05 Dec Is There a Smarter Way to Do Keyword Research?
If you have a website, then you know the importance of ranking high on Google. But with competition on the internet increasing by the day, you need to have a smart SEO strategy in place to drive traffic to your website. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keywords are vital. Driving organic traffic to your website or running successful PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns on Google Ads requires targeting the right keywords.
To find the right SEO keywords, you need to do proper keyword research.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the essential words or phrases that define your content, which users will type into search engines like Google in order to try and find your online content. Keyword research is a methodical process to find which search terms users are typing into search engines to find content related to your intended categories. Understanding what your audience is searching for will help you tailor your content to improve your search engine visibility.
The Benefits of Keyword Research
Keyword research is central to a results-driven SEO strategy. But apart from SEO, keyword research also offers several other benefits. Some of the benefits of keyword research include:
- Understanding Your Audience — Keyword research reveals how your audience is searching for your content, which can reveal a great deal about your audience’s interests and motivations. This knowledge helps you to target your audience more precisely through developing buyer personas.
- Improving Content Strategy — Understanding your audience through keyword research helps you improve your overall content strategy by developing content focused on popular industry topics and meeting your customers’ interest. Staying on top of the topics users want helps keep your web traffic up and your brand relevant.
- Evaluating Brand Sentiment — Researching keywords about your brand reveals the most popular terms customers use to locate your brand online, uncovering the top reasons users search for your products or services. Branded keywords on social media, such as through hashtags, are a great way to track what users are saying about your brand online.
- Monitoring Competitors — Using keyword research can also be helpful for monitoring your competitors and comparing your content strategy to theirs. Keywords for competitors can reveal their audience interests and how you can adapt your strategy to fill their needs and gain more customers for your own.
How to Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is only effective if the proper steps are taken. Successfully conduct keyword research using these steps:
- Generate Relevant Target Topics — Consider your brand and what customers may prioritize when it comes to searching online for your content. Start with about five to 10 relevant topics, then develop specific related keywords for those topics. Blogging is a great way to generate topic and keyword ideas. After preparing your list, you should search the keywords to see how well they perform and if you need to make changes.
- Discover Seed Keywords — After selecting your relevant topics and baseline keywords, you need to find the seed keywords that cover these topics. Seed keywords are the root keywords which best define your brand. They will be included in longer keyword phrases that become more specific. The list of selected seed keywords will become the building block for your keyword research. For example, the seed keyword “social media agency” could be included in the larger search term “social media agency in Manchester.”
- Use Related Search Terms — When you search for something on Google, you will see “searches related to [keyword]” at the bottom of the front results page. This is a great place to see the similarly related search terms people are using to find content like yours. Try it out for the keywords you already have to see what other relevant keywords and phrases you can pick up for your content.
- Target Both Generic Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords — Head terms, also known as short-tail keywords, are more generic and simple, but they have steep competition due to high search volumes. Long-tail keywords have a three-word minimum and are more specific. While they may not have nearly as high search volumes as head terms, their competition is less steep — meaning you have a higher chance of gaining web traffic by using longer terms. However, it’s important to include a balance of both generic head terms and long-tail keywords to improve overall visibility in search results.
- Check Out Competitor Keywords — As previously mentioned, checking out the competition online is an effective strategy for keyword research. Develop a list of your top competitors along with the top keywords they seem to be targeting. Then, use your web browser’s incognito or private mode to search for their keywords (this will help to ensure the results are not skewed). There are also many SEO tools available to help generate a list of your competitors’ keywords. It may be beneficial to target keywords for which your competitors are not ranking well or keywords that have potential but are not yet being targeted.
- Filter Down Your Keywords — Once you have gathered a combination of relevant SEO keywords, you can do some qualitative analysis to narrow down your list to the keywords that are likely to draw in the most web traffic. Qualitative analysis of keywords should be based on their search volume, keyword difficulty score and overall competition. You can use online keyword research tools such as Google Keyword planner to help in this process, which provide real-time and authentic data for search volumes and traffic estimates for the keywords you choose. Discard the keywords with low search volumes or those that have high competition — and keep those keywords that exhibit consistent positive growth in Google Trends or other SEO tools.
Skip the Research with a Dedicated SEO Expert
With a business to run, it can be difficult to find the time to conduct keyword research to improve your content and boost web traffic. Ensure your content is making the most of best practices for SEO with the help of a dedicated SEO expert. Virtual Stacks Systems UK provides SEO services that can help your business reach more customers online and improve your overall web presence. Contact us to discuss your SEO strategy!