How to conduct a keyword analysis in minutes

This step-by-step guide explains how a keyword analysis will generate new content ideas, which can increase your traffic.

A few months ago, I took a week off from meetings so I could write for my blog, Spin Sucks, and start on our 2014 plan.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried writing all day every day, but it’s not easy. In fact, you start to look for other things to do (someone please call me!) to give your brain a break.

So, during my week of writing, I found myself digging into a client’s analytics to do a keyword analysis and give them some content ideas.

I looked for keywords the client ranked for, but not on the front page of search results. The idea was to go back and revise old content to create a long-tail keyword opportunity.

Fast forward to yesterday when I chatted with the CEO of the client’s company on Skype. He asked me the process for which I did that particular exercise.

Dig into your analytics

Here is what I did:

1. Go into Google Analytics and set the date range for the past 90 days. (It won’t give you data beyond that.)

2. In the left sidebar, click on “acquisition,” “search engine optimization” and then “queries.” If your analytics are not connected with Webmaster Tools, it will ask you to do this before you can create a query.

3. At the top of the query page, sort by “average position.”

4. Set an advanced filter for average position.

5. Set it greater than 10.

6. Hit apply.

The chart the search provides gives you a good idea of what people are searching for, but not finding you on the first page of search results.

If, for instance, I want Spin Sucks to rank for “communication,” I have to create content around that term to get us from page four (position 40) to 10 or lower.

Keyword analysis

That was the easy part. It should only take you a few minutes.

Now it’s time for the hard work: The keyword analysis will provide you with a list of content you’ve already written (for us, it would be communication, social media, PR, digital, and Pinterest), and want to increase your results.

Open a Google search tab and type “ keyword.”

For instance, ours would be “ communication.”

You can see only one blog post in the first few results that is more than one year old. On the rest of the page, there are two others. This is good! I’ll start with those.

I’ll open “The Four I’s of Leadership Communication” in WordPress and get to work.

Refresh old content

The process I’ll follow is this:

  1. Change the headline to “Communication: The four Is that are important to remember.”
  2. Add “communication” as my keyword both in the post and in Yoast. Right now it appears four times, and the post is 849 words long. The keyword density is too low (less than one percent), so I need to add the word a few more times without making the copy sound ridiculous.
  3. The word doesn’t appear in any of my headings, so I’ll add it to one of them.
  4. The word doesn’t appear in any of my anchor text to links. I’ll add that.

I’ll hit “update.” I may share it on social media again to drive some new traffic to it. Then I’ll watch my analytics.

Follow the same process for other blog posts that are older than one year for that particular keyword.

The keyword analysis is actually the easy part. The tedious part-the labor of love, if you will-is refreshing the old content. But the results you’ll soon see for the keywords that are important to you will be worth it.

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. It’s from Andy Crestodina’sContent Chemistry.” If you haven’t read it, I recommend you pick up a copy. It will soon sit on your desk like the dictionary and the AP Stylebook.

Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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