There are a lot of elements that go into developing a solid keyword strategy. If you are new to SEO, figuring out where to start is no easy task.

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ll go over the vital role that a keyword strategy plays in improving the overall quality of content. We’ll also cover some basic practices you can use to start development.

So, read on to learn everything you need to know to develop your keyword strategy!


What Are Keywords and Why Are They Important?

Google search autosuggest

Image Source: Google


Keywords play a significant role in how search engines interact with content from all websites. A search engine will list results and rank them from most relevant to least relevant. Where websites fall in the rankings depends on multiple factors.


One of the most critical factors is relevant keywords, including primary and secondary keywords. Breyta, a CRM platform, knows the importance of choosing the right keywords in your sales or marketing strategy if you want to maintain successful customer relationships by providing them with relevant content.


When you create content for a specific audience’s search intent, you can increase the likelihood of your content reaching that audience by using target keywords within relevant content.

Along with primary and secondary keywords, you can use a wide range of other keywords.

  • Short-tail keyword
  • Long-tail keyword
  • Short-term fresh keyword
  • Long-term evergreen keyword
  • Product defining keyword
  • Customer defining keyword
  • Geo-targeting keyword
  • LSI keyword
  • Intent targeting keyword

Each of these does something specific, and some have more complexity than others. We won’t dive into all of them right now, but it’s good to at least know they exist.

While you probably won’t use them initially, once you need more specific tail keywords, the ones from the above list will come in handy.


Why Do You Need a Keyword Strategy?

Now that you know the basics of what a keyword is, let’s dive into some of the different ways a keyword strategy can benefit you.

Structure

Whether you’re a group of people running a business, or a single person who has their own blog, a keyword strategy brings an added level of structure to any type of content. In many ways, having a keyword strategy is like having a map with directions for where you need to get to.

Without the map, you can still get to where you want to be, but the process becomes infinitely more difficult because you’re playing it entirely by ear. And you can apply this same concept to almost everything.

Having a definitive plan that you can follow will go a long way; take flair, for example, an HR platform that emphasizes the importance of having a good structute and a plan of action for employees in the workplace. A keyword strategy is no different when it comes to creating high-quality content.


Bring in More Traffic

An effective SEO strategy is the best way to bring more web traffic through a website, and it starts with a strong keyword strategy.

Whenever you do a Google search, the websites that appear first have the vital keywords that you put in the search bar.

Contrary to what some people assume, those websites don’t show up first because of some uncontrollable factor in the search engine.

Keywords are a huge part of those rankings.

Understanding keywords creating a keyword strategy for your website’s content is one of the best ways to ensure that your website ranks high in the search results.


Be a Better Competitor

Because good SEO can bring in more web traffic, having a solid keyword strategy will make you a better competitor in whatever niche your content exists in.

Many people don’t know enough about SEO to do it themselves, and others may not want to pay for an expert to help them.

Even the ones who do put some time into SEO don’t necessarily have a successful keyword strategy to go along with it.

You’ll be giving yourself a leg up on your competition by having your own keyword strategy. And when every niche has people creating content, just having a decent meta description is not enough if you want your content to top the search results.


Come off as More Credible

As a direct result of having a keyword strategy, you’ll have a better content strategy and higher quality content that will reach more people. Placing higher in search rankings with your content for a consistent period also means you will grow a larger audience.


The more recognizable your brand becomes, the less you will have to rely on keyword strategy to get clicks.

People will naturally start to recognize your company/blog alongside the content they are searching for. At that point, you will really begin to reap the benefits of having a solid keyword strategy from the get-go.

Of course, you should never stop putting time and effort into developing your keyword strategy, as it can constantly improve.


Learning About Search Result Rankings and User Intent

Google results example

Image Source: Google


Creating a keyword strategy is also a great way to learn about user intent. You want to understand what users are looking for and meet their needs.

Choosing the right keywords for your content is not as simple as figuring out which keywords have the greatest search volume and only using those.

Many in-depth studies on keyword research and user intent already exist, and it’s too big of a topic to cover in detail here. That said, developing a keyword strategy is an excellent buffer to learning about user intent.

Making a good keyword strategy will force you to understand what keywords bring on what results and how users interact with those results.


What Strategies Are out There?

There are countless examples of keyword strategies that businesses and blogs regularly use. Below are the three most common.

Keyword Tapering Strategy

For companies that use a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model to bring traffic through their website, a PPC-type strategy brings the greatest return on investments (ROI).

 

Keyword tapering is a great keyword strategy that supports a PPC advertising model, primarily because keyword tapering focuses on digging up the most relevant keywords.

 

Previously, many companies who use Google AdWords would implement a single keyword ad group (SKAG) method to raise the number of clicks their websites got. SKAG increases clicks by using keyword match types to remove unnecessary search traffic, which effectively controls web traffic.

However, the issue with this method is that sometimes relevant keywords were in that “unnecessary search traffic,” but they never saw use because the SKAG method could only cover so much traffic at once.

To remedy this limitation, companies continue to use SKAG, and now many of them also use keyword tapering alongside it.

Keyword tapering can reach a broader range of traffic and bring in more exact match keywords, allowing companies to better optimize their pay-per-click campaigns and increase overall revenue.

An example of keyword tapering can be seen with KlientBoost, their keyword tapering PPC strategy focuses on searching for terms that are an exact match to target audiences, eliminating the unnecessary or irrelevant keywords.


Keyword tapering example

Image Source: PromoNavi


Their use of broad, match, and modify campaigns, allow for mining of keywords that are the most valuable. The longer these campaigns are running, the more exact information you will gather, this will help you identify your exact target point.

