There are plenty of articles on the market emphasizing the importance of producing content for consumers, not search engines.
This advice is not incorrect, but it only tells half of the story.
If your content does not match any search terms that real people use, you won’t get any traffic from search engines.
And while publishing a keyword packed article isn’t a fantastic idea, not accepting the consumer’s search behavior into consideration is not a good strategy.
So why do keywords actually 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 straightforward logic: best replies come.
Because of this, it places the sites using the content that’s most relevant to a specific search query to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). That’s the reason why Google has begun working on the breeding charts.
In brief, by building a massive database, Google wants to understand how various search terms are related to one another to show users the most relevant websites.
For instance, a key word ‘Venus’ might be related not only to a world in the Solar system but also to the Roman goddess of love. However, currently, Google is revealing the websites that are associated with the worldwide, which is probably based on the frequency of their similar search queries.
As stated by the Ubersuggest, nearly all the search questions containing the word’Venus’ are all related to the planet, rather than the mythology. Therefore, the traffic generated by the planet-related terms dramatically exceeds the visitors from the mythology-related terms.
This example demonstrates why you need to do keyword research before creating content: analyzing the sites that are presently emerging in Google for your targeted search phrases helps you 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 approach 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 the launch of the RankBrain machine learning system from 2015, the circumstance and the semantic meaning of a search query came into the limelight (as opposed to a certain word in the keyword phrase).
The new ranking system gave rise to a new strategy in SEO: instead of including particular keywords, content is supposed to be focusing on search and topics context, describing it exhaustively and in detail.
Obviously, search intent needs to be considered as well because some queries just don’t need an exhaustive post — they require short responses.
To see the difference between both of these approaches, take a look at the following list of keywords.
Let us say, there is a website that wants to rank for:
- Old photo cameras
- Vintage cameras
- Antique camera
- Where to Purchase a vintage camera
- Purchase old camera components
- How to Repair an old camera
- Vintage camera parts
- The best way to choose an older camera
- Classic photo camera on sale
- Most Common older camera
Together with the old-school approach, you’d be generating several pieces of content comprising each of the targeted keywords.
The issue with this approach is that these containers will unlikely be considered comprehensive by Google.
With the new strategy, you have to look’behind the words’ to analyze the research intentions of the consumer googling for a specific keyword.
By way of example,’old photo cameras’,’vintage cameras’ and classic camera’ could be hunted for by someone who’s usually considering old-school photography equipment. In cases like this, you might need a wiki-like page listing the most popular vintage photo cameras with their own descriptions.
Similarly,’buy old camera parts’,’how to repair a classic camera’ and classic camera components’ are probably searched by a person who’s in possession of an old camera which needs fixing.
Here, a detailed guide about the elements of the vintage cameras with advice on the best way to fix them will be a game for all the 3 search questions.
To sum up, this section, satisfying the consumer’s search intent does not necessarily mean adding a specific keyword to your articles. Instead, you need to focus on the semantic field, or a general subject, to this key word belongs because this is exactly what the users are in fact considering.
To find the topics which will create the most traffic to your website, produce semantic groups from the most well-known keywords and create detailed content about it.
Skipping keyword research will result in zero organic traffic
Now that we have discussed the change into broader topics and semantic groups, it is very important to mention the dangers of skipping the keyword research procedure.
To start with, without running keyword research, you risk targeting keywords and search subjects which are of little to zero interest to users.
Keywords without a search volume typically create no organic visitors, regardless of how valuable and comprehensive your articles are.
Another danger is investing in content production for keywords and topics that are simply too competitive.
This could incorporate head terms such as”SEO” or”Fishing”, to marginally more long-tail keywords and phrases that equally as competitive on account of the revenue potential (think purchasing key words ) such as”purchase digital sir.”
The SERPs for all those key words are usually inhabited by exceptionally authoritative domain names, leaving little space for a beginner.
To avoid this risk, you have to assess which search queries are currently searched to your most and get a feel for how difficult they are to rank for. Google Keyword Planner is an excellent free tool for keyword research since it allows you to see not only the popularity of a particular word but in addition, it offers some sign about how hard it may be to rank for it.
From the Contest column, you can observe the level of competition for a specific keyword in the paid search, but in fact, in addition, it reflects the complexity of advertising from the organic search. For instance, if the key word has a top 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 advertising platform, and as such their functionality has been geared towards advertisers. Additionally, their”avg. Monthly searches” metric is just an estimation.
Fortunately, there are some great options that include more functionality so you can receive more relevant data.
Make sure you check out David Hartshorne’s article on keyword research tools for a broader listing. These tools are better suited to conventional and competitor-based keyword research.
Additionally, it is important to assess which pages are visible in the SERPs for your target keywords.
Yes, that’s pretty vague advice but when you look at which pages Google is rank, you are able to begin to have a feel for what it will take to outrank them.
Now, you could simply search Google for this but they personalize results based on numerous things. Including your place.
A much better strategy is to use a third party tool like the free AccuRanker rank tracker software (disclosure — I perform for AccuRanker).
With this tool, you can choose your nation, city and whether you need the desktop or mobile results.
This is especially beneficial if you’re looking for rank in Google US results but you are from the UK, as an example.
As a fast example, here’s a screenshot where you can observe the domains which are looking on Google US for its goal keyword ‘keyword research’.
