Strategic keyword research for SEO made easy

Keyword research (KWR for short) is the basis of every SEO strategy, just like we, the experienced SEO agency in Munich , are: We use this to prepare the following activities, for example OnPage optimization . The aim of the keyword search is therefore to create an information base by first recording the search terms used within a market segment and then evaluating them using various criteria.

Many of our customers ask us how a KWR is carried out step by step and what actual use it has for their own projects. In a nutshell: What role does KWR play in the search engine optimization “crime thriller” ? We hereby provide an answer, but let me say this in advance: The knowledge to be gained is numerous and exciting. It is not for nothing that keyword research is called a “small market analysis”.

Searching for clues, or: How do I do keyword research?

Keyword research is initially a pure data collection. But: To stay in the criminalistic context – it provides information on the crime (the purchase of a product, also: the purchase of services) and the perpetrator’s motive (the target group). Before the search for clues begins, the KWR is prepared in order to get an overview of the search terms (example: buy an electric car cheaply) on a certain topic (example: supplier of electric cars); these are the terms people type on Google and other search engines to find information. In the first step, we record these search terms in order to later determine those search queries from this amount of data that we specifically set in the thematic context of the customer (example: “What should be considered when buying an electric car?”) – voilà, the keywords are found. But back to the beginning. Because: The investigations are only initiated when the relevant search terms are entered. The typical and one of the most important questions of the keyword researcher, the profiler: What is the intention of the searcher, what is the motive of the “perpetrator”, the Google user? If we find out, in the future we can give the searcher the answers and information he needs to get what he wants – on the website of our customers, of course!

Understanding the “unknown” : What answer does the seeker hope for? This is how we get to the bottom of the motif:

  • Brainstorming on the respective topic of the customer (electric cars) – interview colleagues, external parties, other departments (sales / technology / etc.) To find out how the specialist department or the customers talk about a product. For example: what words do you use?
  • View shopping and delivery lists – does the product have a production name and could the SKU / EAN information be a keyword?
  • Evaluate internal search on the customer website. How are users currently searching on the website? Check search history.
  • Use Search Console – this allows the current search terms of the users to be evaluated.
  • Evaluate social media data – view and evaluate comments on the company website. Which words do the “fans” choose? What language do you speak? (Rolls vs. bread rolls)
  • Start blog polls – start your own poll, possibly with a competition. “How would you look for XY?”
  • – use to find synonyms.
  • Google Trends – this can be used to determine similar search queries on the topic.

The tool of action: Keyword research approach and tools

We now know that we are looking for a motive. A motif that tells us something about the purchase of a product, about obtaining information or about the buyer. We look for clues and do the following: as the first investigation tool

We get a holistic overview of the topic of our customer: Suppliers of electric cars. We give the generic term electric car at on, choose the setting that provides us with the search terms used on that contain the term.

Then we have the questions used displayed by using the “Questions” tab. Here is exciting: Google “recognizes” questions, so they know how to differentiate them from mere keyword input, and endeavors to link these search queries to the websites that provide the answers.

We let ourselves be inspired if many search terms are suggested (sometimes search entries result in only a small selection of search terms, then in this case there is no point in being inspired) and put relevant search terms in a list. Note: By no means all of the suggested search terms are relevant for the customer / the respective project. The search term “lending an electric car” is insignificant for an electric car provider if he sells electric cars but does not lend them. We have specially developed SEO strategies for e-commerce retailers for this purpose !
We mark all search terms in the tool that are aimed in the direction in which we want to bring a text, for example. We then enter this into the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to determine the search volume.
Then we look at the individual search volumes: We “tip” a search result of over 70 again into and check whether there are further “ramifications” that could be exciting and relevant for an article, for example. Because: It is a frequently entered search term; other combinations could have similarly high or higher search volumes.

Accelerate the success of the investigation with Google Suggest

Another possibility is to do the keyword search via Google (Google Suggest): The tool helps us to find suitable keywords or to check whether we have already found all the relevant terms. This means the following view:

The Suggests contain the most searched search terms on Google, ie those terms that are most frequently searched for in connection with “electric car”. Other terms can be found by working through the entire alphabet one after the other. So “electric car a”, “electric car b”, “electric car c” – continue this entry and get inspired. The best results are displayed for the letter (or word) entered.

The similar search queries at the end of the SERPs also provide good keywords:

We then enter a few words or sentences directly into Google to evaluate the search results. This process provides information about what “answers” Google offers searchers. In principle, this is a quick keyword analysis via Google. We also hold onto this knowledge.

Increase the “keyword loot” with the right tools:

  • : There are synonyms, search terms and associations here.
  • : Keyword ideas can be found there.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Outputs “exact match” data.
  • : Names synonyms for keywords.
  • : Shows information about the keywords.
  • ROCKIT-Video Keyword Tool: Our ROCKIT-Tool delivers suitable YT keywords.
  • : The tool enables long-tail keywords to be put together.
  • Keyword tool from SEOlytics.

