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Choosing the right cluster of keywords is key to building a strong SEO campaign, achieving first page ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), and refining your strategy to attract the right online audience.

There are plenty of online tools that allow you to do keyword research, such as Moz, Wordstream, Ubersuggest, and Google Keyword Planner. These resources provide extensive data to help you craft your SEO strategy, such as the amount of searches each keyword attracts per month, cost-per-click (CPC), and keyword difficulty.

To maximise these tools, however, it is important to know the full extent of their capabilities. Figuring out how to best use the tools of the trade allow you to refine your strategy and increase your return on investment.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when doing keyword research for your campaign:

Check Exact Figures, not Just Averages


One of the most important things to remember when doing keyword research is that the upfront figures only tell a part of the story. In the Google Keyword Planner, for example, a search for keyword ideas will yield a range of average monthly searches numbered between 10 and 100,000 (represented as 100k).

To provide these figures, the tool calculates the average of searches for the identified keyword ideas over the course of the previous 12 months. What the figures do not reveal at face value are seasonal fluctuations in searches. To better understand the potential of your campaign, it is best to study the monthly graphs. These will give you a better forecast on the potential performance of your campaign.

There Will Be Competition


The internet is a massive marketplace. As such, you can be sure that you will be competing for rankings against other websites for the keywords that you are targeting. You will be jockeying for top position in organic SERPs, while also trying to attract the attention of search users.

The higher the number of monthly searches for a given keyword, the tighter the competition will become. Some searchers will click on your website; others will click on your competition. Organic traffic will be split between all the competing websites on the first page. This means you have to resort to other means of optimisation to attract more searchers. On-page factors such as the title and meta description of your website can significantly boost your chances of drawing more traffic.

Spotting Treasured Related Keywords Will Be Tough


Keyword research tools such as those mentioned above can only provide relevant data on exact match keywords. The data set is limited to the monthly searches done by users for the exact combination of phrases, but not for any of the terms closely related to them. While this provides valuable insight on the search habits of your target internet users, nothing more can be gleaned out of this.

Look for the Bigger Picture


In a Google AdWords campaign, you can keep track of the keywords that searchers used prior to clicking your link. This allows you to better plan your AdWords campaign. An organic search marketing campaign does not give you the same luxury. There is no clear overview of the search patterns that led internet users to find your site.

While your campaign might be focused on building a cluster of 4 or 5 keywords, you can be simultaneously achieving success for other related key phrases you are not targeting. That is why it is important to expand your marketing beyond the scope of your targeted keyword cluster, beyond the upfront data the tools provide. Make use of the information to guide your campaign, but do not let it define the direction of your marketing efforts. For more insight on keyword research, you can use this post by Moz as a key reference.Facebook

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