Keyword Research and how have search strategies changed?
Even in our modern connected society some people still wonder whether keyboard research is worth doing at all. Well, the short answer: of course, it is… so long as you aren’t trying to do SEO like it’s still 2009.
Past keyword strategies usually revolved around stuffing your content (a high percentage of the same keyword within your page) with specific search terms people are looking for to artificially push your page to the top of the search results, this worked well 10 years ago, but search engines have evolved making it more likely to get your website penalised.
This approach no longer works and can actually lead to lower search rankings due to Google’s constant tweaking of its search algorithms that aim to deliver more relevant search results to the people using their engine.
We’ll discuss how search engines work in more detail later but just to give you a basic overview, here are a few points to note about online searching:
- People use mobile devices that have digital assistants allowing them to search using natural language which can differ to the way they may type a question.
- Google now offers up immediate answers via Answer Boxes from sites that are usually well-optimised with relevant content.
- Semantically related keywords have become important and you can’t just optimise content for a single target phrase anymore. It is now important that you include multiple related phrases in all of your keyword strategies.
How to understand Keyword types
Before starting keyword research, it’s essential that you understand how keywords are classified.
Keywords can be described as being head, body or long tail keywords:
- Head keywords usually contain 1 or 2 words, and will be relevant to a high volume of searches.
- Body keywords usually contain 2 to 3 word phrases and will usually be relevant to a good number of searches, not too many but equally not too few.
- Long tail keywords usually contain four or more words and are usually only relevant in only a few searches.
The important factor to remember is how specific your keywords are. The longer the phrase is, the more specific it is, and the fewer search results it will appear in, but the more specific the better chance of conversion.
- If you search for the word “computers” you will get millions of results.
- If you search for “Dell computers”, you will get hundreds of thousands of results.
- If you search for “2019 Dell computers”, you’ll get information specific to this year’s PC only, and as a result far less search results.
If you think about this, the more specific your keyword phrases are the more likely your visitors will want what you offer. If you are too vague using a generic singular word then your webpage will be competing against thousands of other websites, meaning you will deep within the google search pages with others sites.
Another term you’ll hear when doing keyword research is latent semantic keywords. What this basically means is keywords that are related to others and is a bit like a search engine using word association to decide what people are really looking for.
For example, if you search for the word “Avengers”, the search engine would use the context provided by other search terms you have input to decide if you are looking for information about the comic book or the series of movies.
Because of this, it is important for any keyword research strategy to find relevant associated keywords to use in your content. The related search terms shown at the bottom of the results page for your keywords can help with this.
Please see the example image below Fig 1, here the search term SEO Services was used