How to spot the best keyword opportunities using forecasting?

August 10, 2015 | RankWatch

I have had the pleasure and, in some cases, the pain to browse tons of articles on the subject of keyword research. From my personal experience in reading and investigating this topic, I have found that there are plenty of articles that explain how to perform keyword research step by step. Also, digital marketing gurus have moved away from speaking only about technical issues and have started to provide useful insights about customers’ intentions, which I believe, illustrates current market trends. However, the percentage of dull content out there is still ridiculously high. I’ve scrolled through too many posts where no one mentioned users and the bloggers were only focused on giving advice on how to put searchable keywords in the right places. So, now you’re curious about what will be discussed in this post. Am I right?

The idea is simple – I want to cover a pretty wide niche. I am constantly astonished nowadays by the absolute insufficiency of content highlighting – how to spot the best keyword opportunities using forecasting. I believe this secret is definitely protected by SEO experts in order to prevent other folks from figuring out how to get a slice of this pie.

I don’t feel that I need to get too deep into explaining how to perform keyword research.  However, I want to share a couple of tips that I have found useful from my personal experience.

tip1

Only using Google Keyword Planner isn’t the smartest way to collect the most valuable and promising keywords. Try collecting data using various tools like SEMrush, Spyfu, Searchmetrics, and Keywordspy.


tip2

Not surprisingly, Autosuggest has a lot to suggest. But pulling Google’s Autosuggest data manually doesn’t seem to be a great idea, so I highly recommend at least using Ubersuggest. Or if you have the budget for another fancy tool, then take a look at Keywordtool.io.


tip3

Don’t forget about long-tail keywords, which can also work really well and bring a lot of visitors to your website.


tip4

Don’t forget that a huge portion of website traffic can be triggered by branded keywords, and branded traffic isn’t related to SEO. So, you need to have a clear understanding of the difference between branded and non-branded keywords in order to work with the right statistic and metrics.

So, you have a final list of keywords. What next? Now is the best time to focus on the right keywords, which can get your website in the Top 10 or even the Top 3. Also, keep in mind that the best approach here is to maintain a balance between focusing on keywords that have less competitive SERPs and the number of times users search about them on a monthly basis.

You can certainly go with Excel and build everything with it, but it’s time-consuming and not so easily scalable and manageable. I searched high and low for the perfect tool and finally found it, and now I want to share this goldmine with you.  This tool is called SEOmonitor.com and it separates branded and non branded traffic on the fly, shows competition levels for SERPs by each keyword, and, on top of that, you’ll have the ability to scale, tweak, and share this data with colleagues or even with clients.

Here’s an example of a list of keywords from SEOmonitor. You can see the columns showing the Opportunity Level and Keyword Difficulty for each keyword:

 

SEOmonitor

 

The Difficulty metric gives me an idea of how difficult it’ll be to get my website to rank in the Top 3 for a certain keyword. The visualization is pretty simple. When I see that it’s notated in the color red, it alerts me that a certain keyword in my list has a high level of competition. If it’s notated in the color green, then it’s a pretty open niche.

The Opportunity metric shows the most profitable keyword for your website.  It indicates the ratio between how many resources you’ll need to get in the Top 3 and your site’s monthly estimated revenue. To simplify everything, it helps you earn more revenue with fewer resources by pointing out the right keywords.

As an alternative to the Keyword Difficulty metric in SEOmonitor, I recommend taking a look at the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool, which also uncovers data concerning how hard it’ll be to get your domain in the top search results using a particular keyword.

semrush

However, the problem is that you still need to collect metrics from multiple sources and bring them together in Excel. You must also modify all collected data sets in Excel in order to have an at-a-glance overview like you’ll have access to with SEOmonitor. For me, visualization is king. That’s why I enjoy SEOmonitor so much!

