How Top SEO Agencies Uncover Added Value in Keyword Research

Jen Saunders
Reading Time:6minutes

Google rolls out more than 300 algorithm updates each year–that’s almost one per day, and although not all are considered major updates, this means a single keyword strategy simply isn’t viable in today’s organic landscape. 

The best SEO agencies have a lot to keep tabs on when it comes to helping brands achieve organic growth and staying highly visible in Google’s SERPs.

Old school SEO formulas once determined that the number one Google search result garnered roughly 30% of all clicks, the second result got a tad over 10%, and the third result seeing around five percent. But this is an outdated formula for multiple reasons. With an increase in PPC and paid media, and given the fact that buyers do an abundance of research before making a purchasing decision, and this same buyer’s psyche is a lot more discerning with their clicks, meaning that page one link placement in the SERPs is not the main motivator to garner clicks but rather meta descriptions and their ability to speak intimately to the searcher’s pain points are the spark that initiate more clicks, which lead to organic conversions.

But in order to rank content, the best SEO agencies know to use the right keywords, in the right context, that deliver messages speaking to specific buyer’s needs with solutions, and with meta descriptions that accurately reflect the page’s content. But how does one dig deep to uncover added keyword value? This article is intended to educate brands on what to look for in an SEO agency, while providing advanced education on how today’s SEO relies on a thorough keyword strategy with an overall cutting edge SEO strategy that will improve traffic volume, as well as quantity.

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The Kind of SEO Agencies You Should Seek for a Winning Keyword Strategy

Before we delve into how the best SEO agencies approach a keyword strategy, let’s first determine how to find a solid one that can help you achieve your goals. There is only one kind of organic search provider that can offer mid-size and larger brands a keyword and content strategy that will truly generate revenue, and these are growth marketing agencies specializing in SEO as part of a growth stack. 

Traditional (most) SEO agencies focus their efforts on rankings. But growth marketing agencies fueled by SEO in a way that feeds every gambit of a marketing funnel intertwined SEO with other strategies and tech tools to attract buyers, nurture them, and convert them into buyers. That said, look for SEO service providers that offer organic search strategies as a part of a growth marketing stack.

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How Growth Marketing Stacks Provide Added Keyword Value for SEO

Growth marketing stacks have a CRM like HubSpot–a single platform that enables marketing automation, lead segmentation, and that gives SEO agencies analytics on all marketing channels in one screen view. One way that growth-driven SEO agencies are able to uncover added value in their keyword research is to look at the leads that come in. HubSpot technology allows marketers to see high-level details on leads that Google Analytics alone fails to provide. For example, the SEO team can see the name of each lead, where they work, what their job title is, and where they converted to a lead. It also shows what pieces of content they engaged with, and which ones converted them to a lead. High-level information like this allows SEO agencies to add context to their keywords and create longtail varieties that will rank content according to the searcher’s specific needs. This is a goldmine of data that enables SEO companies to optimize audience targeting tactics through a growth stack framework, improve keyword quality, and design content that offers solutions all while running like a flawless machine engineered to do three things: lead-generating, nurturing, and closing the sale. 

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Featured Snippets and “People Also Ask” (PAA) Boxes

Featured Snippets appear at the top of the page below the first link existing as a format designed to provide users with direct, concise answers to their immediate questions so that the user doesn’t have to click into the link and read through the content to get an answer. Here is an example of featured snippets for the question “how is tequila made”:

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“People Also Ask” (PAA) boxes show similar search queries that users make thus revealing a great deal behind intentions and their true pain points. Sticking to the same question of “how is tequila made”, you can view the PAA box which appears between the second and seventh results thus existing as the 2nd through 6th organic result on the page:

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The best SEO agencies have veteran strategists that will compare the featured snippets and PAA boxes that revolve around main keywords and search queries, and find opportunities for longtail keyword variations. For example, if we look at these two examples, and the goal is to rank content for people who want to know how tequila is made, then keywords could include “tequila made from agave”, “agave juice”, “blue agave tequila”, and “how is tequila produced”, as some examples.

Clearly, the search demand speaks loud and clear, and so long as you can feed well-written content written for your target audience, and use these keywords as powerful anchors, you will be maximizing your keyword power unlike most others.

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Related Searches

Related Searches function similarly to PAA boxes in that they show similar search queries. This feature is located at the bottom of each page and features similar searches Google deems as relatable material. In continuing with the question “how is tequila made”, this is what Google’s related searches are:

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Here, we can see that “how to make tequila at home” is a related search, and this could be an ideal longtail keyword to use in some content that talks about the similarities and differences between making large batches of tequila versus small amounts.

The best SEO agencies are able to squeeze added value from keywords by knowing their client’s customers, having an approach grounded in a deep understanding of how they make purchasing decisions, and SEO strategists use these keywords generated from related searches, featured snippets and PAA boxes to optimize educational, high-quality content designed to rank for specific buyers, and precise moments in their buyer’s journey. In the meantime, average SEO agencies use their keyword generation tool, slap a list together based on high-search volume, and neglect the big picture–understanding how people engage content before buying. As a result, they will rank for search terms that attract poor-quality traffic, and will be ranking to the moon with a poor conversion rate.

Want to Learn More About WEBITMD’s Modern Approach to SEO?

Keyword research is just a fraction of the entire picture. Download our FREE guide and learn how our growth-driven SEO strategy helps businesses hit their revenue goals unlike any other. You will likely have questions. You may even want to know how our SEO strategy works in a Growth Stack. Give us a call and let us learn about your business goals, and let’s explore the best approach to help you improve your bottom line reporting.
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About
Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.