Without SEO, online content is like a rocket in space with no destination
Choosing keywords for SEO. If you don’t point that rocket in the right direction (the moon or Mars?), you’re left crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. It’s not good marketing. Good marketing relies on predictability, data and crossed fingers.
And that’s the perfect way to describe search engine optimization (SEO) in 2022.
SEO is part of the search engine algorithm
Input = Keywords
Output = Content
For each keyword, there are thousands of pages of search results and lots of content to choose from (results). But page 1,000 isn’t nearly as useful as page 1. Even page 2 of the search results can seem like a no-man’s-land.
That’s why marketers are interested in SEO. Because not all search engine pages are created equal. The power of ranking in the top 3 on page 1 of a search engine is 100 times greater than that of ranking on the first page 2 (honestly, maybe even 1,000 times).
How do I get a coveted spot on page 1 of search results?
By choosing the right SEO keywords using these three steps.
3 steps SEO experts use to choose keywords
SEO has been around long enough that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. A new, innovative, never-before-seen SEO strategy that takes you months to implement and even longer to see results is the opposite of what SEO experts do.
SEO experts who write high-quality content, get on page 1 for relevant searches and see results from their content are the ones who follow this proven SEO strategy.
No. 1: Create keywords
There are two types of advertising: interruption advertising and intent advertising. Interruption advertising is advertising on your social media news feed. These are the ads between the paragraphs of the article you’re trying to read. This is a search engine advertisement strategically placed before the organic results. That’s not your goal in organic search marketing, but it IS your goal in paid search advertising.
In SEO marketing, you focus on intent-based advertising. When someone chooses to look for an answer to their question, that’s intent-based advertising. A search for “olive green cotton blanket” is an example of intent-based advertising.
And search engine results are a mix of interruption (paid advertising) and targeted advertising (organic results).
When defining keywords for your products and brand, you’re looking for words based on intent. These are the words someone would use to find your products or brand.
For Koanthic, it’s words like:
- Digital marketing training
- Digital marketing support
- Content marketing training
- Copywriting training
These keywords are directly related to our products. They teach people to become excellent digital marketers, whether for their own business, full-time marketing function, marketing consultancy or agency clients.
Your customer avatar asks specific questions and uses certain words to describe to search engines the content they want to see. Use these questions to draw up a list of over 20 keywords for which you could be ranked:
- What questions do your customers ask about your products or brand?
- What simple words would your customers use to describe your product or brand?
- What expressions would your customers use to describe your product or brand?
These questions will give you a page full of keywords and keyword phrases (several words used in a search query) for which you want to be ranked.
Once you have these keywords, go to AnswerThePublic.com and automatically generate a list of questions people have asked search engines in relation to these keywords. See if there are any other keywords or keyword phrases you’ve overlooked, and take note of the questions people are asking. These questions will be the subjects of your content.
For example, if we see people asking “how to choose keywords for SEO”, our team knows that content on choosing keywords for SEO is a great addition to our online library. However, you shouldn’t chase after every keyword that seems to constitute excellent content.
First of all, you need to research the best keywords to find out which ones are worth your time.
No. 2: Search for the best keywords
With your list of keywords and keyword phrases (which should be very long by now), you’re ready to determine which keywords to focus on. Unlike your pets, you have the right to make preferences. You don’t want to choose keywords that are highly saturated and difficult to rank for. You should also avoid keywords that will only capture a tiny fraction of your audience (at least at first).
It’s time to call on the help of our robot friends. Research the best keywords using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Ahrefs and, seriously, there are so many other great SEO tools out there.
Here are a few things to consider when comparing your keywords/phrases to see which are the best:
- Volume is key to understanding whether this keyword is worth creating content for, or whether it’s better to choose something with a higher search volume.
- The keyword difficulty score shows you how difficult it will be to rank organically for that keyword (good luck getting to page 1 for running shoes!).
- Use keyword variations to determine whether there are other similar, but less competitive, keywords you can try to rank for.
You can also use tools like Google Trends to see when certain searches peak. For example, the keyword “office plants” saw its highest search volume between July 27 and July 3. From October to the end of November, search volume is at its lowest.
This data can tell you the best time to run paid ads based on search interruptions – and whether there’s specific content you can create around the seasons or months when you see these peaks.
Once you know which keywords you’re going to focus on, it’s time to have a quick chat with your finance team.
