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The post is contents of an SEO Audit troops…

One important topic is how people search and what information do they want?

I am specifically avoiding the term “keyword research”. I think there are too many different interptretaions and misconceptions about what “keyword” means.

An SEO needs to be able to explain the limitations of tools like Google’s Keyword reports.

There seems to be one school of thought that talks of targeting frequently used “broad” keyword search phrases, to use Google’s terminology.

“Broad keyword” searches are the numbers of searches using all of the individual words in the search phrase, in any order, or any synonyms and with any other words.

Eg: Google says Australians made 6,600 searches per month for the broad keyword, “railway sleepers”.

These 6,600 searches included:

  • 880 searches made with the exact term, “railway sleepers”.
  • 91 who searched for “railway sleepers Sydney”
  • 58 who searched for “used railway sleepers”
  • and more than 1,000 other exact search phrases used during the month.

It is typical for “exact” search phrases to represent only around 10% of the “broad” search phrases reported. If a site is only targeting “railway sleepers”, it is perhaps missing 90% of the people looking for its information.

The “how people search” topic of an SEO Audit, to me should identify/assess:

  • Targeted customers’ search methodologies
  • What information targeted customers seek as they progress through the purchase cycle
  • Is G’s “freshness” algorithm likely to kick in for certain search terms
  • What “action” words are used
  • How important are location words
  • What is the impact of mobile search vs desktop search

(Not a complete list.)