Ignore Keyword Research Metrics (Mostly)!

Here’s a keyword research tip for SEO: ignore metrics!

Volume, CPC, difficulty… none of these matter. This may seem ridiculous so let me explain further.

Through keyword research, you see countless problems that people have.

Most keywords are like picking stocks though in that you should never own (or try to) what you don’t understand.

Your goal then is to find problems matching what your business can solve.

Furthermore, when you get how competitive search results are, the sensible path is to provide something exceptional. This may involve sharing knowledge from SMEs unique to your company, for example.

Narrowing your focus is not just less challenging in search results but should be particular to your strengths!

What happens instead is that we broadly go after keywords in our fields, churning out generic content that ranks poorly, doesn’t lead to conversions or fails to generate backlinks.

First understand exactly what your business does well (in marketing too). Then ask questions to showcase your assets more specifically through keywords. Let’s say your company offers Electronic Data Capture (EDC):

1. How can I more clearly define my solution to the problem? (EDC Software)

2. How can I better target a use case (or persona, industry, location)? (EDC Software for Clinical Trials)

3. How can I align with search intent? (guides/questions = informational or solutions/purchases = transactional)

4. How can I include related, long-tailed keywords to address important subtopics? (EDC software benefits)

5. How can I make it compelling (yet true) through copywriting? (curiosity-provoking, best-in-class proof, etc.)

Like all of SEO, there are exceptions to this process.

You may offer a broad solution and rank among the authorities in your space, so you make your page general.

You know themes you can dominate so well that you begin with SEO-driven keyword research first, which can then allow your experts to view the best opportunities.

You compare yourself with another brand to highlight your unique value proposition.

And finally, metrics can help you refine how you describe things to align with your audience.

However, most businesses would do far better to focus even more specifically on what they do well, instead of joining the crowd in pushing lackluster crap!

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