The 3-Step Guide To Quick Keyword Audits

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At certain times, most successful SEO strategies appear to be in the “comfort zone” if your website ranks well. If your website happens to be one of those, I bet you don't have anything to stress over at this point- you're getting traction and leads are coming in. What if, one day, that you find out that the keywords you’ve chosen are simply not good enough or are irrelevant?

I’d like to remind you this has happened several times over and, it puts your business in turmoil, often causing a loss of earning potential.

How soon should you make a move and not lose that traction? What should you do next?

Ideally, the best way to move forward would be to change your focus keywords. Let me demonstrate a quick 3-step keyword audit process that you can use for your website:

Step 1: Keyword Volume Check

I’ll run through the tools as swiftly as possible. These are chosen based on personal preference so here’s a disclaimer – there could be better tools out there but these have made life easier for me.

Alright, so let’s tackle the first question – how do you check search volume?

So, there are two tools I use – one for finding the primary keyword metrics (search volume, competition, CPC) and the other for estimating keyword popularity.

Google AdWords Planner used to be my favorite but I needed accurate data instead of range predictions.

Marketers should avoid suppositions and rather depend on exceptionally accurate datasets.

It should be obvious from the above example that Google doesn’t want to give away their prized data for free; the keyword ‘seo journal’ could theoretically have a search volume of 100 or 999 so it makes life harder for us.

Luckily, there’s a free extension on Google Chrome that does the same thing but faster and more user-friendly.

What’s my SERP (WMS) is a bulk keyword research tool that is truly a gift from heaven. In about 5 minutes, you will have completed setting up the extension and gathering massive amounts of keyword data. If you noticed the number 320 right next to the keyword, that’s the work of WMS.

Trust me on this one, it can load data for around 250 keywords in under 5 seconds. Sounds impressive?

Likewise, you could also utilize SEMrush for bulk keyword research but that takes a considerable amount of time. Since this guide is all about speed, let’s not do something that slows us down.

Once you’ve gotten all the fundamental information, the next step involves analyzing whether your keywords have potential to benefit your business.

Case 1: Keywords Are Relevant

If keywords are spot on, you only have to do half of the remaining work. So, here’s what you got to do:

Step 1.1: Take Them For A Spin In Google Trends

Google Trends is an often disregarded tool which has so much undiscovered potential. It’s special ammo preferred by marketers that are always on the lookout for the latest news.

At first sight, it looks basic. However, it requires basic reasoning skills to appreciate the represented information.

Here’s food for thought.

Have you at any point felt that the keywords haven’t been getting enough climb in rankings in spite of the enormous search volume?

It could be on the grounds that the keyword competition is huge; this normally happens if keywords are broad or generic. This is why most experts constantly advise you to pursue long-tail keywords.

And here’s another reason: the SEO strategies aren’t good enough; if the competitors ranking for a specific term have used tons of strategies to rank, you have to do it as well. Moreover, if the landing/ranking page sucks, sadly, all your efforts would be in vain.

If the highlighted issues are evident, consider heading back to the drawing board and start your keyword research from scratch.

Be that as it may, in case you’re still bewildered as to why the keywords aren’t ranking, it’s time to determine whether they’re “buzzworthy”. And that is precisely what Google Trends does.

In the above example, the search query, ‘XXXTentacion’ was prominent during the week following the rapper’s demise and promptly died down after his funeral.

So, in a way, it breaks down the popularity factor of a particular search term in light of various measurements and verifiable information. You can also get related queries, create epic posts based on the ‘trending’ signals, run campaigns to reap its benefits. In fact, there are numerous ways to use Google Trends to your advantage.

Case 2: Rotten Keywords

We discussed how to work around keywords that looked good on charts. But, what if these queries are rarely used by the usual online customers while performing a search?

It’s a fairly easy solution – swap those.

Step 1.2: The Keyword Swap

I’m pretty sure every marketer is aware of Ahrefs. And, that’s what we’re going to use.

Navigate to the search box and input your website. Once you hit search, the results show up. Your next objective is to click on ‘organic keywords’.

There, you’ll discover natural search terms that people are searching for, the relevant metrics and keyword rankings in comparison to the other contending pages in the SERP, for the terms.

If you can find a term with significantly higher search volume that’s crawling around the first or second page, consider adding those into your list.

Note: It’s recommended to not use this strategy for websites with thin content.

Bonus: It’s also possible to perform this keyword swap using the Search Console.

Anyway, there’s an even better way to check for keyword positions.

Step 2: Check If Your Keywords Have Potential

There’s a Google spreadsheet called the ‘Keyword Position Checker’ by Ranktank that serves the same purpose.

What’s far superior about this is the way that it shows the URL of the ranking page for every keyword, the contending pages and who holds #1. Just take a look and you’ll see.

Once you’ve figured out the individual positions of keywords, go ahead and add it to your monitoring list.

Step 3: Making The Right Choices

Now, it’s time to determine what keywords to keep, replace and trash.

There are various formulae to check the “keyword score”. For example, the KOB (Keyword Opposition to Benefit) recipe is entirely adequate; I utilize a somewhat changed rendition:

Score = (Traffic*CPC)/Difficulty*

*subject to variations

Here’s a case of the KOB recipe using metrics from Keywords Everywhere. Likewise, I’ve also used Ahrefs metrics to calculate the score.

Variations exist due to the difference in search volumes. While conducting a manual position check in the SERPs for a large number of keywords, I’ve inferred that Ranktank is more precise than Ahrefs for determining keyword rankings.

The KOB score helps us examine the capacity of a keyword to rank. The only imperfection with this strategy is that it depends on numbers alone. Without a doubt, it may fulfill the thirst of an analyst but not that of a marketing strategist.

There are two more signals which indirectly measure the potential of keywords regardless of the KOB score – user intent and search depth. Let me give you an example.

For example, in the event that someone searches for the height of Mt. Everest, Google would give them the direct answer with a snippet. The search volume is decent at 1300 but it’s quite clear that the user would end the search right there and proceed further.

Choosing the most appropriate keywords requires smart reasoning. This kind of keyword audit can prove to be very helpful if you wish to include versatile strategies such as tiered web 2.0 link building, cross-channel promotion, guest post outreach etc. with a set of keywords.

Keep in mind that the decisions you make will ultimately impact the result of the campaigns.

Embrace This Free Keyword Audit Strategy!

I’m not joking by any means.

Ahrefs is the only tool that will require you to pay to reap the most benefits. Other than that, every other tool is freely available at your fingertips.

Follow these steps and once you get the hang of this, you’ll be completing keyword audits in under thirty minutes.

Obviously, this is only one method for doing this; explore other methods and incorporate your most loved tools to complete work at a significantly faster pace. Keep your website intact and don’t lose traffic because you didn’t spend thirty minutes analyzing your keywords.



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