Best practices for Keyword Research

It was August 24, 2013 when a big change in search algorithm was rolled out by Google and surprisingly no one noticed it. When on September 26, 2013, Google officially announced about the “Humming birdalgorithm;  only then internet marketers realized the onus of change that had already begun. Just before that Google had also replaced it’s famous free tool “Keyword Tool” with “Keyword Planner”.

Although Keyword Planner is not paid tool but it requires a registration with Google Ad-words. SEO specialists were shocked and started exploring Keyword Planner but it did not meet the expectations. Google had not allowed search queries with different match type (broad/phrase/exact) options & the option of device being used for the search query  (desktop/mobile/tabs) was also missing.

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According to Matt Cutt, Google, Head Web Spam Policy , they wanted the web to be more natural & secure about user’s search behavior. After some time, Google came back with secure search. It had given biggest shock to internet marketers as in the Google Analytics report one finds that around 80 % keywords are “Not Provided”.

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So now, you cannot find which keywords led users to your site. Do you agree that Google is making internet marketing a tough job? It’s up to you to tackle it but we have to do proper keyword research before starting any marketing activity for creating successful online presence.

So how do we  go about this?

Let’s take a scenario, where you have to interact with a client. I discuss here a very basic strategy and will drill down more research on it later on in this post.

  • Sit with your client and ask him to describe his business in lay man language. Don’t forget to write down important phrases and jargons used by him.
  • Now use a keyword research tool and explore phrases and jargons received earlier to create a cloud of prospective keywords. There are few free as well as paid versions available for this research. I personally admire keywordspy or you can go for keywordeye for building your keyword lists. Include every keyword that you dig in your research.
  • In next step, you will go for refining your list in new sheet (Don’t delete any data). As per your list you divide your keywords in three categories (a) Primary Keywords (b) Long tail Keywords (c) Money Keyword
  • Now using any keyword tool, you check search volume and competition level against each keyword.
  • It’s time to define your organic search strategy. Understand one thing very carefully: as your domain becomes older and your back link size increases(Check your D.A. by Moz.com), it will be easy for you to rank well in Google search. So if your site is new and you want to come on top of  SERPs , then go for long tail keywords with lower competition.
  • In your on-site optimization (update its quarterly), define titles, headings and URLs (rewrite if necessary) with targeted keywords and also update content of page as per keyword. (Be careful about optimization & over optimization of page)
  • I am sure you know that primary keywords always have very high competition so use them in your blog pages.

Now It’s time to test the success of your keyword research and take corrective actions if required. So how do we go about this? I do this by Google Webmaster tool (free) as well as Google Adwords (search network campaigns).

Let’s start with Google Webmaster Tools

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Webmaster tool is good as it tells us rough estimate about search queries which led to our site and their respective positions. Now, It’s up to you to plan SEO for your site. It has been seen that if your site is present at number 1 position for a search query then chances of click(CTR) on that is around 80 % and for second and third position is it around 10 % and 4 % respectively. So you easily understand the value of first position. Now from here, you can check your long tail keywords which are on first page of Google search and works upon only them and make them reach at number one position in SERPs. Your page visits will increase soon from organic search.

Now , If you would like to explore more in this process, then you can check your advertisement campaign with Google Adwords, surprisingly Google shows “Matched Search Queries” report which will help you a lot to plan your long tail keywords as well as  site content.

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Now, you will be very happy to see this but it is generated from paid campaigns so you have to plan basic keyword research before this campaign. In above screenshot, you will find 6250 queries are there which led users to reach the site.

Therefore, the entire strategy must be carefully implemented from step one.

Best of luck! 🙂

Stay tuned for learning more informative & practical approaches to Digital Marketing.

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