Day 6 – Keywords

Day 6 Quick Summary: Keywords

It’s keywords research day.

  1. Use MOZ (or SEO Roadmaps if you have it) to discover the top keywords for your article.
  2. Save them to your work folder.

By now you’ve started to get a good idea of your competition. There’s also a good chance that ideas are beginning to spark off in your head about what your article may need to contain to start ranking.

I know there’s a big temptation to start writing your article, but I’m going to purposefully hold you back. You may just get lucky, but you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of benefits if you don’t get to grips with all the basics first.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and RankBrain

Every word changes context depending on the words that surround it. It doesn’t matter if it’s written or spoken. And the meaning can change even more dramatically if it’s done face to face.

Take this sentence: “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”. ‘Sick and tired’ is being used in two different contexts. The first is a metaphor for being bored or fed up. The second is the true meaning.

If someone searched for “how do I stop being sick and tired of life?”, and someone else searched for “how do I stop being sick and tired?”, Google would have to figure out two very different answers. The first about being fed up. The second about some medical condition.

That’s what Latent Semantic Indexing and RankBrain are for. They’re trying to figure out the context of the stuff us humans search for (and it’s not easy – or they would have done it years ago – it’s new and that’s why we’ve finally been presented with this opportunity – that for once, WILL last).

The longer your search query, the more accurate the result. And the same applies to the pages Google decides are the best ones to show for any query. The more words there are on a page, the easier it is for Google to understand the context and show more accurate matches.

This is, of course, much easier for humans to do – especially face to face. Psychologists tell us 93% of meaning comes from body language and tone of voice (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication-numbers-game)

So it’s really lucky we’re only dealing with the written word here!

And we know that Google MUST deliver the best search results if it is to stay in business – this is at the core of this training. As time moves forward, competitors to Google will appear. And they will succeed ONLY if they can return a better experience to searchers.

Google are fully aware of this, so they are continually striving to improve the results that show up. Their future depends on it.

Knowing these fact, tells us we need to start writing better articles. We need to write the sort of article that perfectly delivers the solution to whatever it is the searcher wants to know.

This is why you can quite easily just go ahead and write your perfect article. The problem is, someone else may just have written a more researched article. And since machines are getting better at figuring out what perfect is (they’re not there yet – but they are moving rapidly forward), we need to better understand how they do it by researching the results they bring up (Google is the easiest competitor research tool in the history of marketing – imagine how people struggled with this less than 20 years ago – what a total pain that was).

The strange term Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) was coined sometime in the 1990s. Stanford University produced a whole manual on the subject of document search. If you’re bored and have a lot of time on your hands, you can find that here – but you’ll almost certainly come back even more bored (I’m only putting the link here to give you some idea of the complexity involved – and this doesn’t even touch the surface of what Google are doing now – or what they are capable of doing in the future).

Google introduced LSI a number of years ago, and then let us all know by naming it Hummingbird in an algorithm update in 2013. But that wasn’t the end of it. Along came RankBrain. This is Google’s Artificial Intelligence machine.

Hummingbird and RankBrain exist to make the goal of delivering the perfect context aware results a reality. That keeps Google ahead of the game because it’s the only way to stay in business. They need us (for content) and we need them (for traffic). And if they get that right, the advertisers will happily pay to be included.

So we need to know what sort of words link together contextually with our title and topic. And the tool we’re going to use today will give us an insight into that. It’s not perfect by any means – but then who except Google really knows what RankBrain is doing?

DAY 6 TASK

SEO Roadmaps Members Do This

If you have SEO Roadmaps, View the roadmap you’re working on and click the Keywords button in the left hand menu to take a look at the keywords. That’s it for the day, but you could always run more reports to get further ideas.

Non SEO Roadmaps Members Do This

If you don’t have SEO Roadmaps, use MOZ instead, as follows:

Log into your MOZ account (see day 1) by going to MOZ.com (or you can access it by clicking on the MOZ icon in the top right of your Chrome browser – the icon has the single letter M in it).

When you are logged into your MOZ account, click on the Free SEO Tools menu option on the top right and choose ‘Target with Keyword Explorer’ under the ‘For SEO’ box on the left.

Enter your topic title into the search bar and wait for the results to show up.

There are two main areas of analysis shown here. On the left are suggested keywords, and on the right is something we did earlier by hand – analysis of the top sites you’re competing with.

Note that every searcher may be shown a slightly different set of results since Google understands its users very well and tries to deliver user specific results where it makes sense to do so.

On the left panel in MOZ you will see a small number of suggested keywords. You can expand this by clicking on the ‘See all suggestions’ option under them. Click the Export CSV option on the top right and save the list of keywords to your work folder.

That’s enough for today. Take a break. Tomorrow we’re going to do a little more research. Don’t groan. You’ll eventually love doing this stuff – especially when you see what it’s going to do for your rankings – and that’s why we built our website in the first place – to get noticed!