SEO And Website Optimization Start With Keyword Analysis
If in the previous section I explained how SEO professionals distribute keywords in general , then in this post I will give you 5 steps on how to do keyword analysis. You also get an idea of what competitors’ SEO analysis means. But then we move on to the first step.
Let’s start with the process of building and analyzing your keyword list.
1. Create categories by which customers should find you
Create 5-10 larger categories from your main product groups or topics.
For example, suppose you sell bicycles, the larger categories may be:
The largest categories of a website selling bicycles
1. Women’s bikes, 2. Men’s bikes, 3. Children’s bikes, 4. City bikes, 5. Bicycle selection
In the following process, start adding more specific and specific keywords and phrases to each category. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and write out as many words and phrases as you can remember.
2. Investigate your audiences and customer profile cards
Interview your sales team or helpdesk or better yet your ideal customers.
Find out what questions and keywords they use to search Google for your industry. What phrases do they use when searching for your products or services or answers to their problems?
Brian Dean also starts his keyword analysis in the training video from the customer person
The main problem is that 90% of customers do not search for your product or service by that name, but by related keywords. These are phrases that interest them or cause a headache (want to know more).
Customer profile cards are a great help in keyword analysis, where their problems, fears, needs, objections and keywords related to your product or service are also written about the main target groups.
By the way, the lion’s share of Estonian companies (even several larger digital agencies) do not interview their target groups or compile any summary customer profiles.
This means that if you do, you will soon outperform your competitors by a long tree.
Add the highlighted keywords to the appropriate categories.
3. Find words that will bring the right traffic to your website
These are the keywords that will come up with your website on Google search engines. You must have the Google Search Console (GSC) set up in Google Analytics to see this information .
Priit Kallas has done a super simple video tutorial, which will definitely help you a lot.
See a tutorial on how to set up GSC and what help you can get from it.
In the last part of the video, you’ll get a tip on how to quickly improve your position on Google
You can also use the Google Search Console to learn more about which blog posts are bringing you valuable traffic .
If an in-page search box has been added to your website, be sure to check with Google Analytics what your website visitors have already entered.
Choose Behavior -> Site Search -> Search terms
What tips does Google Adwords give you?
If you’re also advertising on Google Adwords, find out which phrases and words they clicked on your ads.
Choose Dimensions -> search terms and see how your ads have been clicked
In order to see keyword information in Google AdWords, you must set the keywords that trigger your ad to be either ‘phrase match’ or broad match.
3. Get smart keyword suggestions
There are many ways to find out what your target audience is looking for on the web and what phrases they use to do so. I’ll bring you some options for immediate use.
What suggestions does Google give?
Feel free to type a word or phrase into the Google search box and see what options it offers you as you type each letter.
Enter your keyword letter by letter and see what more people are searching for
Once you’ve entered your phrase, scroll to the bottom of the search results to see what more people are searching for for that keyword or phrase.
See what else people are searching for on Google
This work is tedious, but necessary to get a better idea of a particular keyword or phrase.
Use the Ubersuggest or keywordtool.io tool
This tool will help you get new keyword ideas. If you don’t have access to Google Keyword Planner’s monthly keyword search volumes, Ubersuggest can help you a little .
This tool gives you approximate keyword search volumes per month, like Keyword Planner, but it also picks up suggestions from Google that you would otherwise have to make manually.
In this case, I entered the phrase ‘keyword analysis’ into the tool, but it can be seen that, according to Google’s recommendations, people search for keyword analysis, or plural.
As you can see, this is a very specific phrase and is not much sought after, but those who do are very aware of its importance in the SEO world or in content marketing.
keywordtool.io conveniently provides all the long phrases you search for on Google
A great tool for finding longer phrases on Google
The paid version of this tool also lets you know more specific search volumes, average cost-per-clicks, and level of competition.
What does Google Trends say?
Enter a key phrase or word into the Google Trends tool and select the appropriate language and time period to see if people are becoming more or less interested in that word.
I entered the keyword ‘invest’ and you can see that more people have been looking for it over the last five years, which shows that people are growing in interest.
NB! The Y-axis (0-100) of this tool does not represent the exact volume, but the search activity.
