Keyword research impacts many significant areas of SEO like content creation, on-page SEO, promotion, and more. Keyword research determines your target audience, what they want and how you can grab their attention. This is because keyword research offers insight into the exact words and phrases searchers use.
This makes keyword research one of the most fundamental steps in creating an SEO campaign.
Conducting Keyword Research
There is no common way to execute keyword research. It is generally based on:
Website(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
Objectives(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
Industry and competition(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
Let’s discuss how to do keyword research for SEO efficiently and effectively.
Stages of Keyword Research
The process of keyword research can be divided into three main steps:
Finding the right keywords(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
Analyzing and choosing the keyword(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
Using the keywords(number of pages, authority, content, quality etc.)
How to find keywords?
To find relevant keywords understand your audience. Think about what your target audience is searching for, how they are searching, and what kind of content they like. Once you have answered these questions only then can you conduct keyword research thoroughly and find keyword ideas.
The second most crucial step is to know your niche. It gives you a deeper understanding of the subtopics and related information that searchers want. For example, you have a product or service about mountain bikes. It is obvious that you want to rank for “mountain bikes”.
The issue with such short tail keywords is that they always have very high competition. So, it’s recommended to dig deeper into the niche to discover what other things your audience is searching for. It could be “hybrid bikes”, “best bike for women”, “list of bike names” and so on…
These keywords that consist of four or more words are called long-tail keywords. They usually have low search volume data and low competition but high engagement and conversion rates. According to statistics, long-tail keywords have a click-through rate of 5% higher than generic searches (Source: Impact). This is why more and more searches contain long-tail keywords today.
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The idea is that the content should answer all the queries one can have regarding a niche. Thus, this is a great way to find various relevant keywords.
- Using Keyword Research Tools
One of the most effective ways of finding keywords is using a keyword research tool like Google keyword planner. Such tools give you hundreds of keyboard ideas in just a few clicks and offer statistical data like search volume (average monthly searches), keyword difficulty, and SERP data.
- Approaches To Keyword Research
The two main approaches to keyword research are:
i.Keyword research based on seed keywords
A seed keyword is any word or phrase that directly describes the topic. For example, if you want to create content about ice cream machines then simply conduct research around the term “ice cream machine”.
The keyword tool will generate a list of different keywords on topical relevance and give SEO metrics to help you pick the right ones. For example, one of the metrics is keyword difficulty that tells how hard it would be to rank for a particular search query. If this figure is high then you should avoid using that keyword.
ii.Keyword research based on competitor research
Competitor based keyword research allows you to find the relevant keywords for which your competitor ranks high. A good keyword research tool will generate a list of different keywords ranking on your competitor’s website once you enter the domain.
Google Keyword Planner for Competitor Analysis
You can choose either of the two approaches to find the right keywords for your SEO campaign.
How to Analyze Relevant Keywords?
Once you have generated different keywords then comes the task to select the ones with the most value. A keyword analysis is based on three main criteria – popularity, relevance, and difficulty.
The popularity of a keyword is determined by the search volume; it tells how many people search for the given term. Search volume data is gathered through Google data (Google database for search volume) or Clickstream data (search volume data based searchers” behavior from plugins and browser extensions). If the search volume of a keyword is high then it will attract more traffic.
This is a metric that tells how hard it is to rank for a particular term. The higher the keyword difficulty the harder it will be to rank for the given keyword.
The keyword relevance is based on the search intent behind the keyword. It tells you whether the keyword is relevant to the content and satisfied the queries of your target audience. The search intent categories include:
Informational – this tell that the user is searching for general information
Navigational – expresses that the user is looking for a specific brand or website
Transactional – tells you that the user wants to buy something online
Commercial – expresses that the user is researching online
The right keyword must pass all three criteria because:
- A keyword with high search volume and low difficulty will not rank if it is not relevant to the content
- A keyword with low difficulty and hi relevance but zero search volume will not get any traffic
- A keyword with high search volume and relevancy goes to work but it will be hard to know how to run competitors if the difficulty is too high.
- Once you have gathered and analyzed the keywords you can handpick the best ones. Use these selected keywords to design and create relevant content for users.
The second steps conclude your keyword research. Now, it is time to use the keywords and design an SEO strategy around them.
Keyword research is a lengthy and hard task. However, the simple three-step approach mentioned in this article will help you conduct comprehensive keyword research quickly and easily. So, find the right keywords for your website and build a strong SEO strategy now!