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With a new year upon us, it’s a good time to check in on your SEO strategy, especially if it’s been a while or your organic SERPs are sagging. Today, we’ll cover some interesting keyword marketplace research tactics that are on the rise, plus the SEO tools you’ll need to implement.  

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Strategy: User Intent

One of the trickiest aspects of search is user intent: What does the user really want? For example, if I search “mortgages” I could want information about:

  • Mortgage products, i.e., mortgage rates
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Mortgage calculators
  • Or, I could just want more information about what mortgages are and how they work.

Google, of course, is very concerned about the intent of users across a wide range of searches. For an organic “mortgage” search, the search giant prioritizes the definition, mortgage products, and mortgage calculators. Further down are the branded pages from mortgage lenders.  

SEO Keyword Research

So a mortgage business looking to improve their organic SEO wouldn’t just want to focus on a sales page or information. Ideally, they’d optimize content for all of these interests.

Google has predicted that more than half of search queries will voice searches by 2020. Google’s betting on more voice-initiated search and so are many business SEO teams. Voice searches are different than typed searches because they tend to use natural language formed into questions or commands:

  • How do mortgages work?
  • What are today’s mortgage rates?
  • Find mortgage lenders near me.

Natural language searches like these lend themselves to long-tail keywords, long-tail keywords that your company can optimize and target for organic search with freshly tailored content. The best format for this is often an FAQ page that answers common product, industry, and brand questions. For more SEO impact, create FAQ info pages with these natural voice-search queries as <H2> headings.

Strategy: Long-Tail Keywords

The strategy of long-tail keywords continues to be a top tactic for organic search. More than half of all searches now contain four or more words.

Even better, the variety of search possibilities grows as search queries get longer. While some common long-tails will be just as competitive as short keywords, not all will be. This means that there is some sparsely populated keyword wilderness out there — a big opportunity if it’s a match for your brand and your customers.

Finally, if you’re not sure whether it’s worth the effort and resources to target a particular long-tail keyword, don’t worry: There’s an app for that. A number of tools, from free to enterprise level, can help marketers find the best keywords to target.

Tools: Free Basic Keyword Research

Of course, not everyone has a marketing budget to spare. We like two free web tools for this situation: – With a head term, this tool will return a list of suggested long-tail keywords. However, it doesn’t specify search volume and limits daily searches without an account.

KWFinder – Offers the same basic keyword research; however, it does provide basic search volume info. Also, has a limit for daily searches without an account.

Despite the limitations, these tools are better than no SEO keyword strategy at all. However, it’s worth it for a serious web business to look at adding an SEO tool for better results.

Tools: SEMRush

SEMRush is one of our favorite tools for in-depth keyword research, not least because it continues to add new features regularly. An organic research analytics report details competitors’ best keywords, position changes of domains, and emerging organic competitors. A keyword difficulty tool helps find keywords with less competition. And a position tracking tool helps with local and mobile search optimization.

Strategy Plus Tools

Put your choice of keyword tool together with user intent, natural voice search, and long-tail keyword strategies to make the most of your SEO in 2017. Keyword strategy isn’t going anywhere, especially when 93% of online activity begins with a search.

Need help with your SEO keyword marketplace research strategy? Call us at 313-338-9515 or email to learn how we can help.