Well, I have to end this series with this article. That’s hard to do. Unfortunately, I’m going to skip things like finding searcher intent from keyword searches, adding three-dimensional keyword data, and more. Maybe I’ll have to do a bonus round to these three to at least cover applying keywords to your website and how to measure all this at the end of the day, but for now, I think the next important item to cover is using keyword management tools.
This is certainly not a comprehensive overview, as there are many additional features and website management functions available in all of these tools. Each of these tools offer free trials, and I recommend using each of them. In seeing how they differ and what is consistent, see where they get the key word data, and how they present competitive information. Using them with your business data will add more color and insight, as to their benefits for long-term use. Only by using and researching gaining insights, checking and double checking can you master these tools.
If you only use them once to get your initial key word lists and then never use them again, you have only swung a hammer so to speak. True expertise is developed with constant use, just as any master craftsman would develop his skills.
When researching keywords for our cannabis clients, one of the tools that I really enjoy using is Raven Keyword Manager. This allows you to look at your keywords in a variety of ways, but also provides a lot of competitive information that could be helpful in deciding which keywords are worth going after and which keywords have a lot more competition. This way, you can set your expectations reasonably. One of the first things you’ll see in Raven is the Keyword Manager. It shows you the keyword, how many times that keyword has been searched, and the competition level.
You can easily add keywords through the Add Keyword function, and you can add as many as you want, directly from your spreadsheets, into Raven SEO. You can add the keyword, and immediately, it will go query the search engines, add the information, so that you can begin comparing. One of the tools that I really enjoy is Keyword Insights, which will connect to your Google Analytics and look at the keywords you currently rank for and then show you some information about how those visitors, once they come to the site, what they’re doing.
Bounce rate means that the person that came to that website for that keyword, they saw that page and left immediately. Now, the research tab is where I like to spend a lot of time. Research Central is what gives you a lot of information about the keywords you’re interested in ranking for. So, you go to Research, add your keyword, and then sit back and look at the information as it comes out.
Now, it’s very easy to get lost in the weeds, and seeing all of this data, and trying to decide if this is the right keyword or wrong keyword, what this does is just gives you the information to set the expectancy. Because if you expect to compete automatically for this term, you need to have a good idea of what you’re up against. So, first of all, Raven is going to show you the Google Trends, the monthly search volume, then the competition level.
One of the keyword tools to help you with your research that’s very popular in the industry is Moz. Moz has a pro version that allows you to get very deep in exploring keywords, as well as managing your overall search marketing campaigns for your cannabis companies. Now, if you go to their Keyword Explorer tool and put one in, you’ll notice right away that there is a lot of information being provided. We can see the keyword suggestions, as well as an analysis of the search engine results pages, as far as which pages are ranking in the search engines.
There is also a recent mentions. This helps in your content strategy if you are looking for recent articles or news about your industry. We’re going to go further into the keyword suggestions. In the keyword suggestions, you’re going to see things that are going to be similar to regular keyword tools across the board. We have our keyword suggestions, our monthly volume. Click on monthly volume to see the more popular ones first, and then go down into the less frequent searched words.
Now, what I’m going to do is start looking at some of the words that have a lot of influence in the cannabis world. Once I’ve put in what I think then select that, I’m going to go up to the upper right, and I can add those selected keywords into an existing list or I can create a new list. I’m going to put them into my existing list. Once there, I’m going to go my lists so that I can then dig deeper into the keywords that I’ve got. I’ll click on Keyword Lists in the left hand navigation. And now it’s going to open that up and tell me a little bit about the keywords that I have in my list.
For example, I’m going to see a monthly volume based on all the keywords that I have. Also, the search engine results page feature shows how many ads are on the search engine results page for my keywords, as well as featured snippets and images that will show up in the search engine results page.
Now, you’ll notice for each keyword there is monthly volume. And you can reorder that so that you can see the highest volume keywords at the top, lowest volume keywords at the bottom. There is a difficulty score here. The difficulty will help you see how easy or how difficult it would be for you to rank higher than the current competitors on the first page of results. You’ll also see an opportunity score. Opportunity score is reflected in the additional features of the search engine results page.
