Keyword match ratioThere are ever-changing components constantly moving inside of the world of SEO and internet work in general. But, sometimes, there are things hiding inside of the internet that we didn’t know were important, staring us right in the face. A recent discovery by programmer and blogger AJ Kohn of online marketing firm Blind Five Year Old into the world of “keyword match ratios” is one such shift in the SEO sphere.

What is the “Keyword Match Ratio?”

Luckily, Kohn has provided a relatively easy definition, which states that “The keyword match ratio is the broad match volume of a keyword divided by the exact match volume of a keyword.” One of the big revelations in the ratio system is that you can use data to determine the intent of searches and the people using search engines. By determining how uniform the syntax of a ratio search result is, you can see how fractured the intent of the initial search was.

Through understanding ratios and intent, you can begin to program for content opportunities made available by ratio data. Kohn uses the example of “hardwood floors” and, by comparing the ratio of that term to other suggested terms related to it, was able to build a list of other keywords like “flooring installation,” “cleaning,” “cheap,” and more that can act as a guide to building new content around hardwood floors that people are not only interested in, but that they are already searching for.

As Kohn sums it up in the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) portion of his article, “The keyword match ratio measures the ratio of broad match volume and exact match volume. This metric is not foolproof. You need to use your brain when looking at it. But if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, the keyword match ratio can help you determine intent and sniff out content opportunities.” Knowing and understanding the ratio data are two different, but equally important parts of the process of using it.

In addition to keyword match ratio, there is also the interesting idea of keyword-level demographics proposed by SEOmoz blogger “iPullRank.” Described by its creator as “if you can pull a user’s data from Facebook and couple it with Referrers from Search, the result is demographics at a keyword level.” The actual process behind building these demographics is a bit over my head in terms of the technical side, but I can absolutely see how critical, and powerful, a tool like this could be in an SEO arsenal.

Keyword Strategy 201

With keywords more important than ever, it’s time to rework your keyword strategy. As Richard Kirk put it in his article on keyword research, “Getting keyword research right should make your engagements run smoother, and your team should be able to focus in more detail on what’s going to move the needle for clients.”

Business2Community offered five simple tips when it comes to building better keywords, including:

  • Examine your website as a prospective customer: When formulating keywords, make sure to carefully choose terms or phrases that closely align with your business.
  • Look at your competitors’ keywords: Once you’ve compiled a list of your main competitors, go to their websites and see what keywords they’re targeting. Are the keywords they’re using similar to the ones you’ve began formulating?
  • Understand the long tail keyword…long tail keywords, a combination of three or more words or phrases, will perform much better because they reflect how people search.
  • Use the Google Keyword Tool: The Google Keyword Tool is helpful and effective for conducting keyword research…the tool will provide you closely related search terms, global and local monthly searches being performed for your specific keywords, and the competitiveness of the keywords…
  • Look at your current SERP Rank…If you’re already ranking for some terms, you’ll have an easier time improving your SERP Rank through quality content creation.”

Knowing your keywords – building a master list, staying comprehensive, and keeping a clear definition of the boundaries of your keyword work – can help you stay ahead of the game when it comes to the war of keywords. In general, organization is a massively important part of revised keyword strategy. Know what words you need, what words are optional, and what words you can expand into should the need arise.

With properties and potentials like the keyword match ratio and keyword demographics at your side, now has never been a better time to be in the keyword field of SEO.

How are you planning to integrate keyword match ratio or keyword demographics into your strategy?