Use Google Keyword Planner
Create a Google AdWords account and spend $ 2 to $ 20 on advertising, and you’ll have access to monthly keyword search volumes. Learn how to set up your AdWords campaign before running an ad .
You can use Keyword Planner by selecting Tools from the top menu and selecting Keyword Planner.
Using the Keyword Planner
The reason I haven’t put it forward without the tool is that keyword analysis often starts right here, but it doesn’t give you a complete picture at all, it’s a tool among others.
See what’s being said on social media
The analysis of social media conversations gives an idea of how the target group formulates a problem and what phrases they use.
It is social media channels and forums and groups that give you an idea of what phrases your target audience often uses for a topic or problem.
It will provide you with valuable inside information and you should strongly consider it when optimizing your website.
Determine which keywords your competitors have optimized for your content pages
Go through the most important product or service pages of your competitors and see which phrase or keyword the page is optimized for. Or are they optimized at all?
Use a web-based tool to quickly find out what this important phrase is in the page title, meta description, and H1 title.
Free SEO tool MozBar for fast competitor page analysis
I recommend a free in-depth SEO tool for Chrome, MozBar.
Download it and give them your email address so you can activate it in your web browser.
ng the analysis of competitors’ content pages, we have discovered a number of very good keywords, which for some inexplicable reason we have not come up with before.
If you discover a new keyword on a competitor’s page:
- and control its search volume;
- See also which companies are in the Google TOP 10 results.
- Find out how many companies are advertising for this phrase.
With which keywords do competitors get traffic?
For example, if you’re taking a 7-day free trial of SEMrush, read a 10-step tutorial on how to find the best keywords from your competitors that bring traffic and customers.
These tools charge you a monthly fee, but initially give you a free try. Try, or maybe manage to get important information during the free period. Before that, collect all the keywords together.
Well, now you have collected a certain number of keywords and phrases that you can add to your keyword list.
Before we analyze the keyword competition and select keywords, you could critically review your categories again to see if there is any way to mix these phrases in a more user-centric way.
4. Match the general word to the longer phrase
Let’s get back to so-called long tail optimization, because it really helps you get faster wins in search engines.
Look at your larger categories and the phrases you have gathered under them, and think about how your target audience could search for that phrase spelled out.
Of course, a lot depends on whether it’s a product or service or an informative phrase for a blog post, but adding a general or main keyword as part of a longer sentence will also help you get a higher position with the general keyword.
Take, for example, the phrase “bicycles”, which we want to sell in Tallinn
Since we sell bicycles and one of our product categories is also “children’s bicycles”, it could be more precise to name the category.
The name of the children’s bicycle category in your e-store could be, for example, “Brand name + Children’s bicycles” and the title could read “ Sale of children’s bicycles in Tallinn | Brand Name ”
Google shows you what people are searching for
This example includes both the general keyword and the main phrase, as well as a longer and more specific phrase. Three flies with one blow.
You may be wondering why there isn’t exactly “children’s bicycles” in the long phrase. In essence, however, it’s one and the same thing, and Google understands plurals and inflections well.
But now it’s time to go choose the right keywords.
5. Investigate the competition and potential of your keywords
So which keywords should I choose and contribute to? How to make the right choices?
Tim Soulo Ahrefs, head of marketing, has said in his post that:
“It’s not really that hard to come up with a big list of keywords you want to rank for.
The hard part is figuring out what it takes to rank # 1 for each keyword and use that information to prioritize your list and plan your SEO strategy ”.
Gathering and listing keyword ideas isn’t really difficult. It’s much harder to understand what effort it takes for each keyword to reach Google’s No. 1 position and use the results of the analysis to prioritize your keyword and plan your SEO strategy.
As many as there are SEO professionals, there are so many different options and everyone justifies their own system. The fact is that no one knows 100% exactly which Google ranks search results and which factors carry more weight.
In fact, it reads:
- how this keyword or phrase has brought you the right organic traffic and more importantly,
- how much it has brought in sales or price inquiries.
These are your most important metrics to keep in mind when analyzing your keywords and checking your results.
You need to make a clear distinction between the interests of the people who search for these words and where they are in the sales tunnel.
