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Keyword research is one of the foundational elements of SEO. Every successful campaign starts with exhaustive keyword research to identify the best options available. Keep in mind that what would be the best keyword for a business, may not be advisable to target within a keywords strategy. At Austin Bryant Consulting, we go through a series of steps in our process on a daily basis in order to deliver our legendary top-tier SEO services. The following is a brief overview of how keyword research is performed.

Here is our process at a glance:

  1. Discovery/Consultation/Goal setting
  2. Google search
  3. Identify & analyze the top 10 competitors
  4. Generate thousands of potential keywords
  5. Create the ultimate list of targets

Discovery/Consultation/Goal setting

If you’ve been doing your homework on SEO companies, you should be hearing “Schedule a consultation or discovery” quite often. The truth is without a meeting to discuss your goals, a budget, and a realistic timeline it’s impossible to come up with a custom fit strategy for your website.

The more we speak to you about your business, the greater an understanding we have of your industry and potential clients. This type of communication is an ongoing thing. How else would we know if the phone calls are from the right people or if the contact forms being sent are qualified leads?

We are always analyzing the quality of the leads you receive from the keywords we target. It starts from day one in your first consultation. After our first meeting, we have enough information to form a strong group of “seed keywords” we can use to identify some of the most commonly searched and most profitable keywords. It’s the first step in how keyword research is performed.

This is where our research begins.

We search Google

What could be more informative than starting wat the source?! The first thing we do when we test out a keyword or search phrase is to search Google and see what the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) looks like. This is our way of testing the “search intent” of a keyword.

Every keyword can be categorized into directional, commercial, informational, or transactional intent.  The SERP features that appear in a search result are clues to what Google is using to satisfy user intent. For example, if we see videos and images at the top of a page, we know we’ll need videos and images to rank highly for that keyword.

If we don’t see your competition, there’s a good chance the keyword is not a good fit for what your business offers. When we DO see other sites like yours…

We identify & analyze the top 10 competitors

To develop a winning strategy we dig into your competition’s analytics. We generate reports that list ALL of their keywords and backlinks. This insight alone is almost always enough to see what it will take to beat them to the top of the search results.

We generate thousands of potential keyword targets

For every report we generate, we pick out the top-performing keywords and analyze them for multiple variations. We filter our top picks and use them as seed keywords to generate second-level reports. The result is thousands of keywords that can not only be used as commercial targets (for buyers that are close to making a purchase decision) but also “supporting keywords” that serve as content higher up in the sales funnel.

We establish the ultimate list of keywords (your keyword strategy)

The top keywords are established by using filters to meet the minimum criteria for creating business value. These keywords MUST be able to contribute to fulfilling the goals discussed in our meetings. Our final list will serve as an aid to creating the content strategy and will also place keywords in our short-term and long-term forecasts.

Still wondering “How is keyword research performed?” For more details on this process, you can read our article on “How to Find Keywords for your Website

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