Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Jordan Alexo
Are you struggling to get your website noticed? Do you need help to break through the competition and rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs)? If so, then you’re not alone.
The truth is, SEO can be a daunting task—especially if you’re starting out. There are countless factors that go into improving your rankings: keyword research, content optimization, link building…the list goes on and on.
But fear not! Anyone can improve their website’s online visibility with the right strategies and techniques.
This guide will discuss 13 effective steps, from creating a topical map to tracking your content performance.
So read until the end if you want to boost your website’s traffic and more sales and a lot more.
What Is The Reason Behind Keyword Research?
If you have a website, then keyword research is essential. Otherwise, your website will struggle to get traffic, and you won’t focus on the content you should write about. Without keyword research, your website is a boat without a rudder.
Here are five reasons why you should be doing keyword research:
1) It Helps You Create Focused And Relevant Content
Keyword research enables you to identify the words and phrases that your target audience is likely searching for, allowing you to optimize your content accordingly. You can better understand your audience, see their pain points, e and create content that speaks directly to them.
2) Improves Your SEO Ranking
Having the right keywords and phrases in your content can help you rank higher in search engine results and increase your visibility.
3) It Enables You To Be Found Easily
If your content contains the right keywords, then your website will be easier to find by the people who are looking for it.
4) It Helps You Connect With Your Target Audience
When you research keywords, it also helps you understand the mindset of your target audience. You can determine what words and phrases they’re most likely to use when searching for your products and services.
Now that we’ve established the importance of keyword research, what do you do afterward?
11 Must-Do Steps After Your Keyword Research
Now let’s dig deep and see what you can do after your keyword research:
1) Create a Topical Map
One thing I always do when creating websites is to create a map of topics. This helps me plan out the website and make sure everything is organized.
I recommend you build a topical map with at least 200 keywords or more. These keywords should be relevant to each other.
For instance, if you are creating a website about sneakers, then your map should include topics like “sneaker brands,” “sneaker reviews,” and “sneaker history.”
You want to see questions people ask about different sneaker brands, and then you can map these questions to other topics on the website.
A few great tools to find plenty of search terms include Semrush, Google Trends, and Ahrefs.
You can quickly build a list using these tools and later use KeywordCupid. This app lets you easily create a list of related keywords from your master list.
Using this strategy, you have a clear path of the content you need to write for your site in the upcoming months. Also, covering all this content on a niche tells Google that you are an expert in the industry.
2) Prioritize Your Keywords By Importance
Once you have a list of keywords and topics, prioritize them by importance. Which of these topics will help you rank the highest?
You should go for low-hanging fruit keywords if you have a new website. These are keywords that have lower search competition and higher traffic potential.
You can get an overview of the keyword competition by checking on Semrush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner. The idea is first to find search terms with decent traffic and low competition.
Once your website becomes more authoritative, you can target more competitive ones.
Once you identify these keywords, you can start creating content around them to optimize your website for SEO.
3) Audit Old Content
Google loves websites that regularly update their content. If you have existing content on your site, now is a great time to audit it.
Are there any topics that can benefit from more keyword research? Is there old information that needs updating? Are there any grammar or spelling mistakes?
You should also look at the structure of the content. Is the content organized to make it easier for readers to consume? If not, then make changes accordingly.
One of my all-time favorite AI tools is Surfer SEO. This tool helps you optimize your content structure most efficiently.
It also gives insights into what keywords you should use, how many words it should have, and which phrases to avoid.
4) Create Fresh SEO Content
You should create new blog posts and content to reach new readers and rank for competitive keywords.
Your content should sound natural, but at the same time, it needs to be SEO (Search Engine Optimized) for the search engines. Furthermore, analyze your top competitors for each keyword you want to rank for and create your content by taking notes from their blogs.
Look closely at what topics they cover, their headings, and the images they use. Then create better content than them to outrank your competitors.
A tool I enjoy using for this is called the “Detailed SEO” browser extension. It lets you go to your competitor’s web pages and quickly check the topics, keywords, and headings.
You can also use this browser extension to check out other blog posts on the same topic. This will help you create more relevant, practical, and unique content.
5) Analyze Existing Content Performance
If you already have old content on your website, you need to track it and see how it is performing.
You should look at what posts bring traffic and how it converts. For example, if one of your posts gets visitors from Google but another doesn’t consider analyzing the keywords you targeted, the content structure, the social proof (likes, comments), and so on.
Then make adjustments where necessary based on your analysis. Perhaps, your website can easily rank for lower-tier keywords but still struggles with more challenging ones.
Or your existing audience enjoys reading long-form content, but your blog posts need more content. Track and analyze all these factors to create better content that resonates with readers and helps your website rank higher.
In other words, focus on what works and do more and better of it.
You can also use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to track performance over time. This will help you understand which pieces of content are working better than others, and you can use that knowledge to create more compelling content in the future.
6) Optimize Your Website Performance
Is your website uploading at snail’s speed? Are there any broken links or images? If so, you need to understand what’s causing these problems and fix them quickly.
Your website performance should be a priority when it comes to SEO. Search engines prioritize websites that load fast and are optimized for mobile devices, so make sure your website is up to par.
Tools like GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Google PageSpeed Insights can help you understand the performance of your website and see what needs to be improved.
