SEO 101: Effective Keyword Research in 2015

Online marketing_Big Red SEOAt the end of 2011 and start of 2012, many Omaha business owners began to notice the phrase not provided in their Google Analytics data. Although Google’s official position on this matter was that they were using SSL technology to protect their users, just about everyone in the online marketing industry agreed there appeared to be an ulterior motive. Many felt this change was more about Google trying to force business owners to pay for their Google AdWords in order to access the best keyword research data and tools. While there have always been individuals and businesses who try to game Google’s algorithm for their own profit, effective keyword research isn’t about coming up with a secret shortcut.

Instead, this strategy offers three key benefits. The first benefit is ensuring that the budget dedicated to search engine optimization is focused on keywords that will actually convert into leads or conversions (i.e. customers). Since SEO in 2015 requires an investment of time and resources, it’s vital to get on the right path from the start.

The second big benefit to proper keyword research is it provides a look into the minds of potential and current customers. Knowing what kind of search language people use makes it possible to understand their intentions, as well as find better ways to connect with them. For example, being aware of specific phrases that potential customers are searching provides the opportunity to address the exact topic on their website.

Finally, keyword research is a great way to create a long-term strategy for SEO in 2015 and beyond. Since it’s simply not realistic to pursue every relevant keyword phrase at the same time, starting with keyword research makes it possible to prioritize which phrases will provide the most value to a business. By creating a strategy around this type of data, you can ensure that your site’s search engine traffic will continue to grow and that the visitors who come will have a high likelihood of becoming leads.

The Most Effective Way to Do Keyword Research

Now that we’ve covered why keyword research is such an important part of what we do at Big Red SEO and how it can help your business, we’re going to take a look at what this process entails. Since a primary goal of this process is to identify the best keyword phrases to target, it’s important to understand where your site currently stands.

The best way to gain insight into how your site is currently performing is through an SEO audit. Two of the tools that are most useful for performing an SEO audit are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Although Google Analytics no longer has as much keyword information as it once did, it allows you to identify which pages on your site are receiving the most traffic. And, if you have goals set up in Google Analytics and values assigned to them, you can get an idea of how much revenue those pages are generating.

While Google Analytics is generally pretty slim on keyword data, Google Webmaster Tools has generally has more to offer. With some educated guesses, you should be able to match each keyword to the page that’s receiving those visitors.

Once you know where you currently stand, the next step is to start looking at which new keywords should be pursued first. At Big Red SEO, we have several highly advanced tools that we can use for this task. While keyword research isn’t necessarily something that businesses do on a regular basis, many prefer to simply use Google’s free Keyword Planner tool. Even though the search volumes provided by this tool aren’t 100% perfect, they do make it possible to determine which keywords will more than likely send a consistent stream of the type of visitors you want on your site.

How to Put Keyword Research Into Action

If you go through the entire keyword research process, you should end up with a large spreadsheet. Not only will the spreadsheet contain numerous keywords that are relevant to your website, but those keywords should be organized by the likely value they have for your business. With basic keyword research, value is often assigned based on traffic estimates. A more advanced approach is to take both traffic and competition estimates into account in order to rank the keywords.

With either method of ranking the keywords, you don’t want to have a spreadsheet that just sits on your computer. Instead, you want to put all of this research into action. The best way to start using the keywords you’ve identified is to optimize your website with them. Since it wouldn’t make sense to slap the majority of the keywords on a single page, they should be put into relevant groups and then properly integrated throughout the structure of target pages.

After the initial optimization, the most common next step is to begin integrating the keywords into content production and marketing efforts. One of the benefits of letting keywords guide your content efforts is you can be confident that you’re producing content your target demographic truly wants to read. By taking the time to create value-add content around the keywords that have been identified and then promoting that content, your business website will be able to start ranking for the right types of searches in Google.

Big Red SEO Will Ensure You Reap All the Benefits of Keyword Research

As you can see, while there is great value in properly researching keywords prior to making any significant SEO investments, doing so correctly is a lot of work. Not only can this research get quite complex, but it also takes up a lot of time. Since you already have an Omaha business to focus on running, working with Big Red SEO is the best way to get the benefits of keyword research without any additional stress. If you have any other questions about this process or want to discuss the specifics of your business, we’d love to talk with you. Please call us now at (402) 522-6468.

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