There are plenty of articles out there emphasizing the importance of creating content for consumers, not search engines.
This information isn’t incorrect, but it only tells half of the story.
If your content doesn’t match any search phrases that real men and women use, you won’t receive any visitors from search engines.
And while publishing a keyword stuffed article is not a good idea, not taking the consumer’s search behavior into consideration isn’t a fantastic plan either.
So why is it that keywords really matter?
Being relevant to the user’s search intent means being in the top results
When Google ranks sites in the search results, it utilizes the simple logic: the best answers come first.
Because of this, it puts the websites with the content that’s most applicable to a specific search query to the peak of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). That is the main reason why Google has started working on the breeding charts.
In brief, by building a huge database, Google would like to better understand how various search terms are linked to one another to show users the most relevant sites.
As an example, a keyword ‘Venus’ might be related not just to some planet in the Solar system, but also to the Roman goddess of love. However, currently, Google is revealing the sites that are related to the planet first, which is probably depending on the frequency of their similar lookup questions.
According to the Ubersuggest, the majority of the search questions containing the phrase’Venus’ are associated with the world, rather than the mythology. Thus, the traffic generated by the planet-related terms radically exceeds the traffic in the mythology-related terms.
This case illustrates why you need to do keyword research before creating content: assessing the websites that are currently appearing in Google for your targeted search phrases helps you better understand your consumer’s search intent.
Shifting from a 100% match to broader topics makes your content more relevant to the user’s search intent
The old-school strategy to SEO required using a specific keyword match to make the content rank to get a corresponding search query.
But following the Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013 and also the initiation of the RankBrain machine learning system from 2015, the circumstance and the semantic meaning of a research query came into the limelight (as opposed to a certain phrase in the keyword phrase).
The new ranking system gave rise to a new strategy in SEO: rather than adding particular keywords, content is supposed to be focusing on search and topics circumstance, describing it exhaustively and in detail.
Of course, search intent needs to be considered as well because some queries simply don’t require an exhaustive article — they require short answers.
To observe the difference between both of these approaches, take a look at the following list of key words.
Let us say, There’s a website that wants to rank for:
- Old photograph cameras
- Vintage cameras
- Antique camera
- Where to Purchase a classic camera
- Purchase old camera components
- The best way to fix a classic camera
- Vintage camera parts
- The best way to choose an older camera
- Classic photo camera available
- Most Common old camera
With the old-school approach, you’d be generating several parts of content containing all the targeted keywords.
The issue with this approach is that such content would unlikely be considered comprehensive by Google.
With the new strategy, you need to look’behind the phrases’ to analyze the research intentions of the consumer googling for a particular key word.
For example,’old photo cameras’,”classic cameras’ and’antique camera’ might be hunted for by someone who’s usually considering old-school photography equipment. In this case, you may require a wiki-like page list the hottest vintage photo cameras with their own descriptions.
Likewise,’buy old camera parts’,’how to repair a classic camera’ and’classic camera parts’ are likely searched by someone who’s in possession of an older camera that needs fixing.
Here, a comprehensive guide about the elements of the vintage cameras with advice on how best to repair them will be a match for all the 3 search questions.
To sum up this section, fulfilling the consumer’s search intent doesn’t necessarily mean adding an exact keyword to your content. Rather, you should focus on the semantic field, or a general topic, to this key word belongs, because this is exactly what the users are actually considering.
Skipping keyword research will result in zero organic traffic
Now that we’ve discussed the shift into broader issues and semantic groups, it is very important to mention the risks of skipping the keyword research process.
First of all, without running keyword research, you risk targeting keywords and search topics which are of small to zero interest to users.
Keywords without a search volume typically generate no organic traffic, irrespective of how valuable and comprehensive your articles are.
Another risk is investing in content production for keywords and topics that are simply too competitive.
This could include head phrases such as”SEO” or”Fishing”, to marginally more long-tail keywords and phrases that equally as aggressive on account of the revenue potential (think purchasing key words ) for example”buy digital slr.”
The SERPs for all those keywords are often occupied by exceptionally authoritative domain names, leaving little space for a newcomer.
To avoid this danger, you need to assess which search queries are currently searched for the most and get a sense of how hard they will be to rank for. Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool for keyword research since it allows you to view not just the prevalence of a specific word, but in addition, it offers some sign as to how hard it may be to rank for it.
From the Competition column, you can observe the degree of competition for a particular key word in the paid search, but in fact, it also represents the sophistication of advertising from the organic search. As an example, if the keyword has a high CPC price, it obviously generates earnings, which indicates that it may be more aggressive.
It’s worth noting that Google’s Keyword Planner is a portion of their ad platform, and as such their performance has been geared towards advertisers. Also, their”avg. Monthly hunts” metric is only an estimation.
Luckily, there are some great alternatives that include more functionality so that you may receive more pertinent data.
Make sure you check out David Hartshorne’s post on keyword research tools for a broader listing. These tools are much better suited to conventional and competitor-based keyword study.
It’s also important to assess which pages are currently visible in the SERPs for your target keywords.
Yes, that’s pretty obscure information but when you look at which pages Google is ranking, you can start to have a feel for what it takes to outrank them.
Now, you could simply search Google for this however they personalize results based on several factors. Including your place.
A much better approach is to use a third party tool such as the free AccuRanker ranking tracker software (disclosure — I perform for AccuRanker).
With this tool, you can select your nation, city and whether you need a desktop or mobile results.
This is especially helpful if you’re looking for rank in Google US results but you are from the UK, as an example.
As a quick example, here is a screenshot where you could see the domains that are looking on Google US for its target key word ‘keyword research’.
