Learn how to use categorized keyword research from your own and your competitors to classify and prioritize content marketing activities. Prism Digital SEO Marketing will show you how.
The days of picking some keyword, writing a 500-word blog post, and appearing in search results are long gone.
As search engines have evolved, their algorithms have prioritized content based on purpose, website authority, and what will most adequately fulfill the needs of their searchers – even if that means directly answering the question in the search engine results page (SERP).
The Importance of Keyword Categorization
While this is by no means the only way to help you drive organic traffic, more marketers are adopting a topic cluster-based approach to SEO.
One of the most significant advantages of this strategy is that it allows you to evaluate SEO performance in terms of buckets of semantically linked keywords rather than a single keyword.
The use of keyword categorization comes into play here.
You’ll have a starting point for your content strategy by categorizing keywords for yourself, your SEO competitors, and your direct competitors.
Basic Keyword Categorization Techniques
The end goal is to provide a semantically linked and categorized keyword list, whether you use a crude Excel tool for filtering/tagging your keywords or a more sophisticated approach using Python, BigML, or another programmatic method.
To get started, SEMrush’s keyword gap tool is one of the simplest ways to gather keyword data for yourself and your competitors.
This tool allows you to pull rankings for five competitors at a time.
If you have a large number of competitors to study, you’ll need to combine tables.
4 Ways to Identify Opportunities Using Keyword Categorization
It’s time to extract the core SEO insights now that the hard work of categorizing is complete.
Here are four areas to consider when putting together your content strategy:
Low-Hanging Fruit Topics
Determine which topics have a higher amount of keywords on Google’s second and third pages than others.
In terms of keyword targeting, this is the fastest return on investment in the short term.
On the second and third pages of Google, we can see that this domain has 113 “content marketing” related keywords.
You’ll be able to say which URLs are ranking for these 113 keywords now that your keyword analysis data is well structured.
Concentrate your energies on enhancing, extending, consolidating, and/or optimizing the current pages (blogs, websites, or landing pages) that are about to rank on the first list.
Mid- Range Topics
On pages 4-10 of Google search results, these subjects will have a higher number of keywords.
Yes, you are ranking for these terms, but getting to Google’s first page typically necessitates a major overhaul of the content.
On the 4th-9th pages of Google, here’s an example of topics sorted by the number of keywords:
For your mid-range topics, you have a mix of choices.
Depending on how competitive your vertical is, you may be able to revamp what you already have or you may have to bulldoze everything and start over to reach page one. It’s more than likely the latter when it comes to competitive topics.
This includes topics for which you have very few to no rankings for these keyword classes.
How well your topical groups fit with your priorities will determine how much time you devote to long shots. You’ll also have a few groups where you barely rank at all.
The target should not be to have an SEO presence in every category.
Instead, concentrate on the few categories that have a clear link to revenue (via attribution reporting).
The other big benefit of categorizing keywords is that it allows you to see what variables are assisting other sites in ranking higher in the SERPs.
Here is a method for analyzing competitive data more thoroughly.
To begin, determine which topics are competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Domain 1 performs well for “Marketing Research”-related keywords, but not so well for “Marketing Campaign”-related keywords, as seen in this graph.
Now we can delve deeper into each competitor’s domain to figure out what factors are assisting them in achieving high search rankings. This may involve the following:
- Architecture of Information: When comparing the top-performing pages to yours, how are the websites structured?
- Formats for Content: What types of content are the most popular? Do video or imagery-rich pages rate higher than long-form text-only pages?
- Content Depth or Length: How many words do the top-ranking pages have on average? Long-form content does not guarantee that you can rank higher, but it does help in certain verticals.
- Profile of Backlinks: What is the consistency of the links to the best-performing subjects, and where did they come from? What is the total number of links on the top-ranking pages for that subject?
- Quality of the Content: What percentage of the time does the content match the user’s intent? How well do some pages cover the subject? Frase.io, for example, aids in this process by easily revealing what subjects are addressed in the top 20 ranking SERPs.
This example demonstrates the high density of topics found on the top-ranking pages for [what is competitive analysis]:
You can start allocating resources to your content creation, SEO, or website development activities now that you understand why those pages rank and what it will take to get your site to rank higher for your expected topics.
Topics That Align With Business Objectives
You can use this wealth of data to help you coordinate your stakeholder resources, schedules, and campaigns, depending on your priorities for the year.
You may coordinate this topical research around two types of goals:
General Revenue or Sales
Using the customer relationship management (CRM) solution and analytics to determine which pages on your site have received the most organic attribution against closed earned opportunities to achieve general revenue or sales targets.
Then, determine which topics these pages relate to.
Some content management systems allow you to tag pages by subject, allowing you to see which pages are contributing to the bottom line quickly.
This method will assist you in developing a business case for content creation, SEO, or website investments that will help you outperform some of your rivals in search results.
Product Lines that are New or Improved
Expansion or the introduction of a new product line is another popular business target.
Categorical topic data will help you figure out which rivals are currently dominating this space and what kind of content you’ll need to succeed in the SERPs.
To compete in search, determine the content format, website hierarchy, and relative search purpose.
Make a Content Road Map based on the information you’ve gathered.
You can start laying the groundwork for your editorial calendar creation, website redesign, or the expansion and optimization of existing content now that you know your topical SEO strengths and weaknesses.