interstitials (bad mobile user experience)
  26. 26. Devices: Today An estimated 60% of all online searches are performed on a mobile device and voice search is estimated to be up 20% of mobile searches. • Searchers use a variety of devices from mobile phones to smart home devices • Voice search is used in addition to text searches *Sources: HitWise and Search Engine Land
  27. 27. Swag Time #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  28. 28. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com Keyword Research Strategy Prep Work Buyer Personas, Buyer’s Journey, Goal Setting, and Tracking Measures
  29. 29. What they search and how they search impact your keyword research strategies. § Are they local, national, or international? § What problems are they trying to solve? § What phrases are they likely to use? § Do they use your industry jargon? § What device are they most likely using when conducting a search? Prep Work: Define Your Buyer Persona
  30. 30. Understanding what your buyer may search for early on versus later in their journey will give you insights into the queries they might perform in each phase. Prep Work: Map Your Buyer’s Journey
  31. 31. What high-level goals are your SEO activities trying to solve? • Easily “getting found” by existing customers? • Getting discovered by new prospects? • Selling more of a specific product or service? • “Beating” your competitors online? Prep Work: Establish Your Goals
  32. 32. Are tools and tracking in place to measure current state and future progress? For Example: üGoogle Analytics üGoogle Search Console / Webmaster Tools üSEO and keyword research tools üLead tracking and conversion tools (like HubSpot) Prep Work: Evaluate Tracking Measures
  33. 33. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com Winning Keyword Research Strategy
  34. 34. • What’s your mix of organic search traffic today? • What geographic locations send the most traffic? • What are your top entrance pages? • What devices are used by organic visitors? Evaluate Current State
  35. 35. Google Analytics tracks traffic acquisition channels and sources, geographic locations, device mix, and landing pages where visitors entered your site from a search. Tools You Can Use
  36. 36. Evaluate Current State • Which keywords/phrases/topics do you rank for currently? • What are your top ranking pages? • Are these what you want your company, business, or organization to be known for? • Where are there gaps for topics related to your area of expertise? • What’s the CTR on your top queries? • Which queries drive the most impressions, clicks, and conversions?
  37. 37. Did You Know? Universal “rank” for a keyword is no longer a reliable SEO key performance indicator (KPI)? #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  38. 38. Warning! • Don’t get hyper-focused on rank for a specific keyword or short phrase. • Modern tactics consider how search has changed. • Shift focus to topic clusters and content relationships (via hyperlinks) to spot content creation and optimization opportunities. • Use ranking as a benchmark not your main KPI. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  39. 39. Google Search Console provides Google search analytics insights including impressions, CTR, average ranking position, specific queries and which page URLs ranked for those queries. Tools You Can Use
  40. 40. Alexa offers tools that measure who has the most “Keyword Share of Voice””. Tools You Can Use Keyword Share of Voice = the percentage of searches for a keyword that sent traffic to a website.
  41. 41. Check Out the Competition • What do your top competitors rank for organically? • What insights can you glean from their ranking results? • Do you have other online competition you hadn’t considered before? • Are the top ranking sites difficult to beat? • Are your shared keywords/phrases difficult to rank for? • What topic niches could you ”own” that they don’t?
  42. 42. Alexa, SEM Rush, Moz, HubSpot, and others provide various competitor assessment tools to evaluate metrics like: • Domain authority • Inbound links • Current rank • Related topics • Ranked pages Tools You Can Use
  43. 43. Alexa and SpyFu have nifty tools that help discover new online competitors with audience and keyword overlap. Tools You Can Use
  44. 44. Tools You Can Use Moz, Alexa, SEM Rush, and others also have keyword assessment tools to evaluate estimated metrics like: • Search volume • Keyword difficulty • Organic CTR • Related topics/keyword suggestions
  45. 45. Second Warning! • Don’t get hyper-focused on rank for a specific keyword or short phrase. • Create quality content geared to help your visitors instead of trying to game search engines. • Use ranking as a benchmark not your main KPI. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  46. 46. Tools You Can Use HubSpot new Content Strategy tool doesn’t ignore keywords but focuses users toward: • Topic clusters • Sub-topic and main topic content relationships • Content gaps and opportunities
  47. 47. Swag Time #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  48. 48. #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com Back to Winning Keyword Research Strategy
  49. 49. Consider all your previous prep and research üCurrent state üCompetitors üNiche opportunities üBuyer personas üBuyer‘s journey Create a Topics-Content-Keyword Map
  50. 50. • Select your main focus and secondary topics and keywords üRelated to your expertise üWhat you want to be known for üCatered to potential searches by your persona üConsidering search volume and difficulty üConsidering potential SERP features Create a Topics-Content-Keyword Map
  51. 51. •Map your topics to existing content üMain site pages üBlog posts üAdded media •Identify any major content gaps üPrimary “Pillar Pages“ üSupporting sub-topics Create a Topics-Content-Keyword Map
  52. 52. X Don’t “keyword stuff” pages with a single keyword. ü Use keyword groups clustered around a specific topic. ü Choose a primary keyword representing your #1 ranking goal for each page ü Choose a secondary “long-tail” keyword ü Choose related supporting keywords ü Evaluate additional content needs Content Optimization Tips
  53. 53. Q&A #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com
  54. 54. Future Meetup Dates Planned • Q2 - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 • Q3 - Thursday, September 13, 2018 • Q4 - Thursday, November 8, 2018 Add these to your calendars! INBOUND 2018: September 4-7, 2018 Boston, MA #KnoxHUG knoxville.hubspotusergroups.com HUG NEWS

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