When Business Meets SEO: How to Research & Select Unexplored Keywords to Avoid Cannibalization, Reach New Clients & Grow Visibility Twice
Blogging offers nothing but benefits, as it increases website traffic and brings more customers to your online store. But what if you run out of blog post topic ideas? What if you’re left with no new keywords to optimize your blog content for? No worries. Merge your knowledge of SEO with business thinking to discover completely new keywords, ideal for your blogging and further content optimization.
Table of contents:
- Keyword Research – Why Do You Need to Do This?
- Keyword Cannibalization: Why Optimizing Several Pages for the Same Keyword Makes a Really Bad Idea
- New List of Keywords to Reach New Customers
- Define a New Buyer Persona & Think Who May Benefit from the Solution You Offer
- Analyze Your New Keywords for SEO
- Exploring the Potential of Long Tail Keywords
- Exploring Keywords Using Other Company Blogs
- Alternative Approach: Check What Keywords Your Pages Already Rank for
- Effects & the Real-Life Example of How to Reach More Prospects Using New Keywords
I’m going to show you how exploring new keyphrases can double your website visibility and allow you to reach new clients
What you will learn:
- what your next step is when you’ve already written quality posts + optimized them both for all your branded keywords and those connected directly with your offer
- what keyword cannibalization is + how to easily avoid it
- how to constantly create valuable blog content to attract new groups of customers without risking cannibalization
- how to use analytical tools to research new keywords + how to pick the keywords with the highest potential to get you more converting visitors
Keyword Research – Why Do You Need to Do This?
Every post published on your company blog should fulfill at least one precisely defined role. Mostly, it’s about creating a relationship between a brand and its audience. However, a well-written and a well-optimized blog post can actually drive more organic traffic. Later, this traffic may convert to leads, and eventually, the leads may be turned into sales.
When you start blogging, the topics you cover are usually determined by the target and branded keywords you’ve researched and selected beforehand. For example, if you sell camera equipment, a great blog post idea may be a review of two top lenses used for street photography, which are available in your store. This helps you achieve three business goals:
- strengthen the key phrases the website is optimized for (e.g. “canon camera lenses”, “canon 35 mm camera lenses”),
- establish your position as an expert and authority in the field, and
- get a user to purchase one of the reviewed products from you
When it comes to keyword research itself, there are three cases when this process goes smoothly. You shouldn’t have any problems selecting the right keywords when:
- your offer or scope of service is wide
- your website isn’t optimized for search engines yet
- you’ve just started working on a new website
What’s more, even if you can’t reach a broad audience with your products, finding niche keywords is still absolutely doable for you. You just need to have the right tools at your disposal and switch on your critical business thinking.
What if You Can’t Find More Keywords?
The issue gets a bit more complicated when you have already utilized all of your main and niche keywords for optimizing the web content and managed to rank high for those phrases. Does that mean you should give up on running the blog?
The moment you stop carrying on with the writing process is the very moment your website growth stops too. Does it mean you should go through the list of keywords one more time, and utilize them again for new blog posts?
If you create more blog posts and optimize them for the same keywords you already used for other pages, you risk keyword cannibalization. Even though Google won’t rather punish you for targeting the same keywords across multiple pages, this still may have a negative effect on your website SEO: you may lose the rankings for the pages sharing the same keywords (more on that below).
What’s the solution then?
In such a situation, I suggest looking at your offer from a broader perspective. Combine the process of researching new keywords (the ones you may use for further content optimizations) with adapting critical business thinking.
Basically, you need to answer two questions:
QUESTION #1: How do I get more people interested in my products/services?
QUESTION #2: How can I use the blogging process to reach those people, and promote my business?
This is the very moment when your business meets SEO. Let me show you how we, at Delante, help our clients marry those two elements for incredible results.
Yet, before that, a quick word about why ranking your pages for the same set of keywords won’t get you anywhere.
Keyword Cannibalization: Why Optimizing Several Pages for the Same Keyword Makes a Really Bad Idea
Imagine you print out 5 of your blog posts on street photography lenses, and put each one of them separately on the wall. Then, you stick a yellow memo with “the best street photography lenses” keyword to each printout.
Now, you let a person into the room and ask them to pick just one blog post on the best street photography lenses, without reading it. Which blog post will they pick? Will it be the post you want them to choose (because its main purpose is to convince the person to buy the product)? If given another chance, will the person choose the same printout again? The outcome is pretty unpredictable.
The same happens with search engines. When they see that one keyword is assigned to a few pages within one domain, Google bots get confused. They can’t decide which page to show to the searcher to do both: match the searcher’s intent and attain your business goal, so it calls out the pages at random.
