To get started with keyword research for SEO: –
Keyword research is an ongoing process for marketers. Learn the basics of good SEO keyword research and analysis.
Despite all the many changes in SEO practice over the years, keyword research remains one of the most fundamental SEO tasks.
Some form of keyword research is still one of the first things SEO professionals at all levels do, especially for a new site (or any site they want to improve or expand search rankings for).
Therefore, learning how to do good SEO keyword research and analysis is one of the most valuable skills that can be developed.
Keyword research is a process of discovering and determining the keywords that matter most to the goals of a given website.
Finding not only the keywords that want to rank for but also the ones that should rank (what people who want what to have to offer are looking for).
Done right, keyword research also yields the topics for which content should be created on the site.
Competitive analysis is an area closely related to keyword research.
During the research, one can find out what the competitors rank for, which can lead to key information not only for the SEO strategy but also for the business.
Keyword research helps to understand the specific terms that people are using to solve the problem and the context behind those terms.
It is important to research keywords to dispel any misunderstandings or assumptions one may have about the needs of users and the language they use to express themselves.
Keyword research informs content optimizations every step of the way.
Good keyword research follows an orderly process, a set of steps that helps to achieve all the goals.
Because the market situation will change over time.
Changes that may require new keyword research include:
- Change the needs or wants of the target consumers.
- New queries that have not appeared before or new terms used by search engines to find what to offer.
- New competitors entering the market.
- Changes in search engine algorithms or search functions.
Make the keyword research process one of the common habits for good SEO health and growth.
There are many legitimate ways to approach keyword research:
- Analyze current keywords.
- Formulate goals.
- Create the keyword “wish” list.
- Assess the competitive landscape.
- Expand the keyword horizons.
- Prioritize for opportunities versus investment.
The prospect of a business website trying to sell products or services to potential customers.
However, the basic principles also apply to non-commercial sites.
Just substitute cause, passion, or interest in products and services.
Step 1: analyze current keywords:
- This is where one should start if one already has a set of keywords that one has been trying to rank for.
- If are taking over an existing site or working on a site for a while, one probably has some list of keywords in mind that they have been trying to rank for.
- The first thing to do is list those keywords and run an analysis to see how they are performing.
- To analyze larger applications, one will probably want a paid tool.
- But for a more basic site, there are plenty of free rank tracking tools available.
- If the list of keywords is relatively small, they can be googled to see where they currently are.
- View the ranking history and search volume for these keywords from the chosen tool.
- Use Google Search Console to determine which keywords the site is already ranking for.
- The goal is to establish a baseline of keyword performance.
- Use the metrics that have been collected on existing keywords to separate well-performing keywords from poor but worthwhile keywords.
- These are keywords that have sufficient search volume and impressions but have lower rankings and/or click-through rates.
- Leave out poor but worthwhile keywords to add to the list that will be developed.
- The new keywords that will be discovered in keyword research will become the guide for all subsequent SEO work.
- The goal is to establish a keyword performance baseline that can be used to grow the keyword universe.
Step 2: Formulate the objectives:
One might think that is ready to start some real keyword research.
Without some carefully crafted goals, the specific business and brand must drive organic traffic.
Because those objectives will give a sense of direction to the investigation.
Oftentimes, keyword research will return keywords that one could rank for, but if they are not keywords that will attract visitors that can become solutions to the needs stated in the objectives, it will not be worth the effort of trying. rank.
Having goals will help improve the chances of SEO success.
Save more time and effort than necessary and avoid targeting irrelevant terms (so-called vanity keywords) or keywords with little or no return on investment (ROI).
Here are questions to ask when formulating the keyword research goals:
- Who is our target audience? Who buys what we sell and why?
- What do we sell and what is our unique value proposition in our market?
- What are the main needs and/or wishes of the people who become our clients?
- What are the related secondary needs?
- What are the things our target consumers need to know in order to feel confident about who they choose to buy from?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help to focus on the keywords that will really matter to the business.
Step 3: Create the keyword “Wish List”:
This step is a truly internal investigation.
That is, it begins in the head itself.
Combined with business or industry experience, list keywords to think about that best describe what potential customers are looking for when they are in various phases of their buyer journey.
- What would they look for when they’re just trying to find out about the kinds of things to sell?
- What would they look for when trying to make an informed decision about who to buy from?
- What would they look for when they wanted to buy specific things that to sell?
