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3 Habits, 3 Questions & 3 Articles for SEO Marketers

Doug Haines

Today we’re covering:

✅   3 Habits of the best keyword researchers.

✅   3 Questions you need to ask before starting an SEO campaign.

✅   3 Great SEO articles you need to read today.

3 habits of the best keyword researchers

Keyword research is the most important element of our SEO campaigns.

We have an analytics department that works on research and planning.

Our best researchers do these three things:

#1 Speak to real people. 

With SEO, the easiest trap is to become obsessed with spreadsheets, data, and neat little reports.

You need to avoid this temptation.

Instead, you need to have conversations with:

🧑 Customers.

🧑 Salespeople.

🧑 Founders.

🧑 Product owners.

You will ALWAYS gain tremendous insights by asking questions. Here’s the monthly traffic for a page we created for a client in the insurance space:

The idea for the page came from a brainstorming call with the head of sales.

The company has a large telesales operation, and we asked about which factors drove customers to call and change insurance providers.

They had some totally unexpected gems.

We would never have found the term for this page with secondary research.

Now, these ideas are a huge driver of traffic.

#2 Make decisions 

When we take over accounts from other SEO agencies, we always get given their keyword research.

And it’s always a monstrous spreadsheet with 1000s of keywords.

Our job is to break that into 15 or 20 terms that will move the needle. We look for keywords or terms with:

✅   Strong intent.

✅   Good analytics.

✅   Attackable SERPs.

✅   Assets available.

✅   Beatable competition.

They should also be:

✅   Convertible.

✅   Brand enhancing.

✅   Updateable.

We have a morning analytics call, and I always ask the same question: “What is the BEST option?”.

#3 Iterate 

Second guessing how search engines will respond to content isn’t an exact science.

Google responds in ways we don’t expect—sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst.

The best analysts make a reasonable hypothesis, test, and iterate. There are a few different ways you can do this:

💡Keep a close eye on content and keep tweaking it.

💡Don’t expect SERPs to respond the same in similar circumstances.

💡Quickly scrap ideas that don’t work.

💡Double down on what is working.

If you’re interested in joining our analytics department, please reach out to Bonus points for an application that provides two ideas on how British Gas can improve its SEO.

3 questions you need to ask before starting an SEO campaign
  1. Are our customers using Google to make a purchase or find information? 20- 30% of companies we speak to should pursue other channels ahead of SEO.
  2. Are we willing to take a 12 or 18-month view on this? SEO investment compounds over time. Investment today pays off over time. Using a blunt metric of $$ saved if you had to pay for equivalent traffic shows an average ROI per piece of content is 2300% (I think this is underestimated).
  3. Do you have an internal team member that can own the agency/partner relationship? We can operate independently, but decisions must always be made on the client side. Our best-performing campaigns all have an internal leader.
3 great SEO articles you need to read today
  • Link Building for Ecommerce

Here is an excellent starting point from Ahrefs that has relevance for most industries:

  • SERP annotations

This is a useful view on SERP annotations and what it means for content creation:

  1. How to get site architecture right

This is a nice piece from Authority Hacker on how to set up your site:

Let’s go get some rankings today! 👊

Article by:

Doug Haines

Meet Doug, the mastermind behind Kalium’s success. Learn how Doug applies SEO strategies to turn this SA travel site into a million-dollar company.

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