You’ve likely heard me say that SEO done right works every time. Part of doing SEO correctly is making sure you have up-to-date keyword research. Which probably leads you to wonder how often you should do SEO topic research. Like many frequency questions in business, the answer is “it depends.”
You probably want to do complete SEO research each year, but there are times when it makes sense to do supplemental research along the way.
Why Do SEO Topic Research?
Before we get too far, let’s talk about why you want to do SEO topic research at all. If you think you already have a good grasp of the importance of SEO, feel free to skip to the next section.
Search Engine Optimization involves scientific strategies and optimizations on your website that help it rank higher in online searches. The more visibility your website gets through search engines, the more likely it is that it will capture the attention of site visitors, leading to more business.
Writing with keywords means using the words you found through your SEO research that people were searching for to get them to your site. They search for the word or phrase, and your site pops up, so they visit. It’s a simple overview of how SEO research results in organic traffic to your website.
SEO research helps you:
- Recognize Audience Needs. Audience needs change over time, and so does your business. Updated keyword research helps you identify new ways to serve your audience with your content.
- Improve Website Traffic. SEO helps drive people to your website when you can answer their questions or offer products or services they need. Updating your SEO research allows you to attract more people to your site.
- Get Better Search Rankings. SEO research can help you tweak keywords to better rankings of certain pages or posts on your site. Better rankings in search mean more traffic and visibility for your brand.
- Have a Competitive Advantage. When you perform SEO research, you can see where there are gaps in your competitors’ SEO strategies. This knowledge allows you to create content to fill those gaps, serving the audience and outranking your competitors.
These are just some of the things SEO research does for your business. Most importantly, SEO research helps you deliver helpful content that gets your business noticed.
How Often to Do SEO Topic Research
Answering the question about how often to do SEO topic research is a bit tricky. Here’s why. SEO research isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s more of an ongoing process instead of a one-time event. The reason is that there are a ton of factors that affect your research and its relevance.
Factors that impact SEO research include:
- Keyword Trends. The popularity of any specific keyword changes over time, so what you may not have identified as a term worth targeting last time you did research may be worthwhile in the future.
- Search Behavior. What people search for changes. That means keywords are always changing. Doing regular SEO research keeps you apprised of these changes and adjusting accordingly.
- Industry Changes. Industries change, develop, and even embrace new terms, which alters the keywords you should use.
- Business Changes. You’ll want to go after different keywords as you launch new products or services.
At Content Journey, we recommend our clients do completely new keyword research at least once a year. In the meantime, we keep an eye on additional keywords they may want to focus on because of changes in their business or industry. We also recommend content audits to determine what keywords aren’t getting the attention they should and revise the content for greater traffic.
Signs that It’s Time to Update Your SEO Research
You can look at the factors listed above and have a pretty good idea of when it’s time to update your SEO research. If you make major changes to your business goals or offerings, you’ll want to perform SEO research to help your website fully reflect those changes.
You also want to update your SEO research if your site no longer performs well. If you see significant dips in traffic or rankings, it may mean that your keyword strategy isn’t working as well as it once did. This adjustment can happen for many reasons, including changes in what people are searching for, new competition for the same keywords, and algorithm updates. Google changes its search criteria relatively often, so keeping up with those trends is worth it.
You also want to watch for outdated content on your site. Content containing dead links, outdated year references, etc. can drag down your overall search results. While it may not be worth entire site SEO research, it’s certainly worth finding new ways to update and capitalize on that content.
The Role of the Content Map
A content map is how you get the most out of your keyword research.
Content mapping is a content plan that effectively guides potential customers through the customer journey. It allows you to create targeted, strategic content that addresses buyers at different stages of their customer lifecycle to lead them to purchase.
Your content map also determines to some extent how often you should do new SEO topic research. When you plan your content, you ensure you reach people with the information they need at each stage of their buyer’s journey. You also strategically determine how best to use each keyword you identified as worthwhile in your research. That way, you don’t leave any keywords out, and you don’t try to rank for the same keyword with multiple pieces of content.
With content mapping, you know it’s time to do new keyword research when you’re out of terms to target. That’s when it’s time to perform a content audit and consider adding new relevant search terms.
Why Not Update Keywords More Frequently?
At this point you may be asking, if keywords are so important, why not update them more frequently? Why not look at them monthly or even quarterly?
The truth is that some people recommend you update your keyword strategy much more frequently, but there are some negatives to doing it too often unless you’ve made major changes to your business offerings.
If you update your keyword strategy too frequently, you can’t see the impact of your changes. SEO content done right will always work for your business, but it takes time. It’s a crockpot, not a microwave. You have to leave things set for them to work. You can’t just set a one-minute timer and expect SEO to be done.
Updating your keyword strategy too frequently can be negative because:
- Results Take Time. It takes time to see the results of your keyword strategy because search engines don’t immediately crawl and index your website. If you make changes too frequently, your rankings may suffer simply because search engines don’t have time to consider your site fully.
- It Lacks Consistency. You must build authority and trust with search engines to get high rankings. If you change your SEO approach too often, it may harm these factors.
- Wasted Investment. SEO research takes a lot of time to do well if you do it yourself. And those costs can add up if you pay for an SEO expert to perform your research.
When it comes to SEO topic research, less isn’t more, but more isn’t necessarily best. You’re looking for a balance that works for your business and gets you the results you want.
Let Content Journey Drive Your SEO Strategy
Whether you need new SEO research, a content audit, or SEO content writing services, Content Journey can help. We know what it takes to get organic traffic on your website. Contact us today, and let’s get started.