This means that your potential customers may see a blog post that either
- doesn’t match their search intent → they leave your website → higher bounce rate
- doesn’t encourage them to take up the action you want them to take → no engagement → no conversion
As a result, instead of driving more web traffic, you make life harder both for Google bots and internet users. Simply put, you waste time and money on content creation.
Yet, there are more downsides to keyword cannibalization. It can also harm your content quality, internal linking, and crawl budget.
More on the dire consequences of cannibalization in What is Keyword Cannibalization and How Does It Affect SEO?
New List of Keywords to Reach New Customers
Imagine, you sell led lights. Your current goal is to get more people to buy your led wristbands.
Naturally, first, you optimize the main page, category, and product pages for the main and branded keyword. Then you create blog content that revolves around your offer, often answering users’ most common questions related to the products you sell.
When the pages rank for phrases like “which led wristband to choose” or “best led wristbands”, you reach the prospects who look specifically for this gadget – know it exists, and they are interested in buying it?
I assume you already have your blog posts ranking on such keywords. So instead of focusing on the decisive buyers with precisely identified needs and a clear picture of the outcome they want to get through using your product/service, let’s reach further. Let’s grab the attention of those searchers who may not know your product/service exists or that it might be useful for them.
This way your brand pops up on the screens of prospects that may not have the slightest clue your products/service might be the answer to their needs. Sounds promising? Sure it does!
To do this right, you need to go through two stages.
STAGE 1 Define a New Buyer Persona & Think Who May Benefit from the Solution You Offer
At this stage, try adopting a broader perspective. Later, combine your findings with SEO. Here’s how to do it.
First, take a close look at your offer. Think about who else may find your product/service useful and who are the products perfect for, however – that’s important – who may not know such an item exists or may not consider buying it at first .
Let’s use the same example – your offer includes led products, one of which is a led wristband. Obviously, if somebody knows they want to wear something glowing on their wrists, they type a phrase like “led wristband buy” into the search bar and go to your site as you have optimized one of your pages for this keyword and they know that they are precisely looking for.
Let’s think for a while about who else may be happy to use the led wristband, but doesn’t know that yet. To me, it would be for example:
- a sportsperson who exercises outside, often at night or at low visibility: e.g. runners, cyclists, roller skaters, mountaineers
- parents who want to make their kid safer: e.g during school trips, commuting to school, playing outside
- a brand that can use led wristbands as branded gadgets: e.g. as a small gift for their clients, a gadget given away at a trade fair, promo products
- an event agency that can use led wristbands as an element worn by all the attendees, e.g. concerts and festivals (check: Coldplay’s 2012 Mylo Xyloto tour)
- a dog owner who wants to be more visible during night walks
Later, you need to come up with all the physical qualities that characterize your product. Again, let’s take the led wristbands as an example:
- relatively cheap
- come in various colors
- visible at night
Being aware of those qualities facilitates defining your product more broadly. This, in turn, helps you widen the range of applications it offers, and the number of needs it satisfies. This is proven immensely helpful in coming up with new blog post ideas.
Do you need more examples? Okay, so let’s explore other areas.
Residential construction industry: Let’s take wooden pallets. When looking for keywords, don’t focus only on their prime application, which is to support goods while being lifted by a fork truck. Try showing the wooden pallets to those who like simple pieces of furniture made from the very wooden pallets. You may even take a step further and create a DIY blog to publish easy-to-follow projects for those who like creating stuff from the pallet planks.
When it comes to blogging, it’s worth realizing that writing posts that revolve around one product, yet target various clients, has a positive effect on your conversion rate.
Naturally, the chance of attracting those who aren’t aware of the products you offer is lower than reaching those who have clearly defined needs and look exactly for a led wristband/pocket first aid kit / wooden pallets. Yet, you need to be aware that such blog posts play an important role in increasing your brand awareness and helping to grow your audience.
STAGE 2 Analyze Your New Keywords for SEO
Once you come up with new ideas for your blog posts, you need to check whether the searchers actually look for such content. In other words, you must be sure your initial ideas cover topics that are actually searched for by internet users
For that reason, when creating a blog post, always optimize it for the keywords that have the potential to bring a new audience to your website. And for that, you absolutely need to run a keyword analysis. Here are two ideas on how to do it:
- check the metrics of chosen and related keywords
- look up the results that appear on Google after typing a particular keyphrase
In a moment you will learn how to use both solutions.
Before, however, there is one more thing you need to realize. For both methods, you need an SEO tool that shows the basic keyword metrics. To me, it’s Ahrefs, but it doesn’t mean it has to be your go-to, too.
Resign from Overly General Keywords
Going for high-volume keywords is tempting and seems logical, yet it’s worth bearing in mind that such phrases may be simply too general, meaning hard to rank for.
Keyphrases like “gift ideas for kids” or “best gifts for kids” have a high search volume, that’s obvious. However, the chances that a person who puts this keyword into the Google search bar wants to buy a led bracelet for their kid are slim, aren’t they?
