Geonet SEO
3485 0799CALL NOW

The Vitality of keyword and Topical Research for Successful SEO.

October 11, 2023

In the digital industry it is very easy to lose sight of what search engine optimisation is all about. People can become so lost in keywords and rank that they forgot about the purpose of these things. Ranking in search engines for “x” or “y” keyword is not the end goal, conversion to sale is!

You can have a website that is optimised for Google, ranks for keywords, but does nothing for your turnover because it is not optimised for the right keywords, and is all about “pleasing the machine”.

How to guarantee SEO success? Targeting the right keywords!

Keyword research is considered the backbone of good SEO, and, truth be told, a time-consuming component. Keyword research takes into account the client, their competitors, their customers, as well as search engines (which technically has “learnt” from customers, but in more niche industries can miss the mark).

The goal of keyword research is to look at the keywords you do rank for, don’t rank for and relevant and achievable keywords that you could be ranking for to drive customers to your site. This needs to be measured against

  • What is an effective use of your budget i.e. 
    • is not so competitive that it would take too much work/ budget to rank for
    • has enough traffic and/or average cost of sale to warrant targeting
  • That the user has a pleasant experience when they reach your site - i.e it facilitates their purchasing from/engaging with your website. This means your website require:
    • Clear communication
      • Well crafted written content
      • Clear calls to action (which relates both to the content, and design) of your website - read more about this in our article “user focused web design”)
      • Aesthetically pleasing design
      • Clear navigation structure

See more on our article “optimising your site for SEO- a deep dive into on-page optimisation”

Key mistakes made in selecting target KWS

As a client of SEO services, it is wise to be open-minded about your keyword choices. Many people, clients and digital marketers alike make errors in going after keywords that are:

  • Too broad, which can mean:
    • Too competitive- may not mean ranking on page one at all, for example, “lawyer”may be a pipedream, but “lawyer Sunshine Coast” may be achievable. B) 
    • Lack buyer intent - if you sell vegan protein powder, protein powder may be to broad, whereas “buy protein powder” has greater intent. 
    • Attract the wrong sort of traffic - if you make red shoes, going after shoes is unnecessarily broad
    • Going after any old KWs, ranking from KWs unrelated to your product - this happens - sites can rank for things that seem a bit left field, just don’t purposively go after them! 

All of these keyword choices constitute a waste of your budget, potentially “knee-capping” you ROI!

Another key thing to note at this point is just because you call your product one thing, it does not mean your client’s do, they don’t have the in-depth knowledge that you do about your product than you do, so in some cases, this does mean going after a broader term than you would use yourself for “product” awareness sake, but it really depends on your niche.

Beyond keyword research...

It would be remiss of us to say keywords are the complete picture. They simply help understand from a search perspective using data. They help build "Topical Relevance" but they never replace the deeper understanding gleaned from clients. Understanding the needs, goals, and industry is far more important than just knowing the numbers when it comes to what words rank where!

Not to mention brand positioning, UX, UI, and the old adage "form must follow function"!

Most SEO's talk keywords because it is often easier to productise services for clients with little need of really looking at what the results are intended to be. Sure, for a plastic surgeon who wants Rhinoplasty clients, the conversation will, and probably should, revolve around the limited set of terms from the clients' perspective. BUT it is certainly not the only way to get results... And for SEO agencies there is a limited view on client relationships where they lock-in contracts for keywords with little regard for actual profit. It is not the way to hold retention when clients can agree they are getting the traffic but without conversion they are likely to be turned off (unless it is a pure vanity play - and yes, that is a valid thing!).

Clearly much can be said on the matter and we may address this further sometime. Suffice it to say, it is vital to do solid research, but, it is not "just" keyword research that makes for success. Understanding your clients needs is. This means, understanding their goals and they may be deeper than the client consciously knows.


In assisting in understanding the needs of the client, our job is also to help them understand their needs.

  • How do they measure success? (achievable goals not just "making money" - and more mature clients will understand there are or can be various benchmarks of success).
  • What have they tried and what have they considered?
  • When do they aim to get there and what are the obstacles to it? (i.e. some organisations can only handle a small amount of growth before it tips them into large expenditure to cater for scale)
  • What are the easiest wins and what are the most profitable? (and how are they different)
  • What has a direct impact on their goals (be it financial etc.)

These are just a way for us to also understand the business itself, what it does, the industry it is in as well as the politics and pitfalls which may be lurking! Additionally, the opportunities and ideas for further research and pivot opportunities that can arise from that. A topic I would like to expand on in much greater detail some time in the future.

For now, to come full circle, and relate this back to keywords; Keywords and topics are excellent guides to know the consumer and broader market. The myriad of research tools and the know-how to use them are also great guides. But understanding the goals, the client and the market also help identify new trends in search heuristics and evolving market landscapes as a result. Clearly, a lot more can be discussed, and I may do so in deeper discussions on specific aspects of this.

Why choose geonet for your SEO?

At Geonet we take a human approach to digital marketing, taking the time to get to know you, your business, industry and customers, as well as they way that Google and other search engines se your Niche.

We look for and remove barriers to your website’s performance in search engines, as well as barriers to your customer to sale, be it confusing sales copy, indirect calls to action or contact details. 

We target achievable keyword focused on getting real potential clients to your site.

 If you are looking for SEO success - conversion to sale, not ranking for ridiculous keywords - contact us now to discuss your business needs and objectives.

Recent Post

Book a free strategy session

What we do will drive results that are measurable on the bottom line. That is why our clients don’t leave, it’s also why we don’t need to lock you in to those ridiculous contracts.

Want to have an informal chat about how we might be able to help you? 

Book a free strategy session below.
Book a FREE strategy call
Bookings are typically held via zoom.
You will need a camera and microphone.
Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved.