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Keyword strategy remains the biggest make-or-break factor in SEO, yet it’s still widely misunderstood and the number one on-page problem identified by Click’s SEOs. It’s also one of the most worthwhile exercises in search marketing – and marketing in general. As well as helping your site to rank, it will give you a much greater insight into what your customers want

There’s no point in guessing what people search for to find your business and optimising your site for the wrong keywords; even if you manage to rank for keywords with a high search volume, it’s pretty pointless if the people using those search terms aren’t looking for what you offer. Search marketing is about quality as well as quantity: ‘how many’ isn’t the only focus, but also ‘how many of the right kind’.

Keyword research should inform your content strategy

Customers and search engines alike love good quality content that answers their questions and addresses their queries: content that is relevant, engaging and original.

You can’t do this without first carrying out thorough keyword research and taking the learnings to identify the phrases and topics to target to create high quality content that meets your target customers’ needs.

Topic – and keyword – relevance are critical to your website’s success, in terms of driving the right people to your site, encouraging them to convert – and of ranking well on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Beat your competition

Good keyword research will reveal gaps – areas your competitors are not competing in, or competing only marginally. If your brand is new to a marketplace, the chances are that competitors will be well established for trophy keywords, whereas there may be appropriate, industry specific long tail gaps that can be exploited for early gains.

Get to know your customers

This is a good time to start thinking about your buyer personas, what are they looking for, what will they want to know and at what stage in the buying cycle will they want to know it? Think about how you search on a phone as opposed to on a laptop. Are there differences in your own search types from one device to another? What are your intentions across devices?

What’s in this workbook?

  • Identify the keywords your brand should be targeting – they may not be the ones you think.
  • Using Google’s free tools autocomplete, Keyword Planner and Search Console.
  • Looking at who’s already ranking for your chosen keywords – and what you can learn from them.
  • Checking up on your competitors’ keywords to reveal gaps to exploit.
  • The importance of long tail keywords.
  • How to use your research to inform and optimise your on-page content.

You can use this resource and the exercises within it to jumpstart your keyword strategy for online success. But remember that it’s as an ongoing process; it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse to pick up on emerging trends, find inspiration and act on new opportunities.

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