No. 3: Check bid estimates (for paid advertising)
If you’re not putting money into your SEO strategy and you’re looking to get organic traffic through high-level content, skip to the next section. If you want to spend your advertising budget on SEO, read on.
Once you’ve narrowed down the number of keywords to focus on based on factors such as search volume and difficulty score, it’s time to run your keywords through their final filter: cost. Each keyword has a different cost to win the advertising auction. Ad bidding is Google’s way of determining which ad trying to rank for the same keyword wins an ad placement based on the user.
It is based on 3 factors:
- Your bid: This is your maximum budget for an ad click.
- Ad quality: Google won’t show your ad to everyone who searches for your keyword. It will show it to the people most likely to click, based on their past behavior and the data it has on the user.
- Extensions and ad formats: Google appreciates your use of extensions, such as a phone number or other links, as well as the other ad formats you’ve chosen, which may allow you to participate in the auction at a lower price.
You need to understand how auctions work to know how much you can afford to spend on ads and what your return on investment should be. For example, in the SEMRush example for the search “running shoes”, the cost per click is estimated at $0.84.
This means that if you want 10 clicks on your ad per day, you need a minimum budget of $8.40. Of course, these figures are much lower than the ones you’ll actually be working with, but it gives you an idea of how to calculate your SEO budget.
That’s why step 3 is so important. If your SEO budget is $100 a day, you don’t want to break the bank on keywords with a cost-per-click of $10 each (unless you’re sure they’ll lead to conversions!) Instead, you want to create a broader strategy that encompasses several keywords and keyword phrases that make up your $100-a-day budget.
What do you do once you’ve chosen your SEO keywords?
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to create the content and ads.
There are 3 types of content and ads to create:
1. Top of funnel contents
When your customer avatar discovers your brand for the first time, show him the content at the top of the funnel (TOFU). Think of this content as the learning phase of your relationship (professional, family, friendship, or even with your pets!) Every relationship goes through a stage where you learn more about a person’s goals, values and challenges.
Your customer avatar wants to know who your brand is, what your objectives are and whether your values match theirs. He also wants to know if you understand his challenges.
And the same goes for paid advertising. You’re looking to educate at the top of the funnel. See how these productivity apps use their limited ad space to inform Google users about their productivity app.
2. Funnel contents
The content and ads in the middle of the funnel go further. Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content and ads still inform the reader, but they *really* hint at the product. The productivity applications above had to talk about their product in their TOFU content (they had no other choice), but there’s a difference between their TOFU content and their MOFU content.
In terms of MOFU content, they tout their features and actively explain why the competition isn’t the best option. An example of our MOFU content is this Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing. This guide is LONG, and anyone who reads it clearly trusts us as a teacher.
This content is designed to build a stronger relationship with that prospect and encourage them to give us their e-mail address (so we can send them even more valuable content).
3. Funnel bottom contents
Content and advertising at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) include a direct call to action to join, buy or register. There are no frills. Think of it as a sales page: there’s only one action to perform on this page, and it involves contact information or a credit card.
For the search “mailchimp vs. constant contact vs. sendinblue”, Constant Contact created a BOFU ad. How do you know?
- They have a special offer for you to sign up now.
- They’re promoting their 60-day full-access free trial.
- Their link extensions promote the product’s features.
Any good SEO strategy involves these 3 types of content.
- You’re ready to choose your SEO keywords
- You don’t need to consider yourself an expert before choosing your keywords. You’ve finished this article, which means you’re ready.
You have the 3 steps to follow:
- Ideate keywords
- Search for the best keywords
- Check bid estimates (for paid advertising)
Don’t forget that all SEO specialists started out just like you, without knowing how to use the Google Ads platform and with the fear of exhausting their marketing budget without any return on investment.
Just as we don’t tell you to invest all your savings in Gamestop actions, investing all your advertising budget in your first SEO strategy is a mistake. Take a percentage of this budget and start testing ads, seeing their CTR, and how much each keyword or keyword phrase costs.
Develop from there. If you follow this path, you’ll feel comfortable enough with your SEO strategy to add another story on top of it, and another in the future, and eventually you’ll have a solid building on your hands.
That’s when you’ll look back on this article and say, “Wow, this was just the beginning.
Thanks for reading, see you at the next blog!
If you have any questions or would like a quote, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 418-455-2259.