Here, the websites like Moz or Backlinko are likely to be difficult to outrank, and that is why it’s important to get acquainted with your contest.
Even if a keyword research program says that the competition level is Moderate, you need to understand precisely who you are standing against to evaluate your odds.
When you are just starting out, you’ll find it a lot easier to rank for longer long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are simply longer keywords. By way of example, instead of a key word (or search term ) consisting of 1 or 2 words, you may want to go for phrases comprising 3-5 words.
To get a more in-depth explanation, check out David Hartshorne’s article on a keyword search for newcomer’s.
Google still ranks pages based on the appearance of a targeted keyword in your page’s URL, title, meta description, and etc
There are numerous studies, such as this one by Backlinko, which show the connection between the keyword use in search-engine elements along with the page status in the SERP.
Although most of the page-level rank signals have not been officially supported by Google, many SEOs speculate about their importance and want to play safe by implementing all of these.
By way of instance, having an exact match of a keyword in a page name tag used to be an important ranking signal before the growth of semantics in the Google ranking algorithm, thus it had been used ubiquitously.
Nowadays, Google does not openly say it to be a necessity, however, there is a strong connection between the keyword use in the title and the page ranking position.
The only case once the specific match of a keyword is indispensable is when the keyword competition level is off the charts. To enter it, let us look at the Google US SERP for ‘keyword research tool’.
Wordstream has the specific keyword included into its URL, name tag and partially in the meta description. The next result’s image is similar: an exact keyword in the URL, title, and meta.
Even Google Keyword Planner’s page has the’keyword research’ in its title, and with a high probability, it might outrank Wordstream using the same keyword in its URL.
Studies show the pages which start their title, h1, and meta description tags with the particular keyword function better compared to the webpages that have the key word near the end of the tag.
Nevertheless, it’s important to look at that correlation doesn’t equal causation. Just because some studies show that a correlation between standing signals and results, does not mean they’re the cause.
But at the very least, it assists users to determine the significance of your articles and that will help satisfy search intent. Which is what Google is going for.
Here is the bottom line:
While there are a substantial number of potential ranking things that search engines use, using keyword research to inform your search-engine marketing efforts will help users to understand that your content is relevant for them. And this is a good thing.
How keyword research allows you to understand market demand
There are a lot of moving parts in a successful advertising strategy. As such, plenty of digital marketers don’t pay sufficient attention to keyword research.
What lots of people don’t realize is that keyword research can teach us a lot about general market demand.
Search queries tell a story and it’s up to us as entrepreneurs to understand that story. It may offer an endless source of high-quality traffic ideas, and also help us build new products and services to serve our users better.
While hunting for something on the internet, individuals always have a demand, even if it’s just an info hunt.
Quite frequently a need for information will eventually translate into a transactional search. If the offer looks like a good match for the consumers’ needs, it may result in a sale or at the very least, keep your brand top of mind when they’re ready.
So, the general trend is that individuals reflect the true market demand by searching for a specific keyword in Google.
Imagine using a digital advertising agency.
Running a business in this crowded market requires one to regularly assess the market need to stay on top of their tendencies.
In which case, keyword study allows you to collect ideas about particular locations that you could provide services in, and new services you could provide.
In electronic marketing, that may be content marketing, social media management or laser-targeting services such as ad management for Facebook or LinkedIn.
When you accumulate the keywords that are associated with the services that your business could be providing, you need to evaluate their organic traffic possible.
For instance, in Google US SERPs, the total monthly traffic of the search queries related to ‘Linkedin advertisements’ comes close to 14k while the’Facebook advertisements’ related questions exceed 340k in overall monthly visitors.
Now, it’s important to point out that those figures are typically estimates but it’s a good overall indicator.
Obviously, Facebook hunts are more popular, because LinkedIn is just relevant to B2B businesses while Facebook matches with the interests of almost any type of business.
The next crucial step would be to look at the websites that are currently showing for a certain group of keywords. Unlike analyzing the SERPs for a single key word, assessing the organic search results for a set of keywords allows you to perform bulk analysis and realize the entire image of your natural competition.
This procedure can be automated with the assistance of any place tracking tool that allows you to group the most observable domains automatically.
For instance, Here Is a screenshot from the Competitors overview report in the AccuRanker position tracker that allows you to view what websites occupy the top 10 organic positions for all of your key words:
How keyword research allows you to understand market demand
Over to you
As I’ve shown you in this post, key words still matter and key word study plays an important role in the SEO procedure.
Here are the primary 5 takeaways that best summarize what has been covered:
- Stay focused on satisfying the consumer’s search intent — Analyze what your users are looking for and instead of merely focusing on individual key words seem into the intent behind hunts.
- Produce content around closely related categories of keywords rather than exact-match keywords and phrases, and supply an in-depth perspective on the subjects that are of a greater interest to your audience;
- Don’t skip keyword research because you hazard targeting key words without search volume or an unapproachable competition level;
- Keyword-related rank signals aren’t officially confirmed to impact rankings, however, multiple studies prove that there’s a correlation — if this equals causation or not, it’s an important indicator of significance;
- Keyword study makes it possible for you to better understand the general market demand, which is ever-changing and requires continuous monitoring.
IEva Zelca is Head of Marketing at AccuRanker, where she is building the advertising department and forcing the marketing strategy. IEva is an international citizen, having lived in five countries: Latvia, UK, France, USA and Denmark, and has more than 7 decades of experience within Marketing from various industries including SaaS, tourism, hospitality, and apparel and fashion. She’s passionate about electronic marketing and assisting brands to grow.
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