Online businesses are strategic because online storefronts are digital or “virtual.”
There is a ton of difference in marketing on the physical level and on the digital level. The main difference is that when you set up a business at the physical level you don’t have to make it reach to a wider group of people so that you get business from them.
But, in case of online marketing you are not alone on the web! There are thousands of websites hosted on a variety of platforms that are competing with each other to reap maximum revenue from their businesses.
This is the reason you need incredible ideas and right keyword strategies to target the group of people on the internet so that they will find you and get interested in your products and services.
Whatever your business is, if you want to get noticed on the internet you need to appear in Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It means that you need to rank in search engines, dominantly Google. Right keyword strategy will help you achieve that.
What is the right keyword strategy?
It is important to understand that there is no right or 100% perfect keyword strategy. The success of any keyword strategy depends on how wisely you figure out the competition for a particular group of keywords and the actual selection of keywords.
Marketing in the real world and marketing in the digital world are as different as chalk and cheese. The latter is all about reaching a targeted audience, which is a tough ask considering how widespread the digital world is. On the internet, there are hundreds and thousands of websites and businesses from around the world competing for visitors and sales. In such a scenario, how does one get their website or business noticed?
One proven way of achieving that is by using the right keyword strategy to target your desired audience. In fact, after understanding your business model, a quality digital marketing service provider straightway concentrates on drawing up a keyword strategy for your online marketing campaign.
The right keywords and ideas go a long way towards targeting the right audience, which in turn helps to get them interested in your products and services. Regardless of what your business or website specializes in, getting noticed on the internet is all about appearing on the search engine results page (SERP). In other words, you need to be ranked by search engines, Google the most prominent among them. And creating the right keyword strategy is the first step towards getting there.
What is the right keyword strategy?
Let’s get this out of the way at the very beginning, there is no perfect or 100% right keyword strategy. That is because the success of such a strategy is directly related to the competition for a particular group of relevant keywords and which keywords you pick from that group for your campaign. Needless to say, keywords need to be chosen carefully and wisely to ensure the highest possible success rate.
Developing a keyword strategy
- In-depth research
The first step in creating a keyword strategy is to study the business and its industry inside out. If it is a non-commercial website, research the topic on which it is based. With thorough research, you not only end up with potential keywords but also develop an understanding of the client’s business model and goals which can be useful when building a long-term online marketing strategy for the client.
- Narrow your search
Once you have a sizable list of potential keywords and phrases, the next step should be about narrowing it down. Cross out the ones you think nobody would search for. To narrow the list down further, you can use a keyword planner tool (explained below). Metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, popularity trends, and relevance can help you in weeding out irrelevant keywords. Continue doing this till the time you have a list of about two dozen keywords. A useful tip is to get the client involved in the process as they know their industry the best.
- Match them with the content
Matching the keywords you’ve generated till now to relevant webpages and their content is important. Crawling the client’s website, parsing its various URLs, Meta information, page titles, and headings allows you to match keywords to the right webpages. Once the matching is done, all future content creation should be focused around these keywords and related topics.
- Keep optimizing
Just like with everything else in digital marketing, your keyword strategy is not set in stone either. Once you’ve created and merged your keyword strategy with the right content, it is important to track its progress vis-à-vis the overall goals of the digital marketing campaign. If the metrics show unsatisfactory results, do not hesitate to revisit the keyword strategy or tweak keywords with respect to their performance. That is also the only way to deal with disruptions caused by search ranking algorithm updates.
Keyword research tools
There are umpteen tools that you can use for building a keyword strategy. However, the most popular tool for the purpose is without doubt Google’s Keyword Planner.
A free product offered as part of Google AdWords, you can use the tool to draw up a list of useful and competitive keywords. Start by creating a list of competing websites. Established websites usually rank for highly competitive seed (base/foundation) keywords, which is difficult to achieve for newcomer websites. A better way instead is to unearth longtail keywords related to the seed keywords and include them in your strategy. Longtail keywords tend to have lower search volumes and lower competition, which makes them a better bet compared to highly competitive seed keywords.
You ask why? Well let’s take the analogy of boxing. Would it be wise to fight a professional heavyweight when you are just an amateur? It’d be better to work your way up from lower weight classes before taking on someone from the top division.
In a similar way, websites already ranking high for seed keywords are akin to boxing heavyweights. Attaining a high ranking by creating content and focusing on those seed keywords is tremendously difficult and will take a lot of time. By concentrating on longtail keywords instead, you increase your chances of getting relevant traffic and once your domain authority increases, you can start focusing on the seed keywords. To go back to the example, longtail keywords help build the strength that is required to go up against established competitor websites.
To illustrate this through an example, let’s say you are creating an online marketing campaign for a website like www.technologyadvice.com. This particular website specializes in comparing and reviewing different business software like ERP. Now feed the URL of the website’s ERP landing page to Google’s Keyword Planner and look for longtail keywords that have low search volumes.
In the below image, you can see that the search volume for the seed keyword is 60,500.
To see the longtail keywords that have low search volumes, you need to scroll down. These are keywords that are not targeted by many people. In the below image, it can be seen that there are two keywords ‘ERP software systems’ and ‘ERP software list’ whose search volumes are between 100 to 1,000.
It is these two keywords that you should use to create various types of content like blogs to enhance your digital marketing campaign. It does not matter that they are not the main keywords as they help get traffic initially to your website. And as mentioned above, targeting and ranking for highly competitive seed keywords is a lot easier when your website has a high domain authority. In the meantime, you can focus on longtail keywords and create attractive and useful content that creates high engagement with your target audience.
Summing it up
While highly effective, the Google Keyword Planner is not the only tool at your disposal. Google Trends, Moz, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and even the Google search suggestions can be used to create and refine your keyword strategy. What is more important though is the process and the not the tools that you use for the process. Get into the skin of your client and understand their business or website thoroughly. That will give you insights that can be used to come up with keywords and other useful marketing ideas. At the same time, think from the point of view of the user and narrow down your list to only those keywords that they are likely to search for. The tools can come in later when you need to refine your list of keywords further.
And last but not the least, keep tinkering and refining your keyword strategy as SEO is always a process and never a destination.