How to Plan Your Keyword Strategy

Keyword magnifying glass

In our last blog, we said that next time round we would help you understand how to effectively plan you Keyword Strategy… here goes!

Step 1: What is your mission?

Before you begin, think about your mission, what do you want to achieve? Think about questions such as: Who are you? What is your website about? What makes your business special? Who are you trying to reach? And what promises do you make on your website?

Many companies can’t effectively answer these questions at first. You have to figure out what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd. What’s more, you need know what kind of audience you want to target. So, take your time and write down your mission on a piece of paper, a computer, tablet or even your phone – anything will do, as long as you do it. Once you’re able to answer these questions in detail, you will have taken the first and most important step in your keyword strategy.

Step 2: Make a list of keywords

The next step of any successful keyword research is creating a list of your keywords. With your mission in mind, try to get into the heads of your potential target audience. What will these people be looking for? What kind of search terms do you think they could be using while looking for your service or product? Ask yourself these questions and write down as many answers as possible.

If your mission is clear, you should have a pretty clear image of your niche and your unique selling points, (the things that set your business apart from others). These are the search terms you want to be found for.

Make sure the keywords fit your site

Be aware that you should be found for terms that match your business, and your website. If we went crazy and did our very best to make rank for cricket bats, people would be rather disappointed to find our site. They would probably instantly go back to Google and try again. If we ranked for cricket bats, we would have a massive bounce rate, which would tell Google that people are not finding what they are looking for based on their search term. This would inevitably lead to a lower ranking for our site – and that would be completely justified because people are not finding the things they are looking for.

Step 3: Look at search intent

Modern SEO strategies should, for the most part revolve around answering the questions people have. Whenever someone enters a search query into a search engine, they are on a quest to find something. Every type of question needs a specific answer.

When planning your content, always consider these 4 types of intent:

Informational intent: Just like it says on the tin, people are trying to find information on a specific topic or product.

Navigational intent: People want to access a specific website by entering the term in a search engine.

Commercial intent: People want to buy something sometime soon and are doing research before making a purchase.

Transactional intent: People are looking to buy something after doing their commercial intent searches.

Find out which kinds of intent apply to you and try to match these search intents, giving people what they want.

Keyword box

Step 4: Construct landing pages

The next step towards a long-term keyword strategy is to create viable landing pages. In the past, each of the keywords you wanted to be found for got its own landing page. Today, search engines are so smart that they mostly use search intent to give users the best answer to their questions. The page that answers those questions best, will rank on top. Search engines also understand subtle differences between keywords, so you don’t have to create landing pages for all subtle variations of a keyword. Instead, you can just optimise a page for multiple keyphrases, synonyms and related keyphrases.

Create an overview

We would advise you to build your page structure in a well-structured way – using a spreadsheet programme like Excel or Google Docs/Sheets can be a great way to do this. Create a table then add your list of keywords. Using a table forces you to set up a structure and to make relevant landing pages. Put the search terms in the first column and add columns for the different levels of your site’s structure.

Create landing pages

Next, you’ll need to build a landing page for your search terms, but you don’t have to create all these pages immediately – it can be a long-term thing completed over a period of time. The more specific a search term is, the further down into your site structure the term’s landing page belongs. The most important keywords will lead to your cornerstone content articles. These are the keywords you definitely want to rank for. To do this, you create the best possible content about that particular keyword – authoritative and all-encompassing. All your supporting articles will link to this cornerstone content. This should be part of your internal linking strategy, which Perform Online can help you implement.

After completing your keyword research for your SEO, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms you want the pages on your site to be found for, which should now be able to guide you in writing content for your website.

Long-term keyword strategy

No website should ever rely on one single keyword or one keyphrase for its traffic. You should use your mission as a starting point, then take our steps in carrying out proper keyword research and work towards a solid keyword strategy.

We hope found this helpful and please keep an eye out for our next blog where we will explain why it’s so important to have a long-term keyword strategy.