Monday, 18 July 2011

When It’s Time to Revisit Your Keyword Research

The Internet is not a static thing. With billions of pages already published and more being created every day, there is more available content that could possibly be consumed in a lifetime (or even several lifetimes). User behavior changes over time as well; mobile search has exploded, social networking has forever altered the way people connect online, and search is getting more and more personalized. A big part of SEO is being able to adapt to these changes and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

That is why you should take the time to reevaluate your keywords.

When was the last time your optimized your site? Unless you only recently began your SEO strategy, it was probably a while ago. That means you haven’t conducted any keyword research in a long while as well. How do you know those keywords are still relevant? Hopefully you’ve been keeping an eye on your site analytics, which can tell you what keywords visitors are using to find your site. Does your site target keywords that aren’t producing any traffic? Are you missing any new keywords that seem to pull in visitors? If you find yourself asking these questions, it’s time to do another round of keyword research.

Just because you have to start the keyword research process again doesn’t always mean that you failed the first time. You may have been spot-on with your first series of keywords. However, as user behavior changes, so do their search phrases. What worked two years ago might not be the best available keyword today.

How has your industry changed since the last time you conducted keyword research? What new phrases have been incorporated into the industry jargon? For instance, before HubSpot came along, there was no such thing as “inbound marketing.” Now inbound marketing is a well-known term in the world of online marketing. Sometimes industry specific keywords don’t have a lot of search volume, but it is important they be incorporated onto your site.

You can also look internally to see what kind of new keywords you might need to incorporate. Have you rebranded your company? Launched new pages of content or released new products? Each of these things requires its own set of keywords. Remember, keywords have to be page specific. If the central theme of webpage changed, you need to target new keywords that match it.

It’s important that you give your keywords some time (a few months) before you decide if they do or don’t work. It takes time to rank well for a new keyword, so don’t expect to see immediate success. You could accidentally remove a keyword that was working for you.

Writing by Nick Stamoulis


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