Besides, the chances to rank high for such general and highly-competitive keywords are rather slim.
Instead, think about the qualities of your product (the same way we did it above), and take them into account while formulating and selecting the new keywords. Led wristband is relatively cheap, which means your blog post may answer the search intent of a person typing:
- “inexpensive gifts for kids”,
- “cheap kid’s gifts”, or
- “small gifts for preschoolers”.
Even “classroom awards ideas for first-grade students” may be more profitable for you as awards given to pupils are usually relatively cheap, small, and purposeful (promote safety). Besides, such a keyword is definitely less competitive (I’ll show you how to run a keyword competition analysis in a moment).
In addition, optimizing blog posts for long tail keywords brings to your website those who actually look for the items you offer: small, inexpensive and purposeful – just as your led wristbands. Once you welcome such a searcher on your website, they’re more likely to convert.
Now that you understand the power of long tail keywords, let’s see how you can verify the potential of the new keywords you want to rank for.
Exploring the Potential of Long Tail Keywords
Naturally, the more keyword analysis you perform, the better you are at selecting the phrases that deliver the desired result. It’s way easier for experienced SEOs, who have conducted thousands of such analyses in their lifetimes, to come up with new long tail keywords that improve conversion rates.
However, it doesn’t mean your analysis won’t help you pick the right keywords for writing the new-audience-enticing blog posts.
This is how the process of coming up with new keywords should be carried out.
STEP 1 Start with creating a mind map or a list of associations that revolve around your product. In the case of the led wristband, these could be the following:
- it’s useful for runners as it keeps them safe while exercising outdoors
- it’s a great small gift idea
- it’s affordable
After gathering those 3 qualities, create a broad keyword. To me, it would be “gifts for runners”. Later, while analyzing the information shown on this keyword in Ahrefs (or other analytical tool of your choice), look for the phrases that match your products best. Then, you need to insert these phrases into your blog post to match the search intent of your future prospects.
STEP 2 Log into Ahrefs. From the top navigation bar select Keyword Explorer.
STEP 3 Type the keyword you want to check and click the magnifying glass icon. This time, we would check the “gifts for runners” keyword.
SIDE NOTE At this stage, checking such a broad keyword makes sense because this allows you to see similar keywords that you can add to your list and use later as ideas for other blog posts.
STEP 4 The tool shows you basic keyword metrics: search volume, traffic potential, and keyword difficulty. Additionally, at this stage, I advise you to click Matching terms (left sidebar) to find other keywords that may fit the purpose even better.
STEP 5 What you see is a list of matching keywords + their metrics. All you have to do now is scan the items with your eyes to find the very phrases that meet all the requirements described above.
Again, creating a new blog post and optimizing it for a broad keyword such as “gift for runners” may not give you the expected results. However, if you take a closer look at the list shown in the screenshot below, you may find a phrase that is more suited for the job – I’m talking about “cheap gifts for runners”. Although the search volume is clearly lower, its business and sales-increasing potential is higher.
Exclude the Keywords That Don’t Describe Your Product
Unfortunately, there is no one simple rule that would always make you pick the right keywords. Sometimes it’s more of a trial-and-error process.
Each time you need to go through the list and select the phrases whose:
✅ search volume is at least satisfactory, and
✅ align with the products you offer.
The good news, however, is that you can help yourself a bit and use filters to sift through the keywords that currently have no use for you.
TIP #1 If you realize that Ahrefs shows you branded keywords, you may exclude them from the list.
TIP #2 Also, you may want to remove polysemous words – those carrying various meanings. Take the word paper, for example. If you sell copy printer paper, you don’t need keywords typed by people looking for a newspaper.
Get Inspired by the Searchers
Here is how you can take a shortcut. After all, you don’t always need to rack your brain to think up the keywords. Instead, make use of what your audience already types into the search bar.
TIP #1 See what you can find in the Questions tab. You will be surprised how many gems you may find there.
Here you can find a list of questions that users type to the search engine. This way you can either insert one or some of those inquiries into your blog post (e.g. in the title or subheadings) or create a separate copy that answers one of the questions.
TIP #2 I’d also like to encourage you to take a look at what is hidden in Related terms and Search suggestions (again, left sidebar).
As the name suggests, those two tabs display keywords and keyphrases that revolve around the inspected keyword. Going through the information found in the above process, you may discover that the phrase you’re thinking about utilizing in one of your blog posts actually may not be popular among the searchers. In this case, you may want to reach for similar keywords that are laid out for you in Related terms and Search suggestions.
Exploring Keywords Using Other Company Blogs
Sometimes it may be hard for you to come up with new keywords that would bring traffic from the search result page to your website.