Here, the sites like Moz or Backlinko are likely to be difficult to outrank, and that is why it’s important to get familiar with your competition.
Even if a keyword research tool states that the competition level is Medium, you need to understand precisely who you are standing against to evaluate your odds.
When you’re just beginning, you will find it easier to rank for more long-tail keyword phrases.
Long-tail key words are simply longer key words. By way of instance, instead of a key word (or search term ) consisting of 1 or two words, you might choose to go for terms containing 3-5 words.
To get a more comprehensive explanation, check out David Hartshorne’s post on a keyword search for beginner’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, that show the connection between the keyword usage in on-page elements and the page status in the SERP.
Although most of the page-level ranking signs have yet to be officially supported by Google, many SEOs speculate about their importance and prefer to play safe by applying all of them.
By way of example, having an exact match of a keyword in a page name tag used to be a critical ranking signal before the growth of semantics from the Google ranking algorithm, so thus it was used ubiquitously.
These days, Google does not openly state it to be a necessity, however, there’s a strong link involving the key word use in the name and the page rank position.
The only case once the exact match of a keyword is crucial is when the key word competition level is off the charts. To enter it, let us look at the Google US SERP for ‘keyword research instrument’.
Wordstream gets the specific keyword contained to its URL, name tag and partially in the meta description. The next result’s picture 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 likelihood, it might outrank Wordstream having the same keyword in its URL.
Studies reveal the pages which start their name, h1, and meta description tags together with the particular keyword perform better compared to the webpages that have the keyword towards the end of the tag.
Nevertheless, it’s important to consider that correlation does not equal causation. Just because some studies reveal that a correlation between standing results and signals, doesn’t mean they are the cause.
But in the very least, it assists users to ascertain the significance of your articles and that will help fulfill search intent. Which is what Google is going for.
Here’s the bottom line:
When there are a significant number of potential ranking factors that search engines utilize, using keyword research to notify your on-page optimization efforts will help users to understand that your content is applicable for them. And that is a fantastic thing.
How keyword research allows you to understand the market demand
There are a lot of moving parts within a successful advertising strategy. Therefore, a great deal of digital marketers do not pay enough attention to keyword research.
What a lot of people do not realise is that keyword research can teach us a great deal about general market demand.
Search queries tell a story and it’s up to us as entrepreneurs to realize that story. It may offer an endless source of high-quality traffic ideas, and also help us develop new products and services to serve our users better.
When hunting for something on the internet, individuals always have a need, even if it’s just an information search.
Quite often a need for information will eventually translate into a transactional search. If the offer seems like a good fit for the users needs, it may result in a sale or in the very least, keep your brand top of mind when they are ready.
So, the general trend is that people reflect the true market demand by searching for a specific keyword in Google.
Imagine having a digital marketing agency.
Running a business in such a crowded market requires you to regularly analyze the industry need to remain on top of their tendencies.
In this scenario, keyword research allows you to collect ideas about specific locations that you could provide services in, and also new services that you could offer.
In electronic advertising, that could be content promotion, social media direction or laser-targeting services such as advertising management for Facebook or LinkedIn.
Once you collect the key words which are connected with the services that your business could be providing, you need to rate their organic traffic potential.
For instance, in Google US SERPs, the total monthly traffic of the search queries associated with ‘Linkedin ads’ comes near 14k while the’Facebook ads’ related queries surpass 340k in overall monthly visitors.
Now, it’s important to find out that these figures are generally quotes but it’s a fantastic general index.
Obviously, Facebook hunts are more popular, since LinkedIn is just pertinent to B2B companies while Facebook matches with the interests of almost any type of business.
The next crucial step would be to take a look at the sites which are currently showing for some set of keywords. Unlike analyzing the SERPs for one keyword, assessing the organic search results for a set of keywords allows you to perform mass 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 Example, Here Is a screenshot from the Competitors review report from the AccuRanker ranking tracker that allows you to view what sites occupy the top 10 organic rankings for All your keywords:
How keyword research allows you to understand market demand
Over to you
As I’ve demonstrated you in this informative article, key words still matter and key word research plays an important role in the SEO procedure.
Here are the key Five takeaways that best summarize what was covered:
- Stay focused on fulfilling the consumer’s search intent — Analyze what your customers are looking for and instead of merely focusing on individual key words look in the intent behind hunts.
- Produce content about closely related groups of key words instead of exact-match keywords, and supply an in-depth perspective on the subjects that are of a greater interest for your audience;
- Do not skip keyword research because you hazard targeting keywords without search quantity or a supplementary competition degree;
- Keyword-related rank signs are not officially confirmed to affect rankings, nevertheless multiple studies show that there is correlation — if this equals causation or not, it is an important indicator of relevance;
- Keyword research makes it possible for one to better comprehend the general market demand, which can be ever-changing and requires continuous monitoring.
IEva Zelca is Head of Marketing at AccuRanker, where she is building the advertising department and driving the marketing strategy. IEva is an international citizen, having lived in 5 countries: Latvia, UK, France, USA and Denmark, and has more than 7 decades of expertise within Marketing from different industries including SaaS, tourism, hospitality, and apparel & fashion. She is enthusiastic about digital marketing and helping brands grow.
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