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Tips for Effective Keyword Planning and Research

     -     Dec 14th, 2016   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

keywordBy now most accounting marketing professionals have a grasp on the basics of search engine optimization or SEO. At the least there is a conceptual understanding that each page should have set of keywords assigned to it that are relevant to content. However, over time it’s quite common to give thought to how keyword diversification could impact website traffic and ultimately conversions. These thoughts are essential to the SEO process and ones that our clients often confide in us. Experimentation in SEO is crucial as it will help determine how to optimize the site for best results. However, most accounting marketers are not familiar with the process of keyword research and planning so they hesitate to make experimental changes. Keyword research and planning is often the most mysterious part of SEO for most marketers. So rather than relying on guesses or what feels right, we have provided a few insights on how to approach the process below.

Keyword Research & Planning Tips

  1. Brainstorming – Usually keyword research starts with a long list of words and phrases marketers think their target audience would use to describe what they need or an issue or challenge they are facing. Often these phrase lists are based on what the firm hopes people would use to find their content. This is so often not the case, but don’t worry too much about it. Start fresh and don’t set any limitations. Just write down what you think could be used to find your services and remember that often times a prospect is not familiar with the names for services accounting professionals use. Go beyond the stems of “How to” or “Where Can I” and consider local modifiers such as the county or city your firm is located within.
  2. Keyword Tool – Unless you are a mind reader with a crystal ball, it’s a wise decision to use a keyword research tool to assist you in mining your keyword data and phrases. Google offers a keyword planning to help marketers gain a sense of which terms are searched and how often. This is very useful because the tool will provide insight into how often each term variation is search and give direction on when and where to add geographical modifiers for example.
  3. Suggested Keyword Phrases – Once the keyword research tool has been leveraged it’s likely you will have list of terms that closely matches the original search term entered. If you used the Google Keyword Planner, the returned results are grouped into two different buckets – Google Ads and Keyword Ideas. Invest time and attention on the keyword ideas because they contain the data rich information necessary for making important keyword positioning decisions.
  4. Cross Reference Keywords – Remember that the relevance of keywords must directly tie into the description of the service and/or content. It should not be loosely related to the concept of the service/content and/or the general needs of the target demographic. Please don’t be that person that tries to fool people or Google spiders by using non-exact phrases to describe your content/services. Be smarter than that and use keyword research to inform. Consider asking yourself the following: “When the user searches, what are they looking for? What do they want? Does my site fulfill their needs?”
  5. Examine Volume to Determine Demand – When using the tool; be sure to have a look at the “Average Monthly Searches” column. Recognizing high volume search terms means identifying demand and targeting language trends. Be aware that there is no exact number to represent the perfect search volume as this is going to vary from industry to industry, brand to brand, and website objective to objective. What’s important is to find words that are long-tail keyword phrases with high search volume.
  6. Competitive Keyword Analysis – Often keyword phrases can have two completely different meanings depending on who you ask. If you perform a search for one of your keyword phrases and see returned results that have nothing to do with your content, or what you thought the keyword phrase was asking for, you have uncovered a keyword phrase with two meanings. The point here is that you want to conduct a search using your keyword phrases that return results with services/content similar to yours. This is how you know the keyword phrase is good.

Important Point

The more focused the website becomes on a specific topic, issue or service, the more likely it is the site will rely on very focused and targeted terms. For this reason, it’s important to remember that specific terms, or long tail keyword terms, are not designed to drive large amounts of traffic. Rather they are designed to drive highly qualified traffic. So remember to set expectations properly when using these terms.

Contact Us

FlashPoint understands that keyword research and planning can be a confusing and overwhelming task. This is especially true if you are new to the process or need guidance through the process. However, using the above steps can help streamline the process and ease some of the stress. If you’d like to know more or would like help planning for your firm’s website keywords, contact us. We can help.

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