Here are a few ways to improve your website uploading time:
- Choose a lightweight WordPress theme like Astra, Kadence, or GeneratePress
- Update your website regularly
- Select a fast web host provider like WPX Hosting
Furthermore, to resolve any 404 errors, you should redirect your broken links to a related page or the home page. This way, users won’t be frustrated when they click on a link that doesn’t work.
An easy way to do this is using a free plugin such as RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Following these tips can improve your website and help it rank higher on search engines.
7) Build Internal Links
Everyone knows about backlinks, but did you know that internal links are just as important? Internal links help search engines understand the structure of your website and make it easier for users to navigate.
In addition, internal links help spread link equity around your website, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content.
So, make sure to link your posts and pages to other relevant content on your website. You can also use internal links to link to related content in your blog posts. This will help create a smoother user experience and increase your website’s ranking potential.
You can also use a plugin like Link Whisper or WP Sitemap Page to automate the internal linking process.
8) Build External Links
To rank for more challenging search terms, a website needs to build external links. External backlinks are essential for SEO because they show that other websites view your content as valuable and authoritative.
When building external links, focus on quality over quantity. A few high-quality links will do more for your website than a dozen low-quality ones. For instance, after I got a few links from my guest posting on WPX Hosting. My website jumped from DR 19 to 31 on Ahrefs.
But how do you get high-quality backlinks? You can start by writing guest posts on blogs relevant to your niche and building relationships with influencers in your industry.
You can also use the following commands on Google to find backlink opportunities:
- “Your keyword” + guest post
- Your keyword + intitle: “write for us”
- Your keyword + inurl: “contribute”
You may need to complete a form with basic information about yourself and your website. Once approved, someone from their team may ask you for some topic ideas. Make sure you provide them with something that will be helpful for their readers.
9) Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization is a problem where multiple pages are competing for the same search query. This can confuse search engines and make ranking any of the pages difficult.
So if you have similar keywords, include them on one page and drop the others. As a result, your post will rank for multiple keywords instead of being split up into several pages.
Although as your website gets larger and you may have several writers, this may get harder to track. Use tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to check for keyword cannibalization.
If you notice you have pages competing for similar queries, you can combine them into one page or noindex the less important pages.
10) Optimize for Readability
Readable content is great for SEO because it engages users and keeps them on your website longer. It also signals to search engines that you are providing valuable information, which can help your pages rank higher.
When optimizing for readability, break up longer paragraphs into short ones, use bold text or headings to highlight important points, and use images or videos to break up the text.
You can also use a readability score tool like Hemingway to check the readability of your content and make sure it’s easy to understand.
Another great tool is Grammarly, to help you improve your grammar and make sure your content is error-free.
11) Track Customers Journey
It’s important to track user journeys on your website as this helps you understand how people interact with your content.
You can use popular tools like Google Analytics to track user journeys and get insights into what content people are engaging with. You can also use heatmap tools like Hotjar to determine how people interact with your content visually.
Using the insights you get from user journeys, you can adjust your content to meet their needs better and improve your website’s ranking potential.
12) Improve Your Website’s Architecture
Your content should be easily accessible and well-structured so that search engines can crawl it easily.
You can improve your website’s architecture by using a plugin like Screaming Frog to find broken links and redirects, optimizing your internal linking structure, and creating an SEO-friendly URL structure.
Your pages should be two clicks away from the homepage and be optimized for keyword phrases. This will help users find your content quickly, which can also improve rankings.
Furthermore, include an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap so search engines can find and index your content faster. Once more, plugins like Yoast and RankMatch can help you create these easily.
13) Track Your Content Performance
Numbers are the name of the game when it comes to SEO, and tracking those numbers is essential for improving your content performance.
You can use tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs to track the performance of individual pages, keywords, and backlinks.
As you publish more content, you want to see your organic traffic growing and your rankings improving.
Otherwise, if you don’t notice any improvements, you should ask yourself:
- Should I target more competitive search terms?
- Do I need to optimize my content better?
- Is my audience bouncing off?
- Do I need to work on my backlink profile?
Answering these questions will help you identify what needs improvement, so you can focus on the areas where you need to make changes and boost your rankings.
Keyword research is essential for content marketers to increase their websites’ search engine rankings.
After conducting keyword research, the next steps involve the following:
- Mapping keywords to content, prioritizing them by the best opportunity to rank
- Analyzing top content for chosen keywords
- Auditing existing content
- Tracking user journeys
- Improving website architecture
- Creating an SEO-friendly content
- Creating HTML and XML sitemaps
- Tracking content performance
By addressing these steps, you can create valuable content that ranks well and improve your site’s organic traffic over time. It’s also essential to track your performance and adjust your content accordingly.
Would you like to ask any related questions, Jordan Alexo? Feel free to leave it in the comment section below.
FAQ – About What To Do After Keyword Research
Let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions:
1) What Can You Do With Keyword Research?
You can use keyword research to identify what searches people are making and create content around them. This will help you get more organic traffic from search engines.
2) How Do You Prioritize Keywords?
You should prioritize keywords based on monthly search volume and competitiveness. You can use tools like Google Analytics or SEMRush to understand the competition of each keyword.
3) What Is the Best Way to Analyze Content for Chosen Keywords?
I enjoy using old and confusing Google Analytics and Google Search Console to analyze the content for chosen keywords. If you struggle with these tools, I recommend searching for good tutorials on YouTube.
These free tools provide valuable insights into the performance of your content.