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While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rolling out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search, and that is Keyword strategy. 

While the need to develop a keyword strategy has stayed the same, how you do it hasn’t. Finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines intending to use that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization, is all that keyword strategies entail.

A modern SEO keyword strategy must focus on intent and how valuable they are to your business. Here are some tips to help you devise and execute a functional keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you care about.

Make a List of Relevant Topics

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You can come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important and admissible to your content. 

If you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they’re the topics that come up the most in sales conversations. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas. What types of topics would your target audience search for? Those are the topics that you’d want your business to get found for.

Find Your Keywords

  • Keyword research is usually the most important step towards achieving a legit SEO strategy. You can’t do much without knowing what keywords your target market is using to find solutions to the problems that your company solves. 

Using the topics noted in the first step, you will need to get keywords. This requires a little research. You need to step inside the shoes of the potential customer of your product or service. How would you find solutions to your problem? What would you search for in your search engine?  

One of the best ways to find fitting keywords is by using Google Suggest. To do this just start typing a keyword into Google’s search field, and it will populate a list of suggestions. These usually make great keywords for SEO because they come straight from Google.

This means you know for sure that people are searching for them. Plus, longer keywords, known as long-tail keywords, tend to be less competitive than “short tail” terms.

For example:
SEO – is a single word search phrase.
– SEO Agency London is 2-3 word search phrase.
SEO Services Company in London is a long-tail keyword.

Type in different keywords until you have an extensive list of other keywords. If you want to check out the search volume and competition levels for those terms, you can use a keyword tool such as
Ubersuggest.

Factors For Choosing Keywords

You cannot just choose keywords and expect your content to rank for them, you must curate keywords for:

  • Relevance

Google ranks content for relevance. This is where the concept of search intent comes in. Your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the readers’ needs. In addition, your content must be the best resource out there for the query. After all, why would Google rank your content higher if it provides less value than other content that exists on the web?

  • Authority

Google will provide more weight to sources it deems authoritative. That means you must do all you can in terms of keywords to become an authoritative source by enriching your site with helpful, informative content and promoting that content to earn social signals and backlinks. 

  • Volume

You may end up ranking on the first page for a specific keyword, but if no one ever searches for it, it will not result in traffic to your site. Kind of like setting up shop in a ghost town.

Analyze Google's First Page

So you have already found a handful of keywords. Now it’s time to see who already ranks for those keywords. To do that, just type one of the words that you found into Google.

Scan the top ten results and jot down any patterns that you notice. For example, you may notice that the first page results are predominantly frequented by list posts. If you wanted to cover that topic on your site, you’d probably want to publish a list post.

Research Related Search Terms

This is a creative step you may have already thought of when doing keyword research. If not, it’s a great way to fill out those keyword lists.

If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching about a specific topic, take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword into Google. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.

Use Keyword Research Tools To Your Advantage

Keyword research and SEO tools such as SEMrush, and Ubersuggest can help you put forward more keyword ideas based on exact match keywords and phrase match keywords based on the ideas you’ve generated up to this point. This exercise might give you alternatives that you might not have considered.

SEO tools also work to your advantage if you’d like to find how competitive your keywords are.

Create Something Different or Better

You already have your keywords. Now it’s time to create some super high-quality content. Sometimes you want to forge something bigger and better than what’s out there but other times it’s better to create something different from what’s there. The key here is to use your marketing spidey sense and create engaging content that is valuable to your target market. 

Valuable content includes content that answers the questions that your buyers have, provides them with insights they can use and educates them so they can be better at what they do. The right keyword strategy helps your content stand out. Your aim should always be to create something that’s simply better than what’s already ranking on the first page of Google?

Bonus Tip: Be sure you don’t overlook your pages’ URLs because they’re important for your SEO. This is where your keyword research comes in handy. Using the most common and most searched appropriate keywords in your URL is a sure way of generating traffic for your site. If you are not conversant with keyword strategies, you can seek SEO training and courses created and delivered by Clickslice. These will come in handy in handling all your SEO problems.

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