Keyword research is the first step to any SEO campaign. Without it, you are blindly shooting in the dark and hoping for a lucky hit. You can’t expect to rank without understanding who your audience is, what they are searching for, and how you can provide them with content that will answer their questions. This guide will take you through every aspect of keyword research, from coming up with seed keywords to narrowing down on long-tail keywords that have low competition but high search volume…
The Ultimate Guide To Keyword Research For Search Engine Optimization
What are keywords and why do they matter for SEO?
Keywords are the words and phrases people use to find your site. They are at the heart of search engine optimization because the content is mostly created with keywords in mind. If you create SEO-friendly pages that rank for popular searches, then you’ll get more traffic than if your website doesn’t rank well or has no relevant pages at all.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and targeting the right keywords for your website. It can be a daunting task, but it’s worth taking the time to get it right. Here are the steps you need to take:
Keyword Research Steps:
Coming up with seed keywords
The first step in any keyword research is coming up with some seed keywords. These are the topics you are targeting, and they can be anything from broad concepts to specific products or services. For example, if you own a pet store, your seed keywords might be “pets”, “pet supplies”, and “dog food”.
If you’re a digital marketing agency, your seed keywords might include “SEO”, “digital marketing services”, and “social media marketing” etc… You get the gist.
Finding related keywords
Once you have your seed keywords, the next step is finding related keywords. These are keywords that are closely related to your main topic but aren’t as specific. For example, if you are targeting the keyword “pets”, some related keywords might be “dog breeds”, “cats”, and “parakeets”.
You can find these related keywords using the Google Ads Keyword Planner (or any other tool you use to do keyword research), by looking at your seed keywords. Look for words that are closely connected with them but aren’t as specific.
Finding long-tail keywords
Once you have your related keywords, it’s time to find some long-tail keywords. These are specific phrases that people are more likely to use when they are looking for something. For example, if you want to buy a new TV, you might search for “best-LED TVs under $500” instead of “TVs”.
Long-tail keywords are a great way to target specific audiences and get more traffic from people who are already interested in what you have to offer. You can find long-tail keywords by using the Google Ads Keyword Planner, or other tools like Ubersuggest.
Narrowing down on the best keywords
Once you have a list of long-tail keywords, it’s time to narrow them down. Not all of these keywords will be relevant to your website or business. So, it’s important to choose the ones that are most relevant and have the highest potential for success.
You can do this by looking at the following factors:
- The search volume for each keyword
- How competitive the keyword is
- What kind of content you can create around the keyword
- The relevance to your business or website
Attractive keyword(s) are generally those that have a high search volume and somewhat low competition.
Now that you know what goes into keyword research and how to pick the best keyword(s) for you, it’s time to actually dive into the tools that can help you achieve this task.
Tools that help with keyword research
There are several different tools that you can use for keyword research, but the ones I recommend are:
- Google Ads Keyword Planner
Each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to use more than one tool when doing your research.
How to use Google Ads Keyword Planner for your keyword research.
Google Ads Keyword Planner (formerly known as Google AdWords Keyword Tool) is a very powerful tool that you can use to find the best keywords for your website. It’s really easy to use, and it has tons of features that will help you pick out the right keywords.
To use Google Ads Keyword Planner, simply go to the website and type in a seed keyword or related keywords that you want to target. Hit “Get Ideas” and wait for the tool to generate your list of potential long-tail keywords. From there, it’s easy – just pick out some good ones and add them to your list.
How to use Ubersuggest for finding long-tail keywords and related keywords.
Ubersuggest is another great tool that you can use for doing keyword research. It’s very simple, and it makes the process of picking out good keywords really easy since all you have to do is type in a seed keyword or phrase, and it will generate a list of potential long-tail keywords for you.
Ubersuggest also has a feature that allows you to find related keywords, which can be really helpful when you’re trying to expand your list of potential keywords.
How to use SEMrush for finding competitor’s keywords.
Lastly, SEMrush is a tool that I’ve been using for years now to spy on my clients’ competitors. It helps in finding the keywords they’re using, so you can create better content and get more traffic from search engines.
SEMrush is really easy to use – just type in a domain name or website address into the toolbar at the top of the page, and it will show you a list of all the keywords that the website is targeting. You can also see how much traffic those keywords are generating for the website, as well as other useful information like CPC (cost-per-click) and competition level.
Other tools that can help with your keyword research include:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keyword Snatcher
- Google Trends
Optimizing your content for SEO
Once you have chosen your keywords, it’s time to start creating content around them. This is the best way to optimize your content for search engines. Here are some tips that will help you create SEO-friendly pages:
- Use keywords in your page titles, headings, subheadings, image alt text, etc…
- Optimize your meta descriptions and make sure they include your keyword(s). Google may use these when someone searches for your keyword, so it’s important to have them optimized for SEO. Ensure each page has its own focus keyword/s and link out to relevant resources
- Include internal links from one web page to another on the same website. This helps search engines crawl through your site more easily and improve the user experience at the same time. Link out to authority sites when you can
- Make sure your content is high-quality and engaging. This will help keep people on your page longer, which is a positive ranking signal for Google.
Tips on how to use keywords in an article
When writing articles, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First of all, your keyword(s) should be mentioned at least once within the first 100 words. It’s also important to mention it again closer to the beginning of the article so readers know what they will be reading about.
It’s best to use your keyword(s) naturally without sounding too forced. You don’t want to stuff your content with keywords and end up sounding like a robot. Try to use them in the title, introduction, body, and conclusion of your article for the best results.
Lastly, remember that quality is always more important than quantity. You want to use your keyword(s) as many times as you can, but make sure that the content is of high quality.
Also, you should know by now that search engines, such as Google, understand synonyms. Therefore, using synonyms, naturally (Don’t be a Joey Tribbiani), is a great way to boost your content’s quality.
Examples of real-life keyword searches
So, let’s say you sell soccer equipment or you’re a bridal shop. Some real-life examples of keyword searches that might be relevant to you could be:
“best soccer goalkeeper gloves 2021”
“budget wedding dresses under $100 in 2021”
These are just two examples, but there are plenty more keywords out there. There’s no way to know exactly what people will be searching for until they do it, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for new keywords.
Keyword research best practices
Lastly, there are a few best practices that you can follow when conducting keyword research.
First of all, know what your goals are before doing any research. This will help narrow down the keywords and make it easier for you to find relevant ones.
Secondly, use multiple tools (mentioned earlier) to get different data points on each of the keywords you’re researching.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment and test your keywords. Some of the best ways to do this are through Google Ads or Ubersuggest
You’ve done it! If you haven’t found the keyword research guide that was just perfect for your needs, we hope this has given you a better idea of what to look out for. We know how difficult and time-consuming doing market research can be; luckily, there are plenty of tools at our disposal to make things easier for us marketers. Our team is ready and waiting to help take your company from average marketing success all the way up to top-dog status in no time – so get in touch with us today to get you started.