SEO Industry Updates – March 2019

seo industry updates

The Right Way to Use Competitor Keywords


According to Search Engine Journal, Keyword Research is described as “finding the best-performing keywords (golden keywords) that generate steady revenue.” Keyword research can be completed and analyzed in a variety of ways, but some of the best-performing keywords can be found by looking at your competitors.

Search Engine Journal recently put together an article to help marketers enhance their keyword research through competitor analyzation. Here is our summary of that article.

Finding Keywords through Competitor SEO/PPC Research

Step 1: Evaluate Paid Semantics

  • Generate a list of your client’s top 10 competitors in their niche.
  • Analyze the keywords that those competitors are using in their Google Ads campaigns.
  • Review the competitor’s ad history and pick from the keywords that they have been using in their campaigns. Most likely these keywords have been successful, otherwise, the competition would not be using their budget on them.
  • Rinse and repeat for all main competitors.

Step 2: Evaluate Organic Semantics

  • Generate a list of your client’s top 10 competitors in their niche and analyze the keywords that are at the top of the SERP.
  • Select the top-performing keywords in these Search Results.
  • Review and create your main semantics data from these competitors.

Step 3: Merge Keyword Data from Paid & Organic Semantics

  • Bring your paid and organic findings together and analyze what keywords are present in both lists.
  • These keywords that are found in both paid and organic efforts are the best-performing keywords that your competitors are using to bring traffic to their sites.

How to Strategically Use Competitor Keywords to Develop Content

After finding your competitors’ best-performing keywords, analyze these phrases to find the keywords with potential or keywords that your competitor is under-using but have the potential to generate significant results. Using this competitor intelligence can help when optimizing existing landing pages, creating new landing pages, or even creating brand new Organic content.

A tangible way to use competitor keywords for your own marketing efforts is to analyze specific keywords on a competitors’ landing page and reviewing the current rankings. After reviewing the rankings, you can tell if Google is liking those pages or not and then you can tell what terms and quality might be missing in the content. After your review, you can begin to craft your more optimized content to compete with the upper hand.

In addition to analyzing the keyword performance of specific competitor pages, another strategy is to work in keywords with low search volume to your strategy. This way you can find keywords where your Paid and Organic efforts merge and begin to develop a ground for your strategy and growth.

How to Avoid Mistakes Using Competitor Research

  1. Don’t Use Keywords that Your Competitors Specifically Left Out

When looking at Google Ads keyword research, remember that this channel is helpful but also costly. Analyze your competitors’ historic ads to see which keywords they kept and which they dismissed. But remember to weigh in your own opinion on useful keywords. The key is: save money, create better campaigns.

  1. Don’t Use Keywords that Google Sees as Missed Intent

After finding a keyword that you consider good for your industry, you might notice that it doesn’t generate as much traffic as you would like. This could mean that Google read and understood the user intent in a completely different way that the content was presented. It helps to evaluate these keywords and use them in a more accurate content setting.

  1. Do Keyword Grouping

Even though keyword research through competitor analysis is a great way to find missed opportunity and new ideas, but you should never blindly apply this found research into your strategy. You can still use this research and avoid errors by applying keyword grouping. Through keyword grouping, you can look at your entire list of competitor findings and analyze the different phrases to find similar search queries, relevant search volume, and more.

Key Takeaways

Find Competitor Keywords

  • Step 1: Evaluate Paid Semantics
  • Step 2: Evaluate Organic Semantics
  • Step 3: Merge Keyword Data from Paid & Organic Semantics

Use Competitor Keywords

  • Find the keywords that your competitors are using in both channels
  • Take advantage of keywords that your competitors are under-using
  • Find a tangible way to implement your competitor keyword findings

Avoid Mistakes when using Competitor Keywords

  • Don’t Use Keywords that Your Competitors Specifically Left Out
  • Don’t Use Keywords that Google Sees as Missed Intent
  • Do Keyword Grouping

New Google Search Rank Algorithm


Every year Google puts out at least two core updates and then a few minor updates to add any additional improvements or address any concerns from the year. On March 12, 2019, Google released a brand-new core update called Florida 2, not to be confused with the Florida update released in 2003.

Florida 2 Overview

First is the name. This year the owner of Webmaster World Brett Tabke received the privilege of naming the update. He called it Florida 2 because the update came out around PubCon conference which took place in Florida.    

A second thing to know about Florida 2 is well its still new. The update is only a few days old, and people are still researching and learning what exactly the update is and is doing to the Google algorithm. There has been some speculation that this update was to reverse and replace the Medic update from August 2018, but no real proof or evidence has confirmed.

The last piece of information to know about Florida 2 is it’s not the most significant update that Google has released, and it has nothing to do with the Penguin update that was released years ago. This update is just a core update to the current Google algorithm. Google stated that the “…purpose of (this update is to) better understanding search queries and web pages.”

Key Takeaways

Be patient. As we continue to progress over the next few days, let people gather and analyze the data that comes through. Keep producing quality content and make sure to optimize any SEO. Overall, it’s important that when these updates come up, we don’t panic but we learn what we can and adapt our SEO to remain on top in rankings.

Instagram Introduces In-App Profile Pages for Local Businesses


Recently, Instagram quietly rolled out a new feature in the Places section of the Discover tab that allows business accounts to claim a local profile. By doing this, businesses can link their listing to their primary account to provide visitors with the correct location when geotagging in a post as well as add and edit additional contact information such as:

  • Address
  • Business Category (Restaurant, Bar, Hotel, etc.)
  • Operating Hours
  • Price ($ to $$$$$)
  • Website
  • Phone Number

Businesses can claim their local profile through Instagram by searching for their name in the Places tab or through their Facebook business page. While Instagram has not released an official announcement, users can utilize the features now.

Key Takeaways

In addition to Google My Business & Yelp, creating a business profile on Instagram is important to having a consistent online presence & connecting with your audience. As users interact with you on Instagram providing the correct information allows them to find, contact, and tag photos with your business. To switch your account to a Business Profile:

  1. Go to your profile settings > Account
  2. Switch to Business Profile
  3. You can also connect your Business Profile to a Facebook Page that is associated with your business. This will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses.
  4. Add details such as your business or profile’s category and contact information.

Switching to a business account will allow you to add call to action buttons to your page to contact you by phone or email as well as get directions, make a reservation, or book an appointment depending on your business. Business profiles also gain access to insights to provide a look at how audiences are interacting with your posts and ads, if they are clicking through to your website, and the types of users that are visiting your profile. As the platform grows out these features, there will be more opportunities to engage with users through business profiles.

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