Doing an initial Keyword Research in an SEO Process: Criteria and tools – #CrawlingMondays 9th Episode

In the 9th episode of Crawling Mondays I go through the different keywords data sources, and share the criteria and tools to identify keywords opportunities and prioritize them in the SEO process.

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Video Transcription

In today’s Crawling Mondays I would like to go through one of the most fundamental critical activities in an SEO process, the keyword research. The keyword research will allow us to identify the best potential query opportunities to target and those that are much more meaningful for us. In the SEO process, the ones that we really want to focus on, to monitor, to track our visibility for, and the ones that we really really like to be number 1 in the first position in search results.

So, I know that there are so many different tools nowadays, so many different data sources. It is quite different from I remember when I started doing this, and therefore I would like to talk you with a few of those different tools that I usually take into consideration. A little bit of the criteria that I also take into consideration to select, to narrow down, to validate, and filter out those queries that are not necessarily that meaningful, the ones that are really really meaningful. For this of course it is critical to have our clients input, their validation, their know how, because there is never going to be someone really really really in the know with the know how of the business of course.

So this is a process that it is indeed critical where we don’t only need to take SEO criteria into consideration, as with everything, but also the business-related criteria. This is why it is critical that in this process we get the ongoing validation, and there is a back and forth; a continuous input from a client perspective in all of this.

However let’s take a look [inaudible 00:02:08] the main data sources, and these main inputs. From where we can start to build this set of queries that we should definitely target in order to maximize our visibility to the ones that will be much more profitable, the ones that will have more opportunities and potential to grow.

I always like to start from where we are. The best possible source of keyword data, query data, for our websites at the moment from what we already achieving is the Google Search Console in the performance report. So here we can come and take a look a little bit of which are the top terms that are bringing us organic search clicks, impressions, etc. Which are here, right away we can see how well we are ranking for these terms. If these terms are really really meaningful and important to us and from where are they coming to. Because we can see here the list of countries which are providing these terms, we can filter out by order and take a look. If for example, if the terms are bringing us visibility and more clicks at the moment are the same from the US than let’s say we can compare the US versus..another english speaking country like the UK or if these terms differ. This can start giving us input, of not only the potential traffic we can bring with us, what the number of impressions, we are already in the top ten positions for example ;but also the type of engagement we have for the moment with the picture rate. If it is good, if it is bad, based on the positions we have for those terms.

Also which are the pages we are ranking with for the same terms. This is the right thing realistically. The rules and positions of when we can obtain this, but it requires a little bit more filtering right because we need to go the queries and take a look which are the pages ranking for this particular query. If there are many pages we have to potentially [inaudible 00:04:36] issues etc. I went to obtain this data with the Google search integration with Google Data Studio so for example the little dashboard that I show you last week in the last Crawling Monday. So we can see directly here, the queries connected with the pages, with the current clicks the picture rate, if this has improved or decreased in the specific timeline that we have set for it. We can also easily filter out how many of these are being brought by our desktop results versus mobile versus tablet too and we can really go granular and take a look and check out the more important terms for each page at the moment.

A good step is to expand this list of already targeted queries even further, with a third party data sources. So for example with [inaudible 00:05:46] [inaudible 00:05:48] they are all going to provide us already an expanded list of terms and queries which our website is already ranking for and we can see the trend over time. We easily see here again in this case through the different countries that are already bringing a search for rankings for our country. We can see also, really the way that this has been shown and indicates [inaudible 00:06:18] the top competitors for each country, so we can see which are this on the website that our targeting the same type of queries that we are and not necessarily the ones that are competitors from a business model perspective.

For those are really targeting these terms and we want to take a look at in the next step to identify which are the ones they are targeting and how they different they are from our own. Which is the existing gap with them, expand the view in this particular case and we can see which are the top terms, the search volume and again [inaudible 00:07:02] we can see the impressions. This will highly correlate the search volume which indicates that we are already targeting. We are already ranking in the top positions for these queries, however in this case it’s very straightforward the way we are shown. The search volume for any of these queries depends on the position that we are, the traffic is identifying that the terms are bringing us already.

