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How to Use Categorical Keyword Research to Plan Your Content Strategy

Learn how to use categorised keyword research from your own and your competitors to classify and prioritise content marketing activities.

The days of picking some keyword, writing a 500-word blog post, and appearing in search results are long gone.

As search engines have evolved, their algorithms have prioritised content based on purpose, website authority, and what will most adequately fulfil the needs of their searchers – even if that means directly answering the question in the search engine results page (SERP).

Why Keyword Categorization Is Important

While this is by no means the only way to help you drive organic traffic, more marketers are adopting a topic cluster-based approach to SEO.

One of the biggest advantages of this strategy is that it allows you to evaluate SEO performance in terms of buckets of semantically linked keywords rather than a single keyword.

The use of keyword categorization comes into play here.

You’ll have a starting point for your content strategy by categorising keywords for yourself, your SEO competitors, and your direct competitors.

Basic Methods for Keyword Categorization

The end goal is to provide a semantically linked and categorised keyword list, whether you use a crude Excel tool for filtering/tagging your keywords or a more sophisticated approach using Python, BigML, or another programmatic method.

To get started, SEMrush’s keyword gap tool is one of the simplest ways to gather keyword data for yourself and your competitors.

You may use this method to pull rankings for up to five competitors at once.

If you’re looking at a large number of rivals, you’ll need to combine tables.

4 Ways to Use Keyword Categorization to Identify Opportunities

Now that the tedious task of categorising has been completed, it’s time to extract the most important SEO insights.

Here are four areas to consider when creating a content strategy:

1. Low-Hanging Fruit Topics

Determine the topics have a higher amount of keywords on Google’s second and third pages than other topics.

In terms of keyword targeting, this is the fastest return on investment in the short term.

On the second and third pages of Google, we can see that this domain has 113 “content marketing” related keywords.

You’ll be able to say which URLs are ranking for these 113 keywords now that your keyword analysis data is well structured.

Concentrate your energies on enhancing, extending, consolidating, and/or optimising existing pages (blogs, websites, or landing pages) that are close to ranking on the first list.

2. Mid-Range Topics

These subjects will have a higher number of keywords on Google search results pages 4-10.

Yes, you are ranking for these terms, but getting to Google’s first page typically necessitates a major overhaul of the content.

On the 4th-9th pages of Google, here’s an example of topics sorted by the number of keywords:

For your mid-range subjects, you have a variety of choices.

Depending on how competitive your vertical is, you may be able to revamp what you already have or you may need to bulldoze everything and start anew in order to reach page one. It’s more likely the latter when it comes to competitive topics.

3. Long Shots

This includes topics for which you have very few to no rankings for these keyword classes.

How well your topical groups fit with your priorities will determine how much time you devote to long shots. You’ll also have a few groups where you barely rank at all.

The target should not be to have a strong SEO presence in every category.

Instead, concentrate on the few categories that have a clear link to revenue (via attribution reporting).

4. Competitive Insights

The other big benefit of categorising keywords is that it allows you to see what variables are assisting other sites in ranking higher in the SERPs.

Here’s a method for analysing competitive data more thoroughly.

To begin, determine which topics are competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

We can see that Domain 1 performs well for keywords related to “Marketing Research,” but not so well for keywords related to “Marketing Campaign.”

Now we can delve deeper into each competitor’s domain to figure out what factors are assisting them in achieving high search rankings. This may involve the following:

  • Information architecture: How are the top-performing sites’ websites built in comparison to yours?
  • Content formats: What types of content are the most popular? Do video or imagery-rich pages rate higher than long-form text-only pages?
  • Depth or length of content: How many words do the top-ranking pages have on average? Long-form content does not guarantee that you can rank higher, but it does help in certain verticals.
  • Backlink profile: How good are the ties to the best-performing subjects, and where do they come from? What is the total number of links on the top-ranking pages for that topic?
  • Content quality: Does the content fulfil the user’s expectations? How well do some pages cover the subject? Frase.io, for example, aids in this process by easily revealing what subjects are addressed in the top 20 ranking SERPs.

This example demonstrates how the top-ranking pages for [what is competitive analysis] have a high concentration of topics:

You can start allocating resources to your content production, SEO, or website development activities now that you understand why those pages rank and what it will take to get your site to rank higher for your expected topics.

Aligning Topics With Business Goals

You can use this wealth of data to help you coordinate your stakeholder resources, schedules, and campaigns, depending on your priorities for the year.

You may coordinate this topical research around two types of goals:

General Revenue or Sales

Using the customer relationship management (CRM) solution and analytics to figure out which pages on your web have the most organic attribution against closed earned opportunities for general revenue or sales targets.

Then, determine which topics these pages relate to.

Some content management systems let you tag pages by subject, making it easy to see which ones are contributing to the bottom line.

This method will assist you in developing a business case for content creation, SEO, or website investments that will allow you to outperform some of your competitors in quest.

New or Improved Product Lines

Expansion or the introduction of a new product line is another popular business target.

Categorial subject data will help you figure out which rivals are currently dominating this market and what kinds of content you’ll need to succeed in the SERPs.

To compete in search, define the content format, website hierarchy, and relative search purpose in this case.

Plan Your Content Roadmap Based on Insights

You can start laying the groundwork for your editorial calendar creation, website redesign, or the expansion and optimization of existing content now that you know your topical SEO strengths and weaknesses.

Additional Information:

  • How to Combine Content Marketing and SEO
  • How to Dig Deeper into Keyword Research: Tools and Techniques to Use
  • The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing.

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