When it comes to SEO, Google keeps us on toes with its algorithm updates every now and then. However, there is one thing that is consistent for many years and it is the keyword research.
Well, it doesn’t mean that nothing has changed about the keyword research at all. The main idea behind it is still the same, though how you do it may have changed.
Many people often ask me about dos and don’ts while researching keywords. Therefore, I decided to write a quick SEO guide for people who are beginners in this field.
What is Keyword Research?
Before starting doing anything new, it is important to know what it is?
You all know what is a keyword. Right?
The queries or terms people enter in the search engine are called keywords.
The process of finding these keywords, analyzing them, and then deciding with which keywords you want to work with is called keyword research.
This process helps you in deciding your content and marketing strategy.
Importance of Keyword Research for your Business:
In the past years, SEO has evolved greatly. It is no longer important to exactly match your keyword with a person’s search query.
Instead, it is the intent behind the keyword that is important and whether your content has the ability to solve that intent or not.
But, it doesn’t mean that keyword research is not important now.
Let me explain it to you.
Keywords tell you about the topics that people are looking for. Assuming you use the right SEO tool, you would know how popular these topics are among your target audience.
When you research keywords and get a list with high search volume, you can sort out the ones that are relevant to your niche, and create topics around them.
With the help of researching keywords, their popularity, monthly search volume, and understanding their intent, you can cater to your audience by answering the questions they are looking for answers to.
What is Intent and How it Affects Keyword Research?
You all know the literal meaning of this word – intent. The intention or the purpose behind an act is called intent.
Now you may be thinking what intent has to do we keyword research. Well, the intent of the user now plays a vital role in your success to drive traffic to your website.
Let me explain it with an example.
Suppose you are searching for the keyword “mobile phone repair” to write an article on it. Now, behind using this keyword, users might have two intents. Some users might want to know service centers from where they can get their mobile phones repaired.
However, some of the users might not be looking for the repair shops, instead, they want to know some DIY processes to get their phones fixed.
Now, your content strategy will depend on the fact that which intent you want to target. If you want to target people who intent to find repair centers, you will develop content around this idea.
If you are targeting people who want to know about DIY mobile repairing, you will create content accordingly.
How to Research Keywords:
Although keyword research is no rocket science, I am dividing it into steps to make it easier for you to understand.
Make List of Important Topics Relevant to your Business:
To start the keyword research, first, make a list of the topics you can think of relevant to your niche or business. Most likely, you will come up with a list of 5 – 10 topics that you can use to find specific keywords later.
These topics could be anything. It is better to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of the phrase or words they might use which you want to be found for.
Imagine you have a website through which you sell marketing software. You can come up with topics similar to:
- Email marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Marketing automation
- Lead generation
Use an SEO to find the monthly search volume for these topics.
When I looked for email marketing, I got a figure of 18.1k searches per month.
The average monthly search for the term lead generation is around 9.9k.
Think of Titles Around the Selected Topics:
Now as you have a list of topics relevant to your niche, think of titles you can create content for.
For the above list, you can come up with something like this:
- How email marketing increases your ROI?
- Is inbound marketing still effective?
- Why SEO is crucial for your business?
- What do marketing automation tools do?
- Top ways to increase lead generation
At this step, you only need to write whatever comes to your mind as it would help you in brainstorming. This list isn’t final yet.
Look for Related Search Terms:
This is a very interesting way to find keywords related to your niche. Just go to google.com, and search one of the keywords you have already written.
In the above example, when I searched for email marketing, Google gave me suggestions under “Searches related to email marketing”. This section is present at the bottom of the page.
You can further advance your research by looking for the average monthly searches for these keywords in your SEO tool.
Keep an Eye on your Competitors:
Not necessarily, you have to use all the keywords your competitors are using, but it is a good idea to know what keywords they are using and how they are ranking for them.
It will further help you evaluate your keyword list.
If you have a keyword on your list that your competitors are also using, then probably, you should work harder on that.
However, do not overlook the keywords your competitors are not using. It is because this could be a smart move to capture a good market and establish your authority.
Narrow Down your List:
Once you have a list of all the keywords you have gathered using the above steps, it’s time to narrow down the list.
To use Google Keyword Planner, you need to set up an ad account, but you don’t have to run ads.
With the help of these tools, you can decide to skip using a keyword if it has tool little average monthly searches.
In the below example, the term digital marketing software has a search volume of 260 which is quite low, and you can leave this term.
You Are Done!
Congratulations! You now have a list of keywords that are well researched and you can focus on them to rank your pages on the SERP.
Make sure you keep evaluating these keywords every few months. If you find some new ones, include them in your strategy. As you gain authority in SERP, you can add new keywords in your list and work on them to expand your success and maintain your current position.