Posted on 04/10/2022 by Melanie Comerford

Creating Your Keyword Strategy for SEO

Even if you’re new to SEO, you may have heard of keywords at some stage. These small words and phrases play a big part in how SEO works and is a major way in which search engines and customers find and understand your website. 

But on their own, they’re not much use.

To make sure they are performing to the best of their ability, you should think about creating a keyword strategy. This will act as a plan for you to focus your SEO efforts in the right place and allow you to track your work to see what works and what doesn’t.

Here, we’re going to cover everything keyword strategy-related to ensure that you have a good understanding of how keywords are used to bring in more traffic to your site, improve your visibility and generate new leads.   

What is a Keyword Strategy?

Let’s start with the basics – what is a keyword strategy? Although a broad term, a keyword strategy is a group of keywords that you want to focus on and target on your website. It should include focus keywords and long-tail keywords to build a comprehensive plan of attack. It should also include written content – such as blog content or on-page content – that is informed directly by the targeted keywords. 

Your keyword strategy may take the form of a document, which will act as a plan that you can refer back to and update as time goes on. This document can be shared within your team so everyone understands what areas of your website are being targeted.  

Why are Keyword Strategies important?

Before going into detail about keyword strategies, it’s useful to understand how people use keywords to find what they want online. A person will search a keyword with the intention of finding a solution, whether that be the intention of buying a product, gaining more information on a specific subject or looking for a service. Once they have found a piece of content that fulfils their needs, they will click and become a potential lead. The higher you rank on the search engine results page, the more likely someone is to visit your site. 

Then, by providing a clear call to action at the end of your content, you can move your visitors to the next stage of their buyer’s journey. Think of a blog with the title of ‘what football boots do I need for grass’. Someone visiting this will most likely be in the awareness stage of their journey, but by providing a call to action within the content – such as a link to the page on your site where you can buy the relevant boots – you can fast-track them to the decision stage.  

man using laptop and phone to browse the internet

By using keywords in your online content, you can align your content with what your customers are looking for to gain more traffic to your site. By understanding what your audience is looking for, you can begin to tailor your content to satisfy their intent. In short, a keyword strategy helps you better understand your audience, helps to increase your online visibility and allows you to monitor the areas of your website that matter most.

What is Keyword Research?

A fundamental stage of your keyword strategy is the keyword research stage. This is the part where you start to dig deeper into the words and phrases that are used within your industry and begin to gain an understanding of the areas that you would like to focus your efforts. It’s important to be realistic here and set yourself achievable SEO goals, choosing keywords that you are likely to be competitive for. Let’s look at this in more detail:   

The Three Elements of Keyword Research

Keyword research can be broken down into three main components; relevance, authority and volume. These three elements will directly impact how your keywords perform on the SERPs so it’s important to have a good understanding of what they are and how they should inform your research.   

Relevance refers to how relevant your piece of content is to your audience. As you might have heard, relevance is a big deal for Google and is a major ranking factor. The better you provide a solution to someone’s query, the more likely it is that your content will rank higher on Google. With keywords, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand the search intent of your keywords.

Your content will also be ranked on how authoritative it is. If a website is deemed to be a more authoritative source where your content is trustworthy, it will be promoted higher than a site that provides less authoritative content. This is useful to understand with your keyword research as it means that you may struggle to rank for a keyword if the competing pieces of content are from more established websites, such as Amazon or eBay. Most keyword research tools will provide some indication of how competitive a keyword is, you can use this as a guide to prioritise your efforts.

It’s also important to bear the search volume of a keyword in mind – ranking first for a phrase is great but it’s not much use if it has a low number of monthly searches.    

How to Create Your Keyword Strategy

1. Understanding Your Audience

Before anything else, understanding your audience is absolutely key to a successful keyword strategy. Knowing what your audience is searching for online is a major step in ensuring that your content matches the intent of their search queries. It would be pointless to generate content for a topic that no one is searching for online. 

Understanding your audience is an ongoing process and can be informed by a whole range of different methods; such as persona research. Another way, for example, your sales team might be able to help by telling you what queries are being asked regularly and what topics within our business are the most popular.  

However, don’t worry about having all the information at the beginning – as you begin your keyword research you will begin to get a better understanding of your audience.  

2. Choosing Your Topics

The next step is choosing the topics that you want to focus on. These should be relevant areas to your industry and will inform your keyword research in the future. You should look at generating around 5 – 10 ‘topic buckets’ that focus on the topics that are most important to your industry. For example, a company that manufactures sports equipment may want to concentrate their efforts on terms such as ‘sports footwear’ or ‘sports clothing’.  

3. Choosing Your Keywords (That go into each topic)

Once you have your topic buckets you can begin populating them with the keywords you want to focus on. These keywords should be related to the relevant topic and should be informed by what your customers and audience are searching for. 

If we take our previous example of a sports clothing manufacturer and look at the term ‘sports footwear’ specifically, some keywords and phrases that we could use might be ‘buy football boots online’ or ‘what kind of football boots do I need for grass?’. Remember, these keywords can be long-tail, meaning they can be longer and more specific in their intent – making them handy for blogging!  

google auto complete search

Keywords can be found with the help of specialist software such as SEMRush, or with Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Search Console. Alternatively, utilising the simple tools available to everyone such as Google’s autocomplete function, or the People Also Ask and related search terms section of a results page. All of these tools can be used to create a comprehensive list of keywords and to spark ideas about what your audience is searching for online.      

4. Understand The Search Intent

Search intent is one of the most important factors in creating a successful SEO strategy. It’s all good having your keywords at the ready but if you aren’t providing a solution to the problem that your audience member is facing, it’s next to no use. 

Take the term ‘football boots for grass’ for example; does someone want to buy a pair of football boots for grass when searching for this, or do they simply want more information about what football boots they need for grass? Often, short-tail keywords will be harder to determine a clear search intent and they offer less information than a longer-tail keyword. If you’re ever in doubt, a quick Google search will showcase what people are looking for when searching your phrase.  

5. Set Appropriate SEO Goals

Goal setting is a surefire way of giving your work an overall target of what you want to achieve. Without setting goals, you are essentially making changes and hoping that something happens as a result, which is pretty much useless. Working towards a clear and defined goal will make sure you stay on track with your keyword strategy and ensure that everyone working on the project is aware of the purpose of the work.  

6. Track and Analyse Your Keywords

Just like any change you make or campaign you begin, it’s absolutely crucial that you track and analyse your work. Once you have started generating the content that has been informed by your keyword research, you should check back regularly to see if your hard work is paying off. 

a person analysing website data

It’s important to remember that the intended reasoning for writing content changes depending on what you want from the piece of content. You might want to rank for a long-tail keyword, or you might want to build authority around an already well-ranking keyword to boost its chances of ranking higher. 

Choose Loop Digital for Your SEO

Here at Loop, we’re specialists in providing top-class SEO services which involve setting up and working with you to develop a comprehensive keyword strategy. We’ll help with keyword planning that will encourage more traffic to your business, improve your visibility and ensure that your content is getting in front of the right people. 

If you’re interested in finding out more, speak to a member of our team today.

Alternatively, to continue your own research why not download our Essential Guide to SEO? This helpful, downloadable resource covers everything from the first steps of SEO to more complex practices such as link-building, ranking factors and more.    

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Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients.

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