There have been some questions surrounding the value of keyword research after Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013.
The Hummingbird update allows the search engine to do a better job through an improvement in linguistics search. More attention is being paid to each word in queries, making sure that the whole sentence is taken into account, rather than just focusing on individual words in the search. The results matching the meaning will rank better, rather than pages matching just a few words in the query.
So, if this Google algorithm update no longer looks only at keywords, and people no longer search by keywords only, then.. doing keyword research isn’t necessary…Right?
Here are 6 reasons not to pass on keyword research.
- Know Your Niche
The best way to get a full handle on the topic you want to dominate is… do keyword research on that topic! Regardless of whether you want to write one or one hundred articles about your topic, doing keyword research will show you all possible variations of search terms that users are looking for.
Doing keyword research for your topic will not only help you write copy for content, products or services, but it will give you a myriad of ideas for other types of content like blog posts, infographics, landing pages, and more.
- Answer Users Search Questions
Part of dominating your topic is by answering the questions that people are typing into search. Users type questions starting with “How do I,” “Where can I,” “What to do when/if..” etc, and they want relevant answers. This is a great opportunity for you to provide the answers.
Because of low search volume, keyword phrases that are in the form of a question tend to be ignored. Don’t disregard these questions because of the low search volume, answer them!
Doing keyword research will let you see the questions being asked, and you can show up as the most relevant answer when you answer them in your on-site blog.
- Update Your Sites Menu
Keywords are used to create additional pages of content based on user’s search terms and needs, but you should also be using keywords to become the link in your sites navigation. By doing this, you are learning and using your customer’s language to meet their needs.
When a user visits your site, having the menu option that reflects their search terms helps them find the content that they were looking for faster. When a user is on your site, and does not see the information or keyword they are looking for, you are increasing the amount of time it takes them to get to what they were searching for. This results in visitors leaving and looking elsewhere for easier results.
- Find Long-Tail/Non-Competitive Search Opportunities
Sometimes, there are profitable opportunities out there that have less competitive search phrases. Although these terms usually have lower search volumes, the potential to bring traffic to your site is always there.
Low volume search phrases are often very low on the competition scale which can give you the opportunity to create copy using keywords that no one else has. That copy can bring rankings to your site for which no one is competing for.
If you optimize your site for enough of these low-level, or long-tail phrases, you may find that they collectively deliver more traffic quicker than high-volume phrases.
- Assess Your Competitors
You can make use of your keywords to find out which keywords your competition is bidding on, or optimizing their site for. There are many 3rd party tools out there that help with competitor research, but you can simply type your keywords into search, and review the results.
Knowing where you rank versus your competitors in the search results will allow you to create a strategy that will help you overcome the competition.