In the last episode of T-Time we looked at the various keyword research tools for SEO, and how each one is useful for different purposes. This follow-up episode focuses on how you can improve your keyword research and analysis for SEO. This involves analysing, organising and prioritising keywords from your research into a strategic list, which you can then work through to establish both the keywords you should optimise your web pages for and those which you should consider writing articles, guides and blog content around.
In this SEO keyword research T-Time show:
- Organising your keyword research
- Analysing buyer intent in keywords
- Creating a content plan
- Choosing your primary keywords
Organise your keyword research
(1:36) By now you should have done your keyword research and pooled all of the keywords retrieved from various sources into one big spreadsheet. The next thing you need to do in keyword research and analysis for SEO is group your keywords into categories.
Let’s use the ‘fish tank’ example from last week’s T-Time again. The best way to start is by grouping the ‘generic’ search terms (i.e. ‘fish tank sale’, ‘small fish tank’, ‘cheap fish tanks’) which have a high search volume but perhaps not the highest intent behind them because they don’t necessarily relate to specific products on your site. Depending on what you think is necessary for your site, you could either optimise individual pages to rank for each search term, or a single page to rank for multiple search terms.
After collating the generic search terms, organise the higher-intent keywords relating to specific products into smaller groups. You are likely to come across a lot of repeated keywords, even if they are not verbatim copies of one another – for example, ‘3ft fish tank’ and ‘fish tank 3ft’. Google will recognise that these are just variations of a keyword, so it will not be necessary for you to build a page around each of these keywords – if anything, doing that may result in you being penalised for duplicate content.
(05:10) When you go deeper into your keyword research, you’re likely to find search traffic for terms that you can probably end up combining to make new, long-tail keywords. Take a keyword like ‘4ft fish tank’ – can you do deeper keyword research around that term to find variations such as ‘4ft fish tank for sale’, ‘4ft freshwater fish tank’, ‘4ft fish tank with stand’ and so on?
Eventually, what initially seemed like a low-priority keyword becomes a top-level term which you can capitalise on by creating a hierarchy of longer-tail keywords.
Analyse buyer intent in keywords
(07:22) Broadly speaking, all of the search terms you have gathered should be high-intent keywords to varying extents, but the likelihood of someone converting on your site after entering a search term like ‘cheap fish tanks’ is still comparatively low because of the vagueness of the word ‘cheap’. However, don’t disregard these terms just yet because they still have worth through their high search volumes.
When you start getting into the specifics of your keyword research (i.e. 4ft fish tank), you’ll probably notice the search volume decreasing, but this is likely down to the user having already done some preliminary research into what they’re looking to buy. Therefore, they are much closer to a buying decision and this drives up the conversion rate for the longer-tail keywords.
When you head even further into your long-tail keywords (i.e. 4ft tropical fish tank), the conversion rate for these terms is higher still, assuming you sell these products. If you don’t sell these products then your conversion rate will obviously decrease – this is on top of other factors which could negatively impact your conversion rate, such as comparatively high prices on the market, hidden delivery charges and slow website speed. We will address the wider topic of conversion rate optimisation in a future T-Time show, so make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel.
Create a content plan
(09:38) Once you start to develop a better understanding of the intent behind your keywords, you’ll also become more aware of the structure your site and its pages should take, as well as what your title and header tags (H1s, H2s and so on) should be. It is then your job to apply your expertise and market knowledge to fill in the blanks.
Going back to your spreadsheet of keywords, you may notice search terms with question marks around their intent. For example, ‘fish tank cleaner’ sounds like a product search, while ‘fish tank cleaning’ could have several meanings – it could be a product search again but it could also be a research query (i.e. ‘how do I clean my fish tank?’). The best thing to do in this situation? Google it!
Depending on the term you’re likely to get results in a number of different formats, from Google Shopping Ads to Google My Business listings. In this scenario Google is clearly trying to sell you a product related to ‘fish tank cleaning’, but another one of the top results when you search that term is an organically placed blog post. This means that the author of the blog post has successfully optimised their content for the keyword ‘fish tank cleaning’ and as a reward they have earned prime placement for that search term:
If you receive a mix of ads and content for your search term, then it means that Google is similarly unsure of the intent behind the keyword. This goes to show that just a few different characters in the keyword can lead to dramatic variations in the search engine results.
Where you might have previously grouped ‘fish tank cleaner’ and ‘fish tank cleaning’ for their initial similarities, this process of keyword analysis for SEO has exposed different intents behind them – there’s no reason for you to not write a great blog post about fish tank cleaning and link through to product pages for your fish tank cleaner products within it.
(14:45) As touched upon in the previous T-Time, you can then also use Google’s Suggestions to build another hierarchy of blog content around fish tank cleaning which you can use to support your product pages through internal linking.
Your blog content doesn’t necessarily have to support your products either – if you notice a research query that is relevant to your field and gets a certain level of monthly traffic, then it’s still worth capitalising on that traffic by writing content to address these queries and build your brand trust. It’s content like this which will help get some quick traffic to your website, which you then may be able to take advantage of by introducing your products and encouraging users to explore your site further.
Choose your primary keywords
(20:22) Once your keywords are properly organised and grouped, the last part of keyword research and analysis for SEO is to determine which search term is going to be your primary keyword, also known as a ‘focus keyword’, for each page. This is the main keyword that you want a page to rank for and this will determine what your title tag (H1), image alt tags and bodytext should contain.
As an example, let’s take this group of four keywords with their respective search volumes:
‘Fish tank stand’ or ‘fish tank with stand’ – which are essentially the same term – would be the most appropriate primary keyword in this instance as it has the highest search volume. Terms like ‘aquarium stand’, along with any long-tail keywords you discover when you delve into keyword research on these terms, would ideally serve well as secondary keywords.
If you do your keyword research thoroughly, clearly organise your keywords in a single spreadsheet, examine the intent behind search terms, determine your primary keywords and properly optimise your site and pages for them, then getting a good ranking on Google will be a no-brainer.
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