SEO strategy is essential. Before rushing to work on search engine positioning we must first analyze our final objectives and our market and ask ourselves the following questions:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- What is our target audience? Which users do we want to attract? For what? Is it about selling products or influencing a specific topic?
- For which keywords are we interested in positioning ourselves? How will they find us?
- What keywords are our rivals using?
- What is the generic degree of proficiency for those keywords?
- What is the demand for these keywords in Google and other search engines?
Once we have the answer to most of the previous questions, we will be able to conceive an effective SEO strategy and more specifically a coherent keyword strategy that tells us which ones we should compete in, and how and where we are going to deploy them, dividing them into primaries, secondary and tertiary.
At Top Position we help you develop these strategies, as well as analyze the suitability of the keywords, studying the demand and competitive level of each one, and correctly displaying them on your website.
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The Google universe is fragmented in keywords. The “Indonesia travel deals” results page is nothing like the one that shows the answer to the search “PP political proposals” or “how to cook a sea bream in salt”. The goals of the user who seeks one or the other are very different.
It is necessary to analyze what the keywords are that – alone or combined – we need to use to achieve our objectives.
Then it is necessary to study in which of them we must compete, since it will not be efficient to try to stand out in all of them. And sometimes it will be almost impossible.
Finally, we will have to study and decide where we compete, that is, how the keyword combinations we choose fit on our website – or on several of them. That is, how they develop and relate to each other.
If we launch an online business, for example, a store that sells boxes of wine directly to consumers, we need to analyze who our potential customers are and how behave. Also who are the competitors that dominate the market and what are they offering. A study of consumers, the market and the competition should therefore precede any online initiative.
Going back to keyword combinations, there are three fundamental questions:
- Which are our potential clients or users looking for?
- Which ones do our competitors use?
- How are we going to organize them on our website?
If we know the answers to these questions, we will have a lot of ground gained.
The first objective is usually to appear the first for the name of our company or business. It should be the easy part of the job. We can achieve much more.
In the same way, it is of little use to get featured positions for keyword combinations that are important to us, but that nobody is looking for. For example, someone wants to appear in Google for the search “dentist registered in Madrid”. We can easily do that, but how many consumers are looking for it? It is better to highlight for the search “dentist in Madrid”. Basically because a lot more people look for that combination.
On the other hand, if we want to get good results for generic keywords (dentists, travel, plants), we face a huge challenge. The level of competition is already brutal for practically any word, making it very difficult to achieve. Furthermore, the vast majority of people – 75% according to some studies – search for combinations of two, three or more words, while only a small minority search for a single word.
Many more people search for “dentist in Madrid -or in another specific city-” than “dentist”. And those people want something concrete – a dentist in their city – while the person searching for “dentist” can be a student looking for a definition or a child looking for what that word means. It is the concept of “long tail”. For example, people search for trips to a specific place, rather than the word “trip” in general.
The general marketing concept is developed by Chris Anderson in his book “The Long Tail”.
The graph above shows the underlying philosophy of a long tail strategy. Applied to Google, it means that there are many searches for specific products, for example “second-hand treadmills” or “cheap dentists in Valladolid”. It is the basis of success, for example, of amazon.com.
The ideal is to find many combinations of various keywords that people search for, but that the competition has not yet saturated.
We must also avoid the temptation to fill the web pages of our site with texts unreadable to the human eye, by repeating and repeating a specific keyword keyword stuffing. A practice that is also penalized by Google.
In short, you have to think about potential users, put yourself in their shoes, and use their language.
And then how do you know what people are looking for?
At Top Position we have more than a decade of experience designing and applying SEO strategies and keyword strategies, and we have the most advanced tools on the market, including our own tool, Digital 360.
Once we know which are the searches with the most volume, we will have to analyze what is the degree of competition that each one has.
The easiest way is to study how many web pages appear in the search results for each of those keywords.
For example, going back to dentists, although dentists have more searches, they also have more competition.
If we search for “Madrid dentists” on Google.es, we see that there are 45,000 results, while “Madrid dental clinics” has less than 15,000 results.
We must therefore calculate what is the relationship between the search volumes of each keyword combination, and the level of competition. A simple formula would be to divide the estimated search volume for each keyword by the number of web pages that contain it. And then we classify all the keywords according to that indicator. There are ways to finer spin, for example, analyzing which web pages contain a keyword and also receive links whose anchor text includes that keyword. That will give us a smaller number of web pages. We will then have to calculate the relationship between the volume of searches and the web pages that receive links whose text contains that keyword. We will thus obtain a more refined indicator.
And you also have to take into account what the results are on the front page qualitatively, because some will be more difficult to anticipate than others.
For example, if we look for a hotel in Ibiza, we come across the “usual suspects” in the first ten results, that is, huge websites, very difficult to displace, such as booking, expedia, trivago, etc. It will be difficult to beat those giants.
However, if we are looking for accommodation in Ibiza, or where to sleep in Ibiza, the panorama is more encouraging.
The most correct thing is to also establish some specific quantitative indicator on the first page of results, which shows us its difficulty. It can be as simple as adding, for the first 10 results, the number of pages indexed throughout the website and the links the website receives in general, all multiplied by the age of the website and divided by 1000. This way we obtain an indicator of the structural strength of that page. We can add the links that specific page receives to have an approximate reference of the difficulty.
For the first result of a search, it would be:
Difficulty level = [Number of pages indexed throughout the website + number of links to the entire website] * website age / 1000] + Number of incoming links to the specific page.
Or more simply, we can use some of the tools that give us indicators of the authority of a page and its domain.
For example, the Semrush tool offers us four types of indicators:
Page Score measures the volume of links that point to a web page.
Domain Score measures the volume of links that point to a website as a whole.
Trust Score measures the reliability of a website or domain. It is calculated by analyzing the number of inbound links from highly reputable pages. That is, it is an indicator of the quality of the links that a page or domain receives.
Since Trust Score analyzes the most reliable links, if there is a big difference between Trust Score and Page Score of a page, it means that we are receiving many links of low quality.
Authority Score measures the overall strength of a domain. To calculate it SEMrush is based on:
- Link data, including Domain Score, Trust Score, and others.
- Organic search data including organic traffic and positions
- Web traffic data
With any of these and other indicators we can analyze the level of difficulty of a first page of results for a given keyword. We must take it into account to choose the ones that have the best relationship between search volume and competition.