What is a keyword strategy?

January 30, 2019

To get traffic, you need people willing to visit your site. To get them to visit your site, you need to know what they are looking for, which words they use and what type of content would fit their intent best. In short, you need a keyword strategy. In this SEO Basics article, we’ll take a brief look at what keyword strategy is and how it goes hand in hand with keyword research.

What is keyword strategy?

While many simply talk about doing keyword research to find out what terms you should use, what you do after that is just as important: this is your keyword strategy. A keyword strategy contains every decision you take based upon your findings in your keyword research project, whether it’s about the content you’re planning to write or how you are going to track the results in Analytics. Keyword strategy is about how you want to target those keywords, now and in the future. 

Read our ultimate guide to keyword research for SEO for an all-encompassing overview of all things keyword research. In addition, we have online training on keyword research as well.

A keyword strategy forms when looking at yourself and your environment

You need to have plenty of insights if you want to make informed decisions about your keyword strategy. Start by thoroughly investigating yourself, your product and your competitors.

Looking at yourself

A good keyword strategy starts with looking at yourself and your business. What are you doing and why? What are your goals? What’s your uniqueness in this world? What is the message you want to send? How’s your branding? Why would anyone want to visit your site? Better insights lead to a better understanding of what you want to achieve as to not waste resources. There’s no use focusing on the wrong things.

Looking at search intent

After you’ve fleshed out your uniqueness, it’s time to look at how. Search intent is the why behind the search that should lead to your site. Do you know your audience? Are people only looking for information or are they willing to buy stuff as well? Are there ways for you to target specific intents with focused content to influence this?

Looking at words

Words are at the center of everything. By doing keyword research, you should get great insights into the words people use to find what they are looking for. Now, you need to produce user-oriented content that fits their intent and goals perfectly. 

Looking at competition

While writing up your keyword strategy you need to take a good look at your competitors. What are they doing? How well are they ranking for terms you’d like to attack? What kind of content do they have? Are there ways for you to improve on that? Have you thought about looking at the long tail?

Looking at the search engines itself

Of course, while looking at your competitors, you’ll often use search engines to see how they are doing. Doing these types of searches can give you great insights into the strategy of your competitors. It also gives you a very good feel of what happens when you type in your main focus keyphrase. What’s the on-screen real estate like? Are there featured snippets you could target? Are there other types of rich results? Is there a local pack?

In some markets, if you track developments over time, you might see that search engines are increasingly giving answers that lead to no-click searches. Always keep an eye on search engines, but don’t go obsessing about every little algorithm update.

Looking at data

Of course, analyzing data plays a big role in the success of your keyword strategy. Both before and after, Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into the performance of your site. Even Google Search Console can give a lot of stuff to think about and opportunities to pursue!

How are you targeting your keywords?

Checking your analytics regularly to keep track of your SEO performance is incredibly important, but can’t have performance without content tailored to the specific needs and goals of your strategy. If you’ve ran through all the steps and did a thorough keyword research, you should have an idea of what you should target and how you should do that. You can use these insights to create the content you need to make a success of your strategy. There’s a lot you can do:

  • Make landing pages
  • Create specific types of content for the different search intents
  • Maybe make specific content to get featured snippets
  • Or maybe voice search is something that might fit your strategy?
  • Or apps?
  • Video?
  • Something else entirely?

Many roads lead to Rome, but some roads are more difficult than others. You could say that you get to Rome fastest via the highway, but there you might run into a traffic jam because everyone wants to take that route. Sometimes, it’s better to take that rarely traveled mountain pass — the results might wow you!

Update your keyword strategy

On the way, there’s a lot that can happen and your keyword strategy should take that into account. Regularly re-evaluate your keyword strategy. Have there been significant changes in the world around you that need to be assessed? It might be that your users’ language changed or that a new competitor is gobbling up market share. Keep an eye on things and adjust where necessary!

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