Our own Estonian man Andrus Purde aptly says the following about the choice of keywords:
“High number of monthly searches + low competition + high relevance = content you should be creating”.
1. The more six of your keywords are searched, the better.
2. The less competition there is for keyword-optimized product pages, service pages, or blog posts, the better.
3. The more accurately this keyword or phrase describes your product or service, the better.
Ideally, these are just the right keywords to invest in.
You will definitely have a question, but how much time, money and energy does it take to figure out the right keywords to make the right choices?
Your chances of evaluating keyword competition and potential
You have two paths:
- whether you use a paid SEO tool ( ahrefs.com , semrush.com , or moz.com ) and also do manual analysis, or
- you do keyword analysis on a keyword-by-keyword basis (very time-consuming but interesting).
Since you most likely don’t have access to any SEO profit tools, I’ll give you instructions on how to do manual analysis.
Before analyzing competitors
Find out how many searches are done for your keywords per month – Keyword Planner gives you an idea of how much that word is being searched for. True, this data is not 100% accurate, but a good starting point. The more you search the better.
What is the competition for advertisers –
at the moment it is average and the lower the competition for advertisers, the better. Remember that in this case, competition for organic results is not shown.
What is the cost per click – the higher it is, the more advertisers have bid on that keyword. It also shows that those who seek the word are also willing to withdraw money faster.
Add MozBar to your Chrome web browser
Now with this free tool you will see PA, the authority of a specific content page, and DA, the authority of the domain of that website. I will talk about them in more detail below.
Now that you’ve added this tool to your web browser, you can start analyzing your keywords.
Step 1 – Enter your chosen keyword in the Google search box
Depending on the purpose of your SEO campaign (creating a website in the initial phase, planning new content for your blog, or optimizing product / service pages), choose keywords that you think will get you fast.
Enter this phrase into a Google search engine and see if you see ads and how many there are. The more of them there are, the more likely it is that searchers of that word will be willing to pay for a product or service.
Then let’s take another example of a start-up bicycle shop, which is just coming to market.
Let’s see who has optimized our page for the phrase “bicycle shop in Tallinn” and whether it makes sense for us to optimize one of our content pages for this phrase or is it a hopeless undertaking.
No company titles contain the phrase “bicycle shop in Tallinn”
Maybe big companies will come out in the organic results, and if there are a lot of them out there, you may want to push that keyword to the bottom of the list right away. However, if you start researching more, you can also find ways to beat big companies.
As a result of the analysis, you can find keywords:
- where you don’t really need to create much content;
- in which case it is not necessary to obtain external links;
- with little competition and;
- Getting to the Google homepage is easy.
Let’s see if we find an opportunity for this keyword “bicycle shop in Tallinn” or go to the next one in the list.
NB! We need to perform this process for each keyword phrase and check the Google TOP 10 results individually.
Step 2 – Check the authority of the specific content page
I came across the list by chance Hawaii Express and now I study the
strengths and weaknesses of their page in the light of the keyword “bicycle shop in Tallinn”.
I’m happy to let you know that every single content page can achieve very high rankings in search results. The fact that a company’s domain authority (DA) is very high does not mean that it is not possible to compete with its content pages.
In the example above, MozBar has assessed the authority of the page with 36 points out of 100, which is still a good result in the Estonian sense.
Your task is: see if there are pages with low (10 points and below) PA results among the TOP 10 results. If there are many, you can give your keyword a green light right away.
In our example (see above), the average PA is 28 and only two pages have it below 20. So other factors still need to be explored.
Step 3 – Check the number of domains linking to your page
Analysis of links to a competitor’s content page
Keep in mind that some links are more valuable (relevant pages) than others.
It is quite possible to leave behind the pages of competitors who have a lot of links, but for example their content does not meet the interests of searchers.
MozBar shows that the Hawaii page, which is actually their home page, receives external links 76,580, which is very much in the Estonian sense.
You can count on the help of the MozBar tool, as it also shows the number of links to the page, but many SEO professionals use Ahrefs Backlink Checker , which is more accurate.
Of course, there are also many free so-called backlink tools, but unfortunately their data differ from one to another 2-4 times.
There are many factors that can be considered in the links, but I would like to point out the main ones
- How many external links does a competitor need?
