Do you know how to get quality keywords strategically?
Keyword Research is the process of searching and analysing relevant keywords for your online business. Keyword research is what you need to do first, prior to any further SEO actions.
Performing an effective Keyword Research strategy will bring you great benefits:
- You will have the opportunity to increase your website or eCommerce visitors
- Turn new visitors into customers
- Reach new audiences
Do you know how your target audience is searching for your content?
In this article, we want to help you determine which strategic keywords to target in your website’s content. Keyword research is all about understanding your target market and finding out how they are searching for your content, services, or products.
Keyword research will provide you with specific search data that will help you answer questions like:
- What are people searching for?
- How many people are searching for it?
- In what format do they want that information?
Prior to Keyword research, ASK QUESTIONS
As SEO experts, before we can help our clients grow through SEO strategies, we need to first understand who they are, more importantly, who their audiences are, and their goals.
Keyword research takes time, and you might think you already know what you want to rank for, but what you want to rank for and what your audience actually wants might be different. Focusing on your audience and then using keyword data to sharpen those insights will help you make more successful campaigns.
In order to improve to get the right strategic keywords, you need to first understand a little more about your online business customers. To do so, you might ask questions such as:
- What types of (the different products you sell) are people searching for?
- Who is searching for these terms?
- When are people searching for your products? ( Are there seasonality trends throughout the year? )
- How are people searching for your products?
- What words do they use?
- What questions do they ask?
- Are more searches performed on mobile devices?
- Why are people seeking for your specific products?
- Where are potential customers located — locally, nationally, or internationally?
Answering these questions is a crucial planning step that will guide your keyword research and help you craft better content.
You may have a way of describing what you do, but how does your audience search for the product, service, or information you provide? Answering this question is a crucial first step in the keyword research process.
PROFESSIONAL SEO TOOLS TO DETECT KEYWORDS
Tools allow you to analyse and determine how to proceed on a specific project. You cannot decide if you want to cover a specific keyword on your website just by intuition. It is important to be intuitive but you cannot base your whole strategy on intuition. Surely you have several keywords in mind that you would like to rank for. These will be your products, services, or other topics your website addresses, and they are great seed keywords for your research.
Enter these keywords into a Keyword Research Tool in order to discover average monthly search volume and similar keywords. It is always a good idea to corroborate data using different professional tools.
Once you enter in your seed keywords into a keyword research tool, you will begin to discover other keywords, common questions, and topics for your content that you might have otherwise missed. During the discovery phase, it can help you determine which variations of your keywords are most popular amongst searchers.
We are going to present three tools you can use to search for new keywords.
Google Ads Keyword Planner: It’s Google’s official tool to perform a keyword analysis and it offers the most accurate data in regards to monthly searches. However, not always 100% of the keywords provided by the planner are to be selected.
In addition to the search volume, you should be taking into consideration the suggested bid and the competition of the keywords.
- Suggested bid: Allows you to see keyword options to help you control your budget. Your suggested bid is calculated by taking into account the cost-per-click (CPC) that other advertisers are paying for keywords with the same location and Search Network settings that you have selected.
- Competition: Lets you filter keywords by how difficult it will be to receive a top position with them. You can filter by high, medium, and low difficulty.
SEMrush: SEMrush is an SEO tool that can be used for much more than keyword research. It tracks the keyword strategy used by your competition, runs an SEO audit of your blog, looks for backlinking opportunities and lots more. This tool is currently trusted by internet marketers all over the world and used by a high number of businesses, big and small.
While Keyword Planner is a free too, SEMrush is paid. It’s more complete, in the sense that it gives you more options to analyse such as:
- You can see keywords that the competition uses
- Potential keywords you are currently not using
- A wider range of different keywords compared to Keyword Planner
- Analyse competition in SERPs
It is advisable to review both, Google Keywords planner and SEMrush before taking action.
Ahrefs: Ahrefs used to be known as a tool to analyse links. But due to an impressive increase in its database Ahrefs has managed to match, or even exceed the accuracy of SEMrush.
Same as with SEMrush, Ahrefs allows you to see what keywords the competition is positioning or in what positions they are. In addition, we also have the option of “Keyword Explorer” to get many keywords from one.
Keyword search volume refers to the volume (or number) of searches for a particular keyword in a specific timeframe. Keyword search volume is typically averaged to provide marketers with an idea of a search term’s competitiveness. This data allow SEOs and marketers to see how certain keywords drive traffic over time.
Seasonability often plays a significant role in keyword search volume. Yes, the most diligent bargain-hunters may begin their search for “Christmas gift ideas” in July, but most people will wait until October or November before conducting this kind of search.
