One of the greatest pillars of SEO is keyword research. You need to find the right keywords to reach out to your prospects effectively. Keyword research refers to the process of finding words and phrases that people are using on search engines.
You want to make content that is relevant to your audience. In order to increase your chances of ranking well on search engine result pages (SERPs), you need to have content that satisfies the users. Content that answers questions, provides information, or a sales page for people who want to complete a purchase.
Keyword research is one of the initial steps towards successful search engine optimisation. Keywords are your guide to achieving your objectives in the online world. It is only when you understand what people want that you can provide the information they seek, how they want it.
Excellent keyword research also helps you to set up effective PPC campaigns and other forms of paid advertising.
Where To Begin
Are you wondering what keywords you should focus on?
The first step towards getting the right keywords for your audience is simply by brainstorming. You have to come up with a list of the important topics that might be of interest to your audience. Here, you try to find the commonest topics in your sphere.
If you run a digital company for example, you want to rank for terms like:
Once you have a list of topics, you then have to find the corresponding keywords.
To do an effective keyword research, you need a keyword research tool that will makes things easier for you. A good keyword research tool will have all the data you need regarding keywords in one place. Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, and GoogleAds are some of the tools that you can use for keyword research. Another important tool to use is the Google Keyword planner.
The attributes to guide your choice of keywords includes your business location, your niche, the competitiveness of a keyword, and its popularity. Generally, you need to find relevant keywords for your target audience.
When doing your keyword research you will come across those words and phrases that have a very high search volume. These numbers can be in hundreds of thousands monthly. You will be tempted to want to rank for it but what are your chances? When you have big names like Wikipedia coming ahead of you, it needs some effort to outstrip them. it could take long, but it’s possible.
When a word has a very high search volume, it is very competitive and ranking for it is difficult. When using tools such as Semrush and Moz, this attribute is referred to as keyword difficulty. A phrase with a high keyword difficulty requires a bit of work to rank for. On the other hand, phrases with a low search volume typically have a lower keyword difficulty and you have higher chances with these. But what happens when you opt for keywords with a low difficulty? You are going for low traffic and you are not the only one.
This is where the concept of long tail keywords comes in. Going for broad keywords makes you visible to a larger audience. Not all these people are interested in your services. But when you use long tail keywords, you narrow your target. With long tail keywords, you stand better chances of getting conversions.
Here is an example, you optimise your site for the keyword ‘digital marketing’. People who are looking a digital marketing company in Sydney might end up on your website but they may not convert if you are based in London. For such a case, it would be better if you optimise your webpage for the keyword ‘digital marketing company Sydney.’
If your website has been around for some time, there are keywords that you rank for poorly for but which can do better, with a few tweaks.
It is estimated that about 30% of traffic goes to the websites that rank in the top 3 positons on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Therefore, when you have your pages ranking below number 3, you could be getting dismal numbers. But with a few changes, you can optimise your pages to get into those good positions. It takes some changes such as link building, changing the keyword density and content optimisation. It is easier to move several places up if you are in the top 10 or even top twenty.
You need to know the keywords that your competitors are using because you are in the same niche and your target audience is more or less the same. The aim of doing competitor analysis is to help you find ways to jump ahead of your rivals.
Find out which keywords you are ranking well for and aim to maintain your top spot. For those which you rank poorly for, you need to find ways and means to climb up several positions. If your competition has better content, you need to up your game and craft killer content.
When you have chosen a topic that interests your audience, you need to find the related keywords. This will help you rank well and also improve the readability of your content.
Google has developed algorithms that detect the related keywords and phrases. You don’t have to stuff your entire webpage with a specific word. Google knows that if you talking about hospital, some of the words that might feature on your website are health, medicine, clinic and nutrition.
A keyword research tool will help you to uncover the related keywords and phrases. When you create content, you need to distribute these words evenly throughout the text. Your main keyword should be part of the page title and H1. The related keywords can then be used to write H2s and H3s. This way, Google finds meaning when crawling your pages and you will boost your rankings a great deal.
When you are doing keyword research, one thing you need to consider is the search intent. This is the reason why the user is making a certain search. Do they want to gather information or do they want to buy immediately?
Google classifies the intentions of the people who are searching for a word or phrase. If the dominant intention is to buy, then you need to take them to your sales page. On the other hand, if the dominant intention of searchers is to gather information, then you need to have content in the form of an explanatory blog that answers most of the queries.
The searchers intent is classified into these main groups:
An example here is ‘how to rank on Google.’ This is a user who seeks information. Maybe they want to learn about something or they plan to complete a purchase in the near future but they are still finding out about the importance of a product or service.
Here, the searcher is looking for a specific website. An example of text that will be entered in the search box by this user is ‘World health organisation’ or ‘Facebook’.
Here the searcher needs to buy something or complete an action. They are yearning to purchase now and the best place for them to land is the sales page. If you take them to the informative blog post, you can easily lose them because they have made up their mind.
This kind of searcher is looking for a local service. An example is someone who is not familiar with a certain locality but wants to grab a coffee. Their search query will be something like ‘coffee shops near me’
Keyword research requires that you understand the search engine results. Look out for the pages that are ranking and the content they are serving.
To Wrap It Up
Keyword research is one of the most important things to do if you are looking to build an effective SEO strategy. when doing research, aim to understand what your audience needs and give it to them. Look at what your competitors are doing and find related keywords.
With the use of keyword research tools, you can greatly save on time.
Always ensure that you do continuous monitoring of your keywords. When your website drops a place on the SERPs, find out the reasons and do the necessary corrections. If your site rises, make a point of keeping the upward trend and staying ahead of your competition.
Web Performance Media is here to ensure that your keyword research is above your competitors’. We have a great skillset and access to powerful SEO tools which we use to come up with a list of keywords that will dwarf your completion. Coupled with the other aspects of search engine optimisation, we aim to earn you high traffic volumes and more conversions.