It is possible to reach success without conducting keyword research for new sites, but there is a risk of losing some opportunities such as high ranking, great conversion rates and the opportunity of providing the most relevant information in a specific market niche. The significance of these opportunities increases when you are launching a new site as soon as it is easier to customize site’s informational architecture from the ground up.
Ross Barber, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services shares the modern-day keyword research tenets for newly launched websites.
Choose overarching keywords that ensure quick wins
One must consider high-competition keywords for the top pages as they guarantee quick wins. The homepage and priority pages have a better chance of ranking high with competitive keywords as they attract the greatest number of inbound links unlike blog posts and product pages. A new site’s structure requires a broader and more general application of keywords for the navigation menu, homepage, and main categories. The best strategy is to incorporate long-tail keywords.
Focus on Long-tail keywords and sideways search
Due to the lack of search authority, the best strategy for ranking is using long-tail keywords. Short, general keywords make it practically impossible to rank. Long-tail keywords cover all angles of the topic needed, they are ultra-specific, and address specific questions. They have far less competition and greater conversion rates. Thinking sideways will help to elaborate and expand topics.
Optimize for question-based phrases
Search engines’ structure matches relevant content with organic queries regardless of whether it is a keyword or a question according to a Microsoft research. For both scenarios, search engines perform the same good with the regard to the relevance of results. Therefore, the site should focus on answering questions by providing well researched, niche information and not worry about the phrasing of the question.
Use keyword tools to spark ideas
Experts recommend a combination of brainstorming, auto-suggestion features as well as traditional keyword tools to provide comprehensive coverage and in-depth information about the topic. Traditional keyword tools are the best at sparking ideas to come up with long-tail phrases. Auto-suggestion and autocomplete features spark new keyword ideas both long and short.
The role of competitive keyword research
For newer sites, time and effort spent determine the value of using competing keywords. A lead designer of Google search, John Wiley, indicated that on a daily basis, Google receives 15% of questions they have never encountered before. In light of this, it does not mean that competitive keyword research does not have a place as it plays a significant role when identifying who is up against. It also informs on how tough the competition is and who is ahead of the business. However, drilling down to get in-depth content with longer, less competitive niche keywords for site space takes less time and has a greater return.
Content marketing has an advantage over the one-to-one relationship between keywords and search results. Keyword research should focus more on determining user’s intent and less on search rankings. Keyword research is the real power for new sites, so it should help to understand the context of user’s search.