Analyzing Keywords For Best SEO Results

Analyzing Keywords For Best SEO Results

Keyword research is a crucial foundation of any SEO strategy. Finding the right terms to target provides the roadmap to drive qualified organic traffic that converts. While the initial search and discovery process gives you raw keyword data, taking the time to deeply analyze and classify this list is what transforms it into an actionable game plan.

This brings us to step two of a complete keyword research workflow – analyzing keywords. In the prior step, we covered tactics to identify a wide range of seed keywords to feed the engine. 

Now we need to make sense of all this data to strategically filter and focus target groups. By evaluating attributes like search intent and ranking difficulty, you begin separating the wheat from the chaff.

Analyzing Keywords

One of the most important things to analyze for each keyword is intent. This refers to the goal or purpose behind a user’s search query. There are three main types of intent:

Navigational Intent

Navigational queries indicate the user wants to visit a specific website they already have in mind. For example, searching for “Amazon” or “Wikipedia.” These terms don’t necessarily relate to a specific informational need.

Transactional Intent

Transactional queries indicate the user wants to make some sort of purchase or transaction. For example, searching for a product or service like “iPhone case” or “flights to London”. These terms relate to commercial intent and conversions.

Informational Intent

Informational queries indicate the user is seeking knowledge or education around a topic. For example, searching for “how to lose weight” or “causes of global warming.” These terms relate to research-based needs and helping queries.

Understanding the intent behind keywords allows you to better align content and site architecture to user goals. For SEO, informational and transactional terms often have the most potential.

Analyzing Keywords For Best SEO Results

Considering Keyword Competitiveness

Another key factor to analyze is competitiveness. This gives insight into how hard it will be to rank for a given term. We can break down keywords into three competitiveness tiers:

High Competition Keywords

These keywords are very hard to rank for given the high volume of large, authoritative sites targeting them already. For example, huge niches like “fitness tips” or massive industries like “car insurance”. Difficult without a very strong, established site.

Medium Competition Keywords

These keywords still have some established sites targeting them, but with effort, you can likely break into the first few pages of rankings. For example, more niche fitness terms like “best workout routines for women over 40”. More attainable targets.

Low Competition Keywords

These keywords are much easier to target since they have little to no established domain authority already ranking for them. For example, very specific long tail keywords like “silent reflux diet menu plan”. Far easier to create great content and eigenvector centrality.

Evaluating keyword difficulty helps you focus on ranking for terms that match your current website strength and growth goals.

Evaluating Keyword Difficulty

To complement competitiveness classification, we can evaluate more precise keyword difficulty metrics:

Domain Authority Metrics

Domain authority score (DA) indicates the strength and ranking capability of competing sites targeting that keyword. High DA competition means greater difficulty ranking.

Page Authority Metrics

Page authority score (PA) specifically measures the strength of pages already ranking for that exact keyword, also indicating relative difficulty to surpass.

Spam Score Metrics

The spam score calculates the quality of sites in the top rankings. Higher scores equal lower quality and more opportunity for you to outrank them with authority content.

Checking a keyword’s DA, PA, and spam scores paints a complete picture of the precise SEO difficulty and barriers to competing for rankings.

Analyzing Keywords For Best SEO Results


How can I evaluate keyword competition?

Break keywords down into high, medium, and low competition tiers based on factors like the volume of established sites targeting the term, the authority of ranking domains, and niche specificity.

What metrics indicate keyword difficulty?

Key metrics that quantify keyword difficulty include Domain Authority score, Page Authority score, and Spam score of current sites ranking on page one. Use these to complement competitiveness categorization.

How often should I revisit my keyword targets?

Continually track keyword performance and refine your target lists at least quarterly. More aggressive monitoring monthly or even weekly during initial SEO phases can help you capitalize on trends and shifts in intent faster over time.

Why is understanding intent important for SEO?

Aligning content to answer user intent improves click-through rates and time-on-site, signaled in rankings. Intent also focuses on content creation and site architecture to match search expectations.


By taking the time to analyze keywords from multiple angles – including user intent, competitiveness tiers, and keyword difficulty metrics – you can refine an SEO-strategic target list with higher potential value and return on effort. 

Group keywords by theme and priority to further guide your content and optimization approach. Stay nimble by tracking performance and adjusting targets accordingly over time. Patience and persistence pay dividends.

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