Keyword Research For SEO – Part 4

Now you have a list that gives you a rough idea of what people search for. By comparing the different terms you get any idea of the users intent. They all include the term “Liverpool” so it is likely they are looking to procure a service. If they just wanted to understand accounting they wouldn’t include the geographic term Liverpool. This suggests that all these keywords are what is know as “Transactional Keywords” as the searcher potentially wants to sign up to a service or product. If they were searching for information on tax returns these would be “Informational Keywords”. If they searched for a particular accounting firm they would be “Navigational Keywords”.

It is possible that someone searching for an “accountancy firm” instead of just an accounting may on average be a bigger potential client. Also someone who types in “Accountants” plural instead of “accountant” singular may be looking for something slightly different or be slightly more or less likely to sign up as a client.

If you are a local company offering a service that requires face to face visits then you mainly want to target Transactional Keywords. If you sell an information product such as a book on doing your own accounting that you can deliver to anywhere in the UK you could target Information Keywords like “how to do your tax returns”.

You now need a means to assess the competition around each keyword which is dictated by the number and strength of the websites that rank for these keywords. People use different strategies to do this. These strategies involve performing a search in Google for each of the keywords and assess the websites that come up to determine how much competition there is for each keyword.

One basic measure is to do a search and have a look if the results contain the words you searched for or very similar words. Often these appear in bold. If there is a lot of bold then there are a lot of other relevant websites. If the keyword you searched for brings up results that don’t contain your keyword very much then there is low competition:

You can install addons to your browser that will give you more information on the results that come up. I like to use SEOQuake for Google Chrome. This shows me information like the pagerank, the number of pages the site has (that have been indexed by Google) and the number of links pointing to the site (that semrush.com is aware of) all without having to leave Google. You can look at this data for the site that comes up first as the one you need to beat or you can look at the average for all ten results for each of the keywords on our keyword list. I put a lot of weight in to the pagerank of the sites that come up as this gives you a good idea of their authority within Google.

Another way people look at keyword research is to look at the number of sites that come up for each keyword which is shown at the top of Google. They also look at the same but with the keyword in quotes which will return the number of sites that contain the exact term. I don’t like using either of these as the number of sites is very different from how good the top 10 sites are and you need to beat at least some of the top 10 to get on the first page.

Once you have checked all the different keywords you will notice that there are different amounts of competition for each one and slightly different results come up although there will be a lot of overlap.

By comparing the number of searches with the amount of competition we get an idea of the value for money or potential return on investment for each keyword. For instance typically Chartered Accountants are usually quite proud of their Chartered status and target that keyword so the competition is really high considering that it gets almost very few searches. It offers really bad value for money compared to some of the other keywords. “management accountant liverpool” doesn’t get many searches but at the time of checking not a single accountant comes up only accounting jobs which may suggest very low competition. It may also suggest that the person using it is potentially a good client not just someone looking for an annual tax return but instead they are looking for monthly tax returns.

Once you have an idea of the traffic and competition around each keyword you still need to chose keywords that are within your budget or resources. The best value for money term may be one that has a lot of competition so there is no point in working towards it if you will never be able to get high up on the first page. There is often overlap between the keywords so you can target an easy one to start with and then once you are on the first page for that move on to a more difficult term.

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