The first step to writing any content is to think about which search terms (keywords) you want to rank for.
When you hear the word keyword, it does not mean a single word, a keyword can be a single word like “Attorney” or multi-word phrase “Best Attorney in Las Vegas”. So, remember when you hear the word keyword, it could be a multi-word phrase.
What is keyword Research?
In simple terms, keyword research is the process of generating the valuable keywords you want to rank for that will lead to more visibility in search results and higher website traffic . You will not just learn about search terms but also learn a lot more about your customers.
The first step in search engine optimization is really to determine what it is you’re optimizing for. This means identifying the terms people are searching for (also known as “keywords”) that you want your website to rank for.
Next, use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking for them. This is in simple terms is what keyword research in all about.
Search engines have become so powerful that they can detect which content best fits the user’s intent, so they rank content based on how well they fulfill that purpose.
In this keyword research guide, I will walk you through the keyword research process. In the end, you will be able to understand how to do keyword research, keyword research terms, identify the different types of keywords, learn about the main keyword research tools and how to use the keywords in your content.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
First, Keywords are a major contributing factor to ranking and traffic. Keywords research will arm you with the right keywords to create quality content that your audience is searching for. Many websites are not attracting their desired audience because they failed to identify the right search terms their audience is interested in while others are just creating random content without optimizing their content for any keywords.
Keyword research is mission critical for the success of your SEO campaign. It can make or break an SEO campaign. The key is to look beyond their search terms and seek to understand their intent- their end goal for conducting a search.
What are the terms people are using when they are searching for content or services in your industry? To truly succeed in keyword research, you must understand search intent i.e. You need to understand the User’s intent for the search. Perhaps you can better understand user intent by asking a question
What are the users really looking for?
User Intent is the holygrail of keyword research. User intent or search intent as some might call it is the underlying reason people are conducting the search. It could be to learn more about a topic or to make a purchase. So, the key is to create content that answers the user’s underlying question.
According to TopRank
When we marketers understand search intent, we can create new content and/or optimize existing content to be more tailored to their audience’s specific needs, problems, and questions—helping gain SERP visibility in the increasingly crowded content landscape, and attract more qualified traffic and build trust with those visitors (who will hopefully feel like you “get” them and their needs).
There are different categories of user intent
Informational Intent– When people are searching for information about a particular topic.
Navigational Intent– When people search for a particular website, say Amazon because they want to shop on the website.
Commercial Intent– When people are researching about a product they want to buy.
Transactional Intent– When people are searching for a product to buy after researching it.
Types of Keywords
There are different types of keywords. In order to effectively target and convert your ideal customers, you need to use different types of keywords at different points of the customer’s journey.
These keyword that is made up of three words or less. They are highly competitive and have a huge search volume. It is difficult to identify the audience’s search intent and so the conversion rate is low.
These are keywords with more than three words. They still competitive though they have a lower search volume. It is easier to identify the user’s intent. The big websites usually rank for short-term keywords. So, it is best for niche players to focus on long tail keywords.
These are keywords used to target a specific city, state or region. Geo-targeting is perfect for local business who want to attract customers in their area to their store. Such keywords have low search volume, high search intent, low competitive rate and high search intent and high conversion rate.
Latent search indexing keywords are synonyms and variations of your main keywords. For example, if your main keyword is Veggie Pizza (forgive me, I love veggie pizza), your LSI keywords will be hot veggie pizza, classic veggie, vegan pizza toppings.
Google algorithm relies on LSI keywords to understand user search habits and give users the best content for their search queries.
Lsi keywords are best suited for creating blog blogs. It has search engines to better understand what your content is about. Using LSI keywords will also help you rank for multiple keywords.
If you want to generate LSI keywords, simply search for your main keyword on Lsigraph or Lsikeywords. These sites will churn out lots of related keywords. Alternatively, you can search for your main keyword on google and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the related keywords section.
At this point, I am sure you are getting a clearer picture of what keywords research is all about.
We have more grounds to cover.
What is keyword Strategy?
Keyword strategy is the approach you choose to selecting high-performing keywords that drive relevant traffic to your business.
To find the right keyword strategy, you need to consider the following
What your website is about?
What products and services you offer?
What audience are you targeting?
What is the unique selling point that makes you stand out in your market?
What is the size of your business and how competitive is your market?
