Now that we're all fully immersed in the fact that keyword data is gone forever, we can get on with our lives and start planning other means to getting our content found on the web, organically. As previously discussed in our Content vs Keywords article, we shouldn't be negating keywords completely, even though we cannot prove their effectiveness. If you think about how people search for stuff on the web, they will always be using keywords and search engines in order to find content that speaks to their queries. Once we've interpreted what the user is searching for by matching their intent, we can convert those keywords into concepts and ideas for content.
If you think about every page of a website, every blog post and article, each one has a purpose; each one has context. This is the gist of our planning now as we look further into the substance of each article and less into the words that people would use to define it.
According to Cyrus Shepard of moz.com, there are three ways that concepts or ideas relate to search marketing from the search engine's point of view. They are as follows:
1. User Intention
What exactly is the user searching for? What do they want to read more about and how is that interpreted via their search query? This has a lot to do with Hummingbird and how semantic search has taken over.
2. Context Of Your Content
A search engine will scan the keywords within your page and try to determine the context.
3. Relating Concepts To Each Other
With updated search features such as the Knowledge Graph, we can see how search engines such as Google are threading different areas of a topic together. As an example, when talking about The Lord of the Rings; Knowledge Graph will tie the books, film, actors, merchandise and related stories together.
In light of the above three points, we can reconsider and re-establish new ways of thinking about keywords and the way that they relate to content. We need to consider each of the three points and combine everything we know about keyword research and how we've had to evolve this process in light of "not provided".
Adapting Keyword Research For Concepts
When thinking about how you're going to describe each page and target traffic, there are many aspects to consider. To start with, we need to look at the basics with regards to keyword research, ie: finding relevant keywords with high search volumes and low competition; and combine that with the following:
- You don't want to narrow your focus to only one term per page. When you're thinking contextually, there could be many different ways to summarise your ideas
- Also don't limit yourself to the search terms in question; how can you modify these to become more descriptive long-tail versions of themselves? Simply adding a location or date can modify keywords to the point of them becoming far more valuable
- You also don't necessarily need to try and rank number one for each page, but should rather look at the number of visits you're receiving for each page
- Look at how Google groups keywords into ad groups for PPC and use those groups to gain more insight into how your concept can be described. Go to AdGroup Ideas in Google's Keyword Planner to see this in action
When considering keywords, don't only rely on one tool, but rather spread your focus over many different tools and also brainstorm different ways of capturing the context of your content. Consider Keywordtool.io, Google Trends, Soovle, SEMrush and WordStream, which has a keyword suggestion tool and niche finder too.
Take Your Concepts One Step Further
Once you've defined your keywords, you should have a golden thread that ties them altogether. You can find more related ideas by making use of Google's related searches at the bottom of your search results pages. Just type in one of the keywords you're looking at and then scroll down to see what else Google thinks is relevant to your search. The same can be used via any Google Trends report.
By the time you get to this phase of the process, you should have a clear cut idea of what your concepts are, what keywords you're going to use to describe them as well as a basic idea of the theme of what you're going to write. The last step is to look at your ideas from a human perspective. Does it make sense? Does it all fit together - from keywords to concept to context? You could find that the decisions you make in your "human" phase might be the ones that sell the page and content.