Keyword research is without a doubt the most important thing to get right for any SEO campaign. This step is absolutely crucial to the success of ranking any website. So, today I want to talk about a keyword research strategy that can significantly help you decide more intelligently on the keywords that you should be targeting based on your keyword strategy.
Branded Vs Non-Branded: Before you pick any keywords, you want to decide on whether you’re going to go after branded or non branded keywords in your strategy. For example, a business that is already established and has some market share and recognition will probably have more branded keywords in their strategy, while a brand new business that’s just entering the market will be more aggressively targeting non-branded keywords. Think about your business, would it benefit more from having more branded keywords for increase recognition, or does having a 10% branded and 90% non-branded keyword strategy make better sense?
Local Vs National: Another thing to consider before choosing your keywords is on whether your products or services are only offered locally, or if they are available to customers anywhere in the country. For example, a restaurant, dentist office, and barber shop are all examples of local business, that can only perform their services from one geographical location, therefore, their strategy would revolve heavily around a local keyword strategy. On the other hand, a marketing agency, software development company, and accounting business are business that provides services that don’t require them to be tied to a specific geographical location. As a result, they are able to perform their services anywhere in the country, so as a result, it would make better sense for them to maybe target more national keywords in their strategy, in order to reach a broader audience.
Shotgun (high search) Vs Sniper (precise search): Perhaps the most important and overlooked thing when choosing appropriate keywords for your website is on the intent of the particular keyword for a particular webpage. For example, the intent of a particular blog article is to generally rank for a keyword with very high search volume, since the objective a blog is to bring in as many relevant readers to read that resource. On the other hand, a home page or a services page will want to target on keywords that perhaps don’t have the high search volume that blog articles go after, but the keywords carry intent and action. These keywords are generally more long tail and precise, while the keywords with higher search volume are usually shorter keywords. So depending on which page on your website you are optimizing for, it might make better sense to focus on keywords that don’t have that much search volume, but are more relevant to your webpage.
Singular Vs Plural: The last thing I want to address before you go out and pick your keywords is to think about relevancy and intent for the page that you’re trying to optimize for. In other words, you might come across a list of keywords that are very similar, however, one is a singular version, while the other is plural. Please don’t make the mistake of going after the keywords with the highest search volume, instead focus on the keyword that makes the most sense and is the most relevant to that page.
Conclusion: Before you go out and start picking keywords to rank your website for, please keep the three things we discussed above in mind. The first being if you’re going to focus on a branded vs non branded keyword research strategy. The second thing we addressed was whether your keywords were going to consist of local vs national keywords. The main difference being that with local, you pick more keywords around the name of the city that you’re trying to rank for. The third thing we talked about was a shotgun vs sniper approach. The important thing to remember here is that both of these strategies are ok, it just depends how you’re using them. The last thing we talked about was plural vs singular, which pretty much boils down to relevancy. Picking keywords that are relevant and appropriate for the webpage that you’re targeting. Stick to these principles, and you’ll have a more enjoyable SEO experience.