Marketing Tips: Keyword Research and Planning For Improved SEO
If you’re looking to improve your SEO and haven’t done much research into keyword planning, you might not realize how important it really is. Knowing how to use and find the right keywords is arguably the most important skill a marketer can hone when it comes to search effectiveness. The start of effective SEO comes from a well-built keyword map or keyword plan.
What is keyword mapping?
“Keyword mapping is the process of assigning or mapping keywords to specific pages on a website based on keyword research. Based on your mapping process you are able to then make specific on-page SEO recommendations to help make the page more relevant to the mapped keywords.” Says Adam Bate of SEO Brothers.
How to start keyword planning
Step One: Research
Put together a list of all of the words you might want your business to appear when someone searches that word. It would be nearly impossible to achieve getting your business to rank on the first page of search results for every word you choose but here you can shoot for the stars.
Tools like Moz, SEMrush and the Google keyword planner can help you expand your list and include faceted keywords you may not have initially thought of.
Step Two: Filter
Work on removing any duplicated words, as well as any that you know for a fact you won’t rank for (taking out branded terms from competitors is usually a good starting point).
Now set your keywords into sets: Priority, Secondary, and Other Terms.
- Priority terms: Should be keywords you want to appear for right away. They need to imply that you have the answer to a question or the ability to fulfill a need; be a high volume keyword that is worth the investment, and need to be related to current and upcoming (near-future) business.
- Secondary terms: These will come into play later on, once priority keywords are locked into optimized pages that are query-responsive. These should be keywords that relate to your site, have a decent volume and imply questions you don’t have the expertise to answer.
- Other terms: You’ll ignore these for now, and note why you may or may not want to re-evaluate these keywords later on
Step Three: Map keywords to pages
The first thing to do when mapping is to scrape Google for your keywords and current rank. You don’t have to do this, but generally, it is useful to be able to keep things simple, rather than to manually map each page, regardless of how Google feels about scraping and rank tracking (the general consensus is not incredibly positive). Now you need to ensure that the content on the page that the clickthrough directs to actually answers what is being searched for. Sometimes your map will work perfectly, and other times, Google gets it totally wrong, so remapping is necessary to close the gap. You’ll go through this same process when you’re working with mapping URLs, starting new pages, as well as when optimizing content and existing pages.
Keyword planning is a big job, but when done right can get you noticed and moved up in the ranks of the SEO world. For a more in-depth walkthrough of Keyword mapping for SEO and content creation, see this blog post from Moz that will give you a map to mapping.