A well-executed keyword analysis is a prerequisite for success in both SEO and SEM. Nevertheless, few companies have an up-to-date keyword analysis that they are actively working on. Often a keyword analysis is confused with technical SEO analysis which we will go over the differences on in this blog post. At Contitude, we always conduct a keyword analysis at the beginning of our new partnerships with clients if we are going to actively work with SEO or SEM and something we recommend to anyone who wants to work with SEO and SEM.
What is a keyword analysis?
A keyword analysis is an analysis of searches and which keywords are being made in search engines. A keyword analysis is often presented in Excel or an equivalent type of spreadsheet and lists keywords that are relevant for your business to appear on. The first column names the keyword followed by the number of searches on the keyword (often called search volume) per month, estimated difficulty of ranking on the keyword, competition for SEM, and estimated CPC (cost per click) for SEM.
The analysis should include a list of which keywords are relevant to search engine optimisation, which keywords are relevant to bid on and which keywords to exclude and not focus on.
After that, it is easier to work focused and result-oriented with both SEO and SEM.
How do you do a good keyword analysis?
The difficult part of keyword analysis is not collecting data on search volume or any of the other parameters mentioned above. The challenge in developing a good keyword analysis is to find out which keywords to include... Often it requires a deep understanding of the company's business but more importantly of the company's current and future customers. What you want to find out is what your target audience needs and how they search when looking for your company's service/product. Sometimes what you think they are searching for is not the most relevant. If your company is at an early stage where there is currently no established market, there are often no searches at all for the new innovative solution you are offering. Instead, you need to think about what the challenge you are solving is and how your potential customers would express their problem if they were trying to find solutions to their problems by searching a search engine.
Another factor that distinguishes a good keyword analysis from a less good keyword analysis is the ease of understanding and working with the analysis. A common tip is to create a colour scale for all parameters that allows you to easily understand what is good and bad for each parameter. For example, high search volume should be strongly green while low difficulty to rank by SEO should also be strongly green highlighted and vise versa, low search volume should be red highlighted and high difficulty similarly red highlighted. If you do this, it is usually easy to find the right keywords. It may also be useful to categorise the different keywords according to different services or target groups. Another tip is to try to identify the intent behind the different keywords. Some words give an indication that the searcher is looking for information, while others suggest that they are closer to making a purchase decision. Therefore, divide the keywords into information and transaction to further help you prioritise which keywords you should focus on.
Difference between keyword analysis and technical SEO analysis?
It is not uncommon to confuse a keyword analysis with a technical SEO analysis. The reason for this is that both keyword analysis and technical SEO analysis are sometimes referred to as "SEO analysis". Therefore, it is important to really clarify what we are talking about when we talk about an SEO analysis.
A keyword analysis is an analysis of keywords and information about their search volumes, difficulty to rank, estimated CPC and SEM competition.
A technical SEO analysis is instead about technical aspects that affect SEO rankings that are already present on your website. A technical SEO analysis usually results in a health score or measure of how well you achieve the desired ranking factors. If you want to know more about technical SEO, we have an entire blog post dedicated to this: What is technical SEO?
Why is a keyword analysis important?
A keyword analysis is important to know which keywords to optimise for or which keywords to bid on. It pays to start with a keyword analysis even before you start your SEO or SEM work. Otherwise, the risk is that you will, for example, optimise for a keyword that has an extremely low chance of ranking on and therefore spend money and time on something that will not give good results. Similarly, you may end up advertising on keywords that are easier to rank on organically but very expensive to advertise on. This too is inefficient and takes resources away from other activities that could have done more good for your business. It's important when it comes to SEO and SEM to make decisions and create a strategy based on data, including keyword analysis.
What tools are needed to conduct a keyword analysis?
When doing a keyword analysis, you need to use some tool to get statistics about each keyword's search volume, SEM competition, ranking difficulty and estimated CPC. There are many different tools you can use today to gather this information and we at Contitude use several different tools to gather the best information.
If you are looking for a tool to retrieve such information yourself, we can recommend the following tools: Ahrefs, SEMrush, KWfinder or Ubersuggest. There are many more and they all retrieve basically the same type of information. We also recommend installing Google Search Console (by adding a TXT record to your DNS settings) to collect actual data on what keywords your business ranks for and what position you hold. This is to be able to monitor and evaluate your future efforts.
Are you about to start an SEO or SEM project and want to develop a keyword analysis? We're also happy to help set up the right tracking or go over tools that are useful for your SEO and SEM work.
Get in touch with us at Contitude and we can help you!