Keyword research to satisfy both users and search engines
Keyword Research is the process of deciding what keywords to target in your website’s content. Conducting Keyword Research is the 3rd step in Traffic Ladder’s 8 step process. Keyword Research involves selecting the most relevant keywords that will later be used to craft content that satisfies both user experience and search engine results. It is important to understand your target market and how they are searching for your content, services, or products on search engines. Keyword Research reveals the relevant terms people are searching for and their proper format. Search volume data and competition levels give some indication of what it will take to rank. Ranking highly on our chosen keywords is a major goal of our process.
Short-Tail vs. Long-Tail Keywords: Diversity Wins
Regarding search volume and competition levels, a holistic and balanced approach should be considered. There are terms where achieving a high ranking is difficult, but once you get there converting is almost automatic. On the other end, there are terms were ranking highly is easy, but conversions are nearly impossible. There are also all the other possible scenarios that fall in between these two diverse points. Short-tail keywords are more generic and consist of one-word or two-word phrases. Content originating from short-tail keywords produces pages with higher search volume and a lower rate of conversion. Long-tail keywords are more specifically targeted and consist of five word or more phrases. Content originating from long tail keywords produces pages with lower search volume and higher rates of conversion. The best pages follow a diverse approach and contain both short-tail and long-tail phrases. It is important to understand that individual pages rank for keywords, not the entire site. Depending on how keywords are assigned and where a page appears in search results, your website may receive more traffic to pages other than the homepage. It is important to diversify pages within the site by optimizing each for the unique keywords that are most relevant to the main topic of that page.
In depth research is crucial in defining your audience
Keyword Research takes time and effort. Corners cannot be cut on this step of the process. Bypassing this important planning step will cause your ladder to lean on the wrong wall and your climb will be to the wrong place. What you think your best keywords are and what your audience is actually searching for are more often than not, two very different things. You must first and foremost focus on your audience and then use relevant keyword data to properly apply those insights.
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”