This is the second lesson of the Gotch SEO Starter Course.
In today’s lesson, I’m going to show you the basics of keyword research.
Let’s jump right in.
Picking the RIGHT Keywords is Half the Battle
Keyword research is the single most important part of your SEO campaign.
Understanding what keywords to go after and which ones to avoid is a skill you must harness.
You won’t always get it right, but perfection isn’t the goal.
If you succeed with 80% of your target keywords, your business will grow.
So the question is:
How do you find and select the right keywords?
Think “Topics”, not “Keywords”
Start with a 30,000 foot view of your campaign.
Let’s say you are in the “fitness” space.
The first thing you need to do is think of topics related to your industry.
Use a mind mapping software like Bubbl.us or draw.io to do this.
For my fitness example, I would map out topics like weightlifting, cardio, nutrition, and stretching.
The next stage is break each of these categories down.
I would break stretching down into dynamic, isometric, and static stretching.
After that, you will break these categories down even further.
With a little research, I was able to break “dynamic stretching” even further.
The two examples of “dynamic stretching” I found were “arm circles” and “knee to chest”.
Continue breaking down the categories as far as you can.
Why Search Volume Doesn’t Matter
It’s easy to get wrapped up in search volume, but it can lead you down the wrong path.
More search volume does not = more revenue
For example, a keyword like “funny cat pictures” gets around 49,000 searches a month.
While a keyword like “St Louis personal injury lawyer” only gets around 500 searches a month.
From a revenue perspective, which one do you think is more valuable?
The answer is the personal injury lawyer.
If the lawyer secures one client it could be worth millions.
On the opposite side, “funny cat pictures” doesn’t have a clear path to monetization. The only options you have are Adsense or selling Ad space. Even if you ranked a solid #1 for “funny cat pictures” you would make pennies.
This is why understanding searcher intent is critical to your keyword research.
The 4 Phases of Searcher Intent
There are four main types of searcher intent:
- Problem awareness
- Solution awareness
- Solution comparison
To have a successful SEO campaign, you need to target searcher at all four stages.
An example problem awareness intent might be: “What is crossfit?”
An example of a query in the “solution awareness” stage, might be: “does crossfit work?”
After the “solution comparison” phase they will likely search something like “crossfit vs P90x”.
And the last stage is the “buying” stage.
At this stage they will likely search something like: “affordable crossfit gyms near me” or “crossfit discounts”.
3 Keyword Strategies That Actually Work
There are three keyword targeting strategies that work the best:
- Long Tail Assault
- Body Keyword Focus
- Body Keyword Focus + Long Tail Hubs
I explain these strategies in Gotch SEO Academy, but I’ll briefly show you what they are here.
Long Tail Assault: create content around long tail keywords and focus on building the authority of your website.
As your site authority grows, so will the rankings of your long tail keywords.
Body Keyword Focus: instead of targeting lower competition long tail keywords, you will focus on “body” keywords.
An example of a body keyword is: “SEO audit”.
The cool part about this strategy is that you can still rank these pages for long tail keyword.
For example, although you’re targeting “SEO audit”, you will likely end up ranking for “SEO audit checklist”, “how to do an SEO audit”, and other related long tails.
Body Keyword Focus + Long Tail Hubs: with this strategy you will create keyword targeted content in clusters.
Let’s say your main keyword is “SEO audit”.
You would create a piece of content around this keyword. This piece of content is your “mother” content.
You then create hubs (other pieces of content) to support this “mother” article.
For this example, I would create content like “SEO audit with screaming frog SEO spider”, “SEO audit checklist”, “SEO audit infographic”, etc.
These “child” articles will all link to the mother article.
Best Keyword Research Tools
Some of the best tools for finding keywords and content ideas are the Google Keyword Planner, forums, Ubersuggest, Soovle, Amazon, and SEM Rush.
In Gotch SEO Academy, we show you over 35 different ways to find juicy keywords and content ideas.
Your Action Items for Today:
- Brainstorm and mind map content topics
- Choose a keyword strategy
- Start researching for keywords
In the next lesson, you will learn how to create content that your readers AND Google will love.
- Lesson 1 – Your first step to SEO mastery
- Lesson 2 – Do this right and succeed
- Lesson 3 – Weird 80/20 content formula that works
- Lesson 4 – The new way of doing SEO
- Lesson 5 – How to rank without backlinks
- Lesson 6 – Link building 101
- Lesson 7 – Change your thought, see results?