We spoke with Marca Global® Digital Marketing Analyst Leslie K. about how to best utilize keyword tools to identify the right keywords for your online marketing strategy. Here are some insider SEO tips for finding search phrases that will enhance your authority and improve your brand’s reach on the web.
When it comes to keyword research, where’s a good place to begin?
“When I am starting out on a new project, the first thing I do is identify my competitors’ websites,” says Leslie. “If I’m not sure who my competitors are, I will Google search terms—keywords—that are relevant to my product or service and see what pops up.
Once I have created a list of who I think are my top competitors, I input my domain into a keyword tool like SEMRush and see what additional competitors it identifies for me and add any of those that are relevant to my list.”
So, now that you know your competition online, what happens next?
“From there, I use keyword tools found on sites such as MOZ, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMRush to analyze the keywords that my competitors and I are currently ranking for,” says Leslie. “I go back and forth within the keyword tool looking at keywords that are unique to each domain, as well as where they overlap.
I also analyze which keywords my competitors are paying for—if I can get data for that—to see if any of those might be worth using as well.”
How do you determine which keywords you want to use?
“I create a database based on keywords that I know I want to increase my rank for. I base this off of the volume, difficulty, my current rank for each keyword, my competitors’ current rankings and the trend. Most keyword tools will provide all of this information.
The most important factor in choosing keywords to make your top priority is where you currently rank. Nearly 80% of initial clicks on a Google search for a keyword land on the top three search results—with 30-35% on number one, 17-20% on number two, 12-15% on number three and 7-10% on number four.
Therefore, it is most beneficial to try to boost your rank to the top four positions by focusing on keywords for which those positions are attainable.”
What do you do with keywords once they are chosen?
“I make a map of my websites’ pages and assign specific keywords to each page, careful to avoid keyword cannibalism along the way,” says Leslie. “For example, if you have a homepage—and then your second tier navigation splits into your ‘About Us,’ ‘Services’ and ‘Locations’ pages—you wouldn’t want to try and rank for the same keyword on your ‘Locations’ page as you do on your ‘About Us’ page.
If you do, this makes both pages compete for the same rank, essentially cutting your efforts in half.
I also segment out keywords that are trend specific. For example, let’s say you decide on “best summer rompers” as a keyword you want to rank for. This keyword would not be appropriate in the wintertime, as people aren’t searching that term in the winter. I would identify this by the trend section of my keyword tool and make a note of when this keyword is appropriate to incorporate back into my SEO strategy.”
How often do you adjust your keyword research strategy? Is it a constant process?
“It absolutely is ongoing. I always monitor my chosen keywords and my competitors keywords with weekly reports so I can see what new keywords I may be ranking for—as well as any keywords my competitors have picked up.
I also monitor trends of keywords. If I see something that is going down over time, I will drop it out of my target list.
Additionally, I make sure I’m up-to-date on industry news so I can capitalize on hot keywords for new material—such as blog posts—that won’t be integrated into my main site, but will act as supplemental keywords based on the current landscape.”
For help designing a custom digital marketing strategy that boosts your business and feeds your bottom line, visit Marca Global® online today.