Keyword Research: Guidelines, Importance, Tips

Home Keyword Research: Guidelines, Importance, Tips
The cornerstone of SEO is learning to use keywords in your favor. Here you’ll find everything from keyword research to optimization. Keyword research is the act of locating and evaluating search phrases that people type into search engines with the intention of utilizing the information for a specific purpose, such as SEO or general marketing. Keyword research can reveal queries to target, as well as their popularity, ranking difficulties, and more. Keyword research may provide you a lot of information about what your target audience is looking for on Google. The knowledge you gain from these actual search terms can inform both your content strategy and your overall marketing strategy. When performing internet research, people employ keywords to identify solutions. When a result, if your material is successful in reaching our audience as they do searches, you expect to profit in the form of more traffic. Conclusively, what you need to do is target those search options precisely. Remember that there will be no "best" keywords; only ones that your target audience uses often. With all that in mind, it is really up upon you to devise a plan that will aid in page ranking and traffic generation. Relevance, authority, and traffic will all be factors in determining the optimum keywords for your SEO campaign. You want to locate highly searched keywords for which you can compete fairly based on the degree of competition you face. Your capacity to create material that is of higher quality than what is already ranked.

What Exactly Is A Focus Keyword?

focus keyword

We do keyword research through a number of audits and data crosswalks to identify key pages that can be improved to deliver a fast turnaround in traffic. Your customers are already looking for what you have to offer, but they often aren’t searching specifically for your brand. A focus keyword is the main phrase that you expect that your customers will be using in their search queries. If your site doesn’t appear for their non branded searches, you could very well fall off their consideration list. Links that are going from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links. The process itself is referred to as internal linking or interlinking. Now, this is an important issue to be addressed. You can get up to six sitelinks for your SERP listing, plus a search box if you can wrangle one. On desktop, this means that four or five times as much SERP space is given over to your listing, while on mobile, a site-linked listing can take up the entire screen.

Conversion Rates

These algorithms are Google’s secret sauce, and they determine which pages will be displayed for a particular query (i.e. “ranking”). When Google scans your site for information, it no longer pulls out the keyword phrases it thinks are relevant and pairs them to user queries. Instead, there’s an intermediary step. Google interprets the data on your website and begins to form its own conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver. If that seems a little spooky to you, you aren’t alone — Google is becoming exceptionally sophisticated. Only Google engineers know the secret google recipe! Google answers your search queries by checking them against its enormous index of web content. Google continuously searches the internet using google bots that scout for new web content to add to the index. You have to create the best content for that niche topic. In order to do that, not only do you have to provide incredible value to your readers, but also have to pay attention to onsite SEO best practices. You have to schedule daily time into your routine for the SEO attempt.

Let’s say that you run a goat farm in Detroit. Blogging is a great way to stay up to date while easily generating new, relevant content. Blogging regularly (ideally once a week at a minimum) can have significant implications for search engine optimization since each new blog entry represents a new web page. Changing one of these aspects creates an alternative scenario ‘B’. Are internal links as valuable as external links? Looking at statistics behind applicable focus keyword ideas will reveal traffic rates and competition levels, helping you better understand the terms and topics that most interest your prospects. Keep your existing hosting provider as your domain name registrar but ask it to update its domain name server (DNS) records to point at the DNS of your new provider.

High Advertisement Ratio Can Be Mitigated By Using Dynamic Pages

An SEO campaign can deliver all the traffic in the world, but if none of the visitors ever becomes a customer then the campaign has not succeeded. That is so counter-intuitive or so polar opposite of what we get in AdWords, and Facebook, and every other paid platform when we put a dollar in and we get results right away. Google reported similar findings in 2016, noting that 28 percent of local searches lead to a purchase. As a part of mobile searches, voice searching is also on the rise. It can be much easier to search by speaking into a phone than by typing. But what effect does this have on local SEO? Companies using local SEO will need to think about their keywords for voice search.

