The best keywords for SEO have always been about balance: aim too high and you’ll never reach top rankings. Aim too low and there’s not enough search volume to make it worthwhile. Fortunately, now there’s SEO ROI and quantitative analysis that can help you find the perfect balance between a keyword’s traffic potential and ranking difficulty.
Each time we think we’ve figured out Keyword Research, we come to the slow and painful realization that in fact, yet again, we got it wrong. It starts with targeting high search volume keywords, then we go for the niche search keywords. Then take a stab somewhere in the middle, relatively high search volume, relatively high value. None of which yield the results we were hoping for. Where is it all going wrong?
As small business owners, we are not in a position to delegate the task of Keyword Research. We are time poor and rely heavily on efficiency in getting things done, quickly and with the desired results the first time.
The ultimate goal of any SEO campaign is to get the website to rank for specific keywords relevant to your market and your ideal audience. You do this by analyzing the keywords which have the highest ranking probability, and targeting those keywords will yield the best results. So we always need to find the perfect balance between ranking difficulty and value potential.
Determine your short and long term goals
Remember there are several different aspects the determine the rankability of any site, so we need to consider more than just keywords to improve our SEO ROI. Such SEO factors as the site speed, mobile optimization, domain authority, primary, secondary and related term keywords all play a role.
Divide your efforts into long and short-term tasks. If there are keywords that you are ranking relatively well for already, focus on optimizing these further rather than targeting additional keywords. Here is a great post from ahrefs on how to Double Your Blog Traffic Without Creating New Content.
Concentrate on the areas where you are already seeing results, here you are more likely to get the most significant traction. These are the quick wins that will facilitate achieving our long-term goals further down the line. When you have your keywords, apply on-page optimization strategy to ensure your keywords show up within other tags on the page including meta description, title tag, H1, H2/H3 and image alt tags.
So finding the right keywords can form part of a long-term strategy, alongside other elements such as improving domain authority – which requires much more time (and patience).
Don’t waste time targeting the wrong keywords
Don’t make this SEO mistake. Continued investment in keywords that aren’t yielding the right results is counter-productive and costing your website valuable rankings. You risk losing the fight against your competitors to gain visibility and credibility for your market.
By investing time in research, you will set yourself up for success in the long road ahead. Get some clarity in what works for your market. Your ultimate goal is to find and target the right keywords, improve your rankings and achieve a healthy SEO ROI over time resulting in more traffic and business. So learning how to identify the right keywords at the beginning of your journey, will give you a tremendous advantage from the very start.
It’s crucial that you understand the potential return on any investment and SEO is no different. The best way to see the potential of SEO is by studying and analyzing data and performing a competitive analysis.
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Consider ALL data when carrying out a Competitive Analysis
You need to have a solid competitive strategy in place if you want to succeed. There are many factors that determine website rankings. A deep competitive analysis is critical during the research phase to uncover the keywords you need to target. A thorough competitive analysis will take into consideration such factors as website strength of top ranking websites, topics in which they are considered authoritative, backlink profiles, keyword relevancy etc. There are over 200 ranking factors Google uses to figure out how to rank website and where it should appear in search results. You can use tools such as Canirank to analyze all the right data.
A very quick scan of the CPC (cost per click) value of the keywords you are considering to target can be one of the factors in determining whether you should target a keyword or not. High-value CPC means that advertisers think that ranking for that keyword will bring high ROI. If the CPC is low, it means that none of your competitors place any value on that keyword, and it’s unlikely to get you a decent ROI, therefore not worth pursuing. At the same time, ranking for less competitive keywords can still be a valuable source of organic traffic. So finding the right keywords is always a balancing act. So as you can see, you must be careful targeting high CPC keywords since they can be extremely competitive and much harder to rank for. At the same time, you don’t want to try to rank for keywords no one is searching for. That is why you need to determine a variety of SEO factors when performing your analysis.
Important of Quantitative Data Analysis
But this isn’t enough, you need to perform a more detailed research to get the best results. By utilizing quantitative research, rather than qualitative methods, we can improve our chances of selecting the best keywords to rank for. Quantitative data analysis will look at the domain authority, search volumes and CPC value to give you the Ranking Probability. The higher the Ranking Probability, the better chances you have to rank for that keyword.
Having a solid competitive strategy in place and performing competitive analysis, will determine whether you will see your rankings quickly climb or if you always lag behind your competitors.
BIO: Rachel Craig is an SEO Consultant with Canirank.com, SEO Software and Digital agency. Our clients have the benefit of AI backed software combined with human expertise to tackle their SEO needs. Originally from Ireland, she has spent the last 7 years either in her adopted city, Barcelona or exploring new places around the world.
INFOGRAPHIC: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. The Complete List