When users type a certain query or a certain product/service they are looking for in the search bar of Google’s page, they receive a long list of relevant results. The words they type in are generally the keywords that the businesses must target to have their business page listed on the first page of SERPs. This makes keyword research a very integral part of SEO. But, while doing keyword research, there are two main problems seen that are being done by SEOs – they spend too much time thinking about keywords instead of categories/topics, and about the decisions that the buyers may take. Both these elements are completely wrong. Firstly, instead of investing time on thinking about keywords, the topics and categories must be focused upon. Site content must be organized into categories, with proper internal linking, understanding that a single piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase. Next, instead of focusing only on the decisions that the buyers may take, the entire buyer journey must be understood that involves three stages – awareness, consideration, and decision-making.
- Awareness – This is the stage where users get to know about and realize an issue or opportunity.
- Consideration – This is the stage where users have defined their problem/opportunity, and have started to find potential solutions.
- Decision-making – This is the stage where users are ready to make a purchase decision, for which they get into doing comparisons, checking out reviews, and more.
Now, you need to focus on all these three stages and try to bring maximum people into your marketing funnel at every stage. This can be done through content downloads, remarketing, etc. And for availing the benefits of all kinds of efforts, you can always hire professional SEO services in India to help you through the process.
Now, let us get into the process where we need to shift our focus from keywords to categories and topics. Instead of dividing a whole lot of content across multiple sections, and then hyperlinking them all to one another, it is better to create a single in-depth content piece that covers a broad topic area, and then supplement this page with content that targets long-tail keywords.
- Harvesting keywords – In this first stage, you start off with a list of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. The list may contain 15-20 keywords, each focusing on the thought about what we think potential customers may search for.
- Expanding the list – Next, you start using tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Search Console, Google Ads, Google Analytics, SEMRush, and the like to help come up with a list of keywords that may not have been considered before, these can also include synonyms.
- Eliminating irrelevant keywords – Now, you need to let go off of the keywords that are highly irrelevant. You can use tools like Moz Keyword Explorer to filter by relevant. Similar keywords can then be grouped together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of the keywords.
- Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey – Lastly, categorize the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Analyze what type of content is most effective for a given search volume, the competitiveness of the words, the profitability of the keyword and the stage that the buyer may be at.
Once done, start creating content, adding the relevant keywords, optimize URLs, meta titles, descriptions, headings, etc. and put them up on the pages.