How Is Your SEO Company Doing Keyword Research?

I love me some Captain Obvious.

If he worked for an SEO agency and was helping you generate target keywords for your marketing mix, he’d tell you to get your team into a room, have a meeting, come up with 10-20 keywords and call it a day.

So obvious it’s silly, right?

Sorry Captain Obvious – it ain’t that easy.

Don’t let your SEO company be Captain Obvious.

If they ask you for keywords you want to rank for, then add some of theirs to the list and call it a day… it’s time you find a new SEO agency.

The following factors must be considered when conducting keyword research…

Searcher’s Intent

There are three main types of search: Navigational, Transactional, Informational.

Navigational search would be something like ESPN or Google, you’re just trying to navigate to a destination.

Transactional search implies the searcher is looking to take an action.

Informational, well, I’ll let Captain Obvious help you with that one.

Use this when evaluating keywords:

If you sell red widgets, would you rather rank for “how to use a red widget” or “where to buy a red widget?”

Focus on transactional keywords if your marketing goals involve users taking an action. They might not generate the same amount of traffic, but they will surely convert better and bring better traffic to your website.

Keywords Selection

Many times, companies only want to use certain keywords because they fit the branding or preferred messaging. If your preferred keyword gets 10 searches a month and the consumer preferred keyword generates 10,000 searches a month, well, again, channel your inner Captain Obvious for help with this one.

Keyword Tools

There are a lot of them out there, but the best one is still the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Whether the data is being pulled via API or directly from a Google Ads account, make sure this Google data is front and center when considering monthly searches.

Don’t just stop there though. The rise of Siri and other voice aids are generating a ton of Q&A type queries. Tools like StoryBase can help you generate a list of commonly searched questions.

Competitors Paid Keywords

SEO can be hard and some companies completely give up and just focus on paid campaigns. There are tools out there like iSpionage and SEMRush that can pull keywords and ad copy your competitors are using. Make sure you’re pulling that into your mix for consideration. Chances are your competitor has done the research and is tracking conversions so use this data to your advantage.

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Chris C
Chris C

Chris has been in the SEO world since 1999. He's created and executed cutting-edge online marketing strategies Fortune 500 companies, major trade organizations and wide range of other businesses. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting and is also oddly quite fond of orangutans.