Differentiate serial offenders from first-time offenders: filter, sort and define keywords

Once the keywords have been identified, the keyword research is complete and ideally depicts the customer’s entire topic, at least everything that happens on the Internet. This starting position is ideal, now a decision can be made as to which information must be found on the website.

We combine

  • Status quo: The intention behind the keywords has been determined (buy, tips), so we check which ones should now appear on the website. This is how it works: I run an online shop? Then you need search terms for your own website that convey an opportunity to buy (“buy an electric car” etc.).
  • Check out the competition when choosing keywords to avoid overly “contested” keywords. Works, for example, by entering “allintitle: elektroauto” in front of the respective keyword. In this way, only results are displayed that have “Elektroauto” in the title.
  • Finding the “sweet spot” – keywords that have a high level of relevance, high demand, good profitability and little competition.

All search entries are influenced by:

  • General keyword trends in the respective (thematic) area (ankle boots vs. ankle boots)
  • Wording (rubber boots vs. rubber ankle boots)
  • Spelling (roller shutter vs. roller shutter)
  • Intention (… buy, … tips, etc.)

Short digression : Many salespeople and product managers know offline what to say to their customers in order to sell their product. They often find it difficult to describe it online. Products must be identified by or with keywords. Example: Weak descriptions within a category for electric buses such as “suitable for complete beginners as well as professionals” are not ideal, because: The electric bus is only suitable for a target group whose representatives also have a corresponding driver’s license. Precise descriptions that get to the heart of the matter are important in order to steer the target group correctly. Or: Will self-learning machines soon relieve us of this? According to the motto: “Know what the customer wants before he knows it himself?” Read more about potential and dangers here:  Artificial intelligence and the future of online marketing .

The usual suspects: target audience! Search engines as well as your personal target group

We have now identified and defined the relevant keywords for an SEO campaign. For example, if it is a content campaign, it is a matter of enriching the customer’s texts on his website with different keywords. Because: The more extensive and varied the respective topic has been processed, the higher, for example, Google rates the relevance of the text and the entire website. The result: the site gets a better ranking and more traffic. But not only the search engine should “get their money’s worth”, the human reader should also receive high-quality and specially tailored texts (target group!). For this step it is important to know the personas in online marketingto determine, to put the products in the right context and thus to find potential search terms. “Stay tuned” because what’s the next purchase? When does the next act to buy something take place? Combine particularly well at this point so that you are prepared the next time and can snap the right trap (“The seeker finds”).

The highlight: after intensive investigations, use the knowledge from KWR when writing

The “main topic” of the customer was illuminated in a variety of ways. Various “secondary topics” can be derived from the “main topic”. Our example is about a supplier of electric cars and accessories. There are numerous subject areas (also known as keyword clustering) on ​​the subject of “electric cars and related accessories”. One is the charging stations(in order to be able to charge an electric car either at home or on the go), which we would like to optimize with the appropriate content from an SEO point of view. Our customer should appear in the Google Top 10 if possible and rock other providers away: Within the Google cosmos, “further up = higher relevance” applies. That’s why we proceed as follows: We have removed various sub-categories from the main category of electric cars, such as advice on buying an electric car, charging stations (on the go or at home) and the purchase of suitable charging cables. We would now like to optimize the sub-category charging stations .

Robber or gendarme? Plausibilities decide how to write

We treat the category “charging station” as a sub-category of electric cars and receive short-head (example: charging station), mid-tail (example: charging station electric car) and long-tail keywords (find a mobile charging station for electric cars) in this topic. Our ROCKIT keyword pyramid follows the cascading principle: Several layers build on one another, the lower one, the foundation, forms long-tail keywords with a low search volume. The layer above consists of long-tail keywords with a high search volume, the next one of mid-tail keywords (SV: 0) with a low one. Based on this, mid-tail keywords again, but this time with a high search volume. On topis the short-head keyword with high search volume. Now the arrangement of the individual “layers” is not decisive, but the alternation of long-tail and mid-tail keywords and their different search volumes: sometimes high, sometimes low. Because every small search volume is important and should not be neglected: People enter this search volume, perhaps not often, but especially these “pay” on the entire content campaign, as they form the basis of the text and are therefore just as relevant . It is also important with which formulations the competition ranks ( more on this in the next but one heading ).

