The Perfect Blend: Crafting a Balanced Keyword Strategy
blog post | marketing

The Perfect Blend: Crafting a Balanced Keyword Strategy

Love it or hate it, or maybe a little bit of both, the reality is, search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely dynamic. Search behavior is constantly evolving and search engines are regularly updating their algorithms to provide the best search experience as a result. Adapting your SEO keyword strategy accordingly in order to stay relevant in organic search results is inevitable.

But adaptability alone is not enough. The often overlooked, secret ingredient to a good keyword strategy is alignment with your business objectives.

In the pursuit of climbing up in rankings and driving more website traffic, it’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics that may not necessarily always translate into actual business value.

That’s why it’s imperative to follow a keyword strategy that is not only resilient to the unavoidable changing SEO trends, but also is tightly aligned with your business goals in order to drive engagement that will ultimately lead to measurable results.

The Importance of a Balanced Keyword List in Achieving Marketing Goals

In SEO, a carefully curated keyword list is the most important ingredient to achieving organic success. A keyword list is the foundation on which all other SEO efforts are built on, influencing everything from site visibility on search engines to on-site engagement and conversion metrics.

A keyword strategy should be made of a melting pot of primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords, and also requires a balance of considering metrics such as keyword volume, keyword intent, and keyword competitiveness.

Finding the balance between volume and intent in your keyword plan cannot be stressed enough. It not only provides high traffic volume to your site but also ensures the right traffic is going to your site.

This alignment is key to improving your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) for the most relevant keywords. Ultimately, the successful recipe lies in targeting the right keywords that reflect your overall business goals.

Building Your Keyword Strategy on a Strong Foundation

Just as a favorite dish can’t be made without its staple quality ingredients, an SEO keyword strategy without thorough research is likely to come up short. The initial research phase is not just the preparation stage, but the main ingredient in the recipe for success.

Keyword research tools, like Ahrefs or SEMrush can help identify potential target keywords and understand crucial metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and intent. These metrics are not just numbers; they’re the building blocks of your SEO strategy that can help you prioritize which keywords to target.

Remember though, these keyword research tools are just that – tools. They provide the data, but actually interpreting the data in the context of your business goals will take some careful thought – something that these tools can’t do.

That’s why it’s essential to take the time to carefully review keyword data to understand what it means for your business, and use it to inform your keyword strategy.

So, in other words, don’t rush the research phase. Take the time to roll your sleeves up, understand the landscape, and lay a solid foundation for your SEO keyword strategy. After all, the success of your entire SEO campaign depends on it.

Aligning Primary Keywords in SEO with Your Business Goals

Choosing the right primary keywords in SEO is a balancing act. On one hand, sure, you may want to target high volume keywords to drive traffic, but what is often overlooked, is also focusing on keyword intent to ensure that the traffic you’re driving is relevant and likely to convert.

The key is to align your primary keywords with your specific business goals.

Intent vs. Volume

When crafting your SEO keyword strategy, don’t get too hung up on vanity metrics like monthly volume. While these numbers might look impressive on the surface, they may not always translate into the results you want, especially if your goal is to drive qualified conversions.

For example, targeting a keyword with high monthly volume may increase sessions, sure, but are those sessions likely to convert down funnel?

When to Prioritize Volume

Crafting your SEO keyword list around search volume can be beneficial if your primary goal is to increase brand awareness.

High-volume keywords mean that a large number of people are searching for that term, giving your brand a chance to be seen by a large audience.

This strategy can be particularly useful for new businesses seeking to establish an online presence or existing businesses entering a new market.

When to Prioritize Intent

If your goal is to drive conversions—whether that’s making a sale, driving sign-ups, or generating inquiries—this is where it may be more advantageous to prioritize keyword intent at the expense of volume.

Keywords with higher intent may have lower search volumes, but they are searched by users who are ready to take action.

In essence, choosing whether to prioritize intent or volume in your SEO keyword strategy depends on your specific business goals. A well-balanced keyword strategy will often include a mix of both high volume and high intent keywords.

Caption: A prime example of a keyword with a lower monthly volume, but higher purchasing intent. SERP analysis indicates the top ranking results serve product or solution pages. If your goal is to generate conversions, this is an example of a SERP you want to be in!

Diversifying Your Keyword List

In any effective keyword strategy, it’s also important to support your primary keywords with secondary and long tail keywords.

Secondary Keywords

While secondary keywords can have less significant search volumes, targeting secondary keywords can help further establish authority in your niche, as you’re making a conscious effort to cover every topic within your industry.

Secondary keywords also provide additional relevance signals to search engines, overall improving your site authority and rankings for your primary keywords.

Caption: Diversified keyword list that includes additional secondary keywords based on their respective primary keyword cluster

Long Tail Keywords and Conversational Search Queries

As user search behavior continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly more beneficial to incorporate long tail keywords into your SEO keyword strategy. According to Brightedge, more than 70% of searches use long tail keywords.

It has been made abundantly clear that people search using more conversational queries, searching for things posed in a natural, human-like manner.

Incorporating long tail keywords into your keyword strategy allows you to attract those high converting, highly targeted, and specific keywords. Long tail keywords, as a result of being so specific, tend to have lower ranking competition, making them easy to rank keywords.

Refining Your Keyword Strategy as Business Goals Shift

An SEO keyword strategy is not a one time task. Just as your business goals may change over time, so should your keyword strategy. Regular performance tracking can provide valuable insights into which keywords are driving results and which may need to be re-evaluated or deprioritized.

As business goals change, such as shifting goals from brand awareness to lead generation, or from client acquisition to client retention, your keyword strategy should adapt to reflect these new objectives.

This keyword strategy shift might involve identifying new keywords to target, adjusting the balance of intent vs. volume, or re-evaluating the mix of primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords.

In the end, a successful SEO keyword strategy is fluid, regularly evolving and adapting in response to both internal business goals and external industry conditions.

The TLDR: The Most Effective Keyword Strategy Will Align With Your Goals

The biggest takeaway for how to choose keywords for SEO is to align keywords to target with your business goals

If you want to come up with the best keyword list for SEO, take the time to carefully consider metrics such as volume and intent, determining which metrics best align with your objectives, as well as research secondary and long tail keywords that will further support your primary keywords.

Business objectives shift, search behavior changes, search tools adapt – SEO keyword strategies are no different. Be nimble, regularly check in on your keyword strategy, and watch how your SEO strategy drives meaningful impact as a result.

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