The position and what is the trend over time, if we have improved or increased, the particular Url that is for the moment being ran for this terms and this is something particularly useful to identify for potential formats and opportunities. Certain features being shown for the search of these keywords, to each provide us with an ESF, the different type of content that we create, where we can create the different types of format. If we create videos, images at some point, we see the image facts or the top stories for example. At some point it will be an informational query that we will like to address with our blog. If it can compensate at some point with for the blog because we want to continue with the top stories in the news coverage for example.

All of this potential opportunities to expand our visibility, to not only rank in the first position but to expand visibility and the search results for these queries. We can start to identify them here right away to also to consider them in the SEO process, because it’s not only about creating content but also identifying with type of intent we are targeting with this content. What is the type of format that we want to create this content with in order to better address and really answer the query, the question that is being asked with the answer. To really fulfill the results we had.

Once we identify a larger lists, a larger group of queries, for which our website is already more or less ranking for is already bringing a bit of visibility. We want to take a look at the ones that are already bringing the same for our competitors right, so we are going to go through the same steps and do so for the top players here in the industry or those that we know that are ranking us for the top terms that we have already identified are bringing us more visibility, right. It’s important to understand how they are addressing many of these queries in a way that you might not being still, right. To compare, to understand the existing gap, and a very simple way to do this. Which is the queue gap from Sandrush. I love this report here, because it allows to compare our domain with the ones of our top competitors directly here, and which are the unique keywords for each one of them, the common ones, the ones that they are share, and bring a big list here and be able to compare and see how we are ranking versus them for any of these top terms.

See the search volume for them, so of course we can see here that they are potentially [inaudible 00:10:51] or if any of us are addressing a few very very high search volume terms that are easily that are relevant. That are well connected with the product, especially if these are huge websites. It is important to see which are the ones that are really meaningful, but you can even do it so, here’s include me the keyword [inaudible 00:11:19], these players are ranking these.. in a meaningful term but also popular for them as well as for me, a little bit of a trend over time [inaudible 00:11:31]. I will get a percentage that we will be connected with the average search volume and I can apply to see what is the search volume per month . It is something that is important for me to identify the interest, to also identify the [inaudible 00:11:47] of these terms, also to take that in consideration whenever I want to start addressing creating content and prioritize the content in order to run for them in the SEO process.

Of course after identify the array of working terms for my website and that of my competitors, I better understand those which might be much more meaningful for me. The ones that I’m not addressing at all, which ones aren’t ranking at all, because I don’t even have content for them and I really want to prioritize. It’s to really generate much more keyword ideas, to really view and properly assess the opportunities behind these queries. It’s a very important topic or head term that so many different queries are on this particularly important topic in my sector, connected to my business.

Maybe the website at this point is only addressing this term, with some integrity let’s say, or even necessarily a well or important filter in my web structure. Then of course I come check here and I identify especially the beginner right, you have to work in the sector and it is the first iteration of the SEO process and you can see this is a huge topic. So it’s important that all of this important different type of categories you haven’t identified before, you can generate much more terms and ideas to identify how many connected permutations and queries are generated for each one of them or being searched for each one of them, for example for remote work.

I come here with keyword finder, I love this here because it allows me to generate suggestions or just generate how to complete feature. To make sure that these particular terms included in the query or just generate questions, ideas, for the terms, for example here the auto complete [inaudible 00:14:04] from anywhere. I can select any country in English and it will provide me all of these searches right. Remote work home jobs, remote work benefits, remote work definition, remote work part time. So these are important ideas that I can see have a relatively good search volume, types of volume.

I can also see here something that I really like about this too, what are the top players already ranking for any of these terms. So I can already see if this is being addressed really quickly by my ready to identify competitors, even additional competitors that I haven’t yet taken into consideration to do the same through this process that I describe to them too. What is again the search volume over time, interest over time, [inaudible 00:14:57] for each one of these keywords to also take that into consideration, to prioritize them, to put a weight on them in my SEO process of course.