Analysis of the big and small fish: an overview of the keyword types

We distinguish between three different types of keywords:
a) (Short) -head keyword:

  • Except fire
  • Consists of one word
  • Often have a high search volume
  • Are usually highly competitive
  • Intention mostly unclear. Often meant to be informative
  • Short keywords, for example “electric car”
  • Particularly well suited for titles and headings, as they usually have a higher search volume than long tail keywords. In addition, the short-head keyword usually occurs in the long-tail keyword.

b) Mid-tail keyword:

  • Except fire
  • Consists of two to three words
  • Have a good search volume
  • Are highly competitive
  • The intention can usually be recognized.
  • Slightly more precise keywords, for example “electric car allrad”

c) Long-tail keyword:

  • Consists of four – x words
  • Have a rather low search volume
  • The keyword planner often provides little or no search volume for these keywords
  • This does not mean that they are not searched for at all: “Zero” means that the keywords are searched for less than two digits per month; Are important for the overall understanding of the page
  • Are often moderately to weakly contested
  • Clear intention
  • Long keywords, for example “charge electric car via cigarette lighter”
  • Particularly well suited for content, as long-tail keywords can be used to answer very specific search queries with corresponding content.

Keyword competition analysis – which keywords are the other “gangsters” using?

Examine the websites of the competitors for information for users (content, FAQ, …). Which questions are answered, what seems to be important.
Evaluate keywords and rankings of competitors using tools such as Sistrix or SEMRush.

Assault on the “money transporter”: How do I write a text “with” keywords?

Since our example is a provider of electric cars and accessories, it is important to enrich the elements of a content campaign (graphics, text, any content for a website) with keywords from the “buy” area. Example: Use the keyword “buy an electric car” because searchers enter this search query on Google (or Amazon, for example) – the search volume is currently 4,400 on average. This number of people enter this search term in a search engine on average (based on a year). That is a high search volume. The web text should (according to our cascading principle) not only contain keywords from the area of ​​purchase, but also those that provide the reader (and the search engine!) With useful information related to the context. This could, for example, be a section on “filling up the tank” of an electric vehicle – “How long does an electric car have to be charged?” (Search volume 30). The aim of the text should be roughly defined, but not reduce the quality of it, just because a supposed “framework” is in place: The article should inform the reader, be fun and convey useful information on the respective topic.
IMPORTANT: The keywords chosen should match the search behavior of the target group and relate directly to the topic of the text. Far too often, keywords are preferred based on search volume, even though the more precise keywords would perform better.

The interrogation: semantic meaning space

Once a selection of keywords has been made that outline the specific topic, the next keyword research tip is to organize the search terms into a hierarchy of terms. This is based on an umbrella term such as vehicle. This includes (hierarchical) sub-terms such as diesel, gasoline, hybrid, electric and many more. Google not only looks for texts that deal specifically with a topic, but also includes the relevant context. For example: A general text about electric vehicles should include the sub-terms electric cars, electric buses, electric boats, and many more. Electric cars can be further broken down into electric vehicles, electric convertibles and electric BMWs.
We make similar considerations for all topics: An obligatory way of looking at a topic holistically. A kind of interrogation, every question should be asked and every topic examined from all sides. Ultimately, we still want to serve the searcher’s intention as best as possible.

Give the text a spin – the confession “purchase completed”

We …

  • … make us smart about the respective topic and get “half knowledge” from different sources,
  • … become short-term experts in the relevant subject area,
  • … we see different ways to illuminate the topic and decide: We line up with the usual processing method, but add a spin or we approach the topic completely differently (more intelligent / more thought-out, more disarming and pave new paths),
  • … bring “brains” together, pursue every idea and also allow absurd ones,
  • … analyze articles by competitors and think about how we can deal with the topic in a fresher and more innovative way,
  • … are brave,
  • … are creative and think outside the box,
  • … use our general knowledge and create new links between topics
  • … require interactivity from the reader,
  • … think in semantic contexts and
  • … bring the readers’ (imputed) need for information in line with our topic. PLUS: Combine this with our determined search terms, the volumes and the knowledge gained from them.
  • … shift stories / topics into new contexts (which may seem absurd beforehand
  • … steer our thoughts on the subject from one extreme to the other,
  • … work with expert interviews,
  • … also incorporate other media and channels into our texts: graphics, videos, Instagram etc.,
  • … also use other worlds,
  • … mix media and thus ensure excitement and liveliness,
  • … google: o),
  • …. talk to people we know.

The verdict – a conclusion

Back to the beginning: We noted that the keyword research was a small market analysis. We believe we have proven this thesis. The initially purely quantitative task: recording the search terms, with knowledge of the respective market segment becomes a qualitative matter when it comes to evaluating and classifying the results. Applied and implemented correctly, all of this allows us to determine the strategy when dealing with keywords in all forms of content, because we now know what makes the market participants who might buy our customer’s products “tick”: what they prefer, what information needs so they have how we can help them decide. ROCKIT-INTERNET can be successful here because we don’t believe that the data available on the internet are all reality and therefore use our minds to gain further knowledge beyond the bare numbers. An example: The search term “electric car costs” naturally indicates a far greater need for information than just looking for answers to the purchase and maintenance costs.

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