Keyword Analysis and Selection - Master the Art of SEO
Table of Contents
In my last SEO article, we explored my favorite tools sources for building up a robust keyword universe and got some excellent keyword research tips. In today’s article, I’ll walk through evaluating these keywords for usage within your website or blog, or, in other words, we’ll learn how to do keyword analysis.
We’ll also review how to easily locate Google search volumes, we’ll learn what search intent is and why it matters, and then I’ll provide some additional insights into narrowing this list for the best keyword opportunities to win in search and convert these searches into revenue.
Creating a Solid Keyword Strategy by Pulling Search Volumes for Your Keyword List
The last time we were together I gave readers all my favorite tools for finding keyword ideas and options, then I had tasked readers with the process of researching keyword phrases.
Now that you have your list of keyword ideas, it is time to pull data on the phrases so you can decide which keywords would be best to use on your website or blog.
We can’t target everything, so we need to pick and choose wisely. I like to use data for this phase of the planning process. Data helps guide me down the right path and it helps me stay away from futile pursuits of unrealistic keyword options.
For this task, I love using KW Finder for the purpose of keyword analysis. Actually, it’s the only SEO tool I’ll use for pulling data on keyword volumes, trends, and trends.
Using KW Finder for Keyword Analysis and Selection
- Start by going to https://app.kwfinder.com/.
- Locate the Import option in the top navigation bar.
- Once there you can drag your file over from your hard drive, copy and paste keywords straight into the tool, or use the Choose a file button to import a file.
- In this example, I used copy and paste, when set my location to the United States.
- Next, I simply click on the green Process Keywords button.
- Once the import occurs, I’ll see a fresh screen that shows all my keywords with search data specific to the United States.
- I can sort the columns by their headers to start viewing my keywords ranked by criteria like monthly search volumes, PPC ad costs, or keyword competition.
- I can also click on any keyword row to see ranking data and trends on the right side of the page. This will help you see if a keyword is moving up or down with popularity and if you’d have easy or hard competitors. In the below example, SEO consulting has been trending down. My agency page (Web Savvy) is in position six on Google and it has some stiff competition from websites like Clutch.co and OutspokenMedia.com. Both have solid domain authority and backlinks.
- I can view this data online and easily export my SEO keyword analysis to Excel. To do so, I simply click the check all box and then Export. I’ve highlighted both in red below.
- The next step is to review the data offline. This export will look like the following once I eliminate the columns I do not want.
This data will help me evaluate keyword phrases to decide if they are something I would like to focus on as I move forward with keyword mapping and creating an editorial plan.
Understanding Search Intent is Key when it Comes to Keyword Analysis
Before we start finalizing keywords, we need to take a step back and think about search intent. This will keep us from going down a path of inaccurate phrases that don’t align with our target market and offering.
Search intent sounds scary, but you don’t have to let it be intimidated. The concept isn’t that hard to understand if you try and think like Google.
Search intent simply refers to a human’s intentions when performing a search. For example, when a user searches in Google for “hot dog” did he mean a dog that is hot from the sun or did he really want results that pertained to the food hot dog?
Understanding what the user expected to receive for a given search phrase is search intent. You might be surprised to know Google is pretty darn good at figuring this out these days.
The Different Types of Search Intent
There are four main types of search intent and they are:
- Navigational – Navigational searches are performed with the intent of surfing directly to a specific website. These are direct searches for a brand, company, website, or a person.
- Informational – This is the largest category and typically represents people looking for quick answers like recipes, sports scores, local weather, the cure to their current ailment or illness.
- Commercial – Investigational searches (leading up to purchaseс) that help a buyer find information. These could be consumer or business-related.
- Transactional – These searches are largely for purchases or completing a task such as signing up for a service.
In my above list of keywords, the phrase “what is digital marketing” is an informational search. The user is searching for information and not yet ready to purchase. In this search term results we’ll see a mix of Google’s Knowledge Graph data that includes a Knowledge Panel, People Also Ask, Videos, Top Stories, Business Industries, and Creative Hobbies.
The search term “SEO consultant” would be more commercial or transactional, because it indicates that the searchers are now looking for someone to help do digital marketing for them. Google knows this phrase is for a person to do SEO, so it places the local map results at the top of the search engine results screen.
Takeaway: A key takeaway here is the search intent matters to both national and local searches. Google My Business uses search intent to determine what phrases to associate to map-based results.
Does Search Intent Really Matter to Website Owners?
Many years ago, we used to be able to manipulate search results because search intent was not as important as it is in today’s search environment. By “manipulate” I mean I could reach for phrases that are outside my core focus area.
In today’s world of SEO, it is much more difficult to stretch for keywords and phrases that don’t directly relate to your content. The reason for this is Google is smart and Google understands what the user wants and will make sure the results match up closely to this want.
Don’t stray from search intent or you will find yourself frustrated and sitting on page 20 of the search engines results page!