Today we are going to dive into the wonderful world of keyword research. While Social Media is hot, SEO still reigns as King. SEO and keyword research go hand in hand. You’ll want to take the time to research and target the right keywords. Three scenarios can happen with keyword research.
- Scenario #1: Pick a keyword with decent traffic and low competition and you’ll see some nice organic traffic.
- Scenario #2: Pick a keyword with high traffic and high competition and you’ll end up with no rankings.
- Scenario #3: Pick a ‘unresearched’ keyword, rank for it and listen to the crickets because it has no search volume.
We want to avoid scenarios 2 and 3 because we don’t like wasting our time. Instead we like to start with long tail keywords that have some traffic and low competition. Once we start ranking there we move onto more competitive keywords and work our way up.
The Problem → Google Keyword Planner
Upon realizing the importance of keyword research, most head on over to the Google Keyword Planner. That’s the LAST thing you should be doing. GKP will only give you 20% of the of the information you need. In this post, we’ll explain how we obtain the other 80% and answer these questions…
- Where do we start our keyword research?
- How do we determine what keywords to go after?
- How do we rank for these keywords?
We’ll explain our entire process and the shortcuts we use to expedite the process.
1. Choose Your Market
First, we need to choose our market or niche. For some, it may be obvious. For others, like us, you may have more options.
For this example let’s go after Facebook related keywords.
2. Look to See Who is Dominating in SEO
When doing a search for Facebook Traffic we find Social Media Examiner at the top. A search for Facebook Ads and we find Jon Loomer on the bottom of the front page. Another great site that does content marketing well is QuickSprout. We tend to focus on blog style sites, rather than news article based sites.
So now we’ve got 3 sites that are doing well in SEO for Facebook-related terms: SocialMediaExaminer, Jon Loomer, and QuickSprout.
3. Dominating AdWords
Now we also want to see who is dominating in AdWords. We don’t care about content but instead dominance.
We’ve got a few options here. The clear winners seem to be AdRoll, Turn.com, RJMetrics.com, Qwaya, Omnia, and Kenshoo.com/Social.
4. Plug Them In
We want to take these websites and plug them into a keyword tool. We recommend using SEMRush or SpyFu.
If you don’t have either, don’t worry because we’ve hooked you up with a 14 day free trial to SEMRush. You’ll need to create a free account first in order to use it.
Next to be sure to go to DigitalTriggers.io/Recommends/SEMRush to get your free 14-day trial. (You have to use that link in order to get the trial.)
Another option: We can use KeywordTool.io which uses Google Autocomplete to generate hundreds of relevant long-tail keywords. It’s free which is AWESOME but the downside is you will have an enormous amount of keywords that you’ll need to crunch manually.
Now that we are ready to go with our keyword tool let’s jump into the next step.
5. Grab the Organic Keywords and Paid Keywords
Once we plug them into our chosen software, in this case SEMRush, we’ll want to grab all those keywords. You can grab either organic or paid keywords. Depending on where we found the site (dominating SEO or AdWords) will determine which keywords show up. If a site has both organic and paid keywords then just grab them both. I’ll show you how to do it in SEMRush.
1. Search for the Site
2. Export the Organic Keywords
3. Export the Paid Keywords
6. Combine All the Data
Combine all the data into one spreadsheet and delete all the duplicates. We want to make sure we have a duplicate free list.
7. Plug Them Into Google
Time for us to plug the keywords one by one into Google. We’ll be looking for competing results, exact competing results, allintitle, exact all in the title, video results, and then finally search volume. We’ll need to input all of the data we gather into spreadsheets as well. The reason for doing this is to determine which keywords are worth going after.
For this example, we’ll use: “how to target Facebook ads by interest.”
Remember we want to plug the following searches below into Google and record the results in a spreadsheet.
8. Keyword or Basic Search
9. “Keyword” or Exact Search
We’ll search the keyword like this. “Keyword”
10. Allintitle: Keyword or All in Title Search
We’ll do a search for only the titles to determine completion.
11. Allintitle: “Keyword” or All in Title Exact Search
12. Search for Video Results
We’ll do another search of the keyword just by itself or a general search. This time we are looking for video results. Video results will show us competition and what might be easy to rank for. Plus video gets great CTRs in search results.
Now you’ll notice there aren’t any video results on the first page. But on page two the top result is a video.
This isn’t good enough. We want videos showing up on the first page, in order for them to count as a yes.
13. Use the Google Keyword Planner for Search Volume
We’ll plug in the keyword for search volume if we haven’t yet.
Normally volume these low would concern me but it seems like an emerging keyword. Also, I know that a recent shift in Facebook Advertising has placed a large importance on interests as a targeting method.
14. Rinse. Repeat.
Here’s the time-consuming part, we need to repeat the process for other keywords. Don’t worry, we have a solution.
15. Analyze the Data
Once we’ve gathered data on a few other keywords, in this example 5, we can start to compare the keywords. Normally you’d want a much larger data set of keywords but this will work for the example.
We are looking for an overall competition with a focus on the allintitle values. Low allintitle is a good start. A video ranking also means we can easily rank a video for the keyword. Lastly, we need to make sure the search volume justifies going after. Also the more exact the search term the better the keyword ‘converts’.
Pro Tip: Competition
See who you are up against. Sure a google title might seem low but see the blogs you will actually be competing with. Facebook interest targeting has some steep competition.
Pro Tip: Grouping
Look for groups of keywords that you can rank together. You would put all of the keywords individually in the title but arranged separately. Then sprinkle them in the post where they make sense.
Example of Group
- How to target Facebook ads by interest – 10
- Facebook interest targeting – 40
- Facebook ad targeting tips – 30
Example Title for That Group: How to Target Facebook Ads by Interest – Ad Targeting Tips. As you can see we have included all of the keywords but also created a title that makes sense.
16. Rank the Video
We’ve mentioned checking the video ranks, but why? Well, video thumbnails get higher CTRs in the search engine results and we know we can consistently rank for videos using a secret trick.