The next step after spotting the right keyword opportunities should be to set up clear KPI’s based on the predicted traffic growth for your SEO campaign.  Previously, I used Excel,  and I had a huge formula that automatically calculated how much traffic I’d get if I were to get a certain group of keywords in the Top 10 and then in Top 3. Honestly, it was pretty handy and I haven’t experienced any problems with these tweaks to Excel. The real issue came when I needed to send it to a client. In order to create a proper proposal, I was spending a couple of hours collecting everything in one PPT and then converting it to a PDF. But now, I don’t need to do this, because in SEOmonitor, you can do it in only one minute. This feature is called the Business Case Builder, and it allows you to select a group or groups of keywords with which you want to work. After that, it will automatically calculate your future SEO traffic and even estimate the cost of running an AdWords campaign for the same traffic as you are supposed to earn via an SEO campaign.

However, the problem is that you still need to collect metrics from multiple sources and bring them together in Excel. You must also modify all collected data sets in Excel in order to have an at-a-glance overview like you’ll have access to with SEOmonitor. For me, visualization is king. That’s why I enjoy SEOmonitor so much!

The next step after spotting the right keyword opportunities should be to set up clear KPI’s based on the predicted traffic growth for your SEO campaign.  Previously, I used Excel,  and I had a huge formula that automatically calculated how much traffic I’d get if I were to get a certain  group of keywords in the  Top 10 and then in Top 3 positions in the SERPs. Honestly, it was pretty handy and I haven’t experienced any problems with these tweaks to Excel. The real issue came when I needed to send it to a client. In order to create a proper proposal, I was spending a couple of hours collecting everything in one PPT and then converting it to a PDF. But now, I don’t need to do this, because in SEOmonitor, you can do it in only one minute. This feature is called the Business Case Builder, and it allows you to select a group or groups of keywords with which you want to work. After that, it will automatically calculate your future SEO traffic and even estimate the cost of running an AdWords campaign for the same traffic as you are supposed to earn via an SEO campaign.

 

business_case_builder_SEOmonitor

 

Conclusion

I know that SEO traffic isn’t so easy to predict, however, in the end, we can’t demonstrate our effectiveness without having clearly defined goals and KPIs from the very beginning. If you want to show that your work is paying dividends, then there’s no other way other than forecasting future traffic and working hard to get these numbers to happen. Also, you can’t blindly select keywords; you need to first check the difficulty of being highly ranked with them. So this means that properly executed keyword research must end with a traffic-forecasting stage, which will show the value of SEO traffic for your business.

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4 Comments

  1. Great work on the research Alexandra. We ourselves do a lot of keyword
    research while releasing content for our blog and I can completely
    relate to you when you say the painful and tedious task of researching
    into articles that talk about the most effective ways to do keyword
    research.

    In my own experience, keyword planner has been quite
    effective, it is always imperative to look at some stats associated with
    the keywords such as its search volume and the CTR. There are a bunch
    of tools available online that show you specific search volumes and CTR.

    RankWatch itself is a good example. Other tools such as Google Trends
    can also have a positive impact on your keyword research as it shows the
    current trend of the search query and accordingly help the webmaster
    plan its content around it.

    1. Alan, Yes Google trends has been going well for my website. One thing everyone should consider is that trying to optimise your site for high competitive keywords will take longer than you think so your focus should be on long tail keywords, they are easily optimised, when I say easily i mean comparatively.

      Be the user and think of what kind of queries you will be typing into google. For a restaurant, it could be, good italian restaurant for pizzas in new york, You know what I mean?? because the people who will be optimising this would be a lot less than pizzas new york.

  2. Keywords that are ranking anywhere post the top 10 places is a good
    place to start. Some tools even tell you all the keywords that are
    ranking for your website but are not optimized by the website owner.
    When you get to this, you can start including these keywords into your
    strategy and get your pages ranked in the top 10. Quite simple and very
    effective.

    1. That’s a smart tip! I know that Ahrefs.com can show you those keywords because they’ve started to collect them to provide analytics for domains in both organic and ad results. They have the first 10 pages, meaning the first 100 positions.

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