You won't grow up big and strong unless you eat your vegetables, and you won't be successful without digital marketing campaign unless you do your research first. Proper keyword research and strategy is perhaps one of the most overlooked and under-executed element of search engine optimization campaigns today. So many Denver SEO companies have missed the mark and are competing for the wrong words with their content and ongoing optimization.
They don't understand their clients, their services, or their customers. they don't take the time to do real research and present a half-assed strategy that their clients don't know enough to challenge them. The result is thousands of wasted dollars every month, my advice is to do your own research and not leave it all up to your SEO firm.
So what can you do to get your strategy in line? You can start by reviewing everything you have in place. The start of a new year is an excellent time to review your assets, strategy, and year in results, just don't overlook your keyword strategy.
You may understand that you need to rank well on Google and other search engines but you’re not sure how, or for what you need to rank for. That’s where research comes into play, you need to put analytics to your services to see which keywords you need to compete for.
Many keywords are simply too broad and competitive to warrant your efforts. Similarly, keywords that you may be able to rank for quickly and efficiently may have no real value if there isn’t enough traffic. The solution is to figure out which words have traffic, are specific enough to drive truly relevant traffic, and design a campaign that focuses on the keywords you can drive ranking for as effectively as possible.
For your research we recommend using Google Adwords. Google has created a research tool to help formulate Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns. While their intent is to get you to pay for the words you want to compete for to buy your way to the top, the reality is their research tool is free. Simply go to adwords.google.com and sign up for an account or login. If you already have a Google ID just sign in with those credentials. From there you’ll see KEYWORD PLANNER from the green TOOLS & ANALYSIS tab dropdown. You’ll see something like this:
Once inside the keyword planner you simply need to start adding words you think people looking for what you do would search. For instance, if you sell marketing services like us you’d want to put in keywords like
‘inbound marketing, online marketing, digital marketing, marketing firms, marketing companies, web development, SEO companies, etc. Once you have populated a list of all of your services and the various wordphrases associated you’ll have a good starting point, hit the blue button and it’s time to review the results.
In running a few of the words that might be of interest to ourselves you’ll see that the results section details the level of competition, the global monthly searches, and the local monthly searches. The words we selected for this example have both high traffic and high competition. This tells us we might need to narrow our search a bit, getting more specific in order to compete effectively in a shorter time horizon. Instead of SEO companies, I might choose Denver SEO companies. The 100 local monthly searches are probably more likely to be relevant to us versus the 168,000 national monthly searches, and certainly easier to obtain a high ranking for.
The key to SEO research is identifying the list of keywords that are specific to what you do, specific to where you're at, and have enough relevant traffic to be worth your time.
Competing for words that you'll never be able to reach top page for is worthless. Competing for words that no one searches for is even more worthless. You have to have the right blend of relevance and search volume if you're going to make real headway on search engines. Many SEO companies just don't take the necessary time to learn about your business and their strategy is way too broad. This is assuming they are practicing proper techniques in the first place, many are still caught on older tactics that Google and other engines are now frowning upon. Want to know how to tell? Just look back at your reporting and match your rankings with the Panda updates. If your rankings fell off the table and they were making excuses you might want to take a closer look at exactly what they are doing for you. They could be hurting more than helping.
Now that you’ve got an idea of how to perform your research, run the numbers, and evaluate you should be able to build a narrowed list of keywords you’d like to focus on moving forward in order to start ranking for them.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you sign up for Google Analytics and install the tracking code on your website so you can track your current rankings and progress made every month.
Would you like to learn more about SEO? The more you know the better you'll be able to evaluate your current efforts and vendor. Knowlege is power and at Revenue River Marketing we're here to help. I know you'll enjoy our eBook - An Introduction to SEO, give it a read.