Want the perfect blend for a successful SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign? Combine precision with creativity and add a little bit of practical thinking and you’ve got it! Securing wins needn’t be overcomplicated — so with this in mind, we’ve compiled our top hacks for hitting a bullseye with your SEO strategy, read on to learn more!
Keywords are an integral part of any SEO strategy — but to be of most value to any strategist, they need to be used with a considered degree of precision. Keyword research needs to be whittled down if we want to look for the real ‘winning’ terms, and there are three main factors to base this upon.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but your selected keywords need to be terms directly associated with the project in question. The research stage acts as an opportunity to identify answers to customer needs and interest, so keeping your client in mind is key at this stage. Broad keywords with an eye-popping search volume might look more attractive on paper, but by focusing on these terms, we’re essentially chasing the old ‘carrot on a string’, seeking results from what is already unattainable. Whether relevance means making the most of locality, or simply identifying terms with volume that are specific to a certain niche, it’s a sure-fire way to get more out of your efforts.
Many of the most popular keyword tools display a keyword difficulty metric, and though it can be easily overlooked, it provides key information on the ranking possibility of a term. Ranking scores run 0-100, with 100 being the hardest to rank for and vice versa. Generally speaking, there are more opportunities to tap into traffic of terms with lower competition, but there’s a balance to be had here with the overall search volume — which we’ll go on to discuss next.
3. Search volume
Every client will have a different fit when it comes to search volume. Many SEOs define 100 searches per month as the minimum requirement for choosing keywords, but not all clients — especially those in specific niches, will have this luxury. In turn, it’s also not wise to chase only the four or five figure terms, returning to the carrot on a string scenario — i.e., a small jewellery business is unlikely to ever rank in position one for a term such as ‘engagement rings’ when you consider the high street names it’ll be up against.
Keywords might not be the most important ranking factor anymore, but with a bit of consideration, they can make a measurable impact on performance.
Meta content is a cornerstone of SEO, and as users we’re constantly scrolling through snippets that simply aren’t serving us. Though industry experts have questioned the importance of these tags, our verdict is that they’re as important as ever for SEO. Optimised title tags are easier for search engines to crawl, giving a clearer indicator of what the contents of a certain page is, plus they’re a prime spot for adding punch CTAs. An optimised title tag must meet set standards too, but these character counts shouldn’t be seen as a limit — view them as a goal and use the space that is available to best depict the contents of your page, and don’t forget to add your high-volume keywords in, too!
Staying on the topic of keywords, our next port of call for SEO strategy wins is search intent. All keywords can be classified based on the intention of the search being carried out, and there are three key groups:
• Informational – searches looking for an answer to a query
• Transactional – searches looking to purchase a product/service
• Navigational – searches looking for a certain website
Identifying the type of term you’re dealing with will help you when it comes to keyword mapping, and it can also indicate how well your optimised content will perform with that phrase. For example, you’d want to avoid using transactional phrases on a blog post, keeping these for optimising product or category pages instead. Blog posts should be targeted with informational phrases, as a user is looking to learn more on a topic when their search intent aligns with this type of phrase.
Many SEOs have their own tried and tested approach to researching target phrases, but there is a plethora of ways that it can be approached — and some don’t even require tools. From searching a target phrase in Google and looking into suggested queries, or the ‘also asked’ box for long tail phrases, or even simply checking out your competitors to see how they’re approaching SEO content — not every research task has to rely on our trusted keyword tools.
You might’ve gotten into the swing of creating good quality content, but there’s a lot of value in finding opportunities to provide pieces that assist with under-served areas of the market you occupy. By carrying out a content gap analysis, you’ll find topics and areas where information may be limited or poor quality, giving you the chance to provide essential detail on the given subjects.
Many go-to marketing tools provide this information in just a couple of clicks once you’ve pinned down your key competitors, showing you the opportunities where they may be ranking for keywords that your site isn’t yet. Filling these ‘gaps’ allows you to service your customer more effectively, driving more traffic to your site through credible, informative content.