Keyword research is a basic principle in SEO, but in 2013, SEO’s are going to have to use innovative strategies in order to keep up. Two important shifts are taking place: the growing significance of mobile keywords, and the new emphasis on a page-based approach to keywords.
Nag Patta illustrates the need for an endgame mindset through the metaphor of the Fosbury Flop. Richard Fosbury completely changed the history of the high jump by resorting to an innovative new strategy. Nothing was more important than achieving his ultimate goal of winning. Nag Patta suggests that SEO’s should remember that the rank of pages is the ultimate goal of SEO.
You might be thinking, how is this approach different? Every SEO knows that keyword research improves pagerank.
A page-centric approach attempts to target multiple relevant keyword phrases on each page of a site. Understanding that multiple search combinations could be relevant, a page-based site still uses keywords, but attempts to include keyword usage of the many variations that could apply.
For instance, a searcher could use an abbreviation or slang. A conventional keyword-based page might miss out on hits without the inclusion of such variations. Of course, pages must still have primary keywords. But a page-based approach prioritizes other keywords that can be included to optimize relevance.
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Mobile search opens up a whole new realm of pertinent keywords. If you’re using a mobile device, you generally have a different goal than when you’re sitting at your laptop or PC. Perhaps you are interested in a nearby restaurant or the hours of your favorite retail store. Mobile sites need to conduct specific mobile keyword research. This research might encourage sites to incorporate keywords that include crucial phrases such as “near to” or “hours.”
In the process of optimizing your mobile keywords, consider more targeted keywords. Highly specific keywords often have a better rate of conversion since the user has likely come further in the search process already. Don’t get so creative in your keyword development that you shift away from industry-specific terminology, though; you could lose valuable search hits.
A good place to begin your mobile keyword research is Google Analytics or the Google keyword tool. For explicit instructions on how to best utilize these programs, I recommend following the advice of Bryson Meunier. Bing Ads Intelligence offers a safe way to double-check the information you gather from Google. Another practical step you can take is to perform a Mobile SEO Audit.
What steps are you taking to optimize your keywords in 2013?