6 tips for identifying the best keywords for your next SEO campaign

6 tips for identifying the best keywords for your next SEO campaign

These days, simply publishing an advertisement or blog post is not enough to get you any sort of valuable exposure. The internet’s deluge of promotional material has created an ocean vast enough that what you post can get swept away before anybody ever notices it existed.

Fortunately, online marketing is not a game of chance; it’s a game of skill. When you’re planning out your campaign, the name of the game is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The quality of your SEO campaign is paramount to your business’ online success.

Putting together a knockout campaign, however, is easier said than done. Below, you’ll find a few actionable tips that will help make sure that your next SEO campaign will be your most effective campaign to date.

1) Don’t follow the crowd

In every industry, there are certain keywords that everyone is gunning for. Sometimes, it may be inevitable that you have to join in the fray — for example, if you’re a tax preparer, you can’t very well form a campaign without using the phrase “tax preparer.”

Generally, unless you’re already at the top of the pack for a certain keyword (i.e. TurboTax can take advantage of related keywords more so than a local business), you want to find areas where the competition is a bit scarcer. Especially when you’re new to the scene, you have to pick your battles wisely.

2) Find the ‘sweet spot’

Once you’ve scouted out the competition and found what keywords they’re targeting, you’ll know where not to go. However, just because not many people are hitting a certain keyword, doesn’t mean that you should automatically make that keyword the focus of your campaign.

Odds are, if a keyword is being ignored by your competition, it’s because it’s not a worthwhile keyword to hit. If nobody’s searching for it, you can harp on in all you want, but it won’t do you any good. Use the software you have to find keywords that have a relatively high search volume but that aren’t being properly addressed.

The pool of keywords like this may not be vast, but you’ll generally have enough at your disposal together with a high-quality campaign that addresses a need that your competitors have failed to recognize.

3) Use good software

Of course, you’ll have no way of knowing which keywords will be useful based on their search volume and ranking difficulty if you aren’t using the right SEO software. A great place to start is with SEMRush, where you can search keywords or businesses, and find the right areas to attack in your campaign.

You can start with a keyword search, which will lay out the search volume, ranking difficulty, search trends, and cost per click of that keyword. Also included will be a list of related keywords, which can be a goldmine for your campaign. Find what people are searching for and which unattended needs you can address here, and get to work.

4) Trust the pros

While the above tips will help a good marketing professional get started on his or her campaign strategy, the fact of the matter is that not all businesses are in the position of running their own effective SEO campaigns.

Whether it be through a lack of experience, lack of resources, or simply a desire for more specialized services, it’s often best to turn to industry professionals to run the most effective, results-driven SEO campaign possible.

That said, when looking for an SEO agency or firm to work with, be careful — it’s easy to partner with the wrong people. Founded by Immy Tariq and Huey Lee, Webmetrix Group recommends that brands look only for SEO professionals with a well-documented history of strong keyword optimization, white hat link-building strategies, and quality customer service.

5) Know your place

Before you start your campaign, you have to know where you stand in the market. This will inform all decisions you make. Again, if you’re an industry giant, you can afford to take on the top-ranking keywords and rely on the fact that you have the reputation and name recognition to get traffic. If you’re a small business, you’ll need to pay closer attention to your niche or local market, and understand what their needs are.

6) Learn from the competition

When you know who you are, and you know where you want to go, feel free to glean as much information as you can from your competition. Look at the keywords they’re using and the strategies they’ve taken to carve out a space in the market.

Get to work taking whatever they’ve done to find success, and making it work better for your business. There’s no dibs system with SEO campaigns — just because they had success with certain keywords doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be going after the exact same ones.

In the end, the best material using the most effective keywords will win out. If you’ve put together a quality team, or have hired one, make the most of their talent by maximizing the value of the keywords you use. Your success will no longer be up to chance, so long as you’ve maximized the SEO value of your efforts.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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