Tactical Keyword Research in a RankBrain World

Posted by Dr-Pete

Summary: RankBrain represents a more advanced way of measuring relevance, built on teaching machines to discover the relationships between words. How should RankBrain change our approach to SEO and specifically to keyword research?

This story starts long before RankBrain, but the action really kicked in around May of 2013, when Google announced conversational search for desktop. At the time, voice search on desktop may have seemed like a gimmick, but in hindsight it was a signal that Google was taking natural language search seriously. Just a few months later the Hummingbird update rewrote Google’s core engine, and much of that rewrite was dedicated to dealing with natural language searches.

Why should you care about voice? For most sites, voice is still a relatively small percentage of searches, and you’ve got other priorities. Here’s the problem, illustrated by the most simplistic Google algorithm diagram I’ve ever created…

If there were two algorithms – one for text search and one for voice search – then, yes, maybe you could drag your feet. The reality, though, is that both text and voice search are powered by the same core algorithm. Every single change Google has made to adapt … Read the rest

December 6, 2016  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

3 New Upgrades Make the Web’s Best Keyword Research Tool Even Better

Posted by randfish

If you know me, you know I’m hyper-critical of the software, data, and products Moz releases. My usual response to someone asking about our tools vs. others used to be to give a rundown of the things I like about the competition and why they’re great, then look down at ground, shuffle my feet in embarrassment, and say “and Moz also has a good tool for that.”

But Keyword Explorer (and the progress Moz Pro & Local have made this year) brings out a different behavior in me. I’m still a little embarrassed to admit it, but admit it I must. KW Explorer is the best keyword research tool in the market, period*.

But we are never satisfied, so today, it’s getting even better with the addition of some killer new functionality.

#1: Rank checking inside KW Explorer lists

First on the list is the ability to easily see whether a given domain (or URL) already ranks on page 1 for any of the keywords on a list. Just enter a domain or page, hit “check rankings,” and the Rank column will fill in with your data.

Why is this crucial?

Because many of us who … Read the rest

October 12, 2016  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

How to Research the Path to Customer Purchase – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Moving your customers down the funnel from awareness to conversion can make for a winding and treacherous road. Until you fully research and understand the buying process inside and out, it’s far too easy to make a misstep. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand steps back to take a higher-level look at the path to customer purchase, recommending workflows and tools to help you forge your own way.

How to Research the Path to Customer Purchase Whiteboard

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about the path to customer purchase and how to research that path. The reason this is so critical is because we have to understand a few things like our content and conversion strategy around where do we need to be, what content we need to create, how to position ourselves, our product, our brand, and how to convert people. We can’t know this stuff until we truly understand the buying process.

We’ve done a lot of Whiteboard Fridays that involve very, very tactically specific items in one of the steps in these, like: how … Read the rest

May 27, 2016  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

​Keyword Research in 2016: Going Beyond Guesswork

Posted by Dr-Pete

When we do keyword research, we tend to focus on discovery. We take a short list of keywords we think matter, brainstorm wildly, paste the resulting list into a dozen tools, paste the results back into Excel, and measure our success by how often our spreadsheet crashes. Then, we throw it all away when our tax attorney client tells us he only cares about ranking #1 for “taylor swift downloads,” because he heard that gets a lot of traffic.

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Keyword discovery is a critical process, but what we’re left with at the end is a long and often rambling list to prioritize, and typically we prioritize either by our own gut feelings or by the black box of AdWords global volume. What if there were a better way?

When we were building Keyword Explorer, we wanted to solve the deeper problem — how do we pick the best keywords to start with, given the complexity of Google SERPs and our competition in modern SEO? Which keywords really balance potential traffic with ROI?

Over the course of many months, we created four metrics:

  1. Keyword Difficulty (V2)
  2. Keyword Opportunity
  3. Importance (user-defined)
  4. Keyword Potential

Today, … Read the rest

May 10, 2016  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Why We Can’t Do Keyword Research Like It’s 2010 – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Keyword Research is a very different field than it was just five years ago, and if we don’t keep up with the times we might end up doing more harm than good. From the research itself to the selection and targeting process, in today’s Whiteboard Friday Rand explains what has changed and what we all need to do to conduct effective keyword research today.

Why We Can't Do Keyword Research Like It's 2010 Whiteboard

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

What do we need to change to keep up with the changing world of keyword research?

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat a little bit about keyword research, why it’s changed from the last five, six years and what we need to do differently now that things have changed. So I want to talk about changing up not just the research but also the selection and targeting process.

There are three big areas that I’ll cover here. There’s lots more in-depth stuff, but I think we should start with these three.

1) The Adwords keyword tool hides data!

This … Read the rest

June 12, 2015  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments



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