Search engine algorithms have changed the keyword research game. The way they function is becoming more and more advanced. Ian Lurie discusses the impact on how you select and prioritize phrases, as well as how to capitalize on keywords.
- [Instructor] Eventually your audience types are phrased into a search engine, the search engine then has to turn that phrase into a query. The way they do that is becoming more and more advanced and that impacts how you select and prioritize phrases. Search engines are starting to use natural language technologies, like word vector analysis, a fancy way of saying they're better at finding related phrases to better understand how a particular set of text relates to a topic. Google's RankBrain is a good example. For example, Google now understands that if I search for big basketball player I mean tall.
If, on the other hand, I search for big boat I mean long. It also understands that king relates to queen and that a document that mentions both is more relevant to king than a document that just mentions king. King and queen are both connected to the topic of royalty and therefore reinforce each other. This technology constantly improves. Why should we care? Because we have more options and optimization isn't as much about keyword density as it used to be. Sure, I want to rank for bicycle helmets, but there are thousands of well optimized competitors, if not millions.
Using niche and related phrases that are less competitive can help me get traffic right away. And, as algorithms get better and better at word vector style analysis using those niche and related phrases will also help you rank for the more competitive one. In fact, keyword diversity, where I use lots of related terms instead of the same one over and over, may be the best tactic. Here's how you can up your keyword research game to match advancing search algorithms. First, search for your primary key phrase on Google and Bing, look at the suggested or related search lists at the bottom of the page.
Some of these suggestions are going to be related phrases. When I searched for bicycles I saw right away that bike paths and bike rentals are related phrases. I don't have to say bicycles again and again. I could say bike, paths, and rentals. You can do the same thing on YouTube. Also, look at what the search engine bolds. Google and Bing bold the phrases most relevant to your search. What they bold can suggest related phrases you can target. It can provide great insight. Look at this search for wedding dresses.
Google highlighted my search phrase, of course, but it also highlighted bridesmaid dresses. That's an example of a related phrase. You might want to do a video or two about bridesmaid dresses or a video that talks about both bridesmaid and wedding dresses, that may help you be more relevant for wedding dresses as well. Also, be sure to go past page one, keep clicking and you'll find more related phrases. Here you can see wedding gowns. Use a trending search tool to check phrase value. Something like Google Trends tells you whether a term is rising in popularity.
These numbers aren't specific volumes, but they're a great way to see if you're picking a phrase with lasting value. You want search volume data too. For that you need a keyword research tool. There's a host of them out there. Moz Keyword Explorer, GREPWords, and SEMrush, and SpyFu are a few examples. Tools like Moz start with your phrase and expand to find related terms and then provide statistics. Others, like SEMrush and SpyFu, look at competitors phrases and provide insight based on that data.
It's tempting to look for free keyword statistics tools. I do not recommend using the keyword research tool built into Google AdWords. Google has modified it, so that you can no longer get accurate expansion and search volume data. While you might still get useful information, you might also get misled. So a paid tool is a good and required investment. You can get by without search volume data by the way, it's not ideal, but it can save you the cost of a measurement tool. But I still think you should invest in a good paid tool.
Next, add video focus phrases. Wedding dress doesn't make me want to watch, wedding dress mini-fashion show does. Search suggest often provides good clues. Also, don't forget your brain's the most powerful natural language processing tool on the planet. You know what people look for. If you have a sales team they hear different phrases every day. Brainstorm and then add them all to your list. Eventually it does come down to keywords and phrases. Understanding how search engines have changed their approach to keywords can help you choose the right ones.
Search results and suggestions are a great resource, so are many of the tools out there, but don't be afraid to include your own brain, it's been dealing with keywords and queries a lot longer.
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