Beginner’s Guide to SEO Keyword Analysis

Keyword research and analysis is one of the most important SEO tasks you can do. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most time-consuming and tedious.

But, get motivated! Because keywords are what connect you to your audience. Your use of specific words tells Google, Bing, and others what the content on your website is about and they, in turn, present relevant sites to searchers.

What is SEO Keyword Analysis?

Keyword analysis is how SEOs determine the value of each word or phrase. The right keywords deliver website visitors, but more importantly, can attract active visitors and sale leads.

The terms searchers use to find information on specific topics are always changing – on average, 15% of the search queries processed each day by Google are brand new and have never been searched before. Keyword analysis is not a task to be completed once, but on a regular and ongoing basis.

Why Do Search Marketers Analyze Keywords?

Keyword analysis is a science and there are a number of factors SEOs look at when they’re determining the value of each keyword term:

  • Search volume – On average, how many people in any given area use the keyword or phrase to search for information?
  • Competition – How difficult will it to be rank for that keyword?
  • Intent – Is the person searching on this term looking for general information, or are they looking to complete a transaction?
  • Relevance – Are people searching on this keyword going to find the content on this page relevant?

There are other considerations, as well. To avoid missing out on motivated visitors, SEOs need to understand that there are common derivatives, misspellings, or even different terms used by different cultures.

Analyzing keywords enables SEOs to prioritize and focus on using the words and phrases that will drive the greatest results.

How Do SEOs Actually Perform Keyword Analysis?

Since SEO and technology has evolved, SEOs rarely track their keyword research manually. In the early days, massive spreadsheets with hundreds or thousands of keywords and terms were the norm; though some still use this technique, it’s cumbersome and not scalable.

The next step from manual keyword analysis is the use of a variety of free tools to find, analyze and prioritize keywords. SEOs managing small business websites might find the use of a number of third-party tools manageable. Still, it’s a fragmented approach.

Enterprise-level companies and retailers tend to use a single SEO platform that automates keyword research and analysis, but also goes a step further and automates the actual usage of those top priority, most lucrative keyword terms. Today, SEO software can guide an SEO strategy from initial keyword and research analysis to recommendations for optimizations to ongoing performance reports and opportunity finding.

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How Can SEOs Scale Their Keyword Analyses?

It’s pretty much the best problem to have – your business is growing! Whether you’re doing SEO in-house or across a number of client accounts, the ability to scale is critical to your success as an SEO and the success of the accounts or websites you manage.

Automation is the key to scalable SEO.

Think about the sheer volume of search queries Google processes – over 91 million per day and 2.7 billion per month, as of August 2014!

It’s simply impossible for SEOs to build out their keyword strategy at any sort of scale if they’re trying to do everything manually. The use of a combination of third-party tools for specific purposes (SEO Book, Google AdWords Keyword Tool, SpyFu, Moz Keyword Analysis, Wordpot, etc.) can help SEOs move from manual to partially automated, but there’s still the issue of getting all of your keyword intelligence into one place. And then actually putting it to work.

Integrate Keyword Analysis & Optimizations for Best Results

Bringing keyword research and analysis under the same roof as the rest of your SEO efforts, saves time and ensures greater accuracy. The information driving your SEO efforts becomes closer to real-time, as steps are reduced. Human errors are eliminated. Software scans and checks for new opportunities and updates constantly, bringing back greater insights on more keywords than humanly possible.

Automating the process of analyzing keywords as well as using that intelligence to power optimization efforts allows SEOs to scale to hundreds of thousands or even millions of keywords.

Keywords are the currency of SEO; the more you can analyze and prioritize, the greater your ability to optimize your site with the keywords and phrases that matter most to your customers!