The Right Way to Initiate Keyword Research in SEO: The Basics
It is estimated that Google’s search algorithm uses over 200 factors to rank websites. Performing thorough, high-quality keyword research is vital to giving your website the best chance of standing out from the crowd. The development and execution of a keyword strategy will depend on identifying the right keywords that appeal to your target audience. Doing this will increase your search engine rankings and generate a steady stream of organic traffic.
The objective of this guide is to help you understand the importance of keyword research. Furthermore, you will also learn how to systematically find the best keywords that align with the intent of your customers.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords, sometimes called SEO keywords, are terms and phrases used to establish and develop online content. In the view of the potential customer, their words are entered into the search bar to describe the products and services they need.
As a marketer, the keywords you select carefully enhance your content. So that search engines can correctly detect your website’s information, allowing you to rank and recommend your website.
Keyword Research: Why Is It Important?
Keywords on your website provide information about your business and the products and services you offer. However, Google, for example, determines where to display your website on a particular search engine results page (SERP) based on the number and quality of keywords included in your content. The higher you rank on the SERP, the more traffic and reach you will receive. Approximately 32% of all searches on Google result in the #1 result. Even if you cannot rank high, it is still worth trying for the first few positions. With the increasing number of online consumers searching for products and services, your favorable placement on the SERP will generate more clicks. There was a 22% increase in traffic for the 1,000 most popular pages between 2019 and 2020.
Keyword Research: How to Do It Right
After becoming familiar with some of the more important terms and concepts involved in keyword research, it’s time to get started. Here are the steps you need to follow to create a foolproof keyword strategy and identify the right keywords to target.
- Prepare a list of relevant broad topics
The first step is to create a spreadsheet with general categories or “buckets” for the keywords you want to rank for. The topics could be related to the products you sell or do anything else you think your target audience would be interested in.
There may already be some topics you cover regularly if you do blogging frequently. Try to keep this list as short as possible, with at most 5 to 10 topics. Try to picture yourself as a buyer trying to make a purchase.
2. Provide a list of phrases that you believe your customers use in each topic
Next, identify what your target customer might type into the search bar to find information, products, or services using these general categories.
Check your organic search traffic bucket to identify keywords consumers already use to find your website. This is if you have data from website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report.
Instead of using this list of keywords as a final list, use it to brainstorm data points that can make your research more targeted and effective.
3. Search for related terms
To increase your keyword list, you can use a variety of creative methods.
- In Google, search for a keyword phrase and scroll to the bottom to see a list of related search terms.
- You can explore a related search at the bottom of the second page by clicking on one of the related searches.
- A free search can be conducted on the website AnswerThePublic up to three times daily. This tool provides you with a list of phrases people are searching for concerning the topic of your page.
- Also, you can type your keyword phrase into a paid tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner to see what other relevant terms other people are using.
4. Check the strength of your keywords
To determine the strength of your keywords, look at the following:
- What exactly is the search term? Use the exact phrase that people search for when creating your keyword phrase.
- What is the volume of searches? If no one uses a keyword phrase, creating a strategy around it won’t be very useful. Search for the highest search volume.
- What is the level of competition? Paid tools distinguish between paid ads and organic search competition. Your goal is to increase organic search volume while reducing organic search competition. Always check the organic results.
- Consider related terms that have low organic competition and high search volume that you may have missed.
5. Determine how you rank in your industry
It’s important to identify long-tail keywords if you are competing against large brands that already dominate Google’s first page. Search for your most desired terms on the SERP. Consider long-tail keywords if your list is filled with solid brands with more market share and influence than yours.
You should only use this strategy if your competitors aren’t publishing quality content. While they may invest more money in marketing their brand, you may be able to outrank them if your content is longer, better, and more visually appealing.
6. Check search intent
Whenever consumers enter a search query into Google, they are looking for something and need an answer.
Type your keywords into the search engine to understand your customers’ intent. Are there any pages already ranking for that phrase?
The buyer may click on your link if you’re trying to sell them something, but they’ll bounce quickly, which hurts your ranking. However, a shopper who is ready to buy will happily purchase if you provide a product page. You or your team should check buyer intent before creating content with keywords in your spreadsheet, or establish a habit of doing so.
All in all, always conduct keyword research and understand your audience’s intent, and find the right keywords to build your content around. Remember, keyword research only forms the core of your SEO strategy. Improve your blog posts, articles, and product descriptions to make them more valuable, readable, and competitive.