SEO is built on the use of keywords. If nobody searches for what you’re writing about, Google won’t send you any traffic. This is why it’s so important to learn how to do keyword research if you want to do well with SEO. It’s just too expensive to make a mistake. If you choose the wrong keywords, you could waste a lot of time and money.
But here’s the thing, once you know how to do keyword research, it isn’t that hard to choose the right keywords. And you’ll learn much of what you need to know to get started in this article.
Without further delay, let’s get started.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research refers to the process of finding out what people who are likely to buy your products or services type into Google when they are looking for products, services, or information.
Why Keyword Research Is Important
If you make a page about a topic that no one is looking for, Google won’t send anyone to that page. Countless online businesses make this mistake. According to this Ahrefs study, only 9.37% of online content gets any traffic from Google. This again highlights why keyword research is important.
It is crucial to do keyword research because it identifies the words and phrases that consumers use to find a certain subject, product, or service. Businesses and website owners need to know this information since it enables them to optimize their content for search engines and draw in more targeted visitors to their websites.
In addition to identifying the competition and potential for differentiation, keyword research helps to ascertain the demand for a certain item or service. Businesses may produce content that is more relevant to and attractive to their target audience by analyzing the terms people use. This can enhance engagement, improve search engine results, and eventually result in more conversions and sales.
Finally, regular keyword research allows for staying up-to-date with changes in search trends and provides insights into new opportunities to reach target audiences.
How to Do Keyword Research
To start the keyword research process, pretend that you are one of your clients. What problems do you have, and what words would you type into Google to try and solve them? If you put these words, called keywords, into a keyword research tool, you’ll find tons of relevant keyword suggestions.
Keyword research really isn’t hard, as long as you have some understanding of the industry you’re working in and know how to use keyword research tools.
If you want to learn how to do keyword research, here’s what you need to do:
Choose a Primary Keyword
Primary keywords are the first step in the process of researching keywords. They help you figure out what your niche is and who your competitors are.
Every keyword research tool asks for a primary keyword, also called a seed keyword, which it then uses to come up with a long list of related keywords. All you need to do to find your primary keyword is figure out what words people are typing into a search engine when they are looking for the type of product or service that you offer.
Keep in mind that seed keywords on their own might not be worth focusing on, although you’ll need them for the next part of the process. But don’t spend too much time on them, just choose a few broad primary keywords about the subject of your website.
Identify Your Competitor’s Keywords
To speed up your keyword research, identify the keywords your competitors are ranking for. To identify your competitors, do a Google search for any of your primary keywords. And, voila!
You may need to play around with this for a bit until you find competitor websites that hit the mark. You then want to use your keyword research tool to identify the keywords your competitors are ranking for. Make sure to do this for as many competing companies as possible. This helps you find relevant keywords for your specific industry.
Utilize Keyword Research Tools
Even though your competitors can help you find keywords, they may also have missed many. Keyword research tools can uncover these.
Most keyword research tools operate similarly, pulling keyword suggestions from databases based on your primary search term. Google Keyword Planner is a popular keyword tool. It’s free and can be used to find keywords for Google ads or organic keywords for SEO. There are plenty of other useful free keyword research and SEO tools.
Here’s our pick of the best free SEO and keyword research tools: The Ultimate List Of Free SEO Tools
Research Your Industry
Now that we’ve covered enough to produce countless keyword ideas, let’s move on to the next important aspect of keyword research: studying your target audience. Industry forums and other online platforms are a good place to start but don’t forget that you can gain invaluable information by simply talking to your customers. So the next time you chat with them, notice their language and typical inquiries. You’ll be surprised by how many keyword ideas they inspire.
Analyzing Your Keywords
Millions of keyword suggestions are great. Which ones are the best to use, though? After all, manually combing through them is very impractical. Use SEO analytics to narrow down your keyword list before adding it. Let’s look at some important keyword metrics that may help you decide which keywords to focus on.
Search volume shows the average monthly searches for a term. Search volume refers to the number of searches, not the number of searchers. The same person may search for the same term several times during a certain period. Despite the fact that the same individual is doing all of the searches, all of these instances add to the search volume for that particular keyword.