Those could be ads, videos, or other featured areas on the page that will make it much more difficult for you to gain rankings. For this, when the competition is high, the score will be low. So when we see a high opportunity score, that means we’ve got a good chance of getting into the search engine results page and there will not be as much competition for the reader’s view. As we go through these keywords, we can then drill in and see which ones we want to explore or which ones we want to add into our strategy.
If you’d like, you can also export all your keywords to a spreadsheet in order to analyze them even further.
For keyword research, another great tool is SEMrush. SEMrush provides a lot of the technical information, in looking at competitors and competitive keywords. You can either enter a domain or a keyword and search. Now what this does, is it provides us the keyword research, and we’re now in the overview screen. We can see how much it costs to currently bid, on the word cannabis (for instance), and the volume. We also see how many results there are.
We can see the cost per click, and then also the annual trend of how often people are searching, annually for cannabis. As we go down the page, we can see a phrase match. That is, all the related terms to cannabis, and we can look and make sure that any keywords we may have missed or overlooked. These are the keywords that people are bidding on, in their ad words campaigns. So the way to that are the related keywords. Here we see some more specific locations with hiking, and again, these are what people are bidding on, and we can use these words to build our lists, to see what we may have forgotten or left out.
Lower in the page, we see the organic results for every domain that is listed. If you want to go even deeper into the information, you can click the full search button. We have the same information at the top but as we go down, we can now see specifically the cannabis keywords, the volume, the cost per click, and the number of search results.
They also have a great trend line that you can use to monitor if you are heading into the trend, are going out of the trend and you can adjust your bids accordingly. There are many other functions that are available for doing a lot of the key word research. SEMrush allows you to get more in detail to the domain level of your competitors and to see the words that other people are bidding on. This enhances your ability, to make sure that you have a comprehensive list. And that you are aware of the other words that your competitors are trying to compete with.
Wordtracker keyword tool
My go-to tool for keyword research is Wordtracker. It’s a real easy interface. It makes it easy to find the words you need and organize them. So as we search for our cannabis keywords, I’m going to look for a monthly average and I’m also going to look at the global universe of how these words have been searched. Now, very quickly I get the keywords that I’m looking for, and Wordtracker is providing about 4,000 keyword suggestions. There’s most likely more than that, but we don’t need that many at this point.
We’re looking to see the different words people are associating with cannabis. Now, of course we have our keywords listed down the left hand side. The volume column tells us about how many times that keyword has been search in a month’s time. The IAAT column is all about how many times that keyword is in the title tag of pages. These are a good indicator of how many other sites are using those exact keywords in their optimization.
Then the competition column. The higher the number, the more difficult it will be to rank for that keyword.
The keyword effectiveness index also gives us an idea of how effective it will be to optimize for those words on our own site. Now, on this one, the lower the keyword means the higher the competition. And what that’s doing is comparing the actual number of sites that have those words in the title tag and other tags on the site compared to the amount of searches. Now, what Wordtracker will also show us is the keyword demand for the last 12 months.
I love seeing the trend, because just because a keyword is popular for a specific month does not mean that it is popular the entire year. As we go down the page, it will also show you which websites are ranking right now and the difficulty for those sites to stay there because of the competition. It will also provide recommended terms from Amazon, as well as terms from YouTube if you are doing optimization for those two sites as well.
You’ve got these tools across the top that you can use in order to refine your keywords. What I love is the question tab. The question tab is taking advantage of the newer voice assistants such as Siri, Amazon Echo, and other types of voice assistants where you are asking for a search rather than typing it in. And so we can see which search terms are question-based through voice search.
Now, when I’m ready to do a little more exploration on my keywords, I can go to the top of the page, select lists, and I can see all of my lists here. I’m going to open up my cannabis list and I can work within it here using the tools provided, or I can just go ahead and export that to an Excel spreadsheet. And then as soon as it’s in Excel, you can start working with it that way and doing some additional comparison.
Those are the keyword tracking tools I use… let me know which ones you like!