The foundation of the whole SEO campaign would be the keywords. So it is essential that you get this right in the beginning and match it to whatever you have in your blog content calendar. Otherwise, all your articles will end up ranking for the wrong terms, which is a big epic fail. In this article, I’m going to discuss my four keyword research processes that you can leverage for 2019.
1. Compare existing topics or pages before doing your research.
2. Check Ranking performance in SERPs
Checking ranking performance is part of every SEO webmaster’s day-to-day. Especially for product pages because they’re considered to be YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages of your website, Keeping its “first-page” status to drive more organic traffic can be challenging because of competition. In my case, I don’t have a top-ranking YMYL page yet. But if you are working from a digital agency it is best to follow my methods below. Check Rankings or Low Hanging Fruit pages using my recommended SEMRush. SEMRush, as we all know in digital marketing, is the best enterprise tool that provides you customize features specific to a campaign you are running. For SEO-related campaigns, I rely on the ranking performance dashboard below to help me understand any improvements and changes from past and current optimizations. If we dig deep by going to the Ranking Distribution and Landing pages tabs, we can quickly we see how our positions are performing last month depending on what filters. Landscape > Ranking Distribution or Landing Pages
If we see ranking drops, there might be some search engine updates or competitors launching new content that outranks some of our keyword targets. So it’s best to list down the underperforming keywords and prioritize them for your next topic research.
- No SEMrush? Use Google Search Console or Google Analytics
If you don’t have SEMRush (which I reckon to purchase it), Then you can always get data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics. You can get these tools for free, as long as you connect your site using tracking pixels auto-generated from the tool and embed the tracking in the <head> section of your site. Nowadays, they have new ways of verifying the tracking, I suggest to go to the support section if you want more information.
- New Website? Consider comparing Monthly and Annual Sales Data
- No Sales Data? Consider comparing Competitor Performance
What if I don’t have SEMRush and Google traffic data? What if my site is totally brand new but I have offline sales data? These are very common questions from start-up owners who are also interested to do SEO. To help you with this problem, it’s best to get information from past sales data. What are the top-performing products last year or the past three months? What are the under-performing ones? From these questions, alone you might get a really good grasp on what keywords to target for your topic creation. If you don’t have the three components above, then the last resort would be getting data from competitors. Easier said than done if you don’t have SEMRush but I would suggest talking to your client and agree with some competitors that they find competitive and we can learn from. A free trial for some SEO tools including SEMRush can already provide you great insights for keywords that they’re using. We can leverage these keywords and use them for our topics and other content marketing campaigns. What to do next? – Benchmark the report by creating a deck showing the issue and list down the declining keywords and focus them for your topic research and content marketing. Come back after a month and check the target keywords and the new articles if there’s any uplift or changes.
3. Use SEMRush Topic Research
The best thing about SEMRush is they have a new feature called the Topic Research tool that helps you find viral and interesting topics to write for your content marketing campaigns. How to determine the topics to write? Follow my three “Uses” below to guide on how to use the tool.
- Use Google Trend Keywords – Google always has data to show top news, events, and industry updates worldwide.
- Use Competitor’s recent articles – Spy on your competitors and list engaging topics that they have that you can apply for your blog.
- Use YOUR Domain or Other Competitors’ – Get content ideas from our existing website and the other top sites that are competing from the same Niche.
4. Create a Headline and Subtopic Structure
Once you’ve gathered all your keywords, it is advisable to create a template showing the target keyword, headline, and content subtopic structure. These are new metrics or elements that are aligned to SEMRush’s Topic Research tool. You can start by having Top 5 for the month and later Top 10 if you can manage to speed up this process. But don’t worry, because I will be providing a template for this step soon in my blog so STAY TUNED!
What do we learn? Having a process in place is easier to manage our SEO task. New features from popular tools are now helping us understand what kind of questions are queried in Google every day. Nowadays, we treated Google as our prescription drug to find information on how to solve a problem or satisfy our research. This type of consumer behavior happened way back and SEMRush and other SEO tools have anticipated this so they upgraded their features to maximize this potential marketing trend.