What tools can be used to build a keyword research strategy?
Google Keyword Planner is the most commonly used tool in search marketing when trying to identify certain keywords and key phrases. However, this tool can sometimes only recognise similar keywords, as opposed to coming up with new keyword-rich ideas. This is why we emphasise to all our clients the importance of categorising their niche markets, target audiences and even buyer personas before we even begin our keyword research for them.
Our approach to keyword research services
For those of you who aren’t familiar with short-tail and long-tail keywords, the difference is as follows:
- Short-tail keywords could include "Flats", "Flats for rent", "Flat" and "Flat for rent".
- Long-tail keywords could include "Two-bedroom flats for rent in London" and "Two-bedroom properties for rent in London".
Long-tail keywords tend to be more beneficial for businesses for obvious reasons. For example, if you are a small estate agent in London, “two-bedroom flats for rent in London” will bring more specific and relevant customers than “flats for rent”, which could be referring to anywhere in the UK. Ensuring your keywords are helping your site rank higher on Google for the things you want to be ranked for is far more important than being ranked at #1 on Google for search terms that aren’t explicitly relevant to your business.
Identifying niche markets prior to identifying keywords is largely a time-saving exercise. A niche market is a sub-segment of a larger market. In reference to the above example, a niche market could be a business that rents flats out to students in the London Borough of Hackney. When identifying niche markets, these could include search terms such as:
- Student flats in Hackney London
- Are student flats expensive in Hackney?
- Which area of Hackney is popular with students?
- Student nights out in Hackney
- Flats to rent close to public transport in Hackney
Each of these searches are part of an exclusive, but closely related, niche market. For example, “Which area of Hackney is popular with students?” is part of the niche market “Stoke Newington student flats” – niche markets are typically niches that aren’t large enough to maintain their own site.
When we have identified our niche markets for our clients, we can then go on to look at keywords in greater detail. This is most often known as Head, Body and Tail; head terms are such broad keywords that they aren’t usually helpful in terms of getting our clients ranked for the relevant topics. In terms of SEO, focusing on long-tail keywords are more beneficial as they are less competitive and tend to convert better. Referring back to the earlier example of short-tail and long-tail keywords, examples of Head, Body and Tail are as follows:
- Head: "flats"
- Body: "flats for rent"
- Tail: "flats for rent in London Borough of Hackney"