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Keyword research is a combination of trying to understand what people are searching for, how often these searches are made and how well competitors are performing for these terms.
Before we delve into this further, let me explain what a Keyword is. A keyword is simply the word(s) people use when searching for something in online search engines. Consider the way we organise desktop PC’s by naming folders, the internet works in the exact same way – using keywords lets search engines know where to look for the most suitable content.
Amidst other search engines such as Yahoo and bing, Google’s algorithm is complex but the aim of all search engine’s is pretty simple, return the most relevant and most useful result for a user’s search.
The aim of Keyword research is to establish a list of phrases and terms that offer a range of opportunities and potential gaps in the industry. A strategy is then designed to bolster keywords that are doing well and to win terms that aren’t currently ranking at all.
To explain what we mean by ‘Competition’ – Websites ‘compete’ for terms using myriad ranking factors, and one of these ranking factors is the use of keywords. Some terms are harder to win than others depending on the competition.
For example, a lot of content on the web exists for the term ‘weather forecast’ meaning it will prove extremely difficult generating enough domain authority on your website, and relevant content centering around the term ‘weather forecast’ if you are starting out a new website selling a forecast app or a blog about the weather! You would be better trying to develop long tail keywords such as ‘weather forecast tomorrow’ or ‘regional weather forecast’ as this will all help to contribute to the term ‘weather forecast’. A long tail keywords is simply a variation of the main term, usually prefixed or suffixed with additional adjectives.
If you’re curious, as we were, check out a list of the top searched of keywords in 2016.
From doing Keyword research properly, you should end up with a number of different terms that vary in terms of difficulty for instance, compared to what my competition is doing, some words are easy to win, and others are much harder to win and therefore will take longer. By “win”, we mean the ultimate quest of any marketeer ‘appearing at the top of Google’.
We categories these levels of difficulty with three terms. Quick win keywords, mid win keywords, and long term keywords.
A ‘quick win’ keyword is potentially easier to win because not a lot of other retailers are putting focus on that specific phrase or product, this is typically seen on items with lower margin.
‘Mid-win’ keywords are tougher to rank for ( because there’s more competition) and are typically for more expensive items.
‘Long-term’ keywords are words that have very high competition but are usually for significant yield. These usually take longer to rank for, due to high competition levels and other factors, such as domain ranking, playing a part in these. These will likely be targeted over a 6 month or yearlong period as they need a lot of work, such as content creation and other site improvements before google will consider you one of the major players.
The is opposed to a quick win keyword would be, which could be achievable to rank for within as little as 3 months.
It’s important to note that an effective keyword strategy is a combination of these three types of keyword. Reason why? Having a good mixture of quick, mid and long term keywords is key to staggering growth realistically and providing wins in the short and long run. This can also help to bolster business growth, including sales, at a realistic and practical rate.
If you are now eager to get going with Keyword research for your own website, get in touch and see how we can help you.