An In-Depth Guide To Keyword Research

SEO agency

Keywords are like the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and digital marketing.

If people can’t find what you’re writing on, the chances of getting traffic on the website might be next to zero. Therefore, keyword research is crucial to define the set of keywords related to business.

At its essence, keyword research is market research. It tells you what people are interested in and what relative numbers. It also reveals the actual language online users are using when searching for topics, providing you with insights on how to engage with them via your content.

Fortunately, there are various ways to do keyword research. In fact, you can find a Google ads service to help you determine the ideal keywords to use for your campaigns. To know more about keyword research, read below.

An Overview Of Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of analyzing and identifying the terms people use on search engines. By understanding such keywords, you can find the ones that matter the most and create certain content to match your target audience’s intentions and needs.

It’s more like searching for what your buyer persona looks for and making the right adjustment to cater and provide what they’re looking for. You’ll be able to analyze the expressions they might use and how much they’re using the information on the search result pages for every keyword.

To know what keywords are best for your business marketing campaigns, you can work with any digital marketing agency online, such as Bud. With proper keyword research, you can boost traffic and generate leads. However, keyword research is more than finding several combinations of words. It’s more on exploring them to understand how you can leverage them to improve you brand’s search engine ranking.

Why Is Keyword Research Important For Every Business?

Finding a high-volume search term isn’t enough. You have to ensure that the keywords used in your content for your products, services, or brands matches the keywords that your customers use.

When you’ve performed thorough and adequate research, only then you’ll be able to create a viable SEO strategy. With a good strategy, you can create a plan of action to achieve your goals.

Remember that your keyword choice impacts your online presence and website ranking. With that in mind, keywords that you opt to use must be those your audience is searching for. Also, choosing higher volume and more relevant keywords can provide you with better results.

Steps To Do Proper Keyword Research

There are countless ways to do keyword research. You can either do it manually or use a keyword research tool. However, regardless of your choice, below are some of the essential steps you need to take:

  1. Learn More About Your Niche

Before you figure out the best keywords to optimize your page, it’s wise to start by learning more about your niche or topic. It’ll provide you with various ideas and discover angles to your SEO and marketing strategy that you might have thought of before.

Below are some of the ideas to study your niche:

  • Get involved in your niche or topic’s online communities in social media platforms and forums. Read the discussions and determine the pain points often mentioned about your niche.
  • Think like your potential customers. If you’re a customer of your brand or business, how would you want to talk about it?
  • Talk with your current customers and spend more time getting to know them better. Look for the terms they use when describing your products, services, company, or brand.
  1. Define Your Goals

A plan should always start by defining the end goals. However, before everything else, you must ask introspective and important questions about your brand and what makes your business special.

Once you know the answer to your questions, you have to specify your brand’s mission. Do you have a sales target, or do you want to boost your subscribers?

It’s crucial to define your goals because it’ll give directions for your SEO plan and strategy. The search terms you’ll use must align with your goals and segment them into various content marketing funnels. Your goals may also inform you of the purpose of your SEO content and copywriting.

Write down your goals, draw charts, and document them. These will give your top-level online marketing and content strategy the direction and framework needed.

  1. Create A List Of Relevant Topics

Depending on the primary category of your brand and the goals you’re trying to aim for, consider breaking it down into small topic buckets. Create a list of the topics related to your business that you like to rank on search engines.

For instance, if you’re a brand specializing in personal care products, some topics related to your business can be facial wash or deodorant. They should be topics critical to your business and related to your buyer persona. Think of what topics your audience searches for online. Such topic buckets may be broken down to keywords related to such topics.

  1. Make A List Of Seed Keywords

Now that you’ve broken down your primary category into various buckets of sub-topics, you may start with creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords have to be related to your topics, and they should be terms that your audience might be looking for online.

Also referred to as focus keywords, seed keywords are critical as they’ll become the foundation of your keyword research. They help identify your competitors and define your niche.

If you want to know how to look for focus or seed keywords for your business, it’s easier than you think. The only thing you should do is describe your offers as straightforwardly as possible and try to brainstorm how other people might look for them on search engines.

  1. Use A Good Keyword Research Tool

You may think that keyword research can be done effectively without using tools. But, there’s an obvious advantage of researching keywords using a good keyword research tool. It helps you avoid getting too bogged down with keywords and gives you a better perspective for your SEO and content strategy.

When you’ve identified your topics, goals, and seed keywords, it’s wise to use a keyword research tool to refine your search terms. Basically, keyword research tools allow you to find topic ideas that your potential customers search for online. They help find content ideas that your audience is looking for and plan your content strategy to cover the topics in your landing pages and blog posts.

