How to Understand SEO Research for WordPress Products

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising your on-site content so that it will rank well in search engine results pages (SERP). Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO, as it helps you identify what keywords you should be optimising your content for based on current user behavior.

SEO is particularly important for WordPress products, as it can help you attract regular visitors on a monthly basis, with high purchase intent. It is also likely to convert those visitors from search, as high-quality, SEO-focused content that aligns with a user’s search intent can build trust and showcase your product all at once. 

Your content solves a problem for the reader, with part of the solution featuring your product itself. Readers are happy, and Google is, too; the problem has been solved which Google rewards with high rankings, and you’ve earned a sale in the process. 

Investing in content marketing consistently yields strong results long-term, while other channels like paid search and display ads don’t offer those same evergreen benefits. With paid search, your results stop the seconds your campaigns stop. In contrast, content can live on your site permanently and attract users for years to come. 

In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can use SEO research for your WordPress product blog using the same strategies we use for all of our clients. 

Hi! This post was written before we introduced our FALCON AI. This post reflects “legacy” keyword research, and we now use FALCON AI for everything mentioned here. FALCON gets us vastly better results. Up-to-date information can be found on this dedicated page:

What Are Revenue Keywords And Why Do They Matter? 

Before we get started with the tactics themselves, it’s important to discuss “revenue keywords.”

Revenue keywords are those that are most likely to attract customers to your site and to guide a purchase decision. These keywords are towards the bottom of the funnel, meaning they’re high-intent and are directly related to a problem that your product can solve. The right content being optimised with revenue keywords can trigger direct sales. 

In other words, users are looking for a specific solution, and they’re willing to pay for it once they find it. 

How We Tackle the Keyword Research Process 

Keyword research is an essential part of what we do for our clients. 

We start by using a tool like Ahrefs to find revenue keywords. There are plenty of great tools, and Google’s Keyword Planner can give you the basics for free (although it is literally the basics). You can search for a base keyword that’s related to a problem that your product can solve. 

example of keyword search on KWFinder

Here’s how we identify the keywords with the strongest potential:

  • They must have an easily-identifiable search intent. Search intent is what problem the user wants to solve when they’re searching online. So if someone is searching for “WordPress contact form plugin,” you know exactly what information they’re searching for and whether or not your product is a fit.
    You can easily identify search intent by looking at the first page of Google results for any keyword. You want to make sure that the competing websites and products match the type of content that you’re creating. This includes looking at the language used in the posts (are they creating “how to” guides or “top 10” posts?).  Different types of keywords will need different types of content. Google may think that a video, “how-to” tutorial, “best of” listicle, support resource, and product page are each a good fit for different types of searches. Use this to determine what type of content you create. With SEO Content, you’re looking for keywords where blog posts can rank well.
    Remember that search intent isn’t about how well you can make your topic fit a certain keyword; it’s about what the user needs and what Google thinks the user needs. 
  • Think about the sales funnel. Certain types of content work better for different stages of the sales funnel. Tutorials, for example, are great for lower-funnel posts, where readers already know what they’re looking for and want to feel confident in the solution or information about how to use it. Listicle-styled posts work well for users higher up in the funnel who are early in the research process. 
  • They should have strong purchase intent. Writing a post angled to drive paid sales from “Best Free WordPress Contact Form Plugins” is doomed to fail, because users are specifically looking for entirely free options. 
  • They come in at a realistic keyword difficulty level. Everyone is typically tempted to go straight after the keywords with the highest monthly search volumes, but this is rarely the best strategy. Instead, it’s best to rank for keywords with lower difficulty levels, as there’s a much better chance to rank well for them. Most SEO tools (including those mentioned above) will give you this information, showing you a relative score to assess competition levels. 

How to Conduct SEO Research: An Example 

Want to see what this looks like in action? Let’s look at an example.

Say that you have a WordPress plugin that allows users to set up advanced, reliable contact forms. 

Start by using the keyword tool of your choice. In this post, we’ll use KW Finder, and search for the general term “WordPress contact form.”

There are plenty of keywords here that are simply some variation describing the product “WordPress contact form.” One keyword option jumps out immediately for meeting all of our criteria: “how to create contact form in WordPress”:

search results on KWFinder

Here’s why it’s great: 

  • The difficulty is low, clocking in at only 23, and it has a relatively stable popularity. The trend line you see is the overall trend for the keyword, but actual monthly searches are up significantly from a couple of years ago:
  • It has 210 monthly searches, which is solid! Remember, that’s per month.
  • It describes a problem that the user has, which is “how to create a contact form in WordPress.” They’re not sure how to do this, and if you can show them how by using your product, they have plenty of reasons to purchase as they’re familiar with your plugin.  

After you’ve found a great keyword, take some time to check out what your competition would be. You need to create content that’s better than the currently top-ranking posts, which can be difficult. If you’re going up against a site with high domain authority, it may be best to look for another option. This is just another reason why looking at long-tail keywords is better than the shorter, vaguer high-volume keywords; not only are they more specific, making search intent easier to determine, they also typically are easier to rank for. 

This is a crucial part of success with your content marketing, which is why Ellipsis’ Content Effectiveness process is central to everything we do. 

The Limitations You Need to Know 

While anyone can conduct SEO research, we do want to acknowledge that many people do struggle if they aren’t SEO experts. 

You do need to have a strong understanding of SEO and keyword research, and the only way to get the hang of this is experience. You want to understand all of the relevant jargon like DA, UR, DR, and KD to identify what does and doesn’t make a good keyword.

Unfortunately, if you misjudge the keyword selection, your post will never rank well. This means that you’re wasting your time, money and content, and you’re likely losing customers in the process. 

Keep in mind, too, that thorough SEO research involves access to the right tools. KW Finder is a good, affordable starting point, but it’s best if you can use more advanced tools for more inside information. 

You also want to know how to write content that addresses every question a searcher has, which means that you need to write stronger and more thorough content for the top-ranking posts of the keyword that you’re targeting. You’ll also need to make ongoing improvements to existing content to stay competitive, which includes monitoring rankings, sales and conversion rates from each post. 

It’s common to use Yoast SEO’s traffic light system for grading a post’s on-page SEO. A green light on Yoast for keyword density is generally a good sign as it means that you’re using the target keyword in text, headings, post slug, meta description, and likely alternative image text. Yoast can only tell you so much, however, and with plenty of your competitors using it, having the knowledge of a hands-on SEO expert can be a game-changer. 

Here at Ellipsis, we specialise in all of the above and more. You can learn more about how to get more conversions through content marketing from our blog. 

Invest in SEO Research to Drive High-Intent Traffic to Your Site 

While SEO and content creators need to be skilled in a number of different areas, it takes a lot more than simply being a great writer. You need to understand how to conduct SEO research for WordPress products and be able to identify high-intent keywords that the client can rank for and drive conversions from. This is an intensive process that requires time, knowledge, and experience. 

Though there are plenty of SEO freelancers and WordPress experts online, not all are created equal. When searching for someone who can help you, the true value lies in the ability of the marketer to study how a website performs in its own unique sector and to answer the company’s (and their customer’s!) specific needs.

We can do that for you. Learn more by getting in touch with us or by scheduling a free, no-obligation content marketing call

Picture of Alex Denning

Alex Denning

Alex Denning is the Founder and Managing Director of Ellipsis®, a world-class SEO Content agency. Alex is the inventor of FALCON AI®, the next-generation AI SEO platform that helps you predict how your content will perform – before you create it. Alex is an international speaker and publishes regularly on the future of SEO. @AlexDenning on Twitter