The search landscape is changing. Stacey tells us that 50% of searches will be voice by 2020. And the search engines we use are changing; many searches now start on Amazon instead of Google.

stacey macnaught brighton seo

Hummingbird was the thing that made Stacey sit up and take note. This was all about joining the dots for users.

So how does this change what we’re doing?

In 2009, keyword research was a spreadsheet. In 2017, a keyword analysis document is more like an audience research document, where we understand the audience much more. At the same time, the breadth of keywords is continually expanding, and search continues to drive sales.

Stay away from tools… for now

The output of a tool is limited by the quality of what you put in. So the first thing we need to do is think beyond driving an immediate sale.

We can get more out of our organic traffic than revenue. We can get links, when we create great content. We can drive awareness.

Split keyword research into:

  1. Top of the funnel (not shopping yet)
  2. Mid to bottom of the funnel
  3. Those who aren’t thinking about your product at all

Top of the funnel

We need to identify the triggers that get our audience to need our product/service. Use a survey, incentivised if possible, of your audience. Do the same with your sales and customer service teams.

This is where we can then use the tool. Take the common triggers and then put them into a tool like Soovle.com to see how people search.

  • Toolfeast
  • Buzzsumo Question Analyzer
  • Answer the Public
  • Soovle.com

So back in 2009, you might have researched ‘washing machine’ but knowing the trigger points, you might research ‘washing machine won’t’ and create content around that. This feeds into creating audiences for remarketing.

Mid to bottom of the funnel

Start by auditing keywords that already drive traffic. Search Console is great for that – DeepCrawl now integrates with SC.

Tools to help include:

  • KeywordFinder.com
  • Amazon – for products, take the information from the FAQs
  • Check out competitor reviews for services – filter for 5 star, get all that content, remove common occurrences like the review site name, and then pop the rest of it into Wordclouds.com or something similar. Then you can pick out the words people tended to use in the 5 star reviews and incorporate those into your keyword strategy – experiment with using these words in AdWords ads and page titles for CTR

Keyword research for linkers and amplifiers

Look at the things people tend to search for, like journalists – so things like ‘statistics about’, ‘how many…’, ‘how much…’. All it takes is a handful of people passively coming across this content to get some new links without too much work.

This is a great way to drive links; Stacey particularly likes things around statistics.

Check rankings – even in 2017!

Yes, personalisation and localisation changes results, but as long as our keyword tracking tools are showing us pretty green arrows that correlate with increased traffic and sales, it’s all good!

Keyword research isn’t a one time job

Always review your strategy.

Look for new opportunities constantly.

This post is one of 25 in our Brighton SEO 2017 collection

Laura Hampton

Digital Marketing Manager

Digital marketer @impressiontalk specialising in user-centred SEO, PR, content marketing, social media and digital strategy. In my spare time, I jump out of planes.