SEO Keyword Research – What’s New in 2019?
The progression in the complexity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning is vastly changing the face of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With every new nuance in the filtering algorithms, SEO strategists must utilize their knowledge of automation and machine learning to adapt their techniques accordingly to maintain or raise their ranking in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s).
The focus of SEO in 2019
With the quantum jumps in AI development, SERP’s are getting more personalized. This places a higher value on private demographic data for search result rankings. Going forward, SEO keyword research will have to factor in, particularly —
- Search interface – Research indicates that in 2018, 60% of searches were through a mobile interface. This number is expected to increase significantly in 2019. There is also a significant rise in voice search. Market statistics indicate that almost 40% of searches by adults is through voice search. Hence SEO marketers have to tailor their tactics to accommodate for the variances in user searches. For example, in the past, SEO strategists only needed to account for keyword searches for “Product X”, now they have to accommodate for a voice search like where is the cheapest place to buy Product X.
- Search intent – As machine learning is becoming more perceptive and instinctive, keyword research should factor in search intent like how, why, when etc., and tailor their key phrases accordingly.
As search algorithms such as those employed by Google continue to evolve, they become smarter and more intuitive, raising the value of content marketing immeasurably. To get a continued inflow of organic traffic, a lot depends on effective SEO keyword research and analysis.
Diversity in SEO keywords
The main idea behind keyword research is zeroing in on users’ intent i.e. finding words and phrases with high value and low competition. The better your pick of keywords or terms, the better you rank in search engine rankings.
When settling on search engine optimized keywords for your content, you can go three ways —
- Choose short keywords – Single word keywords are very popular and usually get a huge number of listings on Google’s search. While more prominent, this actually makes it much more difficult to rank.
- Choose niche phrases or medium tail key-phrases – This implies picking two to three-word search phrases. This helps narrow down the competition, as they can be unique and explicitly keyed to your content.
- Choose long-tail keywords – Complicated or longer key phrases tend to be singular, and this narrows down the competition a lot. The downside to this choice is that search volumes tend to be low.
Recent changes in search engine algorithms
Search engines like Google search are currently equipped with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) that helps the search engine correlate search terms with text content in websites; hence the importance in choosing the right SEO keywords for your content.
Some updates in search engine filtering algorithms include —
- Accommodations for long-tailed queries.
- Changes in the display to respond appropriately to queries with long tail phrases.
- Providing intuitive answers to questions. For instance questions like “nearest coffee shop” responds with coffee shops in the nearest geographical location. This implies reliance on local and hyper-local phrases.
- Images and videos in search results.
The process of keyword research
Before commencing the research for the right SEO keyword, it is essential to crystallize the idea behind your content. What are you trying to do? Provide information, market new products or promote your brand? Decide on your business strategy and develop your content accordingly. Your content should be relevant to your approach.
Once you have made a decision, brainstorm ideas for words that people would look for in your content. An efficient and effective way to do that would be to use tools that provide metrics on keyword popularity. Some of these tools include LSI graph, Google Keyword Planner tool, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, SEMRush, KWfinder, Moz Keyword Explorer etc. Some of these metrics include detailed information on —
- Search volume – pick words or phrases consistent with your subject matter.
- Competition – if a lot of paid ads show up for your keyword pick, then it may not be the best choice for you as your content will get overshadowed.
- End-user intent – this reflects on your original strategy – informational or promotional. Get creative; come up with ideas that will draw users to your specific, unique content. If the query begins with “how-to” then the user is looking for information, if the query begins with “what is the best”, the user is considering a purchase. Is your audience just browsing, are they intent on buying and looking for the best deals, or are they ready to purchase now?
Keep this in mind when choosing keyphrases. So, if your content is informational, use early stage keywords to attract the right audience to grow your readership and so on.
Sticking to the basics
What remains relevant in 2019 and beyond is that one should keep following the famous S.M.A.R.T framework. Your SEO goal must be —
- Specific – Do not set a generic goal. It must be something specific like “need to grow revenue” or “need to grow organic traffic using only SEO” or “need to grow readership through paid channels and media.”
- Measurable – Have a target that is quantifiable. Vague ideas are not helpful. Have a specific target in mind.
- Achievable – Aim for something within the limits of possibility.
- Relevant metrics – The end result of your goals’ achievement should have a meaningful result for you.
- Time-Bound – have a set time frame to achieve your goal.
In conclusion, your SEO strategy is vital in this age of digital marketing. With rapidly changing metrics, it is important to invest in good SEO research and analysis to ensure success.