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Keyword Research

The cornerstone of a winning SEO strategy

What is keyword research for?

Before you can build a successful SEO strategy, you need to know where your search opportunities lie. Keyword research examines how your audience searches for your offering and which queries are most likely to drive traffic and achieve conversion.

As well as providing a foundation for SEO strategy, keyword research helps you to develop richer, more effective site content, and forms the framework for mapping ROI to your organic activity.

Do I really need keyword research?

If we invited you to guess what kind of keywords your target customers search with, you’d probably have a good hit rate. But the process goes far deeper than identifying key terms. Good keyword research tells you which terms have the best search volume; examines the intent attached to particular words or phrases; reveals the kind of language your prospects use to frame their queries; and teases out likely trends.

While the broad terms are guessable, get the detail wrong and you can run into significant problems:

  • Irrelevant traffic that negatively affects user metrics
  • Ranking cannibalisation issues
  • Poorly focused content that doesn’t match user intent

All of that can be detrimental to the ranking potential of your site, as well as its potential to convert visitors to purchasers.

How does keyword research work?

Finding and selecting keywords is the easy part. To get value out of those keywords, you need to go deep into query data. We’ll help you understand the intent behind queries and where they sit in the search journey. That process will open up a wealth of new content themes and ideas, helping you take your organic strategy to the next level.

Head terms vs long tail keywords graph

Keyword optimisation goals: traffic vs conversion

It’s common to see SEO campaigns fixate on the keywords with the largest search volumes. While that seems logical, more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more sales, and a focus on high traffic often comes at the expense of low conversion rates.

So at the very start of the keyword research process, we’ll look at your business goals, and shape our research accordingly. Do you want to win traffic with broad, high-volume terms? Or do you want to focus on conversion by targeting longer niche phrases with clear intent?

Intent matrix

Knowing the intent behind a search allows you to create content accordingly. We map queries to four key areas:

  • Navigational searches
  • Informational searches
  • Commercial investigation
  • Purchase intent

Create content that is aligned to each of these areas and you’ll have visibility throughout the search journey, establishing early contact in the research phase and remaining front-of-mind as searches move deeper into the booking or purchase journey.

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