It is relevant to observe the number of searches when analisyng a specific keyword. The more searches a keyword has, the more traffic we will get and the more audience we can cover. But how do you know which range of volumes you should be targeting?
The tools we have previously mentioned are going to be essential. They will allow you to find out which keywords are really relevant for your website, taking into account the previous points.
In the process of discovering relevant keywords for your content, you will likely notice that the search volume of those keywords varies greatly. While you definitely want to target terms that your audience is searching for, in some cases, it may be more advantageous to target terms with lower search volume because they are far less competitive.
Since both high- and low-competition keywords can be advantageous for your website, learning more about search volume can help you prioritise keywords and pick the ones that will give your website the biggest strategic advantage.
Balance volume with competition
There are two crucial factors to take into consideration: volume and competitiveness.
Keywords with higher volumes mean more potential exposure or impression share, but will probably be more competitive. This, in turn, makes it harder to rank for these terms as you’ll probably be going up against well-established publishers and sites, or higher CPCs if you’re bidding on these terms as part of a paid search campaign.
While researching keywords for their search volume, general intent and popularity, you are addressing the questions that your audience want answers to.
The user intent is crucial in order to rank well on search engines. It’s more important that your webpage addresses the problem a searcher intends to solve than your website containing the keywords the searcher uses.
Search engines identify and rank the most relevant documents for the user and want to satisfy the needs of the user in the same process, hence it is essential that all search engine factors are included.
SEO experts know that keywords and longtail keywords reflect more than just users search queries. The searcher’s possible intentions need to be taken into account when including keywords on your website content. See below a few examples of queries types based on user intent:
- Informational search query: users who make an informational search query are looking for helpful solutions or answers to specific questions.
- Commercial search query: Users have a concrete commercial intent. Longtail keywords containing words like “buy”, “order”, “pre-order”, for instance, provide crucial information about the user’s intention.
- Brand related search query: users who are looking for a specific product or service connected to a concrete brand. These users are very advanced in the Customer Journey, hence these search queries can be used to increase conversion rates.
While carrying out a keyword research, SEO experts should cluster the various possible intentions within the search queries. The search engines identify and rank the most relevant documents for the user and want to satisfy the needs of the user in the same process, it is essential that these factors are included.
To get an approximate idea about the intentions search engines interpret about a concrete search query, you can carry out a search with a specific keyword and observe the top positions because search engines are currently very good at extracting intentions from search queries in order to generate better search results.
Now that you know the most relevant factors to take into account for keyword research, and the different tools you can use, you can start with your keyword research.
Step 1: Make a list of relevant topics based on your business
Think about the topics you want to rank for. You’ll come up with several groups of topics that you consider are important to your business.
Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas: what types of topics would your target audience search that you would want your business to get found for?
Once you have your groups of relevant topics, it’s a good time to analyse the search volume for each. This data will allow you to find out how important these topics are to your audience, and how many different sub-groups you might need to create content on.
Step 2: Identify the keywords for each group of topics
Identify the keyword and keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the search engine results pages because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.
At this step, you don’t need to come up with your final list of keyword phrases. What you need is to brainstorm all keywords and phrases that you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic bucket.
Once you have your final list, its a good time again to use the SEO tools previously mentioned.
The amount of Keywords that are getting encrypted by Google is currently increasing, hence to come up with keyword ideas you can also determine which keywords your website is actually getting found for. You will need Google Analytics in order to step deep into your website’s traffic sources, have a deep look through your organic search traffic bucket to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.
Step 3: Related Search terms
Use Google to take a look at the related search terms that appear when you enter a keyword.
When you type in a specific phrase and scroll down to the bottom of Google’s results, you will find some suggestions for searches related to your original search. These keywords can give you some ideas for other keywords you may want to take in consideration.
Step 4: Head terms and long tail keywords
It’s important to have a list of head terms and long-tail terms and mix them in order to follow a keyword strategy with long-term goals and short-term wins. Head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms.
Step 5: Find out how your competitors are ranking with the selected keywords
Understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation.
If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list, it is a good idea to work on improving your ranking for those. It’s important not to ignore the keywords your competitors don’t seem to be targeting, as it could be a great opportunity for you to stand out on important terms.
SEMrush allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for a specific domain. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for. Additionally, you can manually search for keywords in an incognito browser and observe what positions your competitors are getting.
At last, make sure you re-evaluate your keywords every few months. Some companies evaluate their keywords even weekly. As you gain more authority in the SERPs, you’ll find that you can add more keywords to your lists while you work on maintaining your current presence, and growing in new areas on top of that.