No worries, though. I have a clever way to find such phrases. You just need to approach this process a bit differently – start with finding the unexplored keywords using the Google Search Bar.
Let’s carry on with the gift ideas for runners. This time, however, we’re going to add one of the adjectives describing your potential product: cheap.
Hit Enter and Google will show you the results optimized for the very keyphrase.
Assuming your product costs less than $30 – after all, it’s a led wristband – you can pick the very first result and analyze it.
STEP 1 Copy the URL and open Ahrefs.
STEP 2 Paste the URL to the search bar. Click the magnifying glass icon.
What you see is the general information on the particular page.
Yet, the things that are the most precious for you at this stage are hidden in the left sidebar – click Organic keywords.
STEP 3 Go through the data shown in the Organic keyword tab. This section shows the list of keywords for which a given URL shows up to users in Google search.
Such a list of keywords may be your source of inspiration. Based on the findings, you may spot a completely new list of keywords and blog post ideas you may never come up with on your own.
SIDE NOTE Research shows that people click more eagerly on headings containing numbers. Therefore, I suggest creating articles titled: 5 Ideas for a Small Gift for Runners or Cheap Kids’ Gifts – 3 Brilliant Items Your Child’s Gonna Love. Keep this in mind.
Alternative Approach: Check What Keywords Your Pages Already Rank for
The above strategy is effective (proof below), and I recommend you give it a go. However, to make the proper use of it, you need to have an idea of the keywords that you may use for your blog posts.
What should you do if you lack such ideas? You may consider finding the inspiration – aka new keywords – in your Google Search Console.
It sometimes happens that Google notices an unobvious connection between a piece of content and a searcher’s intent. In other words, your blog post may be called out by keywords or queries you have never optimized it for. Surprising, right?
Naturally, you shouldn’t expect such a blog post to rank high because it rather won’t. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t help improve its ranks.
If such a “new” keyword appears in low positions, think about using it for optimizing one of your existing blog posts. Alternatively, you may consider writing a new article and optimizing it for the very keyword.
Okay, let’s get to the point, and learn how to find the “new” keywords.
STEP 1 Log into Google Search Console and select Search results.
STEP 2 From the 4 color blocks, select Average position.
This way you generate a list of all keywords and information on their positions.
As you see, these keywords take high positions. Also, these phrases are already used for optimization, meaning these aren’t the keywords you’re looking for now.
STEP 3 To find the keywords you want, you use a filter to extract keywords that are outside the top 50. Later, sort the results by impressions, and you have your new set of keywords you may use to optimize existing blog articles or create new blog posts.
Effects & the Real-Life Example of How to Reach More Prospects Using New Keywords
Employing the above-described strategy to find new keywords, and later using them for your blogging process can give you the outcomes you want – increased visibility and more click-throughs.
Below I’m presenting to you the results I succeeded in achieving for one of my clients:
I hope you find these three charts as clear indicators of success, and a drive to have a go at combining SEO with business thinking.
Businesses of all sizes and shapes benefit from running a company blog. Each blog post makes a great opportunity to attract new customers, increase website visibility, and spread the word about your amazing brand.
The thing is that sometimes the list of topics you can write about is already covered. Or does it only seem to be covered?
When you hit a wall with inventing new topics for your blog posts, think about who else may find your products/services useful. Think about some alternative applications for your products. Consider in which situations your product may appear to be a life-saver or even just a nice-to-have thing.
With every unique blog posts optimized for not-used-before keywords, you:
- increase the chance of reaching new customers
- convince new people to buy from you
- help people figure out the unobvious benefits of your product
- expand a company’s brand & awareness
- avoid cannibalization & duplicate content
The list of advantages is way longer, trust me.
To be successful in blogging, you need to keep searching for new keywords that your prospects type into the search browser regularly.
Now, when you’ve almost finished reading my copy, you’re perfectly able to explore those new keywords on your own. You know the tricks, you know the tools to reach for, and you know how to go through the entire process.
Marry SEO knowledge with your critical business thinking, and create customer-attracting blog posts. I wholeheartedly encourage you to adopt the described approach to blogging, just like we do this here, at Delante. Indeed, we’re more than just SEOs, as our SEO strategies always include clients’ business goals. Only in this way are we able to promote our clients’ business growth.
However, if you don’t have the time to do the research on new keywords, if you don’t have the right tools for that, or if you simply need a skilled copywriter to prepare a set of copies ready to publish on your website – let us know.
“This article is an excellent resource for businesses looking to improve their SEO strategy. Your approach to researching and selecting unexplored keywords is insightful and thorough. The idea of avoiding cannibalization and reaching new clients through keyword selection is innovative and exactly what businesses need to stay ahead of the competition. The focus on growing visibility twice by using this method is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing such valuable information. Keep up the great work!”