Of course all of these tools will give you a metric of how difficult is to target base on the website that I’m already ranking for them and the potential opportunity that there is around this topic, this query with the search volume. Of course, it’s always important that you do your own validation and that you identify yourself especially for those more important ones. The ones that you really want to focus on, where there’s much more opportunity and that will require a great effort for you to see if there’s real meaningful type of activities for them. I have to say that I always like to complete keyword generation process with the one that is provided by the [inaudible 00:16:07] . I love this tool because it not only, for example, the additional ideas and terms that are connected with the head term that I add here with the initial term that I add here, but it also categorizes the disconnected ideas and additional terms in a way that I can easily identify additional topics, or even additional potential categories, or segments , or filters that I want to take into consideration in my accountant strategy.

The way I structure my content on the website and the content of organization and the web structure of my website and the most important terms connected with this.

I’m sure you gather all of these potential ideas. I will say that a good next step before identifying how you are already ranking for any of these terms, just check how you’re ranking to make sure you prioritize those terms, that you are potentially ranking more or less. It will be easier to take it from the top twenty positions, top three, and start ranking it so, and if so ranking from scratch, but even before that I will say it’s a good idea to use a tool like this one [inaudible 00:17:37]. That will allow you see to which are the websites that are already ranking for those terms and which ones a little bit to complement the data, that you will get with a keyword finder for example. Keyword finder will list you the website that’s already ranking for these terms and you can already see which types of pages are these, if these are really information type of content or sections or integrity levels or [inaudible 00:18:10] for example and the level of popularity but to compensate this you can do the same for these top terms and which are much more important terms and see it from an accounting perspective, right? Because you want to easily see which are the top pages which are already ranking for these queries, which is this type of content?

The last elemental piece of the puzzle, once you have all the important data in order to go through your list and select and prioritize that list of top terms that you should target in your process, it’s to identify how you are ranking for it. Especially if for some reason it wasn’t shown in any of these tools from the [inaudible 00:19:03] data to double check, to validate. For this I have to say I like SEO monitor, which is the main tracking tool that I use, but it also has this keyword research option here, which will allow me to see if I’m already tracking or not.

It will likely be not in this case because it’s a new term for me, but also will allow for me to verify again certain features, how I am ranking in desktop or mobile. If the ranking is consistent with the two, maybe if not it could be that I have some potential issues in my mobile version for example. If it is far worse than my desktop one, so again it allowed me to identify and validate potential opportunities for the communication of my content and again the search volume for the trend over time and it already identified indicates that they can provide us the metric for how easy it might be to.

Again it’s an additional source for me to connect with the previous one , so now at this point I have the search volume, trend over time, the type of term maybe it’s more information, more sectional, which is the [inaudible 00:20:37]. If I have it here that it’s shown for which I am ranking for this term, how well I am ranking, if I’m ranking good or bad in order to see if it will be easier than me, rather easier or not necessarily that easy. If my other competitors, if this website already ranked well for it or not would also have to get additional metric here in order to take the competition level into consideration and the type of search features connected to it. Right because it’s not only about creating the content, but also obtaining the information of what type of content I can create and how I can expand my content to expand the visibility for it and provide more information.

Together with the client to identify this set of queries, of terms that are really reasonable to target, not only from a purely SEO perspective and based on the status of the website and the maturity process, if its the first SEO process that’s being used or being done on the website, [inaudible 00:21:53] If there’s been a few ones already in the past and you have already addressed and targeted, and you have already ranking for more types of terms, easier terms if you have a level of authority that is as good as the top players in your industry for example.

So taking all of this into consideration I believe that you will already have a good enough data that you can also obtain from many different data sources, many different tools, some specific ones or metrics that are only provided by some specific tools right, but you can easily obtain from many data sources independently of the keyword that you use and set your own set of cool goals to target. Hopefully by going through this process and showing all of this criteria to take into consideration now it will be easier for you. Of course there’s several ways to do this, please share if you decided to do something additional that you can consider that might be valuable for me to take into consideration or for anybody watching the video.

Thank you very much for another Crawling Mondays and I look forward to see you at the next one. Bye