How Do You Actually Use Keyword Research?

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Keyword research is great…but then what?

In previous posts, I have talked about tools that can help you when you are performing keyword research. As most people who have even a basic understanding of the SEO world know, keyword research is absolutely crucial if you plan on figuring out what you should be optimizing your website to rank for in the search engines. At the end of the day, if you don’t know what people are searching for in search engines, you really can’t optimize for any specific keywords or search terms.

Although a lot of people have a solid grasp on the concept of conducting keyword research, things get a little more fuzzy when it comes to taking action on the information that has been collected during the course of the keyword research. I think the reason that most people aren’t as confident about how to actually use their keyword research is that most blog posts don’t focus on the action aspect of this task. However, I would like to change that today, and give you some actionable information that you can use to start taking advantage of all the keyword research that you have performed.

Order Your Keywords Like Your Website: While you probably have a list that is ordered by the search volume of the keywords, you need to take things a step farther. You’ve got a good start, but you need to break the keywords down into groups so that they are easier to use in relation to your website.

While some people do things differently, the most logical approach to this step for me is to group your keywords like your website. For example, your navigation may go something along the lines of home, categories, sub-categories, individual topics, etc. So, go through your list of keywords, and break them down into groups that can be applied to these different areas of your website. You can keep them in order of their popularity, but just be sure that the groups align with your website’s structure.

On-Page: Once your keyword research has been broken down into actionable groups, it’s usually easiest to begin with the basic on-page changes. The main on-page changes that you will most likely want to make are including your target keywords in the title, incorporating them into the meta descriptions for your pages and ensuring that the keywords are actually used without your content (remember, keyword density isn’t something you should be worried about).

In addition to these changes, you will want to look at incorporating your keyword research into your internal linking structure. Whether it’s navigational links or deep links, adding keyword rich anchor text to your internal links can definitely benefit your rankings.

Off-Page: The main use of your keyword research in relation to off-page action will be working on getting links with keyword rich anchor text. Obviously, you want to have a varied profile for the anchor text of your backlinks (having all incoming links with the exact same anchor text can actually hurt your rankings), but knowing which keywords to focus on for some of your links can have a major impact on the rankings of your website.

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