Once you have collected a variety of terms that work, then your Exact Match campaign will be filled with keywords that are relevant and increase conversions.


Long-Tail Keyword Strategy

Long-Tail Keywords are the keys to attracting a wealth of users that your content may never reach with just broad keyword strategies.

Long-tail keywords are search phrases that better cater to user searches. They do not receive the same search volume as common keywords, but you can still gain profound benefits from creating a keyword strategy that focuses on them.

Because fewer people implement long-tail keywords in their content, having them can make your content rank higher.

The specific nature of long-tail keywords is better for meeting users’ search intent.

Also, long-tail keywords are great for voice searches, which brings about a need to use phrases that don’t come up when typing.

As an example, if you are looking for your local traffic to increase, then you may consider adding words at the end of your long-tail keywords or including relevant words in your keywords that cater to what your audience could be looking for.

Say, your audience is looking for a great coffee shop/cafe, and you want your business to be the chosen option, include words like ‘near me’, ‘affordable’, ‘great service’, and so on.


Ahrefs long tail keywords

Image Source: Ahrefs


Negative Keywords Strategy

Negative keywords can prove a hassle to work with. However, if you put in the time and effort, the results you’ll receive are highly beneficial to your content.

In PPC advertising, you can use negative keywords in Google AdWords to better optimize your content. These keywords are ones that you can exclude from your list of search terms to prevent your ads from appearing in certain content for various reasons.


It might sound redundant to an extent, but keep in mind how competitive the internet is regarding search results.


Everyone is constantly trying to rank higher in one way or another, and the more specific you can make your content, the better you can target your audience.

In that sense, negative keywords are just another way to focus on a particular area by excluding keywords you don’t find relevant to your content.

This example by WordStream explains negative keywords in a simple way. If you are selling hard-copy calendars that can be used in an office or at home, you will want to steer clear from having keywords like ‘online calendar’ in your campaign.


Ahrefs negative keywords example

Image Source: Ahrefs


You would then exclude these keywords as negative keywords. That way, Google won’t show your ads when someone is looking for a service that you do not provide.

The image below shows examples of possible keywords you may include in your campaign if you are selling hard-copy calendars.


Which tools should you use?


Ahrefs keyword planner

Image Source: Ahrefs


Many tools exist to help people find the keywords that will have the most impact on their content’s performance, and choosing the right tools can prove challenging.


Here are a few of the most common keyword research tools that companies use today.


Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that anyone with Google Chrome can access at any time. You can use this tool to get search volumes, search terms, and current trends of specific keywords on the Google search engine.

It also allows you to find new keywords based on specific phrases, websites, and categories and multiply keyword lists to receive new keywords.


Keyword Tool

Next to Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool provides the best user experience for people unfamiliar with keyword search tools. Many SEO tools are not super simple to use, but Keyword Tool is straightforward, as it comes with the ultimate guide on how it functions.

Because of this, it’s a highly recommendable keyword search tool that you can access on all search engines.


KeywordSpy

KeywordSpy is best when you use it to watch how your immediate competition is fairing in the keyword realm. It’s a high-quality keyword explorer that you can receive a lot of information from by using your own keyword preferences and the preferences of competitors.


Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a good choice for a well-rounded package. It’s similar to Google Keyword Planner, except with more depth. You can choose from various pricing plans that offer different levels of features, including a rank tracker, backlink reports, keyword reports, and much more.

There is also a 7-day trial available for $7.


How to Find a Strategy That Works for You?

To find the keyword strategy that works best for you, keep the three following steps in mind.


Research

Before you can start putting together any kind of keyword strategy, you need to research your content’s niche.

It’s not as simple as looking at the most popular keywords or competitor keywords, as more often than not, only some of them will apply to your content, and you want to have as many keywords as possible. You need to figure out the keyword intent.

Doing thorough research can bring about keywords that see lesser use despite having high effectiveness in pushing content up in the search results.

You don’t have to stress over finding the most specific keywords that nobody else uses, but you also don’t want to only stick to the currently trending keywords just because they’re trending.

The latter is not a bad way to bring in readers. However, it will limit you because there are only so many popular keywords to choose from.


Analyze

The next step is to analyze your content, the keywords you’re going to primarily use in your content, and how those two things compare to your competitors’ social content and their keywords.

Again, you want to stand out from the crowd while remaining in the area of your niche when it comes to optimizing content for SEO, so work to find a balance between the two.

Analyzing the keywords you want to use and seeing what type of users they attract in search results is a great way to understand what the keywords will do for your content.

And you should continue to analyze your content’s keywords even after you develop your initial keyword strategy.


Craft

Once you research and analyze the keywords you want to use, the next step involves crafting your content with the keywords. Be it blogs, great infographics, landing pages, social media, videos, how-to articles, or listicles – there is generally always room for keywords to help the content fair better in search rankings.

The other major thing you want to remember to do here is to differentiate your primary keywords from your secondary keywords and determine how many times you will use each keyword in a piece of content.

It may not sound terribly important, but overusing or underusing some keywords can drastically affect SEO.

Because of this, you want to ensure you don’t use keywords without paying attention to how many you are using and where you are placing them.


Continue Developing Your Keyword Strategy Going Forward

After laying down the groundwork of your keyword strategy and creating content with those keywords, start checking the results of your work. You’ll likely see some rise in where your content ranks in search results, yet you won’t automatically skyrocket to the top of the results.

That takes more time and effort, and you’ll have to learn about more advanced SEO techniques like internal linking, creating SEO-friendly FAQ pages, and several others.

You can use the points in this guide to find your keyword strategy, and from there, you have to keep developing it. Your content won’t stay competitive on its own, so ensure you keep up with the ever-changing trends and strategies of SEO to remain at the top of the search results!