Would you like to make it easier for search engines to understand what keyword(s) your blog should rank for? Typically your homepage will contain more instances of your focus keyword phrase and your main navigation pages will target your next most important keyword phrases and so on through your web page hierarchy. Set mobile page scaling properties on each page so your pages are mobile-friendly. Links are still incredibly important, even in this day and age. Anyone is looking for high-value links from relevant sites in their industry. One thing you want to pay attention to is the speed of your future website. You can easily check that on websites like Google PageSpeed Insights, or Pingdom.

How Long Should My Copy Be? 

Avoiding Google’s Thin Content Penalty for Better SEO Copywriting. Besides understanding the need for a focus keyword, it is important to consider: Is your web content long enough? Does it have enough substance—does it add enough value? If it is, it’s in danger of getting dinged with a “thin content” penalty from Google’s Panda algorithm. While Panda’s been around for quite a few years now, it got a significant update at the end of September that helps it sniff out low-quality (i.e., “thin”) content. So, how’s this affecting you? What kind of word count should you shoot for with your web pages and blog posts? Is Google going to downgrade your valuable content? Don’t panic: as long as you’re not doing anything sketchy, you should be fine. 

Bigger is Better, But No Magic Number 

There’s plenty of interesting search engine optimization (SEO) research out there that shows that long copy can perform, convert, and rank better than shorter content. Longer content gives Google more concepts to index, more opportunity to rank for a focus keyword, earns more links, and can become the definitive resource on a niche topic. Our advice would be never to host more than 10 sites with the same hosting provider and not to worry too much about different C Blocks. If you do ever suffer a penalty, you may find that more than one of your sites is affected (“tarred with the same brush”), but the cost of using different blocks is generally high and the risk-reduction benefits are relatively low. Craft some content ideas (focusing on competitive keywords) and get in touch with the editors or the person who’s responsible for guest contributions. Ask them if they’re interested in your content ideas. Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer this over other approaches, especially on some devices that might not handle Flash or JavaScript.

Concentrate on Targeted Keywords That Deliver Traffic

The trick to successful SEO for your website or blog is to concentrate on targeted keywords that deliver traffic.

Getting the technical details of search engine-friendly web development correct is important. But once the basics are covered, you must also market your content. Article directories grant another space where a subscriber might obtain a back-link, gratis publicity, and possibly some free traffic. Several such directories have espoused returns sharing, which signifies that the content giver acquires a slice of the proceeds.

Many mobile devices have a text-to-speech option that automatically transcribes their words into the search box. People speak differently than how they write, using different words and sentence structures. With other voice-to-text aids such as Alexa, more and more mobile web search queries are resembling how people speak.

How often did you leave a website because it took too long to open? It happens all the time. On-Page, optimization is the most important part of SEO. You can increase website traffic, leads and sales, by doing better On Page SEO on the website. Which includes using targeted keywords. Remember, the focus is on targeted keywords that deliver traffic.

Writing Effective Headlines To Encourage Individuals To Visit Your Website

Use your network to your advantage and have your friends LIKE your page on the different social network platforms. Make them link it back to your blogs. This helps to drive organic traffic back to your online business. Search engines no longer require you to spell things to rank. So your focus should be on writing for the people viewing your page instead. After all, time on page and other elements indicating your content were useful to provide a stronger value for SEO.

There are many niche communities specialized in different topics, such as films, gaming, programming, marketing, etc. These communities don’t just bring people with common interests together, but also let members submit the latest, coolest content. It often helps to increase the length of the content of your web pages. A great way to up your SEO in a general sense is to regularly update your site with quality long-form content. This could be in the form of a video, a podcast, or more commonly, a blog.

Targeted Keywords That Deliver Traffic – Boost Your Popularity In The SERPS

Look for resources that deal with similar topics to your own site. You may find many Internet projects that are not in direct competition with you but share the same topic as your site. Try to approach the site owners. It is quite possible that they will be glad to publish information about your project. Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.

It is commonplace to have a staging server (also called a dev site) set up for your website re-design / re-model project. It is also a good practice since you shouldn’t be building a site in a live environment where your users can interact with an unfinished product.

Targeted Keywords That Deliver Traffic – But What is SEO?

