Keyword Research and Selection


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Step by step keyword research guide

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Keyword Research and Selection

  1. 1. Keyword Research and Selection The Definitive Guide to Gathering, Sorting and Organizing Your Keywords into a High-Performance SEO Campaign
  2. 2. From this To this
  3. 3. Introduction Why is it so darn important? <ul><li>Helps you know where your audience is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do they search? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What words do they use? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s their intent? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helps you know who your audience is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right keyword, wrong audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right audience, different keyword searches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helps you target your audience properly </li></ul>SEARCH
  4. 4. Introduction Keywords are foundational <ul><li>Essential for all marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Before you begin… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research, research, research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the time to do it right </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Introduction Not all keywords are equal <ul><li>Low volume keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Produce little or no search traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No traffic = no sales </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poorly targeted keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May produce lots of traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-targeted traffic = fewer sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller amounts of targeted traffic vs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Larger amounts of untargeted traffic </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Introduction It ain’t easy doing it right <ul><li>Quality keyword research is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes difficult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually time-consuming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stay focused </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze carefully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target thoughtfully </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Phase I Finding Core Terms
  8. 8. Phase I: Finding Core Terms What is a core term? <ul><li>Represent page topic </li></ul><ul><li>Two words (sometimes three) </li></ul><ul><li>Broad but still on target </li></ul><ul><li>Few qualifiers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep term from being too broad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay within niche </li></ul></ul>Bag Sports bag Baby bedding Garage plans School supplies Kids ski clothing Cost segmentation Battery Motorcycle battery Battery chargers Flowmeters Snowmobile clothing Plastic key cards
  9. 9. <ul><li>Words that are too broad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are they searching for? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Won’t produce targeted traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t provide ROI </li></ul></ul>Phase I: Finding Core Terms What’s not a core term? bag
  10. 10. Phase I: Finding Core Terms How to find core terms <ul><li>Step 1: Pour through the website </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Step 2: Brainstorm </li></ul>Phase I: Finding Core Terms How to find core terms <ul><ul><li>What can I find in thesauri, taxonomies and ontologies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the average customer searching for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are my visitors trying to accomplish? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What terms are used in industry glossaries and reference materials? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What solutions do I provide? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there any geographical phrases that are relevant? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What terminology describes problems I solve? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What related categories can I find in search directories? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What questions are my visitors asking? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Phase I: Finding Core Terms How to find core terms <ul><li>Step 3: Comb through competitors websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignore what you don’t offer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid trademarked terms </li></ul></ul>TM
  13. 13. <ul><li>Step 4: Use keyword research tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search out other core terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scan results for something new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for new core terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New words not previously found </li></ul></ul></ul>Phase I: Finding Core Terms How to find core terms
  14. 14. Phase I: Finding Core Terms How to find core terms <ul><li>Step 5: Analytics & server logs </li></ul>
  15. 15. Phase I: Finding Core Terms How much is enough? <ul><li>There is no magic number </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Might have 10 or 10,000! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Terms may change over time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some added </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some removed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not all will be valuable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will know more during analysis phase </li></ul></ul>teacher supplies teaching supplies free teacher supplies teacher supply stores teacher supply free teaching supplies teacher supply store elementary teacher supplies
  16. 16. Phase I: Finding Core Terms Four factors of prioritization
  17. 17. Phase I: Finding Core Terms Look beyond “right now” <ul><li>Current exposure factors into current sales </li></ul>
  18. 19. Phase II Researching Search Phrases
  19. 20. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases What is a search phrase? <ul><li>Stemmed variation of the core term </li></ul><ul><li>Core term with attached modifiers </li></ul><ul><li>Stemmed variation of the core term with modifiers </li></ul><ul><li>Any group of words that contain the core term </li></ul>
  20. 21. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases How to find search phrases <ul><li>The time factor </li></ul>
  21. 22. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases How to find search phrases <ul><li>The research factor </li></ul>
  22. 23. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases How to find search phrases <ul><li>The deletion factor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove phrases with bogus words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate phrases that change meaning of intent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete unrelated terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep if unsure </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases How to find search phrases <ul><li>The split / combo factor </li></ul>
  24. 25. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases Combining core terms <ul><li>When to combine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer than 10 good phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exception for niche industries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All phrases are low search volume </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to combine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group most similar together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid inconsistent spellings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verify on-page unity </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Phase II: Researching Search Phrases Splitting into sub-core groups <ul><li>When to split </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 150 phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See dozens of similar qualifiers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualifiers with similar meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Split as often as makes sense </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10-15 similar qualifiers </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Researching Search Phrases Search phrase spreadsheet
