Research and planning is a critical stage in an SEO campaign. As SEO is a longer-term strategy, ensuring targeting is aligned from the start is absolutely essential to avoid wasting time and resource. Imagine working on a keyphrase for 6-12 months, you want to make sure it’s the right one so when you finally get some traction it’s bringing through plenty of relevant traffic, depending on the objectives of the campaign. Broadly speaking, a research phase comprises of evaluating audience and keyphrase data, market analysis, on and off site audits and competitor research (amongst other tasks). All this information feeds into creating an SEO strategy and planning and prioritising the next steps for the campaign. However, while research takes place at the start of an SEO project and sets many of the foundational elements, it should be a continuously developing entity that’s challenged and refreshed regularly.
Markets don’t stand still and industries are changing all the time, consumer habits and search behaviours are constantly evolving and so should your research and strategic direction. Certain factors can greatly influence an SEO strategy and teams should anticipate and pro-actively implement changes and updates to their approach. For example, a client may introduce new products during a campaign which you need to react to or a piece of news might dramatically affect consumer opinion in a positive or negative way. The global pandemic has shown how quickly and dramatically search and online behaviour can change as a result of external factors.
As the campaign matures, different opportunities may become available or cause a shift in priorities. For example, in the early stages of a campaign, particularly high competition keyphrases might be out of the question. However, as the website grows and builds authority in certain areas, these high competition opportunities may seem more viable. Generally, SEO work has an overall positive effect across a site and as the campaign builds momentum you may want to add in additional keyphrase targets. Once keyphrases have established themselves in strong positions, competition levels may allow your to spread your efforts across maintaining those positions plus working on new search terms at the same time.
SEO Research Tools
Research tools and the data available that informs certain decisions may differ over time. The research tools for SEO 10 years ago aren’t a scratch on what we have access to now. Using better tools and the availability of more or better quality data will naturally lead to better decisions being made. Refreshing your research using a new SEO tools or after discovering new data sources could shed new light on your strategy or open up new opportunities you hadn’t explored.
It’s clear to say that refreshing SEO research throughout a campaign is going to provide multiple benefits, not matter the size of campaign. In our SEO process, we have specific checkpoints in place to review and re-analyse research element, data and strategies to ensure our approach is always as optimal as humanly possible! If you’d like to learn more about our SEO services or have any questions about research, get in touch with our team.