Googlebot uses sitemaps and databases of links discovered during previous crawls to determine where to go next. Whenever the crawler finds new links on a site, it adds them to the list of pages to visit next. If Googlebot finds changes in the links or broken links, it will make a note of that so the index can be updated. In Google search results, you only have space for 70 characters in your title. If your title is longer than that, it gets truncated (meaning the end will be “….”). (Previous estimates put this number at 50 to 60 characters, but Google recently expanded the width of the search results and therefore can show slightly longer titles.)

Is There Any Obvious Reason Why The Phrase Is Not Bringing In As Many Visitors As It Used To?

Auditing an existing site is one of the most important tasks that SEO professionals encounter. SEO is still a relatively new field, and many of the limitations of search engine crawlers are non-intuitive. To understand your website, Google must be able to read it. In order for this to be possible, you must make sure that your website is text-based behind the scenes. In this sense content is king. you can optimize the entire technical side of your site and still find it lost on page two or more in Google.

SEO isn’t a trick. It isn’t something your web developer can do for you. When you write headlines, it is not absolutely mandatory that you use key phrases, but you get a decent bump in the search engines for putting them in headlines that are bolded with a larger font than the other text and capitalized. Targeted keywords are those that are most often used by you target audience. Therefore, you should use targeted keywords that deliver traffic which naturally will be targeted.

Ensure That You Concentrate On Targeted Keywords That Deliver Traffic

Parallax design is a website design approach that’s been used for several years now and takes its name from the concept of the parallax movement. Instead of linking from one entire webpage to another, the visitor moves up and down on the same webpage. Set up a Google Alert for your company name. Any time your business is mentioned across the web, contact the webmaster, thank them, and ask them nicely to include a link.

Content marketing can be very effective in increasing traffic, generating leads, enabling sales – and contributing to SEO. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company’s marketing budget is. There are internet marketing strategies that can optimize your website and online presence that are relatively inexpensive. SEO-friendly content doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, provided that you understand how on-page SEO can work alongside your content.

Most Website Owners Know What They’ve Done Wrong When They Have A Search Engine Penalty

It is imperative that website owners and site developers engage in user testing to find targeted keywords. Without actually measuring what users are doing when they visit a site, one can’t possibly know how a website is performing. As such, you won’t be able to find targeted keywords. Once you start working on the SEO channels you need to commit yourself for the long haul as ranking first on the search pages does not happen in a day. It can take up to years sometimes and if you are lucky, weeks.

Whenever possible, avoid changing URL structures.

The easiest way to prevent broken redirects is to avoid creating the redirects in the first place. SEO and SEM tactics are not disappearing any time soon, so why not use them to your advantage? There are a lot of people using search engines to look for what you have to offer, and in the area, you are offering them. The type of permalink you pick influences the way these two parties see and value your site. A URL with a load of incomprehensible gibberish at the end is a lot less shareable and enticing than a short and simple SEO-friendly URL.

There you have it. The ways to concentrate on targeted keywords that deliver traffic.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success? Google’s traffic estimates are for Google AdWords users, not bloggers. There are (supposedly) 200 ranking factors to keep in mind.

Then there are multiple updates Google uses that come and go that could mess everything up. But by using search engine math, you can hope to simplify SEO and get a quick idea of the fewest steps to rank content faster in Google.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – What is Search Engine Math?

Search engine math is a simple formula to learn how to increase your return on investment from SEO.

SEO falls under three categories:

  • On-page SEO (or content optimization).
  • Off-page SEO (or link building).
  • Technical SEO (or all SEO activities excluding content optimization and link building.

According to the law of diminishing returns, eventually you will receive less value for the same amount of work you put in.

For example, let’s say it takes five workers to build a car in ten hours and ten workers to build a car in five hours. You might assume adding an 11th worker would increase production at an equal rate. But this doesn’t account for problems that come when the workers get in the way of each other.

Here’s how this applies to SEO: Would an additional 100 outreach emails to get five links help your article rank better in Google? Would it be worth the time to write another guest post? Or should you move on to something else?
SEO math seeks to answer these questions by estimating what the optimal way to grow your site is.

