SEO Basics: What is a keyword strategy?

To get traffic, you need people willing to visit your site. To get them to visit your site, you need to know what they are looking for, which words they use and what type of content would fit their intent best. In short, you need a keyword strategy. In this SEO Basics article, we’ll take a brief look at what keyword strategy is and how it goes hand in hand with keyword research.

What is keyword strategy?

While many simply talk about doing keyword research to find out what terms you should use, what you do after that is just as important: this is your keyword strategy. A keyword strategy contains every decision you take based upon your findings in your keyword research project, whether it’s about the content you’re planning to write or how you are going to track the results in Analytics. Keyword strategy is about how you want to target those keywords, now and in the future. 

Read our ultimate guide to keyword research for SEO for an all-encompassing overview of all things keyword research. In addition, we have online training on keyword research as well.

A keyword strategy forms when looking at yourself and your environment

You need to have plenty of insights if you want to make informed decisions about your keyword strategy. Start by thoroughly investigating yourself, your product and your competitors.

Looking at yourself

A good keyword strategy starts with looking at yourself and your business. What are you doing and why? What are your goals? What’s your uniqueness in this world? What is the message you want to send? How’s your branding? Why would anyone want to visit your site? Better insights lead to a better understanding of what you want to achieve as to not waste resources. There’s no use focusing on the wrong things.

Looking at search intent

After you’ve fleshed out your uniqueness, it’s time to look at how. Search intent is the why behind the search that should lead to your site. Do you know your audience? Are people only looking for information or are they willing to buy stuff as well? Are there ways for you to target specific intents with focused content to influence this?

Looking at words

Words are at the center of everything. By doing keyword research, you should get great insights into the words people use to find what they are looking for. Now, you need to produce user-oriented content that fits their intent and goals perfectly. 

Looking at competition

While writing up your keyword strategy you need to take a good look at your competitors. What are they doing? How well are they ranking for terms you’d like to attack? What kind of content do they have? Are there ways for you to improve on that? Have you thought about looking at the long tail?

Looking at the search engines itself

Of course, while looking at your competitors, you’ll often use search engines to see how they are doing. Doing these types of searches can give you great insights into the strategy of your competitors. It also gives you a very good feel of what happens when you type in your main focus keyphrase. What’s the on-screen real estate like? Are there featured snippets you could target? Are there other types of rich results? Is there a local pack?

In some markets, if you track developments over time, you might see that search engines are increasingly giving answers that lead to no-click searches. Always keep an eye on search engines, but don’t go obsessing about every little algorithm update.

Looking at data

Of course, analyzing data plays a big role in the success of your keyword strategy. Both before and after, Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into the performance of your site. Even Google Search Console can give a lot of stuff to think about and opportunities to pursue!

How are you targeting your keywords?

Checking your analytics regularly to keep track of your SEO performance is incredibly important, but can’t have performance without content tailored to the specific needs and goals of your strategy. If you’ve ran through all the steps and did a thorough keyword research, you should have an idea of what you should target and how you should do that. You can use these insights to create the content you need to make a success of your strategy. There’s a lot you can do:

  • Make landing pages
  • Create specific types of content for the different search intents
  • Maybe make specific content to get featured snippets
  • Or maybe voice search is something that might fit your strategy?
  • Or apps?
  • Video?
  • Something else entirely?

Many roads lead to Rome, but some roads are more difficult than others. You could say that you get to Rome fastest via the highway, but there you might run into a traffic jam because everyone wants to take that route. Sometimes, it’s better to take that rarely traveled mountain pass — the results might wow you!

Update your keyword strategy

On the way, there’s a lot that can happen and your keyword strategy should take that into account. Regularly re-evaluate your keyword strategy. Have there been significant changes in the world around you that need to be assessed? It might be that your users’ language changed or that a new competitor is gobbling up market share. Keep an eye on things and adjust where necessary!

Coming up next!

13 Responses to What is a keyword strategy?

  1. Regina Clarke
    Regina Clarke  • 5 years ago

    Can this strategy work on a website focused on genre fiction that points to sales platforms like Amazon and Apple Books and Kobo, but also has a highly-developed blog on nonfiction and non-commercial commentaries about life? Individual posts can be aligned with keywords in both areas , but what about the whole website, given the two different aspects? Should it be a combined keyword strategy?

  2. saquib
    saquib  • 5 years ago

    That was such a valuable insight on keyword strategy.Thanks for sharing such a meaningful article.

  3. Pooja Aggarwal
    Pooja Aggarwal  • 5 years ago

    Keyword is the primary focus when we optimize our site for SEO. It help us to improve our rank in SERP. Great article.

  4. Divya
    Divya  • 5 years ago

    This is the perfect way of setting keywords to boost our website, keyword strategy helps us to improve the ranking position in google. With the help of proper keywords we will get more traffic to our website.

    Thanks for your clarificaion.

  5. PLC Course in Villivakkom
    PLC Course in Villivakkom  • 5 years ago

    Keyword researching is one of the most important things in digital marketing and also every internet marketing after reading this blog I can understand how to find a better one.

  6. nasim khojasste
    nasim khojasste  • 5 years ago

    How many keywords is appropriate?
    There are a lot of keywords in my site and i can not create a landing page for all of them.

  7. Mariyam
    Mariyam  • 5 years ago

    That was such a valuable insight on keyword strategy :)

  8. Milan Tesic
    Milan Tesic  • 5 years ago

    Thank you Edwin for this great article. It is not a long one, but it does give away decent value.

    I learned some new things that I will implement on my website. It’s great that you mentioned that we should first look at out website and what is our purpose.

    After that, the search intent is also very important. If users only search for some short and straight answer, there is no value in those visitors.

    I guess that I have to do some keyword research now and to edit my content.

  9. Raibin Sibi
    Raibin Sibi  • 5 years ago

    Awesome article. Keyword strategy clearly explained! Really helpful as a beginner.

  10. Andy
    Andy  • 5 years ago

    Really helpful, thank you :)

  11. Lisa George
    Lisa George  • 5 years ago

    Very informative post on Keyword Strategy. Really appreciate the way you have written and explained.

    I am really gonna apply this for the future.

    Thanks for sharing such a meaningful article. Worth reading it.

    Good work..!

  12. Gerva sharma
    Gerva sharma  • 5 years ago

    You forgot the most important thing which is Keyword stuffing as some new bloggers are doing this.

  13. Matthew
    Matthew  • 5 years ago

    I love Yoast SEO. It makes my job a heck of a lot easier on a daily basis.