Keyword research is the most foundational aspect of any SEO campaign. This helps identify the search queries you want to target and eventually have your website pages ranking for on search engines. So, when you’re building out your keyword list, it’s important to be strategic and disciplined in your approach while focusing on a few core elements of each phrase.
While conducting your SEO keyword research, there are three factors you must consider: the individual keyword’s relevancy, search volume and user intent. This will help you answer the simple yet imperative question of whether you want someone who is entering a particular phrase into Google to engage with your brand.
Keywords are topics or search queries that summarize the content on your website. When selecting the keywords you’d like to rank for in an SEO program, it’s important to first make sure those search queries are relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a company that sells NBA apparel, you’ll want your product page to rank for a keyword like “NBA T-shirts.” Even though there is a significant search volume around keywords like “NBA” and “T-shirts,” ranking for either one of those queries by themselves is not aligned or relevant to the “NBA T-shirts” you specifically sell on the page you want to drive website visitors to.
Is this a keyword or phrase that people actually enter into Google? This is something that’s important to consider when identifying the keywords you want to ultimately target in your SEO campaign. Once you have your topics or search queries generally identified, using a keyword research tool like SEMrush will help you identify how many people are searching for this particular phrase on a monthly basis. If you can ultimately rank on the first page of Google for a keyword that is searched 10,000 times as opposed to 10 times, you will give yourself a much better chance to drive significant organic traffic to your site through that keyword.
User intent refers to what a website user may have meant when they entered a particular keyword in a search engine. Incorporating intent-based keywords like “buy” or “shop” into your keyword strategy will help you drive the website visitors to your page who are looking to take the desired action you want them to take. For example, say you are a Ferrari dealership. You don’t necessarily want website visitors to come to your dealership website who are just looking for pictures of the latest Ferrari because they are fans of the brand or car. You want people who are searching “buy the latest Ferrari” or “shop for Ferraris” because those website users are displaying the intent of taking the action you want them to take.
Next time you are building a keyword list, begin to work on putting these SEO tips into practice. With each keyword that your team identifies as a potential option, ask yourself if it is relevant, something people search for, and has the user intent that you’d want a website visitor to have when they arrive at your site. If a keyword is able to check all three of those boxes, it’s likely that search term is a welcomed addition to your organic program.