Answering these questions is the first major step towards defining your keyword strategy and identifying your keywords.
How To Generate Keywords
The easiest way to generate keywords is to get into the minds of your audience.
What are they searching for?
What keywords they could they use to find your product or service?
Start making a list of all the keyword ideas you can think of.
Well, there is a more efficient way to generate keywords, enter keyword research tools.
Keywords Research Tools
I am sure you can think of many keywords you can use, but you can generate even more tools using keyword research tools. These tools have keywords research so much easier unlike in the past when you had to manually write down every keyword you could think of.
While most of the tools are used for general keyword research, some of them are ideal for finding related keywords or for finding the keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Google Keyword Planner– You can use it to generate keyword suggestions and related keywords
Ubersuggest– A keyword suggestion tool that uses Google autocomplete to produce good keyword idea. This powerful keyword research tool will also show you the top-ranking web pages for those keywords. Also, you will find the keywords difficulty score. This score helps you determine how easy or difficult it is to rank for that keyword. Ubersuggest is feature-rich and surprisingly free to use.
KeywordsEverywhere is one of my favorite keyword research tools. It is a chrome and firefox browser extension that shows you related keywords, search volume and CPC and competition data right underneath your browser’s search box.
Semrush: This is a comprehensive analysis tool. You can use the tool to analyze your competitor’s domain and find keywords that they use to attract relevant visitors to their websites. Another tool for competitor research is Ahref’s keyword explorer tool.
Lsikeywords: This is a free tool you can use to generate keywords long tail keywords that semantically related to your main keyword.
Answer the Public: This is clearly of the best keywords research tools available. It is a visual tool that shows you the queries and questions customers are asking. It is perfect for generating content ideas.
Another keyword research technique is to gauge your keyword performance inside Google Search Console. When you sign into your GSC, click on the performance tab. Select the queries tab, there you will see your keywords that have high impression. Then add more of the keywords inside the page or article you created for that keyword.
Bear in mind that each article ranks for so many keywords. So, it is important that you optimize your keyword placement so to as to rank better for the main keywords and semantically related keywords you have chosen.
It is important that you are optimizing your website and your content for the actual search terms your audience is using. If you fail to do so, your webpages will perform terribly in search results pages and will lead to lower rankings.
Now that you have generated a good number of keywords, the next thing is to put them to use.
This is where keyword mapping comes in. Keyword mapping is the process of assigning relevant keywords to the different pages on a website based on thorough keyword research. So, you must identify the main keywords and semantically related keywords you need to use to optimize existing content or create comprehensive and highly valuable content that will address user’s intent- i.e the question the audience is seeking answers to.
How to Steal your Competitors Keywords
One sure way of building a successful keyword strategy is spy on your competitor. By searching for your primary keyword, you will find the top performing domains in your niche. You can analyze their website and find their best performing keywords.
There are two ways of finding your competitors top keywords-
By inspecting their source code, you can find the keywords they use in their header tags.
The second way is to use tools like Semrush and Ahref. If you can afford these tools, you can use a tools like Wordstream’s keyword tool to find the main keywords on your competitor’s domain.
In addition, you need to check for competitors’ appearance on search results
How powerful is their brand?
Do they dominate search results for search queries in your niche?
Can you find a niche you can outperform them?
Then gauge the quality and length of their content.
Perhaps your competitors are already dominating search results for the main keywords in your industry. The best approach to take is to think of an area where you perform better than your competition. Think of it as a niche market. Is there a niche market in your industry that the big players are not playing in? Can you dominate the niche market?
At this point, you are armed with sufficient insight to create content that has more depth and can offer better value to users.
Long-Term Keyword Research Strategy
Organic ranking for keywords does not happen overnight. So, the best approach is to have a long- term keyword strategy. You must painstakingly work your way up the keyword ladder.
The general rule of thumb is this: start with a big set of long tail keywords which have little traffic, but you can rank for more easily. Then, work yourself up to the rankings step-by-step. Once you’ve gained some SEO authority, start optimizing for more general keywords. And in the end, maybe you will even be able to rank for your head keywords!
Getting your keyword research right is the first major step towards creating quality content that your audience will love. The good thing is that Google’s search bar algorithm is built around a searcher’s intent. The key to finding new keywords is to find keywords that are both easy to rank (low competition) and relevant to your business.