If your site is new, you generally don’t want to spend your time looking at keywords with 10K+ monthly searches. Finding uncompetitive, low-volume keywords with easy access to a little amount of traffic may be what you’re looking for by filtering for low-volume keywords, called long-tail keywords.
In SEO, long-tail keywords are well-known. Yet they are often disregarded. No one appears to want to target terms with very few searches. Ignoring keywords with low search volume is a beginner’s mistake. These terms are often easier to rank for.
Many keyword research tools provide an indication of how difficult it may be to rank for a specific term. They take into consideration a variety of elements to determine how difficult or easy it will be to rank, such as content depth and relevance, domain authority, and the number of quality backlinks.
Keyword difficulty is not intended to discourage you from focusing on certain keywords. It’s there to make it easier for you to know what it will take to rank for a certain keyword, as well as the link worthiness of a particular subject.
Just be aware that you should never completely base your selection on any tool’s keyword difficulty score. You should always personally evaluate the keywords you intend to target, as the intricacy of Google’s ranking system cannot be reduced to a single score.
Determining what kind of page you’ll need to develop in order to improve your chances of ranking is a crucial part of keyword research. You also need to determine if you can utilize that page to target a number of other relevant keywords simultaneously, or whether you should create a few more pages to focus on a couple of other keywords separately.
How do you do this?
Identify the Parent Topic
First, you need to identify the parent topic. If several keywords seem to be about the same subject, does that imply that you only need one page to get high rankings for each of these keywords? Or do you need to make separate pages targeting each keyword separately?
The answer is mainly based on how Google interprets these terms. Does it consider them to be related to one another? Or does it consider them to be different topics?
A fantastic technique to determine how closely connected two keywords are and whether you should target both with one page or numerous pages is to compare the search results for the two terms.
By doing individual searches for each of these terms and comparing these search results, you’ll be able to identify the parent topic for these terms.
Identify the Search Intent
Next, you need to identify the keywords that you should target with product pages, as well as the keywords that should be used for blog posts. Different page types will suit different keywords. Are searchers looking to buy something, or are they looking for information about a specific topic? This is called search intent.
Google has a few techniques for figuring out what a particular searcher wants to view. As a result, the page that best fulfills the search intent can usually be found at the top of Google’s search results. So, by examining the top-ranking sites, you can identify the search intent underlying specific terms.
But finding the appropriate page type for a given query is just the first step. On top of identifying whether a blog, landing, category, or product page matches your search intent, you should also take into account the format of a particular page. Different formats include lists, reviews, and guides.
Choosing Keywords to Target First
Finding keywords that are easy to rank for is not the goal of keyword research. You need to set measurable goals, such as quickly increasing website traffic, or generating leads and sales. Depending on your goals, you might focus your efforts on keywords with higher search volumes but lower keyword difficulty, to drive as much traffic as possible in a short amount of time. Or if you’re tasked with generating sales, you would likely focus on keywords with a search intent that matches this.
How to Do Keyword Research: Final Thoughts
Here’s a recap of how to do keyword research:
To attract search traffic, you need to create content on the terms being searched. One of the easiest ways to get started with keyword research is to look at the search terms that are driving traffic to your competitors’ websites. Keyword research tools can provide you with millions of keyword suggestions that include your primary keywords since they have access to large keyword databases.
The number of searches is a crucial indicator of how popular a certain term is. Keyword difficulty can help you determine how hard it may be to rank for a certain search term, as well as estimate the number of quality backlinks you’ll need to rank for that term.
It is crucial to recognize if two or more related keywords fall under the same parent category and may thus all be targeted on the same page. Or if they each need their own page since they each represent unique topics. By researching the search intent behind a keyword, you can create the type of content your searchers are after.
Keyword research tools can help you speed up and simplify each aspect of keyword research. If you’re new to SEO or working on a tight budget, don’t worry, there are a bunch of free tools to get you started.
Finally, the best way to learn how to do keyword research is to practice the steps mentioned in the article. You’ll see that with time, the process will become second nature.