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3 Major Developments in Keyword Research You Need to Know

Search Optimization

SEO is constantly changing, with Google constantly updating its algorithm to reflect changes in websites and user behavior. The thing is, though, not every aspect of SEO changes at the same pace.  

Link building, for instance, is the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that has evolved the most over time. It's changed so much that link-building today is almost unrecognizable to old-school practitioners.

If you ask other SEO professionals, some will say that "technical tasks" have been the most changed strategy, but very few will say "keyword research."

Indeed, the fundamental process of using keyword tools to identify relevant keyword strings to use liberally on a single page has not changed. However, there have been some significant recent developments in keyword research.

In this article, our Miami-based internet marketers will fill you in on all the latest and greatest in this industry area.

1. Long-tail keywords are taking the place of exact-match ones.

If you've done paid searches on Google, you've probably come across the "Exact Match" option. When you use an exact match keyword, your ad will only show up when someone searches Google for that exact phrase or word.

Google AdWords coined the term "exact-match keyword" to describe the type of keyword match that lets advertisers target people doing exact-match searches. However, exact match keywords have long been a hotly debated topic  because of their significance in both organic and paid searches.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases. These are more likely used by users when they are in the final stages of the buying process or using voice search.

The number of searches for a long-tail keyword typically falls short of a short, "head" keyword. They don't make sense at first, but when used properly, they're invaluable.

long-tail keywords info

Consider this: if you sell classic pieces of furniture, your pages are unlikely to appear near the top of an organic search for "furniture.” This is because there is far too much competition. However, specializing in contemporary art-deco furniture. Keywords like "contemporary Art Deco-influenced round lounge" will consistently bring customers looking for that product.

Both keyword research formats have been helpful in SEO. However, Google's search algorithm is getting more intelligent over time.  

As a result, it now puts more weight on understanding "things" than it does on matching "strings of words." In other words, exact-match keyword strings started to lose their effectiveness.

2. Branded keywords are gaining popularity.

There are numerous reasons why people use search engines as their primary method of website navigation. The two most common reasons are:

  • People can search using the address bar on a select few of the most potent browsers (including Safari and Google Chrome).
  • People are becoming more used to voice search and prefer to say what they want to search out loud (usually brand names).

Meaning, customers are already familiar with your brand and may be ready to make a purchase. This is because they are compelled to conduct a search using either your brand name or a branded query.

It is shocking how many businesses have no idea what appears in branded searches or how many customers they lose because of poor (or nonexistent) in-SERP reputation management.

There are three essential things to understand about brand-driven search:

  • These are typically high-intent queries in which searchers type your brand name with the intent to purchase from you.
  • These are frequently your existing, returning customers, who spend more than new customers.
  • Because of the factors mentioned above, these are your brand's top priority.

Even so, you can't influence the results when people look for your brand.

sample branded keywords
Photo from Mention

In reality, tracking and improving upon brand-driven search queries is an ongoing process.  

It will remain as long as your brand does. So, here are the things you can do:

  • Make use of your company name as if it were a keyword. Grow it, tweak it, and keep an eye on your site's position in the results.
  • Determine the root causes of your customers' brand-driven search patterns. What can you do better to solve the problems underlying those queries?

You can turn branded search queries into leads by optimizing your about page, product pages, and lead magnets. In many cases, a more strategic approach is required. This includes creating a separate knowledge base when many brand-driven keywords are present.

3. Entities are critical.

The entity-based method is Google's approach to understanding the world around it. This is Google's knowledge of the world, presented in the form of a Knowledge Graph map. And it also includes specific names such as locations, people, and brands, among other categories.

Google Knowledge Graph
Photo from Ahrefs

Because of entities, Google can better understand the context and goals of the person searching. Google can determine the context of a query by establishing links between entities relevant to the inquiry.

The research that you do on keywords ought to center on entities. How do you associate your brand with well-known entities related to your niche, and what are those entities?

In Summary:

  • While exact-match keywords help study trends and patterns, they are not as helpful when optimizing content.
  • Instead of simply matching your page to the keyword, optimize for intent and solve problems instead.
  • The search engine results pages (SERPs) are out of your control, but you can boost the rankings of assets that will bring visitors back to your site.
  • Research your niche entities and find ways to associate your business with those through on-site content and PR/link building rather than focusing on keyword strings.

Select the Best Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

To keep up with the rapid evolution of search engine optimization, brands must employ an agile strategy. If you do keyword research the old-fashioned, exact-match way, your company is about ten years behind!

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest SEO strategies?

Our internet marketing experts in Miami at Digital Resource are constantly updated with tried-and-true strategies to help your business reach the top of search engine results pages.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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