Keyword research can make or break your SEO campaign. Choosing the wrong keywords can cause a drop in quality website traffic and/or cause user frustration; but choose the correct keywords and users are happy, quality traffic increases, and leads and sales grow.
Much like other SEO strategies, keyword research and audience expansion has evolved to a level that goes well beyond just analyzing “keyword search volume.”
With many SEO’s and marketing teams simply looking as search volume when choosing keywords, they are missing the big picture of keyword targeting for SEO.
Below you will find seven other data points that are more valuable to add to your strategy for choosing keywords.
1. The Conversion Value and ROI
Search volume is pointless if the users that land on your website don’t convert. When determining the value of a keyword, you need to understand its potential conversion value.
Conversion rate can best be determined by examining your PPC campaigns or digging into your Google Analytics data – as long as you have conversion tracking or goals setup.
A few conversion points to report upon are:
- Email signup
- Product sale
- Lead submission
- Ad click
2. The Value To Your Brand Messaging
One of the challenges that business have when they start to scale is keeping the original brand values intact, and making sure that each team member is representing the brand in a consistent way. A few questions you might use to determine if the topic is “on-brand” include:
- Does the keyword represent the brand in a positive way?
- Would you talk about the product or brand using this keyword?
- Does it align with the brand positioning and tone of voice?
3. The Persona Value
To define and target audiences, traditional advertising (print, radio, TV) uses simple demographic data such as age range, circulation, or reach. In the digital marketing world we go many steps deeper by defining personas.
Personas help us understand who your users are and what they value, so we can better target their specific needs and wants. If you’re unfamiliar with personas you can check out our guide to personas.
When choosing keywords make sure they align with the needs or wants of one or more of the personas that you’ve defined. This will ensure that, when the page ranks, you are reaching the correct user type that you’ve defined for your website.
4. The Trending Value
Having a good mix of evergreen content topics and timely content topics is important for long-term growth, while still staying relevant. So when we analyze if a keyword will be a good fit to target we like to determine if it’s an “evergreen topic” or a “timely topic.”
Evergreen topics have long lasting value, so when looking at the trend, it should be pretty consistent throughout the year.
Timely topics are seasonal or more focused on current events or news coverage.
You can use Google Trends to gain insights into; what type of topic it might be, is it trending, does it show consistent growth, or is it a seasonal keyword target.
5. The Competitive Difficulty Value
When determining the value of a keyword topic it’s important to understand – based on analyzing the organic search competitors – what it will take to rank for that keyword . We like to try and answer the following questions:
- What are your organic competitors (they may be different than your brand competitors) to compete for this keyword?
- What type of content are they creating?
- Do you have a chance to compete on the target keyword or would you be better off targeting a related keyword?
6. The Sales Funnel Value
When creating an asset, it’s important to understand which part of the user journey you’re trying to target. Are you trying to target the user in their research phase, purchase phase, or working simply to retain them?
Funnel value can play an important role in not only defining the topic, but also defining the type of asset that would work best to accomplish your goal.
Below you will find a chart that outlines what type of content works best for each part of the sales funnel.
7. The Social Media and Engagement Value
Finally, because social media plays such a vital part in so many go to market strategies, it’s important to know whether the topic has social value.
You can use a tool such as Buzz Sumo to find content that has a high engagement rate across social media platforms. This tool answers questions such as:
- Do people like sharing content similar to what you’re creating?
- Has other content about this topic been shared often on social media?
- How much engagement can you expect if you create a valuable piece of content?
By utilizing these seven other data points in your keyword research strategy, your website will start to target keywords that speak directly to your core users.
We wouldn’t expect someone to go from using one or two of these targets to using all seven overnight. What we would suggest is when you’re searching for your next keyword topic, try including some of these other variables in your analysis to help better focus your keyword and meet your users expectations.
If you need help defining a keyword or audience expansion strategy feel free to contact our CEO directly.