  27. 28. Phase III Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords
  28. 29. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Phrase types
  29. 30. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Single word phrases <ul><li>High volume, low targeted traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-refined searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Haven’t qualified search yet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Searchers re-do searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces poor results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low ROI </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic does not equal sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effort too great for results </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Multi-word phrases <ul><li>Lower search volume, Higher targeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More conversions than higher searched terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More opportunities for exposure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple word combinations means more visibility </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 32. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Multiple phrase variations <ul><li>Plurals, singulars and stems </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ s,” “es,” “ing,” “ed,” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Changed word order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pontiac used car </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>used pontiac car </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t focus on word order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use exact core phrase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use additional words independently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure copy flows </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Localized phrases <ul><li>Geo-targeting improves conversions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates calls and emails from non-local customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focuses your time on target audience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add geo-qualifiers as necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific market segments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>City, county, state, zip, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Keywords that convert <ul><li>Analyze for convertability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Searcher intent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet searcher need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer that specific product or service? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adidas should not optimize for “air jordan” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t target “discount” if you don’t offer it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t optimize “cheap” if you’re not </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Eliminate phrases that don’t convert </li></ul>
  34. 35. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Measurable search volume <ul><li>Actively searched phrases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No searches = no traffic = no sales </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When is no volume OK </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different tools produce different results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inaccurate data in niche industries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo targeted terms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start with lower-hanging fruit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier for newer sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quicker results on less competitive phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add competitive phrases as site strength builds </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Informational queries <ul><li>Answers “about” type questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to create a gift basket” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Best digital camera” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Where to board in Nevada” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Target as secondary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draws additional traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers turn to shoppers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides opportunity for links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Product reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product comparisons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How-to articles </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Analyzing phrases for quality <ul><li>What is the customer looking for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the query clear? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future / seasonal trends? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s missing in SERPs? </li></ul><ul><li>Where’s the ROI? </li></ul>
  37. 39. Analyzing and Eliminating Keywords Don’t rely on your own analysis <ul><li>Seek out additional opinions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients </li></ul></ul>
  38. 40. Researching Search Phrases Search phrase spreadsheet
  39. 41. Phase IV Organizing Keywords for Success
  40. 42. <ul><li>Keywords are just the parts </li></ul>Organizing Keywords for Success Making SEO successful
  41. 43. Organizing Keywords for Success Organize for performance
  42. 44. Organizing Keywords for Success Assigning core terms to pages <ul><li>Analyze each page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave out product pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write down page topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wedding rings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Men’s wedding rings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s wedding rings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duffel bags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wheeled duffel bags </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Large duffel bags </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Assign core terms as appropriate </li></ul>
  43. 45. Organizing Keywords for Success Build additional content pages <ul><li>When more keywords than content… </li></ul>Create more entry points!
  44. 46. Organizing Keywords for Success Segmenting keywords <ul><li>Looking for general information </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t know what they really want </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize on higher-level category pages and articles </li></ul><ul><li>Have narrowed down to product type </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing features </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize on category and comparison pages </li></ul><ul><li>Have specific product in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for trustworthy place to buy </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize on specific product pages </li></ul>
  45. 47. Organizing Keywords for Success Search phrase spreadsheet
  46. 48. Organizing Keywords for Success Grouping phrases for on-page SEO <ul><ul><ul><li>Each page can target 5-15 phrases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group qualifiers with similar meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group qualifiers that are related </li></ul></ul>cheap discount bargain elegant designer modern vintage antique old baseball basketball football 14 volt 18 volt 24 volt
  47. 49. Organizing Keywords for Success Let the content guide keywords
  48. 50. Organizing Keywords for Success Search phrase spreadsheet
  49. 51. Conclusion
  50. 52. Conclusion Don’t rush <ul><li>Keyword research is an important process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take your time to do it thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rushing leads to mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes mean poor SEO performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Lay the foundation with the best keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater chance for SEO success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less cluttered pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better audience targeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved conversion rates </li></ul></ul>
  51. 53. All good? Or…?
  52. 54. Thank You!