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Erik Newton
M Posted 7 years ago
t 6 min read

When people think about SEO, keywords are often the first topic that pops into their minds. It is no wonder that the phrase ‘keyword tool’ receives nearly 10,000 searches every month and ‘keyword planner’ receives over 60,000. Keyword research is an important part of any SEO strategy. It helps you uncover the topics that matter the most to customers and monitor traffic rates so you can grasp the popularity of particular phrases. You can use your keyword tool to help you better understand the seasonality of particular searches and develop a better understanding of your targeted audience and intended customers. It is important to recognize, however, that this is just one small piece of the puzzle. Using a keyword tool successfully will help you plan your editorial calendar, but that is the extent of its usefulness. When it comes to the other important aspects of developing a successful online marketing campaign, this aide will fall short.

To see the optimal success with your keyword research efforts, they need to be a part of a greater SEO platform and strategy. Here are five key types of knowledge where you will need to expand your SEO skills beyond keyword research.

A keyword planner cannot help you understand the top performing pages for your topic

Although your keyword tool will help you uncover various phrases and topics that your intended audience would be interested in reading, you are left starting from scratch when it comes to developing your actual content. Your keyword planner will not tell you what has already been successfully ranking for a particular phrase. When you combine your keyword planner with a recommendations engine that allows you to see the top ranking pages for your targeted keyword, then you have a strong starting point for your content creation. You can uncover what helps those pages rank highly, understand what the audience searching for this keyword is likely to be interested in reading and build from this starting point to create superior content that is worthy of a highly ranking position. When your keyword tools work with this type of recommendation system, you will have a far greater understanding of which keywords you are in a position to rank for and how to go about creating the content that will accomplish this goal.

keyword tool - brightedge

A keyword tool cannot tell you if you were successful

Once you have created your content for a particular keyword, you likely then want to know the success of your efforts. While you might be able to see your traffic report, you will not be able to see where you are ranking overall and how that ranking is impacted by other SEO efforts, such as backlinks. You also want to be able to tell if the content you develop effectively engages the target audience instead just bouncing off the page. A page reporting tool can help you gain this level of insight. You can see exactly where your content is ranking on the SERPs instead of just estimating based on traffic rates. When you know your rank, you will then be able to gain a better understanding of how well your content efforts have performed.

A thorough SEO platform will also offer you insight into how well your material is performing on social media. You can see likes and shares and compare this activity to your engagement and traffic rates. When customers regularly share your piece, you will have a better idea of how well readers are connecting to your material.

page reporting screenshot - brightedge

The keyword planner will not tell you how your efforts impact the bottom line

Drawing traffic is just one small part of a successful SEO strategy. It is the first step towards creating a marketing plan that will bring in paying customers. Although it is always nice to see the numbers rise on your traffic reports, to know if your content development has been truly successful, you need to make sure that your research with your keyword tool and your content creation has been helping the bottom line. As you do keyword research and create your content, you want to to have a specific goal in mind for this material, such as revenue or brand reach.

Creating dashboards with the useful metrics can help you compare the data from your marketing efforts and see how well they are helping you to meet your predetermined goals. You can establish keyword groups for particular campaigns and create easy-to-understand graphs and charts that clearly communicate the correlation between your content and your goals. You can use this data and insight to refine your strategy. If you are generating traffic, for example, but have a high bounce rate and few conversions, perhaps your keywords and not well-aligned with your targeted audience. It is only with a platform that can generate this level of insight that you will be able to make these adjustments and avoid wasting time and effort.

keyword tool revenue ROI - brightedge

The keyword tool does not offer competitive insight

Keyword research will not provide you with any level of insight into what your competitors are doing and how you compare to their progress. Succeeding in the SERPs means not only creating and optimizing content, it also means strategizing better than your competitors. Insights from others in your industry, such as the keywords they rank for and their site statistics, can help you accurately plot your own strategy and make adjustments based upon what has worked or failed for others.

A keyword planner does not offer insight about how other aspects of your site are performing

Although your keyword tool can help you find topics and phrases for which you can optimize your content, it will not do anything to help the rest of your site. Content performance is not established based upon a single page - Google also takes into account the authority of the entire domain as well as the user experience on your site. When you have a well-established, reputable website, your content will naturally rank higher than a new blog (learn how to choose a blog topic), no matter how well a particular page of content might be written. This means that to succeed in SEO, you need to look beyond keywords to the entirety of your website. You need site audits that will help you uncover potential gaps in your overall optimization efforts, such as incorrect redirects, page errors or missed opportunities to rank a particular page of content for a word. You also need a tracker that will help you monitor your progress with off-page SEO, including social signals and backlinks. The stronger you create your website as a whole, the better your individual pages of content will perform.

A keyword tool is helpful for brands as they develop their editorial calendar. For your content to gain readership, you want to make sure that you cover topics that your intended audience wants to read, and this research will help you find the popular subjects to focus your efforts. Brands need to carefully avoid the mistake, however, of relying too much on keyword research and neglecting the rest of the instruments needed to create a thorough, successful online marketing strategy.