In This Video, you’ll hear from Rand Fishkin, known as the ‘Wizard of Moz’ and a very well respected SEO expert in the industry. Below the video, you’ll find bullet points leading you to resources to do your own Keyword Research in an effort to build out a Keyword Strategy. There is a lot more to Search Engine Optimization than simple Keyword Optimization. Keyword Stuffing will get you no where fast in today’s landscape. Yet if you know how people search, and actual keyword statistics, and then follow a few simple and proven techniques, you can find yourself ranking high on the search engines for your valuable content.
Keyword Research Tools Discussed.
1.) Google AdWords (Keyword Planner) – This tool used to be free and reached by anyone on the web when it was known as Google Keyword Tool. Now, Google las locked it up behind AdWords and to access it, you must have a Google AdWords account and must even run an ad, even though you can cancel it right away. It is still a free keyword tool – technically. Google Keyword Planner will allow you to type in a search phrase (query) and see the monthly search volume globally, or by individual geographic location as well as the competition.
2.) Google Suggest – This is right inside Google Search. Simply head over to Google. Type in a keyword phrase you would want to see suggestions for. Google will then show you a few other phrases people are using like that one. In addition, at the bottom of the page, you will see another set of suggestions. This is a great place to start getting ideas although it won’t show you number of searches per month or competition. You’ll have to put these phrases in a Keyword Research Tool to discover those.
Top Section of Google Suggest
Bottom Section of Google Suggest
3) SEM Rush – One of our favorites as well, SEMRush offers comprehensive Keyword Research featuring monthly search volume, competition, ranking reports on your own keywords, competition reports as well as Pay Per Click Research. This tool does a great job of showing us ranked pages of keywords and similar keywords on non ranking pages (based on competition research) we should be ranking for, yet might not be already.
6.) SpyFu – A tool recently adopted by Ballen Brands and similar to SEMRush, SpyFu allows you to pull your competition’s keywords and save them to a project allowing you to monitor the growth and comparision time over time.
Not mentioned in this video, yet worth adding is Google Trends. View the latest trends, data and visualizations from Google. Find out what’s trending in various locations.
The Actual Keyword Research
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When we first begin our research, we are looking at the most obvious keywords or keyword phrases that we believe and then prove with our tools that visitors to the search engines are actually using. These are going to be words that include a call to action like “buy” or “sell” or “get” and are most likely to convert to a lead or purchase. Ranking for these keywords is ideal, yet not always easy. Pay close attention to the competition numbers as you can get a quick idea of how hard it might be to rank on the search engines for this phrase. Many beginners make the mistake of focusing on the keyword phrases with the highest search volume and high competition and find themselves never doing well on Google or other engines. Many would be better off beginning with lower targets, that although smaller, would act as an “entry” to Google and would begin generating some traffic, even if small. Small, Targeted traffic to our sites could mean very probable clients and customers because our content would match so well.
When we study how people search, we find similar terms related to our keywords that we here at Ballen Brands like to call ‘top of funnel’ keywords. The goal here is to attract visitors that may not actually be in the buy / sell phase yet would likely be ‘someday customers’. An example of this would be a real estate website. Your top keywords would be something like ‘buy a home in las vegas’ or ‘sell a home in las vegas’ as your call to action phrases that are likely to bring in ‘right now’ clients. Your ‘top of funnel’ keyword might be “home improvement tips”, “patch a hole in the wall”, “DIY Home Security Systems”, “Home Energy Savers”, and so forth. You might use home maintenance as a top of funnel project to bring in home owners in the area long before they are ready to buy or sell. Some topics, like “patch a hole in the wall” would be designed to possibly bring in someone that is thinking of selling and knows they need to begin fixing up their home. They could be a year or 2 out from selling. “DIY Home Security System” may bring in locals that have not even thought of selling their home. Your funnel should be designed to cultivate the relationship, so when they do decide to sell, you are top of mind.
Search Volume, Difficulty, Click through rate Opportunity, Top Goals (what keywords are important to me) should all be used in your research. You are going to find a massive number of keywords you will want to rank for. Yet ranking for a keyword is not easy. You are going to have to have incredibly valuable, unique content created around that keyword. You’ll need to have a trusted and authoritive website in the eyes of the search engines, and you’ll need to have the best possible user experience from your website.