A keyword research tool also helps you see both long-tail keywords and seed keywords where competitors are ranking high. You may then improve your content to target such keywords and maximize your traffic.

When choosing a keyword research tool, there are various things you need to consider, and these include the following:

  • Affordability – SEO solutions like keyword research tools can be expensive, especially for small business owners. But it doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot on a keyword research tool. In fact, you can use free tools for keyword research, but it’s more beneficial to use a paid one. If your budget is tight, make sure to shop around first before settling with any keyword research tool. If possible, read reviews about the pricing and plans of your preferred tool to know whether or not it’s worth it for your keyword research needs.
  • Data Included – The best keyword research tool provides you with the data you need to rank for your keywords. Typically, most tools provide data, including competitive search engine result page (SERP) analysis, keyword difficulty, and minimum traffic.
  • Keyword Optimization Guidance – You don’t need to be an SEO veteran to use a keyword research tool. The right keyword research tool provides simple suggestions to optimize your keywords. This way, you’ll understand your target keywords and optimize your website to rank for them.
  • Data Sources – You must ensure that your keywords are free of biases and errors. With that in mind, use a keyword research tool that pulls data in from search engines.
  1. Know Your Search Intent

Search intent is basically the reason behind or intent why people look for a certain term. There are some driving factors behind your potential customers’ search habits. Some of these are:

  • Are they searching to buy something?
  • Are they searching for a particular website?
  • Why are they searching?
  • Are they searching because they want answers or have questions regarding several topics?

To understand your audience better, put yourself in their shoes. This way, you’ll know why they search for your topics and how your products and services can solve specific problems.

Once you have an idea of the search intent behind your potential customers, you’ll be able to use it when fine-tuning your keyword research. Getting a list of keywords related to your topic or brand is great. However, finding keywords that match the search intent of your customer is much better.

  1. Determine Long Tail Keywords

Often, seed keywords are shorter search terms related to the main category or topic of your brand. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are descriptive and related to your company’s sub-topics. Unlike seed keywords, it’s easy to match your audience’s search intent to your long-tail keywords.

For instance, if your website published content regarding basketball item reviews, using long-tail keywords like “what is the best basketball gear” will help attract more potential customers instead of using a seed keyword like “basketball.” Although a long tail keyword gets fewer clicks, it often gets better conversion rates since they’re focused on a particular product or topic.

  1. Know More About Your Competitors

Doing keyword research on search engines about your business alone isn’t enough. You have to be aware of what your competitors are doing. The more you understand your industry’s content landscape, the better it’ll be for your SEO.

Understanding the competitiveness of various keywords will also let you identify the search terms that could be difficult to rank. Moreover, you’ll be able to find a keyword opportunity gap. Such opportunities happen once you find related keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand with low to high competition levels.

To find such keyword opportunities, you can do a keyword search on your competitors. Most paid keyword research tools have a competitor analysis function that provides the data you need. The only thing you have to do is type in your competitors’ website address in the tool and get the keywords they use for SEO.

Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Keywords

When choosing the right terms to build an effective keyword list, you should make sure that they’re relevant to your business goals and audience. Below are some of the things you should consider:

  • Volume And Competition

The primary goal here is to know your sweet spot, which is the keywords with high search or medium-level volume with low competition. In some cases, it’s wise to go for a highly specific keyword phrase like long-tail keywords. They may have low search volume, but using them ensures that you’ll get more potential customers that are likely to convert.

  • Relevance

Your keywords should be relevant and must make sense to your industry and brand. If you use irrelevant keywords, you won’t get the results you desire, which may only waste your time and money on keyword research.

  • Trend And Projection

In Google Trends, you may opt for low-volume keywords with a favorable trend projection and history. It can be an excellent choice if you can evaluate whether a particular topic can be more prevalent in a few months or weeks.

  • Authority

Select keywords with high search or medium-level volume whose competitors have low domain authority (DA) and backlinks. This may work in your favor, mainly if you’ve established your brand as a reliable source of information.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a brand marketer, running a small business, or a content-focused blogger, keyword research is necessary to kickstart your marketing activities and content. Although doing keyword research can be time-consuming and tedious, it pays off in the long run. Just make sure to use the right keyword research tool and follow the above steps to do proper keyword research.

Author Bio
Tom is an experienced digital marketer working for Bud, out of Perth, Western Australia a multi-award winning growth marketing agency.