Let’s begin with the assumptions of SEO math – How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success.

1. Your content quality is equal, if not better than the competition.

The goal of content marketing is to solve a problem that your potential customer has. As a result, your content needs to be both thorough and useful in answering their problems.

There is no easy way to measure which content is the best. To make things worse when comparing content quality, the IKEA effect can get you to think your content is better than it actually is.

Therefore, while content quality is important to ranking in search, SEO math does not take this factor into consideration.

2. Your site’s page speed is equal, if not better than the competition.

Source: Left Digital Media

When asked the question how to reverse engineer SEO success, page speed is one of the few ranking signals Google states it uses to rank your site.

Even if it wasn’t a ranking signal, a slow site makes for a bad customer experience. And a bad experience means fewer people are interested in waiting to load your website to read what you wrote.

Believe it or not, 3% of America still uses dial-up. That’s 9.4 million people in the USA. Then when you add in everyone else in the world with slow connection speed, you can begin to see why 40% of individuals close a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Unlike content quality, there are ways to measure page speed using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and GTmetrix.

But your page speed can only improve so much before you hit a point of diminishing returns. It can’t load faster than 0 seconds.

3. Your on-page SEO is equal, if not better than the competition.

When you look at the search engine results page (or “SERPs”), it’s clear that on-page SEO plays a large part in how your website ranks in search engines.
Aside from creating great content, on-page SEO refers to how relevant Google believes your content is based on your article’s:

  • Title tag
  • URL structure (e.g. “
  • Image alt text
  • Amount of unique content

Use of keyword throughout your content, including in the meta description.
Again, after a certain point, it’s hard to know who has the better on-page SEO. So if you have your keyword phrase (or a slight variation of it) in the title, URL structure, image alt text, and sprinkled throughout your amazing content, it’s good enough.

4. Your title is equally appealing, if not better than the competition.

To answer the question on how to reverse engineer SEO success title should definitely be taken into consideration. If someone does a Google search, people are more likely to click on your article if the title provides a clear benefit to the reader and creates a powerful emotion.

Which of these titles sound more appealing to you?

  • A. 15 Stunning Emails Everyone Can Send to Increase Sales 72%
  • B. 15 Emails You Can Send Today

If your goal is to find out how to send marketing emails to increase sales, the first title gives a clear benefit and solves a problem. But after improving your headline using the AMI Headline Analyzer or CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, there isn’t a clear way to know which blog title is best.

5. Your blog’s brand is equally valuable, if not better than the competition.

Source: vietcetera

Over time, people should know what to expect when they connect with your business. People expect Burberry to deliver luxury clothing and accessories. They trust Apple will be sleek and well-designed.

Whether your customers realize it or not, they also have expectations about your content. For example, you can often go to Dan Shure, John Doherty, Ross Hudgens, and a dozen other SEO experts to learn about SEO.

You don’t go to those blog expecting to learn about viral marketing loops as you would from going to Andrew Chen’s blog. You have to also stop reading SEO articles from the SEMrush blog, because nothing you can read on their blog will help you learn more about SEO.

This same thought process goes through the mind of many of your potential customers as they look at the search results in Google.

But since you can’t do much to improve this “score” aside from creating more great content, this should also be temporarily set aside.

All that to say, search engine math focuses on three things:

  • Keyword Research
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Domain Authority (DA)
  • Let’s dive into each and talk about what you need to do to assess how fast you can rank in Google quickly.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – Improve Your Keyword Research

There is very little SEO math used in keyword research. However, proper keyword research will make the other two areas of SEO math easier, so let’s discuss this topic.

Keyword research is a process marketers use to find search terms that people enter into search engines.

Ideally, marketers look for high traffic search terms with a high likelihood to rank on page one or two of Google. If you cannot get listed on the first two pages of Google, you probably will not receive any clicks from your search results.

So there is a limit to what you can do to optimize your keyword research process. Here are three simple guidelines you can use:

1. Some traffic is better than no traffic.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success? Focus on the traffic of course. One concern you may have about doing keyword research is what the ROI for the work.

