If you don’t think the English language is changing at a drastic pace, just check out the American Dialect Society’s words of the year from the past two decades. From “doomscrolling” to “woke” and from “stan” to “they,” it gets pretty clear that we’re inventing new ways to reference the wild changes we experience from one year to the next.
Which is why keyword research isn’t something you can check off your list just once. Rather than a one-and-done procedure, keyword research should be ongoing—because if you aren’t keeping up with the latest verbal trends and search terms, you’re just falling behind. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a follow-up review of the keywords you’re targeting, and how to check on the latest trends.
Why Keyword Trends Matter
Whether you’re launching an SEO or SEM campaign (or both), knowing what keywords to target is crucial. The bottom line is that it’s hard to see great results if you don’t know which direction you’re headed.
As mentioned above, keyword trends change dramatically over time. A few years ago, we were optimizing for simple keywords, for example, but more people than ever are looking for longtail keyword phrases—meaning that you won’t keep up if you’re sticking with outdated habits.
What’s more, it’s important to keep tabs on the changing dynamics of your target audience. Each audience speaks a little differently, and one audience might naturally use different search terms than another. Knowing your audience’s voice and researching the current phrases at the top of their minds can help you make a bigger impact in the search engine results pages.
How to Follow Keyword Trends
If you’ve already done basic keyword research, how do you update it with the latest trends? The truth is, doing another round of your normal keyword research never hurts. Just grab the keyword tools you’re most familiar with, and start doing some re-analysis.
However, there are also a few powerful modern tools that can help you find trending phrases to enter into your analysis. One of the best is Google Trends, which will present its findings in the form of helpful charts that show you how popular your search terms are (and, most importantly, whether their usage is rising or falling at the moment). Google’s Keyword Planner is another great tool, even if you aren’t running Adwords campaigns. Like Trends, it presents data as a chart to show you the number of monthly searches for a term. Pairing both of these tools can help you decide whether a new term is worth the effort of targeting.
Ultimately, robust keyword analysis—on an ongoing basis!—is absolutely necessary for any successful SEO strategy. Without the right keywords as the fundamental building blocks of your campaign, you’ll find your strategy crumbling before you’ve even had time to launch it.
As you move forward on your SEO journey, make sure to check out our other marketing tips and tricks. With the right pieces in place, you’ll find it much easier to climb the rankings in the search results!