7 Keyword Research Data Points More Valuable Than Search Volume

Keyword research can make or break your SEO campaign. Choosing the wrong keywords can cause a drop in website traffic and user frustration, but choosing the correct keywords will make users happy, increase quality traffic, and grow leads and sales.

Like other SEO strategies, keyword research and audience expansion have evolved to a level that goes well beyond analyzing “keyword search volume.” Many SEOs and marketing teams consider search volume when choosing keywords, missing the big picture of keyword targeting for SEO.

Below are seven other data points that are more valuable additions to your strategy for choosing keywords.

1. The Conversion Value and ROI

Search volume is pointless if the users that land on your website don’t convert. When determining the value of a keyword, you need to understand its potential conversion value

Conversion rate can best be determined by examining your PPC campaigns or digging into your Google Analytics data – as long as you have conversion tracking or goals setup.

A few conversion points to report upon are:

  • Email signup
  • Product sale
  • Lead submission
  • Ad click

2. The Value To Your Brand Messaging

One of the challenges that businesses have when they start to scale is keeping the original brand values intact and making sure that each team member is consistently representing the brand. A few questions you might use to determine if the topic is “on-brand” include:

  • Does the keyword positively represent the brand?
  • Would you talk about the product or brand using this keyword?
  • Does it align with the brand positioning and tone of voice?

3. The Persona Value

Traditional advertising (print, radio, TV) uses simple demographic data such as age range, circulation, and reach to define and target audiences. In digital marketing, we go many steps deeper by defining personas.

Personas help us understand who your users are and what they value so we can better target their specific needs and wants.

When choosing keywords, ensure they align with the needs or wants of one or more of the personas you’ve defined. This will ensure that you reach the correct user type you’ve defined for your website when the page ranks.

4. The Trending Value

Having a good mix of evergreen and timely content topics is important for long-term growth while still staying relevant. So, when we analyze whether a keyword will be a good fit for a target, we like to determine whether it’s an “evergreen topic” or a “timely topic.”

Evergreen topics have long-lasting value, so the trend should be pretty consistent throughout the year.

Timely topics are seasonal or more focused on current events or news coverage.

You can use Google Trends to gain insights into what type of topic it might be, whether it is trending, whether it shows consistent growth, and whether it is a seasonal keyword target.

5. The Competitive Difficulty Value

When determining the value of a keyword topic, it’s important to understand what it will take to rank for that keyword based on analyzing the organic search competitors. We would like to try and answer the following questions:

  • What are your organic competitors (they may differ from your brand competitors) to compete for this keyword?
  • What type of content are they creating?
  • Do you have a chance to compete on the target keyword, or would you be better off targeting a related keyword?

6. The Sales Funnel Value

When creating an asset, it’s important to understand which part of your user journey to target. Are you trying to target the user in their research phase or purchase phase, or working simply to retain them?

Funnel value can play an important role in defining the topic and the type of asset that would best accomplish your goal.

Below is a chart that outlines what type of content works best for each part of the sales funnel.

7. The Social Media and Engagement Value

Finally, because social media plays a vital part in so many go-to-market strategies, it’s important to know whether the topic has social value.

You can use a tool such as Buzz Sumo to find highly engaged content across social media platforms. This tool answers questions such as:

  • Do people like sharing content that is similar to what you’re creating?
  • Has other content about this topic been shared often on social media?
  • How much engagement can you expect if you create a valuable piece of content?

In Summary

By utilizing these seven other data points in your keyword research strategy, your website will target keywords that speak directly to your core users.

We wouldn’t expect someone to go from using one or two of these targets to using all seven overnight. What we would suggest is when you’re searching for your next keyword topic, try including some of these other variables in your analysis to help better focus your keyword and meet your user’s expectations.