So you have drawn up this year’s strategies and have the list of target keywords. If you are going for the number one spot on the SERPs, good luck to you. Unless you are Huff Post or The National Geographic, chances are you might find the task to be harder than ever. It is 2019, and SEO strategies are changing rapidly in tune with the changing times.
Aiming for a keyword ranking on the SERPs is an age-old organic SEO practice. And there is no harm in refreshing things a little bit from time to time. This blog aims at showing the best and (still) relevant ways of honing your keyword search to perfection. If you have a new website with aims to rank for a popular keyword, this blog can be just the guide you need. However, existing websites and businesses can also benefit from the new-age keyword tricks. They can help them get the position they have set their eyes since a long time ago while monitoring the process with a rank tracking tool.
Find the apt match: tricks to pick the right keywords
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- Start with a topic list for your business
Think of this as the initial brainstorming process. You need to focus on the topics that you want to rank for SERPs. These should be related to your business, and must have a defined scope. Otherwise, it will become difficult for you to find relevant keywords for a specific topic. Hence, be careful when choosing the topic list for your business.
For example, a digital marketing firm may pick topic buckets like “content marketing”, “inbound sales”, “measurement metrics” and similar topics.
The intent of this exercise lies in getting into your customers’ shoes. Think like they do, and try to figure out what their needs and problems might be. Target those areas, and you will come up with at least 5 to 10 major topic buckets that you can now use to rank for keywords in the SERPs.
- Add keywords for each of the topics on the list
After you have short listed topic buckets, it’s time to select keywords for each of them. Of course, this is where things get a bit tricky. But there’s nothing to worry if you have a clear idea on the topics you need to address. You have to prepare a list of keywords for each topic on your previous list. Think of these keywords as the ones that will get you those top ranks on the SERPs, and you will know what those are.
Your target audience is ideally out there, searching for these keywords at this very moment. If you think of it that way, it becomes easier for you to pick the keywords. For starters, you may want to explore keyword phrases that your target audience is likely to type when conducting a web search.
For example, if you have assignment experts giving out live tutorials, then some of the keywords related to the topic are:
- Assignment experts on line
- How to hire an assignment expert
- Where do I find an assignment expert
- Assignment experts near me
And the list goes on and on. That is how you should start off selecting relevant keywords for your business. Take each topic bucket and fill it up with relevant keywords.
- Go snooping in “related search” suggestions
If you did not make the most of the “related searches” section on the SERPs, then you must have been living under a rock. There is a limit to how many keywords you can think of, and that is where the related searches section figures in. Type a specific topic on Google, and scroll down to the bottom of the page when the results appear. The “related searches” section will reveal close matches of the search phrases you chose. It also shows trending searches as per the region and browsing customisations. Use these suggestions to create more keywords for your topic buckets.
- Mix up head terms and long-tail keywords
Shorter and more generic keywords, or head terms are perfect to zero in on a topic bucket. However, long-tail keywords, or the ones that are more elaborate and specifically spell out a search query, are the ones that get more traffic your way. For example, “haircut” is a head term whereas “where can I get a trendy haircut?” is a long-tail keyword.
According to recent studies, the long-tail keyword search is on the rise. So, your keyword mix must also include BOTH head terms and long-tail keywords. Head terms help to draw traffic to the main topics on your business, whereas long-tail keywords streamline the search process down to specific queries. Also, long-tail keywords can save the day for your website as head terms are usually pretty competitive keywords.
- Keep an eye out for your competitors
You have got to keep a close watch on your competitors at all times. The race to higher ranks on SERPs is tireless and goes on forever. If you are prepared for a long-drawn web war, then you must know what your competitors are up to as well. Scan their websites frequently to gauge their ranking strategy. You should definitely be targeting the keywords that are working in their favour. Turn the tables around with the same keywords (but with better and more relevant content), and you are sure to win the web war over higher SERP rankings.
- Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to streamline your list
Finally, let Google AdWords Keyword Planner help you sort out the keywords in style. Helping you with quantitative data on keywords and creating the right keyword mix, Google AdWords is just the SEO tool you need right now. From search volume to estimated traffic, Google AdWords Keyword Planner does it all for you. Use it to identify the high-volume search terms. Use them more frequently in content while weeding out the ones that do not have a considerable search volume.
- Bonus tip: keyword research tools you are bound to love
Here are a few SEO-related tools (other than Google AdWords) that help you with keyword research. In fact, most of these do a lot more than just that. A smart SEO marketer’s best friend, thee tools are as new-age and resourceful as they get.
- Answer the Public
- SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool
Try your hand at a few and see which works best for you.
Of course, competitive keywords will have a lot more players in the field. But it would not have been half the fun had there not been any competition in the first place, right? If you genuinely want those SERP rankings, try the tricks discussed in this blog. Here’s a quick recap of the crucial pointers you must follow to get those top ranks on the SERPs.
- Categorise your business into topics
- Brainstorm for relevant keywords for each topic
- Refine keyword research from “related search” sections on SERPs
- Use a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords
- Plan keyword usage with Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Make use of digital tools for strategic keyword usage
Building up authority or your website with niche and relevant keywords can be an excellent way of improving your rank. And that’s what you should aim for in this quarter.
Whether you sell wine accessories or offer legal consultancy online, the tricks discussed in this blog work for all kinds of businesses. Once you get a grip on what to do and how, you can make almost everything work for you. So what are you waiting for? Get your websites top rank-ready for keywords right away. Good luck!