- How many links come from different domains? 10 links from different domains is better than 1000 links from one domain.
- How many links come from relevant pages?
- What are the PA and DA of linking pages themselves?
You need some paid tools to analyze your links, but you can also use Moz’s free 30-day period.
Your task is to find pages in the Top 10 results that have a small number of links to your keyword. Find out where the links to your main competitors come from and how reliable sites they come from? Compare the number of links to your respective content page.
In our Hawaii example, I’ve used a paid tool like SEO PowerSuite to check for links .
Hawaii Express page results with SEO PowerSuite software:
- External links: links to the home page 34 229
- Links from different domains: 166
- Links from relevant pages: over 50% of the links come from .ee domains and are obtained naturally. For example, the Estonian Cyclists’ Union website has more than 20,000 links. Quite a few links come from pages related to the bike theme, which is why Google associates Hawaii Express with its bike son and ranks high in search results, despite the fact that the page is not fully optimized for metadata.
- Links also come from the websites of suppliers of products with high PA and DA
It takes at least 5 years of hard work to collect such links in a start-up bicycle shop, and we have no quick wins here. Let’s investigate further.
Step 4 – Verify the authority of the content page domain
Good news from Ahreff’s research. Namely, domain authority and Google ranking have less of a correlation effect than the authority and position of a particular content page.
Thus, the authority of each particular page is much more important than the authority of a competitor’s domain.
However, you may have noticed that pages with very high domain authority, such as wikipedia or .edu, end up high in the search results.
The strong authority of their domain also helps weaker pages to rank higher.
This means that we should still consider and control the authority of the competitor’s domain in the DA.
Your task is to find out how many competitors have very high (greater than 50) DA numbers. The fewer they are, the better.
By the way, in the case of Hawaii, according to MozBar, the DA is 35 points, or 1 point lower than the PA, which is 36. In general, the higher both the PA and the DA, the harder it is to shake this page in the search results.
However, Hawaii has a strong authority for a start-up bike shop.
Step 5 – Check the relevance of the links to the page
If we examined the number of referring domains in step 3, now we need to look more closely at which pages these links still come from.
In the field of SEO, I have seen service providers who have also used techniques banned by Google, such as mass redirection of links to their website. Many of them have had their website penalized and or even lost search results.
Even today, there are companies in Estonia that buy in links, but in the long run it will not work. As soon as you stop paying such companies, you’ll lose your Google results in a while.
Even worse, if Google discovers that your links are coming from non-relevant foreign sites and they come en masse, you may also be penalized. This is a severe setback for your wallet.
So we need to look a little deeper at where the links to a competitor’s content page come from and whether they are obtained in a natural and logical way.
It’s your job
See if a competitor’s external links are coming from places like:
- suspicious low quality directories;
- so-called article directories (Articles.eu, etc.);
- blogging networks (
- spam comments.
Or future competitor links:
- from relevant pages in your field;
- major news portals;
- other trusted pages where you can’t add the link yourself.
Some examples of where external links to Hawaii Express come from
Beauty world, inf.ee, velo.clubbers.ee, land and throwing blogspot blog, Estonian Cyclists’ Union, etc.
An extract from Hawaii links from SEO SpyGlass software
In general, Hawaii links are organic, although they can be found in several directories where they may not be. Links added to several directories such as ilumaailm.ee, etc. are not very useful there and the value of the link coming from there is low.
Step 6 – What is the competitor’s in-page SEO situation
I’ve written a tutorial on both internal linking and optimization of a website , but there are some points you should pay attention to. Take a look at the page title and meta description.
In the example of these search results, no competitor has the phrase “bicycle shop in Tallinn” in the title. Unfortunately, not even advertisers.
The meta description should be written separately for each content page and could also include your important keyword.
Your task is: look at Google’s TOP 10 results and find out if your phrase is included in the title and description of your competitors’ page. If it is not or is ambiguous, then this may be your option.
However, it is not worth being too optimistic, because if a searcher enters a “bicycle shop” in the search, he or she will want to either visit it or buy a bike there, and the results will all sell bicycles.
An interesting fact from Ahref’s study
However, this does not mean that your phrase should not be represented in the Title and in the content of the page.
