You won’t see SEO success without intentional keyword optimization. But how do you know which keywords to target? Below we practice keyword identification exercises to show you how to choose the right keywords to execute your goals.
Why SEO Keywords Matter
Keywords and keyword rankings are important components of your SEO strategy if you know which keywords to target. Keyword optimization affects your rankings, but before you begin, you must know why you’ve chosen your targeted keywords.
Defining your SEO goals is the first step in choosing your keywords. Ask yourself why you want to rank for the keywords you’ve chosen. Your keyword selection should stem from your business goals.
Once you’ve clearly defined your goals, work from there to build your SEO strategy. Identify your targets, then explore the content that converts for your business. Select topics relevant to your users, then implement high-intent keywords in your content.
Optimize your content for keywords that convert, and you’ll earn the right kind of traffic: the kinds that help you meet your goals.
The 5-Level SEO Keyword Hierarchy
The ultimate goal for defining and refining keywords is getting the informational keywords to actionable keywords. Users search for informational keywords to learn more about a product or service. Actionable or transactional keywords are those that are most likely to result in a conversion.
Defining your keywords allows you to create content and build SEO that helps you get the results you want. To define your actionable keywords, start with high-level keywords.
These are very much keywords that will probably not be directly targeted but instead used to identify keywords that can be used to fill the top of the funnel for B2B marketing or get a user to your B2C eCommerce website.
A high-level keyword is one a user typically searches early on in their buying journey. High-level keywords have high search volume and a lot of competition. Consumers search high-level keywords in the research phase of their search.
The best keywords have a high search volume, and user intent is informational. A lot of people are looking for these keywords, and it’s proven to help with information gathering and consideration. To get to these more specific phrases, start with a high-level topic and base keyword set.
Most of the time, it won’t make sense for you to target a base or high-level keyword. For example, Nissan doesn’t want to target cars. That term is too generic. Car is a base or high-level keyword here, and to convert, you need to modify it. Explore modifiers that bring your base keyword to an actionable keyword.
Actionable Intent Keywords
Actionable or transactional keywords signal that a user is ready to make a purchase. These keywords are longer and more specific than high-level keywords.
An example of an actionable keyword search is “electric car.” This phrase gets less search volume than its base keyword, “car,” and it brings the user closer to their purchase.
Long Tail High-Intent Keywords
Consider ways to take this actionable keyword even further: “electric car getting 300 miles per charge.” Now you’ve arrived at a longtail keyword. Users are searching longtail or high-intent keywords when they know what they want and are prepared to buy.
Understanding the needs of your target user and your SEO goals allows you to optimize for high-intent, actionable keywords that convert.
Users often search very specific keyword phrases when they have an issue that needs a solution. Problem-based keywords are at the bottom of the sales funnel, and they tend to be more emotion-based: they hit home for your target user.
These keyword phrases are highly specific. You can implement problem-based keywords into your content or your FAQs to target a specific user with urgent needs which you can meet immediately or quickly.
Check out this example of a problem-based keyword: “My pipe just burst under my sink.”
This user is searching for a plumber who can come quickly and can repair a specific problem. Problem keywords are highly detailed. Content optimized for your problem keywords should clearly and thoroughly provide solutions. In this case, the content shouldn’t be thin with simple instructions like “call a plumber.” Give actionable steps the user can take. For example, a bulleted list of how to mitigate or stop the leak ending with a call to action not only provides real-time help but directs them to a solution to their problem: an emergency plumber.
Understanding How Users Consume Content
Now that you’ve walked through a few keyword ID exercises, you have an idea of how to choose the right keywords for your content. But keywords aren’t the only component of content that converts. Thoughtful structuring of your content and your pages is crucial for your SEO success.
The needs of your user dictate the structure of your content. Most of the time, a consumer doesn’t read your content word-for-word; they’re going to scan until they find the information they’re looking for.
This is especially true when the user is urgently searching for information. Let’s revisit the scenario above where the user searches “My pipe just burst under my sink.” Instead of a 1,000-word article on leak prevention, give them a clear, concise article that they can easily consume even amid their chaotic situation. They don’t have the time to read through an in-depth article about what to do when a pipe bursts.
However, consider the keyword ID exercise for sites targeting electric-car shoppers. Someone researching electric cars has time to evaluate their options. You can publish longer, more in-depth content, including videos, to earn traffic from this type of user.
Regardless of who you’re targeting, you must be in tune with their needs. Create content that meets their needs at the moment.
Identifying the most valuable keywords for your content –– as well as when and where to use them –– empowers you to implement successful SEO that achieves your goals. Linchpin SEO’s experts will work with you to define those goals then formulate a keyword strategy that delivers the results you expect from a firm with 20 years of digital marketing experience.
Contact Team Linchpin today to see how our SEO services can make a difference in your online presence.