When putting a website together, keyword research is the most vital part of an SEO strategy. These keywords will give the direction of a website’s content. It makes the content more relevant and easily searchable.
Keyword research is characterized as the activity of analyzing and finding a list of valuable keywords for the function of SEO copywriting. The keywords, or search terms, often become a guide for the direction of a business’ content and marketing strategy. A keyword can consist of a single word but more often than not it’s made out of several words. For example, “search terms” is a keyword, and so is “best keyword search tool”.
There are so many ways to do keyword research. It can be done manually or done using a keyword research tool such as Keyword Tool or WordStream. For either method, there are several steps that need to be taken to ensure a thorough research.
The first step is to study one’s niche. It’s nice to have a deep understanding of it to help in thinking of marketing strategies. This can be done a number of ways. Communicating with current customers and getting to know them better will help in describing the company brand, products, and services. Thinking from the perspective of potential clients would aid in refining a brand’s offering. Getting involved with online communities within the niche is a great way to find out what isn’t working for the brand.
The second is to define one’s goal. In order to plan out keywords, one needs to define the end goal for the business. It might help to ask introspective questions such as: Who are you?; What makes you special?; What is your brand about? and; What is your website about? It could vary from gaining subscribers to achieving a sales target. A goal will provide direction for the SEO strategy and plan.
The third step involves making a list of relevant topics. Based from the target goals and the main category of the brand, there should be smaller topics that can be broken from it. Listing all the related topics will help with ranking on Google. These need to be topics that are important to one’s business and related to the buyer personas.
The fourth step is creating a list of seed keywords. After having smaller topics or subjects stem from the main category, one can start creating a list of seed words. These need to be related to the smaller topics and these need to be the words the target audience might be using on Google. These seed words are vital because these become the foundation of any keyword research. These also define your niche and help identify competitors.
Step five is using good keyword research tools. It avoids you from getting too bogged down with keywords and helps you gain a wider perspective for your content and SEO strategy. Once one has identified the goals, topics, and seed keywords, it’s time to use keyword research tools to further enhance search terms.
Options include Google Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool. Unfortunately, Google only gives approximated search volumes. Keyword Tool will yield more details and help narrow down on the right direction for search terms. Additionally, it can also give additional ideas on related keywords.
The sixth step involves studying the search intent. Before, inputting high-volume keywords worked well on climbing up rankings. Now, Google has machine learning search algorithms that compares search terms with user queries to find out about search intent.
Search intent is the reason why people look for a certain term. There are several factors behind individuals’ search habits. It poses questions such as: Why are they searching?; Are they searching for a specific website?; Are they searching because they want to purchase something? and; Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer for it? It would be beneficial to empathize with the target audience to find out more about them and their needs.
Once a good idea of the search intent behind potential readers or customers has been established, one will be able to use it to fine-tune the keyword research. Receiving a list of high-volume keywords related to the brand or topic is great. But getting keywords that precisely match the target audience’s search intent is even better.
The seventh step is to identify long tail keywords. Though seed keywords are short search terms related to the main category, long tail keywords are more descriptive. Long tail keywords are related to the sub-topics under the main category. It’s much easier to match long tailed keywords to the target audience’s search intent than by using seed keywords. Long tail keywords usually obtain fewer clicks, but since they are centered on a specific topic or product, they often make a higher conversion rate.
The last step is all about finding out about one’s competitors. Though doing a keyword search on Google about one’s business seems like it’s enough, it’s actually not. One also need to check out the competition. One needs to be aware of what the competitors are doing. The more one understands the extent of the industry, the better an SEO strategy can be.
Another thing to focus on is the competitiveness of different keywords. This will also signify which terms would be too difficult to rank. It will also help in finding gaps for keyword opportunities. These opportunities happen when related keywords that are related to the brand are found in the low to medium competition level.
To find these keyword opportunities, one needs to perform a keyword search on competitors. The paid version of Keyword Tool Pro has a competitor analysis feature that does precisely that. One just needs to type in the URL of the competitor into the search box and the results will show all the keywords that the page ranks for.
Once these steps have been accomplished, one should have enough insights to establish a good content and SEO strategy. You would also have gotten adequate data for SEO copywriting for your content. Doing keyword research can be a dull and time-consuming task. But when done well, it pays off substantially long term.