In this COVID era, you’ve either got to be online or risk going out of business. But to ensure your business gets the attention it deserves, you’re going to have to grab your digital marketing campaign by the horns.
Ask any digital marketer today, and they’ll tell you the first thing you need to do is in SEO. And everyone knows how crucial the role of keywords is for SEO.
Identifying the right keywords is not something that can be done on the spur of the moment. It’s a skill that requires a great deal of research and analysis. After all, if you are not writing about what people are searching for, you won’t get traffic to your site, no matter how hard you try.
If this has you breaking out in a sweat, you’ve come to the right place. Today, our task is to guide you and everyone else trying to make sense of keyword research in the right direction.
By the end of this blog, you’ll be able to perform keyword research for SEO and drive the best results.
Ready to get started?
Before we talk about keyword research strategies, let’s cover the basics.
What are keywords?
Keywords are any words or phrases people search for on search engines. They can also be referred to as SEO keywords or search queries.
Why is keyword research crucial for your business?
Imagine working day and night to create compelling content. But at the end of the day, no one lands on your website. That means a lot of time, effort, and money was spent on something that did not generate any ROI.
According to Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages do not get any traffic from Google. With appropriate keyword research, you can avoid being a part of a statistic.
Besides this, you need to invest in keyword research because it’s a crucial aspect of SEO. It will help you get more traffic from search engines. Moreover, it will help you understand what people are searching for online. That way, you can produce content that targets their search intent.
What Does Keyword Research for SEO Entail?
Keyword research for SEO is not simply picking out words that are relevant to your business. It requires an in-depth understanding of your target audience. You need to know what words your customers could use to search for your products, services, or content.
More importantly, in your research, you will need to analyze and compare keywords to find the best ones for your business. Your goal is then to prioritize these words in various places on your website.
But finding high-volume search terms is not enough. Comprehensive keyword research can also help you understand:
- How likely people searching for a keyword are to become a customer?
- How much traffic can a keyword generate?
- How hard/easy it is to rank for a particular keyword?
- Ideas for the content you can create using well-ranking keywords.
- Other semantic or related keywords with better results.
How to Do Keyword Research
Okay, now that you know how important keyword research for SEO is, let’s get down to business. How can you find the best keywords for your business?
Here are several keyword tips that can make this task easier for you.
1. Examine Your Niche
Identify keywords that define your niche. These are known as seed keywords. They are particularly helpful in generating other keywords.
Begin by learning more about your industry, and dive deeper into your niche. Look at your business from a different angle to discover more keywords that you can use to discuss topics relevant to your niche.
2. Browse Forums, Groups, and Q&A Websites
If you want people to land on your website, you need to create content they want to read. And that means providing answers to their questions.
An easy way to find topics consumers are currently discussing is to browse through forums, chat groups, and Q&A websites. Check the threads to find topics that your target audience struggles with.
However, you may be able to communicate with existing customers. This can help you identify terms your customers use when describing your brand and product.
The key is to extract keywords from the latest forums and Q&A websites. More importantly, if you want to enhance your SEO efforts, sites you should head over to include forums like WebmasterWorld and SEO Chat, as well as Q&A websites like Quora and Moz Q&A.
3. Dive Into Your Data
Unfortunately, business owners often overlook this step. Analyzing data is a great way to gather valuable keywords. What better way is there than to look at the Google dashboard?
With the help of Google Analytics, you can identify:
- Who is using your site?
- How are they finding it?
Though it typically offers helpful insights for your marketing campaign, you can also use it for keyword research. For instance, this tool can highlight keywords people are using to find your site. The more you know which these words are, the more you can optimize your site for said keywords.
Additionally, you can look into landing page performance. With the help of Google Search Console, can help you find hundreds of Opportunity Keywords. Dig into data to see which landing pages are getting the most visitors and which are pumping up conversions.
The Performance Report lists pages on your website that get the most clicks from Google and the keywords that brought them. I guess that’s a platter full of keywords served right to your table.
4. Invest in the Right Keyword Research Tools
Sure, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are wonderful tools. But don’t limit yourself to only these.
There are countless digital marketing tools to make your job easier- many of which are also free. Simply find those offering effective keyword research ideas for SEO that fall within your budget.
Some of the best tools include:
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Snatcher
So yes, you have a powerful list of keywords within your reach.
5. Find Keywords Your Competitors are Ranking For
No, this is not cheating. Nearly all digital marketers look at their competitors to look for keywords relevant to your business and are ranking better. And you can do the same.
Dive into your competitor’s data and see what keywords are suitable for your business too. You may need the help of keyword research tools like SEMrush to see the keywords your competitors are already ranking for.
What happens if your competitors are using keywords you’ve already used? This means that you’ve covered a lot of the topics your competitors have discussed.
Now you need to find other keywords relevant to your industry or niche. With the help of a Content Gap tool, you can find new keywords and create content that your competitors have not used yet.
The Secret Behind the Effectiveness of Your Keywords
A common mistake that SEOs make during keyword research is that they focus on aligning content with search intent. They assume that as long as content matches search queries, it will satisfy the audience.
However, they overlook a very important aspect- the actual intent of the search.
As a digital marketer, you know that a consumer travels through different stages of the customer buying journey before it converts. So it only makes sense that you find keywords that target consumers at various stages of their journey.
By identifying the search intent, you can present your potential customer with the correct information they’re looking for the moment they need it. Furthermore, dividing your keywords into these four categories can help you create content according to the different stages of the buying cycle. More importantly, it can help increase your overall conversion rate.
But wait, it doesn’t stop here.
The keyword research tips mentioned above all sound great. But how do you know that you’re finding and using the right keywords? After all, every website is different. And you don’t want to waste resources on something that doesn’t produce the best results.
This is where you need to call in the good old metrics brigade.
It’s time to analyze your keywords to find out how effective they are. Moreover, you can see how the target audience reacts to those keywords.
Some keyword metrics you can use to do this include:
- Search volume
- Traffic potential
- Keyword Difficulty
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
Over to You
Keyword research is not something that you can tick off your to-do list, especially if you’re looking at it from an SEO perspective.
Keyword research for SEO is a task that needs to be done continuously. However, to learn which words drive better results, you need to monitor and analyze the data. For instance, take notes on how your audience interacts with your content and what keywords are producing better conversions.
Checking up on your keyword research strategies periodically can help you plan a better content creation strategy and increase your organic conversion rate and ROI. And that’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that you’ve been searching for all along.