Agile Coaching

Agile Coaching

Services: Agile Coaching

Keyword Research

Keyword research provides the starting point for a brand’s digital marketing efforts in three important areas:

  • Organic SEO Development
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
  • Social Media Campaigns

When working without the list of a brand’s most important keywords, marketing efforts seem disjointed to the average consumer and the lack of cohesion between marketing efforts — including both off page and online marketing efforts — creates brand confusion.

At AlignTech, we use an iterative approach to find the list of most important keywords for each client. We created a Five Step Keyword Development Process to help us provide good and consistent results:

  1. Discovery

    Inputs are from client’s goals, client’s preferences, available market research on client’s industry, trial searches and competitors’ successes

  2. Analysis

    We determine the relative Keyword Effectiveness (KEI) for each potential keyword given search engine statistics at the time of discovery and the nature of the content development plan

  3. Consultation

    We share our initial results with the client or marketing partner and together we determine which keywords to tackle first, while maintaining an appropriate ratio of simple/popular keywords to long tail keywords

  4. Implementation

    Assets and campaigns are matched with the best identified keywords. Each keyword is then positioned across the various online assets so as to avoid confusion among all stakeholders

  5. Evaluate & Repeat

    Evaluation of results and repeat Steps 1-4 over time and as needed


Most business operators can list their five top competitors at a moment’s notice. These competitors are typically companies or organizations that are well known and, in many cases, are local:  Local to city or county; or state, region or country. These competitors sell products and/or services in direct competition to the business operators to which we refer.

AlignTech identifies both real and virtual competitors for our clients. Why identify competitors in this way? Because we want to learn from them. Once identified, “good competitors” can help us understand:

  • Which other keywords to think about using
  • Which backlinks might be appropriate and of high quality
  • Which optimization techniques have worked for them; and which have failed
  • What the “AdWords landscape” looks like, if desired


A primary goal in most digital optimization efforts is to improve sales. Sales increase when two things happen concurrently:

  • Brand awareness increases for the target audience; and
  • Logical actions are presented to this audience such as, for example, “call now” or “schedule a visit”

Optimization of a brand’s online (or on page) assets — website, landing page(s), social media accounts, etc. — is only the first step to ranking well with the search engines. The relative importance of the various search ranking factors changes over time, requiring optimizers to stay alert so as not to miss game changing opportunities for positive brand exposure. The best optimizers are also continuous learners.

Categorically and in order of importance (at present), the general search ranking factors include:

  • On-page optimization
  • Backlink quality
  • Business categorization and location
  • Consistency of business information across internal and external links, plus backlink volume
  • Clickthrough rates
  • Uniqueness of online assets
  • Reviews – both quality and quantity
  • Social network affinity

Represented by these categories are dozens of ranking factors, both positive and negative. Here are a few examples:

Positive Ranking Factors:
  • Domain authority
  • Consistency of business information across online assets
Negative Ranking Factors:
  • Presence of malware on website
  • Incorrectly recorded business address


A key search ranking factor for each domain is its collection of backlinks — links that can be found online that point to the domain being optimized. The development of high quality and relevant backlinks provides fuel to elevate a domain in search engine rankings for its desired keywords.

Citations consist of both backlinks and unlinked references to a domain. Merely mentioning a domain in online content constitutes a citation, albeit the unlinked varieties are not quite as valuable to a domain owner. Solid and consistent online marketing efforts tend to increase the number of organic citations over time.

AlignTech uses a Six Step Backlink Development Process to help produce results. These are:

  1. Discovery

    Discover existing backlinks for the domain

  2. Analysis

    Analyze each backlink for its value to the domain

  3. Cleanup

    Cleanup links that contribute negative value to the domain

  4. Development

    Build and reinforce backlinks that are relevant to the brand and are of high quality

  5. Verification

    Verify target backlinks for quality and message consistency. Repair if needed

  6. Evaluate & Repeat

    Repeat Steps 1-5 over time and as needed


Abraham Lincoln said:

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

In a way the World Wide Web is like Lincoln’s shadow of real things. It is far more expedient for persons and companies to seek out our businesses via online hints — reviews, blog posts, news articles, etc. — than it is for them to get to know the business operators personally.

Because of this it is important to establish and maintain our online reputations to:

  • Reflect the persons and businesses we truly are; and
  • Provide hints as to our good character in ways that are relevant to our target audiences

Building a positive reputation as a business operator takes time and hard work. In the past and in many parts of the world, word-of-mouth marketing was all that was required for a business to flourish; or to fail. Today, the three actively working generations of consumers — and particularly Millennials — increasingly look for shortcuts to maintain their busy lives. In this sense, you are what you appear to be online.

AlignTech follows a simple process for finding and addressing problematic domain references for our clients:

  1. Discovery

    Search for problematic domain references

  2. Analysis

    Analyze references to determine potential harm

  3. Recommend & Consult

    Recommendation to client and consultation to determine next steps for mitigation

  4. Mitigation

    Mitigate the problem links

  5. Verification

    Verify the intended changes

  6. Repeat

    Repeat Steps 1-5 on occasion or continuously

Pay Per Click

An obvious benefit to building your brand slowly and consistently over time is that you can develop a powerful and effective set of search engine rankings. The major search engines reward longevity, keyword consistency, appropriate and consistent content publication, plus over 100 other positive keyword ranking factors.

In contrast, some businesses don’t want to – or cannot – wait for this organic value to develop. We use a set of simple steps to make pay-per-click advertising (PPC) work well for you, namely we:

  1. Plan your PPC campaign
  2. Execute the plan
  3. Measure the results daily
  4. Adjust your campaign for greater effectiveness
  5. Repeat as needed

Let us show you how PPC can quickly bring you the customers you want.