While Google continues to roll out thousands of algorithm updates every year, one aspect that has remained consistently important for SEO is keyword planning.
In this blog, we will discuss what keyword planning is, why is it important, and how to do it right for an effective SEO strategy.
What is Keyword Planning?
As Google describes, “Keyword Planning is a process for getting keyword metrics and forecasts as well as searching for new keywords to add to campaigns.”
Having the right keywords alone is not enough to improve your website rankings on the SERPs or drive relevant traffic. It is how effectively you use these keywords that help your website rank for the queries that people are using to find businesses similar to yours. That is where you need a definitive plan.
It is the process of creating a plan that helps determine the right keywords that you should target and how to use them strategically to drive growth.
Why is Keyword Planning Important?
Keyword research is mostly about getting a “list” of relevant keywords, sorting them by keyword difficulty, search volume, and relevancy to your business. It does not give you an idea about how to use these keywords so they can boost your SEO rankings and get quality traffic.
When you have a solid keyword plan alongside keyword research, you can add “context” to the list of keywords. Through effective planning, you can:
- Ensure you generate relevant traffic that has high-conversion potential
- Create robust SEO tactics
- Understand how many keywords to use to improve organic SEO rankings
- Set clear expectations about website rankings and growth in SERP visibility
- Structure the content based on different keywords and topic clusters
- Measure the performance of your keyword strategy
It is about identifying the “why” and “what” behind your keyword research and how you can drive relevant traffic that can add value to your business.
How to Do Keyword Planning the Right Way?
Here are the key steps of keyword planning for SEO:
1. Measure Your Current Performance
To develop a workable keyword plan, it is important to start by determining your current performance. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush Organic Research Tool to understand which keywords your website is presently ranking for. This will help benchmark your website rankings and have an in-depth insight into your SEO performance.
2. Set Your Goals and Key Performance Indicators
Setting clear and realistic goals enables you to have complete visibility of where you are standing against your KPIs. Three important aspects go in here:
- Organic keyword trends
- Keyword rankings
- Keyword footprint
3. Give Importance to Topics than Keywords When Creating a Content Strategy
Despite that keywords are an important SEO ranking metric; Google now prioritizes the relevance of topics that keywords in the content. Therefore, your keyword planning should essentially revolve around topic clusters than specific keywords. Focusing on a particular topic and how you can structure the content around it also makes it simpler to find and group relevant keywords.
However, a keyword strategy can play an important role in building authority around a topic. You can group the most relevant keywords to understand and prioritize different keywords as per their relation to each other. By using topic clusters, you can also map keywords to relevant pages, thus, avoiding keyword cannibalization.
4. Keep Search Volume, Relevance, and Conversion in Mind
Your keyword plan should include much more than just the search volume, and therefore, it should also include relevance and conversion. Focus on keywords that users are actually searching for, but at the same time, it is crucial to determine whether your target keywords could drive the most relevant traffic for your business.
Most importantly, the keywords should be mapped against where the prospects are in the sales funnel. This is integral because top-of-the-funnel keywords may drive higher traffic volumes, but they have a lost intent to convert. On the other hand, the bottom-of-the-funnel keywords drive low traffic volumes, but a high conversion potential.
Amidst the competitor for top search engine rankings and more traffic, do not underestimate the significance of keyword planning. Instead of stopping at keyword research, move a step forward and create a strategy that can help add value to your business.
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