One thing is for certain keywords will always be valuable to online marketing, after all people still need to search for certain things and you need to understand what they are typing into the search engines. Bear in mind though that sooner or later the typing will become speaking, which makes everyone’s job just a little harder.
Also, the old fashioned way of getting 3-4% of keyword phrases into your web content is just not a natural way to write. It used to be important so that you could inform Google what your page was about, but this type of over-optimising or keyword stuffing will get you penalised these days. You need to think about writing in ‘themes,’ copywriters and experts in their field do this naturally. If you are a beginner, you might need some help.
So let me give you a heads up into how to complete a ‘beginners’ keyword research in themes to get you started, using just Google as a tool and nothing else.
Step 1 – Categorise your business
Your first job is to split your business into distinct areas. For ease, let’s take our own business as an example and show a couple of our categories
- Pay per click marketing
- Email marketing
Looking at one category as an example, let’s walk through the process with you.
Step 2 – Google it
The next step is to Google it slowly – with predictive text, Google tries to interpret what you are typing. Guess what? What is displayed will be based on the largest number of searches recorded in Google’s database, and, as people are lazy, most will use the predictive text to finish the phrase for them. So you know immediately that the keyword phrases listed here are solid keywords to use.
Here is our example
From this list the keywords relevant to us include
- pay per click marketing
- pay per click management
- pay per click management services
Step 3 – Find related searches
Take each of these keyword phrases and type them completely into Google and hit search, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and see if there are any further choices that you can use. Let’s show you our related services
From here we might like to add to our list
- pay per click management company
- pay per click management firm
Of course, you can then take these keywords and put them into the search engine and do the same exercise until you have exhausted your options.
Step 4 – Look at the competition
Take the relevant keywords that you have found and now look at the number of competition each already has – again lets have a look at our example with two searches side by side
Your job is to find a relevant keyword that has the smallest number of existing results, so in our case pay per click management services would be better than pay per click management company – although both are extremely competitive!
Step 5 – Find your theme
Once you have got your main keyword that you want to rank for, you now need to understand what other relevant keywords should exist on the page with that keyword. It’s all about context, for example if you were talking about going on ‘a diet’ you would expect to see the phrase ‘losing weight’ or ‘counting calories’ on the same page. You need to achieve the same with your writing. This will help you write much better ‘themed’ content that will help you appear to be an expert in your field.
So go back to the search results and chose the top 3 organic results that are showing for your main keyword. Get a pen and paper and write all the contextually relevant keywords on these pages. This can be quite time consuming as a manual task, but it is the most important. (There are paid for tools that you can use to make this part easier.)
From our example
In my results the top 3 search results are
- Screaming frog
and let’s take a look at some of the contextual keywords they have all used in their writing
- PPC Campaign
- PPC Teams and PPC Experts
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Ad copy and adverts
So I know that these keywords (and I have picked a small selection as an example) are important too and must appear on the same page as the main keyword pay per click management services.
You can see how I am ‘theming’ my writing and making it as natural as possible.
Next time you want to write a blog post or article, spend 15 minutes going through this exercise before you start writing and make sure you are seen as an expert.