Go to the corresponding content page of each TOP 10 competitor, and check if the H1 title contains your important phrase and whether the page also uses synonyms, meta description, whether the URL contains a keyword, etc.
The Hawaii Express home page is incomplete in terms of metadata
Tip – Use MozBar already mentioned above to take a look at a competitor’s page.
In fact, there are many more factors within a page that competitors can research and compare with their page.
To sum up this point, it can be said that this is the first place in our example where a start-up bicycle shop in Tallinn could see the opportunity to be on the Google front page with the phrase “bicycle shop in Tallinn” in 6-12 months. This is shown by practice.
Thus, in addition to metadata, the use of keywords, and many other factors, the user experience and the quality of the content of the page also matters.
Step 7 – What is the quality of the content of the competitor’s page?
It all depends now on the type of keyword and page we’re dealing with.
For example, optimizing an e-store product page focuses on sales, but the goal of the home page is to communicate the topic and the benefits to the visitor.
Blogging is more advisory, educational or informative.
We also need to treat each of these three types of content differently.
If the content does not meet expectations, then all of the above is meaningless
Yes, you can have a lot of links, the page opens quickly and on every device, and the SEO factors within your page are all at the top and it seems that competitors are easily shaken, but…
If your page doesn’t match the keyword and visitor results you’ve entered, you won’t be able to keep up with your results on Google for a long time.
You need to understand exactly what a person actually wants when they enter your keyword or phrase into a search engine.
Those who understand the searcher’s intentions and respond more to his or her questions and expectations have a better chance of getting higher positions without the help of external links.
Your task is to review all the content pages of the TOP 10 competitors and find out how you can provide better and more practical information about the content of your page than your competitors. You have to be very good.
Once again, go read the gold worthwhile instructions here:
- how to sell your e-store product sheet ;
- how to write an awesome website services page;
- how to plan and write your next blog ;
- how to make a home page that speaks.
By following the instructions above, you have a better chance of making the content of your particular page more valuable to the visitor and also taking content marketing to a higher level.
In this example, if we were to take the Hawaii homepage again, we would have to ask three to four questions that people subconsciously have in mind, and they are:
Where am I?
Maybe everyone knows which page is in Hawaii? Do you know?
What are the benefits of this? – Why should I take it from here? Why am I being shown a discount on a children’s bike if I want to buy my own bike?
What do I have to do? – What is a call to action button or where is the call to action button? How can I move forward?
How are you different from others? – Doesn’t such a big brand need to bring out its uniqueness or uniquely selling point? Does the phrase “Cycling, the victory of nature” work for the buyer?
A start-up bicycle shop must definitely answer all four questions above, both visually and in text, on its home page. You have to be specific and based on your main customer person.
This is a place where we can definitely do better.
Now you need to make a summary
Put together an Excel spreadsheet where you analyze the following points behind each keyword or phrase
- Keyword search volume 1 month
- the relevance of the keyword to your product or topic;
- Your place on Google with this keyword
- A competitor’s position on Google for that keyword.
- top 10 competitor URLs;
- top 10 competitor title;
- competitor page authority PA;
- competitor domain authority DA;
- the number of domains linking to the competitor’s content page;
- the quality of links to a competitor’s content page;
- competitor’s content SEO (there should be a separate table / tool for this);
- the quality of the content on the competitor’s content page and meeting expectations (for example, in a 10-point system).
You can develop a so-called evaluation system for yourself, which you then use as a basis for whether or not it is worthwhile to contribute to this phrase.
I’ll share with you one SEO keyword analysis tool that can be used to very conveniently evaluate keyword competition. With this free version you can get your much needed work done nicely.
As for our starting bicycle shop in Tallinn, it is difficult for Hawaii to take action :).
However, if you perform the same analysis among the other 9 competitors, then you may know that it is s
till worth optimizing one of the content pages of your future store’s website for this phrase. This is shown by the analysis and practice of competitors.
As you have already realized, you have a lot of craftsmanship and analysis. A decent paid SEO tool comes in handy and several tables need to be compiled.
The broader and better known your field, the more keywords and phrases your prospective customers will enter into a search engine.