Writers know that SEO is essential to all content, but meeting SEO needs while producing compelling content can often seem daunting.
Don’t fret; once you understand the fundamentals of on-page SEO, it becomes second nature. You’ll be writing SEO gold with a bit of time and a few tricks of the trade.
Most importantly, SEO is research and knowing what keywords work best. Once your keywords are defined, it is just a matter of including them in your writing. Simple.
So, let’s talk about research tips that could help you find the right words and terms for your content.
Here are some advanced guidelines that SEO writers need to keep in mind.
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What is a Keyword Research Strategy?
Let’s start with the basics. Every content writer has heard the term search engine optimization (SEO) and knows it is the process by which a website ranks higher on Google’s results page, or the SERP (search engine results page).
But, SEO falls short if we’re simply guessing the best words to include in the content.
If I’m writing an article about airplane navigation, the term “airplane navigation” might be included in the top keywords, but not necessarily at the top of the list.
Some research shows me that the term is third on the keyword list, and “airplane navigation lights” is number one.
Additionally, out of the top search terms, “airplane navigation lights” has the highest chance of ranking on search because there are only 7.8 million website URLs to compete against versus 107 million for airplane navigation.
Every site that fails to use the better term competes with more websites for a term with a lower search volume.
Now, it’s clear what term I need to insert first. I’ll include other main phrases or words, but my research strategy helped me figure out what many other writers did not.
As another example, I searched “keyword research” and found out that it has 100% keyword difficulty but 9,900 searches in the last month.
It’s unbelievably hard to rank, so a mixture of other terms like “keyword strategy,” which has a lower difficulty, but a much lower search volume could help improve the ranking.
Keyword strategy is simply analyzing search terms to find those with the highest chance of ranking.
What is the Difference Between Basic and Advanced Research?
My little example of keyword research was pretty basic. I entered a term and found other phrases that were similar, but easier to rank.
However, this basic research gave me some great ideas but given more time and resources, I could continue with an analysis that goes further in-depth.
Inputting different relevant terms will return excellent recommendations.
If you’re writing for a concert promoter, you would probably research terms like alternative rock or other genres, specific band names, live music venues, and music reviews.
Search volume for different terms will vary widely.
As previously mentioned, combining the words searched most often along with those with the least competition is necessary.
That’s basic research, and it’s available for free in limited quantities through some paid SEO tools.
Advanced keyword research
Advanced keyword research involves planning and research that is much more extensive.
It includes looking at longer terms, the potential questions asked in the search, what terms have low competition, the user’s search intent, and a more detailed assessment of words that apply to your topic.
To start planning, ask yourself:
- What are the most popular things that would apply to this subject?
- Who will be searching these terms?
- Would seasonal changes impact these terms?
- What words might they be using?
- Are there specific questions they could be typing into the search?
- Why are they searching?
- Where are they located?
With this information, you can develop an extensive list to search, and it’s best to plug those terms into a spreadsheet and rank them as you go. In addition, you’ll find even more effective terms as you continue your research.
The 4 Types of Keywords
Remember those questions I had you ask yourself for more advanced research? One of them was to ask yourself why the users were searching a specific term, and it’s one of the most critical questions on that list.
Search intent results in the four types of keywords: transactional, commercial, navigational, and informational.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each.
There are terms with tremendous search volume that won’t result in website conversion.
These are informational keywords that relate to searches to learn something specific, like “when is National Spaghetti Day?” (yes, there is such a day).
If your content for a local Italian restaurant ranks very high on that search and low on “Italian restaurants near me,” don’t expect many clicks to result in conversions.
Searching for a company or brand is a navigational search performed by people that know what they want.
These searches are high drivers of organic content.
Are you writing content that relates to specific products or services? Searches related to those products or services are commercial searches.
These are valuable, especially for any company with a content marketing strategy, as they indicate a potential purchase and possible future customers.
What’s even more valuable than searching for a product or service? Just put the word “buy” in front of the search.
Words like deliver, buy, or sale indicate that a transaction is imminent, and it is necessary to rank high.
Summing It All Up
SEO research isn’t necessarily hard to implement, but what separates advanced research from basic research comes down to how comprehensively the planning and research are conducted.
It all comes down to a strategy of figuring out what people could be looking for, finding a variety of terms based on popularity and likelihood to rank, and knowing the intent associated with various terms.
The Rock Content team includes SEO experts who know what works and what doesn’t, such as cloaking in SEO.
As SEO rules change (which they often do), the Rock Content team adapts immediately.
If you’re a company needing SEO-optimized content, reach out today.