How to Prioritise Keywords for Your Content
When you’re an SEO specialist, you’re swamped with scores of tasks that enable you to kick your SEO campaign in high gear and earn you measurable results.
And when it comes to choosing which SEO keywords to incorporate in your content, things can get intimidating. If your content team is now tapping their fingers on the table, waiting for your keywords list, how do you get started immediately?
REFER TO YOUR GOALS
Before you start moving your mouse and pounding away at your keyboard, stop and think for a moment: To what end am I doing this for? What is my GOAL?
The goal will serve as your North Star, as well as your future barometer in determining whether or not you executed a successful SEO campaign.
Before your keyword research, create a keyword cluster that falls under three essential factors:
- Business and Marketing Goals. These are keywords that support the direction of the brand, whether for business or marketing; they make the cash register ring and drive the business forward.
- Niche Marketing. These keywords are those that allow the business to be an authority in the space they’re operating in.
- High-Performing Pages. These keywords have been proven to convert well and increase traffic to the website.
HOW TO DO KEYWORD RESEARCH?
There are many ways to do keyword research, here are three to get you started:
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
Say you have a website that for a time has been racking up a decent amount of organic traffic, the best place to see which keywords your site ranks for is Google Search Console.
In Google Search Console, go to the left hand menu and find Search results. Click Average position until it turns orange. It’s best to filter by Country to see the average position of all keywords in a specific country. As best practice, skip the top 5 ranking keywords and take note of the 6th to 20th keywords. They’re at the bottom of page one and are regarded as low-lying fruits, hence the increased possibility of ranking higher through your optimisation effort.
CONDUCT COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
Next, it’s time to look over your fence and see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. If you have tools like Ahrefs and Semrush at your disposal, you can get insights into potential keywords, search volume, traffic, as well as intent.
When you research and optimise content using competitor keywords, you can get a slice of the overall traffic your competitor has been enjoying out of their SEO initiatives. And if you can demonstrate authority and trustworthiness in the topics, you show to the search engines that your site is as credible and valuable as your counterparts.
CONDUCT CUSTOMER RESEARCH
As part of your discovery, go outside and reach out to the people who actually buy from you or people who you want to visit your website. Better yet, talk to people whom you can derive insights from customers like sales people, customer success managers, and support.
If you can document the key phrases to describe their intent, it’s certain that they’re using the same set of words and phrases when running searches.
HOW TO PRIORITISE KEYWORDS
If you have been running ads for a while, ads data can be an oasis of information about which keywords to prioritise. Chances are if a keyword performs and converts well in ads, it will likely convert well organically too. Here are some pointers to help you pin which keywords to prioritise:
CONVERSION KEYWORDS FIRST
While SEO’s primary goal is to improve the visibility and drive organic traffic to one’s website, the qualified definition should be to invite the RIGHT people to your website. Naturally, you’d like more visibility on pages that will greatly help enhance your conversion, something that ushers prospects down to the sales funnel. Instead of casting a dragnet of potential customers, prioritise the keywords that ensure conversion.
By the same token, you can conduct a site audit and identify which pages drive the most converting traffic. You can work up a plan to improve that site for better results without starting from scratch!
REFER TO GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
Google Keyword Planner is a treasure trove of insights in prioritising your keywords. Some important data to look into are:
- Keywords and their average monthly searches
- Competition for a particular keyword
- Bid range to give you an idea how much advertisers are paying for a keyword.
The principle is if a keyword shows high competition, that means that keyword is converting well. Advertisers don’t spend a ton on keywords that don’t bring any returns.
PRIORITISE BASED ON SEARCH VOLUME
The keywords with a high search volume are indicative of your top-of-the-funnel, awareness keywords. However, you can look for your bottom-of-the-funnel, conversion keywords in your ads platforms. When you choose and prioritise keywords, strike the balance between getting enough search volume and getting more conversions.
PRIORITISE BASED ON KEYWORD STRUCTURE
Keyword structure can let you in on how easy or hard it is to rank for a particular keyword. If you’re a new brand who’s just starting out, it might be a long trek before you see the summit of ROI for seed keywords you’re trying to optimise for. It’s better to place your bets on longer-tail keywords.
At this point, it’s more recommended to craft content that will earn you authority in specific topics. This way, even if the keywords you chose don’t rank immediately, your pages will still remain relevant and valuable.
PRIORITISING KEYWORDS FOR SUCCESS
With all these tips and pointers, we’d like to repeat that all of this is to give users the best possible search and site experience. Keywords are just tools; it’s worth investing more on creating content that is highly valuable and truly useful. If your competitor’s page features a 2,500-word comprehensive article with videos, photos, and relevant graphs, optimised and well-chosen keywords can take you farther if you can create content as good as that.