Identify High-Affinity Search Keywords to Reduce Waste and Drive Quality Traffic

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the digital marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can drive high value quality traffic at volume to your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole. It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated; with keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that your target audience are actively seeking. 

The output of a keyword research project is a defined list of priority keyword themes and an assessment of performance of the primary website in the search engines for a sample of high-priority keywords.

Keyword Research Process

Stage 1 – Discovery Session

In the first stage of the process we discuss with you and your subject matter experts what the current keyword strategy is and what is the current understanding internally of the most appropriate keywords to describe your products and services. Sometimes there is a disconnect between internal understanding and descriptions of the products and services (as you develop tolerance and bias) and what the external audience would actually search for during discovery and evaluation phases of their journey. We probe your target audience and products/services to understand at a high level the alignment between the current target keywords and the audience. 

Stage 2 – Cursory Keyword Research

In this stage we take the learning and insights from the discovery session and use this to ‘seed’ our keyword data collection strategy. We gather broad keyword data from the research tools at our disposal to undertake high-level searches for target keywords. We use different techniques to gather this list including searching for keywords around the themes of your website as well as looking at what keywords your competitors might be targeting. This list is usually very large and we then rank the keyword data based on monthly search volumes and keyword competition within the search results. 

Stage 3 – Keyword Validation & Refinement

Once we have collected and ranked the keyword data we then collaborate with you and your subject matter experts (who have expert domain knowledge) to integrate what the external data sources deem the highest value and volume and what your internal expert knowledge deems most valuable. This helps to remove any inappropriate or irrelevant keywords which may be off-strategy as well as open discussions on any interesting findings that may warrant further investigation.  

Stage 4 – Priority Keyword Themes

In the next stage we take the learnings from validation and create priority keyword themes. Keyword themes are the main keyword plus any relevant variations that users may search for including location, action word (e.g. buy, sell, review), product or service, application or audience. We develop these priority themes based on a combination of factors including business priority, search volume and relevance to target audience. This is a manual process where the strategist reviews each keyword and these factors to make a decision whether to recommend the keyword theme for inclusion. Following this a collaborative review is conducted to ensure the keyword themes match internal expectations.

Stage 5 – Search Engine Visibility Analysis

Once we have the final primary keyword themes we undertake a ranking analysis in the search engines to understand where the primary website ranks for each of the primary keywords themes (and selected variants) within the search engine results pages. This ranking analysis helps us understand the current performance of the primary website in terms of alignment with priority keyword themes and to help prime for an on-page SEO audit to identify gaps in keyword implementation and targeting on the website. 

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