There are very few small business owners that have the time, energy and resources to rank for all of the keywords they desire when beginning their Search Engine Optimization campaign. You’ll need to choose carefully.
Of course the IDEAL keyword has a high volume of people searching that phrase in the right geographic areas every month. It has low competition and high click through rate opportunity.
Begin with the keywords you have decided to prioritize.
1.) Optimize your home page for that keyword phrase. Yes, you can optimize a page for more than one keyword, yet the focus on one at a time is important so that you know you are creating valuable content around that keyword, not just simply trying to place several keywords on the home page without really discussing them in detail. History shows us that we want to place keywords on the home page that link out to another page on our website that is the primary target for ranking. We don’t want to link out to all of our pages, simply the ones we want to give the most “boost” to.
2.) Create a page you’ll want to rank for that keyword phrase. This page must be designed for mobile, and provide a quality user experience. Use photos, links, videos, statistic graphs, and any other supporting media that would break up “chunky text” and provide a great experience. The content must be valuable and special and not done in a way where someone could find similar content with a simple Google Search. Rand Fishkin calls this 10X content. It should be 10 times as good as anything else on the web. One example would be “Curb Appeal when Selling Your Home”. As a real estate agent, this is a common article I come across. Yes, it’s important to have an article like this in our “library”, yet it’s not very special generally. Most of these articles simply look like a “re-run” of the one before it. This is not valuable. Now, if you wrote “Curb Appeal when selling your Victoria Homes during the Winter in Pennslyvania”, you may have something. It won’t appeal to everyone, yet you’d probably nail your target if you were looking to list more Victorian homes in PA.
If you are going to do a “curb appeal” article, how about taking your video camera out into your town and getting photos and videos of houses that have the best curb appeal around (with permission of course). Talk about what they did, how much it cost, and any tips they have. Interview them where it makes sense. Create a slideshow if images. Add in a directory of home improvement supply stores in your area. Now you are creating 10X content.
Guides, Reports, Checklists and so forth are very popular on the web right now. “How To” is one of the top searched keyword phrases and the general population is very “do it yourself” today. With easy instructions to almost anything being found on YouTube, who needs to hire a professional landscaper or painter? When you put these items in print, you also now have an offer to give away that encourages people to register for your item allowing you to build a “local funnel” to cultivate relationships in your area for eventual business.
Lori’s ACTIONABLE TIP:
- Create a Blog Category on your websites.
- Make a list of 12 topics that fit into this Category.
- Each month, write one blog post on a topic you made on that list and publish it.
- At the end of the 12 months, take each of these blog posts and save them as a Word Document. Put all 12 blog posts (one per page with an image). Create a Cover Page with the title of your category. Example “How To Prepare your Home to Sell in 12 Easy Steps”. Then, Save your Word Document as a PDF and you know have an EBook. You could get 12 blog posts and 1 ebook done every year.
Measuring for Results
Check out: How to use Clicky for Easy Analytics
This is where many businesses fail. They begin a search engine optimization campaign around a focused keyword strategy, yet don’t measure for results. You’ll want to set aside time at least once a month for review. If you have the money for the tools, sites like SEMrush and SPYfu can show you how you are doing in a report month over month. Look for how much marketshare YOU earned compared to your competitors. You are hoping to “steal traffic away” from their site by the work you’ve done optimizing pages on your website for particular keywords. You are hoping to see your page rank for the targeted keyword phrase in the top 100 searches of Google, 50 searches of Google, Top 20 searches of Google and then to page one (which is where all the magic happens).
You want to study Where you Rank as well as Rank Improvements and Drops and which pages you rank for that keyword. You’ll be able to optimize from there.
Looking for help with your online marketing. Not sure where to begin? Call Jeff at Ballen Brands 702.917.0755. Lori Ballen’s Marketing Company can provide you with an SEO report, Keyword Strategy, Ongoing Content, and even a proper Website that is an optimal platform for Search Engine Optimization Campaigns.