Keyword Research

Keyword research is usually the starting point for SEO. Keyword research helps to understand what your audience want to find and then you can engineer your website to fulfil the relevant demand. Defining your keywords creates the backbone to on-page SEO, content marketing and even social media marketing. Our detailed approach to keyword research gives you an extensive document and clear strategy to implement.

What is keyword research ?

You may have a way of describing what you do, but how does your audience search for the product, service, or information you provide? Answering this question is a crucial first step in the keyword research process. We use several tools to help figure out what your customers want to find answers to. This is then shared with you in an extensive document outlining the key categories of search intent, product specific phrases and any FAQs that are often asked by the customer. In this document, we outline the estimated search volume in the UK, what the competition is and highlight where opportunities are.

You need keyword research in order to remove the guessing game of what you think customers are searching for before you invest in any other form of content or search marketing. Being armed with the correct information about your customer is the first step in a defined digital strategy.

Keyword research is the starting point for most on-page SEO and is relatively straightforward when you know how to get the most out of it. Keyword research can be implemented as part of a comprehensive SEO audit or undertaken as a project to establish the basics.

Understanding search volume

The higher the search volume for a given keyword or keyword phrase, the more work is typically required to achieve higher rankings. This is particularly poignant for terms with purchasing intent – such as ‘buy mens trainers’.

This is often referred to as keyword difficulty and occasionally incorporates SERP features; for example, if many SERP features (like featured snippets) are clogging up a keyword’s result page, difficulty will increase. Big brands often take up the top 10 results for high-volume keywords, so if you’re just starting out online and going after the same keywords, the uphill battle for ranking will take years of consistent effort and inevitably, a huge budget.

So, the higher the search volume the greater the competition and effort required to achieve organic ranking success. Focus your SEO strategy around terms with too low volume  and you risk not drawing any consumers to your site. This is why, in many cases, it is most advantageous to target highly specific, lower competition search terms. In SEO, we call those long-tail keywords.

What are long tail keywords?

In an ideal world it would be great to rank for keywords that have 30,000 searches a month, or even 3,000 searches a month but these popular search terms only make up a fraction of all searches performed on the web. In fact, keywords with very high search volumes tend to indicate ambiguous intent – in other words, that potential customer is still at the very beginning of their search journey. Even if they reach your site because you bid on those terms using PPC, they will probably bounce straight off. Instead, we want to aim for the 75% of search terms that are far more specific and known as the long tail.

Going back to our ‘buy mens trainers’, a long-tail variant of this search query might look something like ‘buy men red trainers in size 9’. There will be far fewer people searching for this term, however those that are are likely to have a far greater propensity to buy purely due to the nature of the search query – the user knows exactly what they want.

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