SEO has always been centered on keywords, though in terms of importance they have undergone a sea change. In the early days, SEO began and ended with keywords and it was vital for the right keywords to be selected and it was possible for the page rankings to be boosted for those specific keywords. The keyword game, however, has undergone a complete change and is now influenced by a number of factors. The way now Google views and interprets keywords as well as content has been changed dramatically by its Hummingbird update.
Now, more than specific keywords, the query’s semantic context matters more and this has made it very difficult for SEO practitioners to achieve specific keyword optimization. Additionally, because Google does not provide details of ranking information, it can be really tough to determine rankings due to the effect of personalization for individual users such as search history, user preferences, geographic location, and even the device on which the search is being performed. It also needs to be appreciated that the volatility of rankings interferes with the potential reliability of a keyword strategy. Bear in mind that while Google keeps on tweaking its search methods, your competitors are also optimizing their sites in real time.
While you can end up compromising user experience by focusing too much on keywords and thus affect customer loyalty and brand reputation, keywords remain important for content marketing and search engine optimization.Keyword research can give you deep insights into search patterns and how your target audience thinks and can help you focus your content marketing and provide the basis for performance measurement. Some effective keyword tools discussed:
Google Keyword Planner:
There are three compelling reasons to use Google’s’ product; first, there’s no better authority to develop a keyword planning tool, second, it delivers very accurate information, and third, it is free. The catch lies in the fact that it is meant for optimizing paid advertising rather than content marketing. However, it is possible to work around that easily. After entering keywords, it lets you determine the volume of the search conducted for the term as also the extent of its use by the competitors.
Moz Keyword Explorer:
Very similar to the Google’s tool in a number of metrics, this free tool has a substantial reputation for delivering results that are more accurate as it does not round up the data like Google and does a better job of rating the competition. Users get keyword recommendations that are more detailed and the tool also qualitatively rates each entered keyword’s cumulative value.
While not as robust as the tools from Google or Moz that excel in providing information on entered keywords, the real forte of Ubersuggest is in it being able to suggest more ideas for structuring keywords. Simply by entering a query, a large number of suggestions can be generated. While these are not based on search volume, potential value or competitor usage, they are good for coming up with great ideas for your content marketing campaign.
It has an engine that works very similarly to Ubersuggest but with a critical difference. It incorporates the suggestions of a number of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube and Answers. Though the number of recommendations is more limited, the choice is far more diverse, which is especially useful for marketing campaigns executed on multiple platforms.
A paid tool albeit with some free options, SEMRush, goes even beyond just keyword research. Upon the domain name being entered, it is possible to extract a lot of details about the site, including your and your competitors’ ranking positions. Consequently, this is a great tool if you are attempting to compete with a specific competitor or if rankings are an important aspect of your campaign goals.
Using these very handy keyword research tools, you will be able to better understand targeted keywords and can use this knowledge to refine your SEO strategy with content that is optimized for your target audience and achieve a superior ROI.