Let’s say you find a keyword that has 50 searches a month. You might think that even if you were to get in spot #1, you’d maybe get 20 visitors a month, or 240 people in a year. With a 2% conversion rate, that’s about five sales a year. And at a lifetime value of $100, you spent 15-20 hours for $500 revenue.

That’s no good.

The reality is, even a keyword phrase that gets 50 visitors/month may receive 10x the monthly traffic compared to the estimate.

Dan Shure coached a writer to create an article with a keyword that said it would get 70 visitors a month. In the first 90 days, that article received 2,284 clicks. Given the first few months are the slowest, that article could bring in 25,000-50,000 visitors a year.

There are ways to get organic traffic from keyword phrases with 0 traffic. This is possible when you rank for a keyword before Google analyzes the data to give an estimate, such as talking about a new trend.

But unless you are good at trendspotting, it’s better to keep things simple and target keywords that get at least 10 searches a month. Typically you use Keywords Everywhere to find this estimate, although you have to also use UberSuggest,, and Ahrefs in different circumstances.

2. More traffic is better than less traffic.

Source: auto web traffic

This sounds really obvious, and it is.

Most SEO marketers know that if you target one keyword, you will also get traffic from several other keywords. This is known as a keyword footprint.
Here’s where it can be tempting to start complicating something that’s simple.
Rather than evaluating the traffic of one keyword, some SEO marketers try to estimate the traffic of the footprint. While this is possible to estimate, the easier solution is to compare the traffic potential of every main term you think you can rank on page one of Google.

3. It’s best to find low competition keywords to rank in Google faster.

Did you find a social site like Facebook, Pinterest, or Quora in the SERPs? This is a great sign you will rank your article fast.

Heck, even if you see a harder site to beat like Wikipedia in the SERPs, you don’t necessarily need to back down. It will take some effort, but websites beat Wikipedia in the SERPs all the time.

If you use a tool that correlates the difficulty to rank for a term, like Ahrefs keyword explorer, you can quickly find out how likely it is to rank on page one. That said, you need to make sure you do keyword research correct.

It’s also worth emphasizing that you don’t need to be in position 1 to get a high ROI. Or even page 1. If you look back at Dan’s tweet, the average position of the article was 18.1. As crazy as it is, apparently people do go to page 2 to get answers to their questions. Weird, but true.

It takes time and practice finding solid keywords to rank for fast. There is a lot to know to master keyword research, so we won’t go over that here, but there are a few guides on the subject that can help you, such as here, here, and here.

But if you want a quick way to find relevant keywords with low competition, try this out:

Use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

  • Find the keywords that websites like Quora or Pinterest are ranking for.
  • Find relevant keywords they are getting organic traffic from.
  • Or you can use those two tools and use their difficulty score to get an idea of how easy it will be to rank faster, then look at the results by hand.

How to Use Search Engine Math to Beat Your Competitor’s Page Authority, Quickly and Efficiently

Page Authority (or “PA”) is another important ranking factor. In short, PA compares the number and quality of links from other websites to your website. Which is why a profession started to build backlinks, called link building.

Because PA is on a 100-point logarithmic scale, that means it’s easier to grow from a PA of 20 to 30 than to grow from a PA of 70 to 80.

Source: outreach warriors

Here’s how to quickly estimate how many links you need to beat the competition:

  • Look at the domain authority of the links pointing to your competitor’s article, such as with Open Site Explorer.
  • Find out the DA of each link, such as with the Moz toolbar.

Use this table to estimate the # of DA 40 links you need to build:

Domain Authority – DA 40 Links Needed
DA 0-9 Ignore these links
DA 10-19 Ignore these links
DA 20-29.5 DA 40 links
DA 30-39 1 DA 40 link
DA 40-49 1.5 DA 40 links
DA 50-59 1.5 DA 40 links
DA 60-69 2 DA 40 links
DA 70-79 3 DA 40 links
DA 80-89 5 DA 40 links
DA 90-100 7 DA 40 links

Questions About How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success

Now, before the SEO experts pick up their pitchforks, let me answer some of your questions:

1. SEO isn’t that simple.

That’s not a question.