Do not assume that the keywords derived from this exercise are really valuable.
Step 4: assess the competitive landscape:
One of the best sources for finding keywords that one should rank for, but isn’t yet, is competitors.
If they’ve been in the game longer, they’ve probably discovered and taken advantage of many more opportunities, whether they found them through careful research or they just stumbled upon them.
Many SEO tools will show the highest ranking keywords for a given domain, but one may need to invest in one of the paid tools to dig deep.
Let’s look at a few different ways to approach competitive keyword research.
Get started with the simplest free method of competitive keyword discovery: Google itself.
This method can uncover many opportunities, but since it depends on a certain amount of guesswork on the part of the party, it will not provide a complete picture.
However, it can be a good place to start if one doesn’t have good tools on hand.
Google is most useful in identifying who the main competitors are online.
Start by searching for the products or services to sell and see who consistently appears in the top results.
Moving on from paid ads, it’s clear that Home Depot and Lowes are the top organic search competition.
If someone sells multiple products or services and these two show up again and again in searches, add them to a list of top competitors.
Be sure to also look for any alternate names that search engines may use for the products or services.
A Google site search for each product and its alternate names for each competing domain.
Google do the search term and then site: domainname.com (using the competitor’s domain).
This search tells us the alternative keywords that the competitor ranks in Google for this product.
Use of keyword tools:
For more sophisticated competitive research, one needs a third-party tool.
Some of the free tools can provide limited access to this intelligence, while almost all of the paid tools can show a much more complete competitive picture.
Many tools allow entering a competitor’s domain to discover the keywords for which they rank highest.
Add relevant keywords and variations to the list.
With these tools, one can usually dig to another level where one can discover:
- Keywords both competitors rank for (if one is below, what would it take to push).
- Keywords where they rank but not (time to create or improve some pages to get into that game!).
Step 5: expand the keyword horizons:
While keywords are still critical to good SEO, optimizing them will only go so far.
Over the years, Google has vastly improved its ability to recognize topics and all their related terms, so now each keyword is truly the gateway to a thematic universe.
There are a number of free tools specifically designed to suggest related topics for any given keyword.
Some of the most popular include:
- Respond to the public.
- Keyword explorer.
- Keywords everywhere.
Most of these tools work by scraping Google SERPs to discover the search terms and questions that search engines use most frequently for a given topic or keyword.
Some paid tools will give more depth, including terms that are semantically related to keywords.
Browse the expanded list of keywords to select the top-level topics, then group the remaining keywords underneath them based on relevance.
Step 6: Prioritize for opportunities versus investment:
It is not really research per se, but it is also a fundamental bridge in turning what is discovered in the research into actions that lead to results.
The first priority should be the best opportunities, but should always be weighed against the cost of winning those opportunities.
A particular keyword may have high traffic potential, but if having to spend too much time trying to get a good ranking for it or one can’t convert that traffic into one of the business targets, then it’s not worth it. cost.
Gather the metrics and order:
Put all the keywords that have accumulated in a spreadsheet and create columns for the key-value and cost indicators, such as:
- Average search volume.
- CPC offer price.
Although CPC is not an organic search metric, it can serve as a good indicator of how competitive the keyword is.
The higher the CPC, the more competitive he is and the more difficult it is to get a good organic position for him.
Another metric we want to analyze is trends.
- How has this keyword performed over time?
- Are growing in search volume?
- Has CPC increased or decreased?
If one doesn’t have a tool that tracks such trends, Google Trends can at least give an idea of search interest in a topic over time, although won’t find all the keywords there.
Which keywords are most likely to contribute to each step of the buyer’s journey to achieving business goals?
Match existing content:
Decide which keywords on the list are related to the content which already has.
By looking at what ranks in the SERPs for a keyword, determine the primary search intent as Google sees it.
- Transactional (something people enter when looking to buy)?
- Informative (something people enter when they want to learn more)?
- Local (something people enter when they want to find a store or facility nearby)?
- Navigation (something people enter when they know exactly what they want and who they want to get it from)?
Now assess whether each piece of content is well optimized for keywords to map to and whether that content also matches the keyword’s search intent.
Launch the keyword flyer:
Keyword research is a process that should never end.
Fluctuations in the market, new competitors, changes in Google, changes in the business, all this and more, may require more research and prioritization of keywords.
Continuous keyword research is one of the best ways to never lose the competitive edge.