Google isn’t going to tell you everything you need to know. Or everything you don’t need to know. There goal is to get more people to use their tool because it can find better content. Not to get your site more traffic.

That said, you can agree there is more to SEO than just building DA 40 links.
The goal of search engine math is to help simplify the complex. This is especially important for small-to-medium businesses that don’t have a lot of bandwidth. If you have a six-figure marketing budget, it may be worth it to optimize the small stuff.

2. Why DA 40?

From the experience doing link building, there are a ton of blogs with DA 40-49. At the same time, those are valuable enough links to go after.
Guest post for them, give them an infographic, massage their back… whatever you want to do, just make it happen to get the link.

3. What should I do if I build a link with a higher domain?

Do a happy dance! You have one of three options:

  • Ignore that the link is higher than DA 40.
  • Use the higher DA link to cancel out a smaller DA link (for example, use a DA 61 to beat a DA 52).
  • Use the column on the left to estimate how many DA 40 links it is worth (for example, if you got a DA 72 link, count it as three DA 40 links).

We would not recommend coming up with your own algorithm for each DA range. Remember the goal is to keep things simple.

4. What’s with the “.5” links?

The goal of this system is to beat your competitor’s links. As such, sometimes you only need a slight edge to beat your competitors.

If your total number ends with .5, round the number up.

5. Does this system guarantee search results?

Source: digital marketing institute

No, this is just a theory to help you do so.

Because Google is smart, there are many factors that tailor each person’s search results to that person. For example, if you read articles from, Google will assume you would like more articles from them than

So even if you have stellar content and get “enough” links, you still may not rank first in Google.

6. Why do you ignore links under DA 20?

To keep it simple. Also because these sites are new, many will disappear in a year. Not to mention their SEO value is small.

7. What should I do with nofollow links?

If it’s a full moon today and 80 degrees outside, then count them.
In all seriousness, it depends. You can built nofollow links on sites like Inc Magazine. You can view those as very valuable and count like a dofollow link.

There are also nofollow links like those from which you can ignore.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember to keep it simple.

8. Is Search Engine Math Necessary to Compare Domain Authority?

Short answer – Not really.
Longer answer – It depends on how much you want to simplify your life.
Full answer – When using search engine math to compare your DA with your competitors, there are two things you should think about:

  • Your DA today.
  • Your DA down the road, say in a couple years.

If you are a new site, it’s more important to focus on getting your content ranked today rather than a year. This is because SEO creates a flywheel effect. The faster you get organic traffic, the faster you can use that momentum to your advantage.

But keep in mind, you are also building links. In time, your domain authority will go up. So eventually, you will beat the competition.

Even better, if you do keyword research effectively, it will be easier to rank. And as your articles get higher in the SERPs, if you created great content, people will naturally link to your articles.

9. What do you do with links from the same website?

Another SEO theory is that links from the same website decrease the value of a link.

To keep things simple, if two links point to the same article, cut the DA value in half. Also, only look at unique website links for a given page, not the entire website.

So if “” and “” has a DA of 50, and both link to “,” then count the second link as a DA 25.

But if “” points to “” and “” points to “”, don’t penalize the two links.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – A Simple Summary

Source: kingpng

Search engine math is used to help you get better results faster from SEO, although it cannot guarantee rankings. The primary factors SEO math takes into consideration are:

  • Quality content and a quality website.
  • Keyword Research
  • Page Authority
  • Domain Authority (important, but less so)

The rules of keyword research: some traffic is better than no traffic, more traffic is better than less traffic, and find low competition keywords to rank faster. Remember that solid keyword research decreases the number of links you need than if you do poor keyword research. Focus on this step, write great content, build fewer links.

To beat your competitor’s page authority, look at the back links of the article you are trying to beat. Use a base of DA 40 to know how many links you need and get ‘em.

Domain authority is an important consideration, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rank if your DA is too low. There are articles out there with a DA 30 blog beat out sites with double the DA score.

This theory is still a work in progress. As such, we would love to get your honest feedback, questions, and polite criticisms to stress test this theory.

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