18 Feb Why is SEO Keyword Research Important?
If you want to bring in visitors to your website, it’s important to know what they are searching for in Google or other search engines in order to find your site. The text that users enter into the search bar are known as keywords, and these keywords reveal a great deal about user intent. To discover which keywords users are entering to find your website, you’ll need to conduct keyword research. However, keyword research methods today are not the same as they were a few years ago.
Let us, therefore, take you through what keyword research is, how to develop your keyword strategy, and how to create effective content with the user in mind.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the method of discovering and analyzing which terms people are typing into search engines like Google to find your website. If you know what your target audience is searching for, you can then better adapt your content strategy to rank higher on search engines and bring in more visitors to your website.
Conducting keyword research, helps you identify the SEO keywords you need to use on your website. SEO keywords can be both individual words or entire phrases (also known as long-tail keywords). There are many SEO tools available to help you conduct your research based on your website, target audience and even your competitors.
You can start conducting basic keyword research by generating topic categories relevant to your business, brand or content. From there, come up with more specific lists of keywords that you think fit within those categories. You may want to try searching some of those terms and picking ideas from the “searches related to” section at the bottom of Google. Mix up your keyword choices with popular short head terms and long-tail keywords to ensure you’re capturing the attention of users who search a combination of different terms. Finally, you will want to use some SEO tools to help you analyze your keywords for popularity and effectiveness. These steps are just the beginning of developing a keyword research strategy.
How to Develop Your Keyword Strategy
Once you have an idea about the keywords you should be using based on your keyword research, the next step is to develop your keyword strategy. Your keyword strategy will help you to better improve the content on your website to meet your marketing needs and reach your target audience, and it will also help you know how to keep track of your results over time.
Follow these steps to develop your keyword strategy:
Understand Your Business
Before you can understand your audience, you need to make sure you fully look at your own business. Outline your goals and key objectives. Decide on your branding and overall message, along with what makes your business stand out against competitors. If you don’t know your business well, then it will be hard to understand your audience.
Understand Search Intent
Search intent stems from your audience. It’s their motivation as to why they are seeking out or finding your brand online. It could be that they are looking for you by name, or it could be that they come to you by searching for the type of services or content you provide. Once you understand your audience’s search intent, you can develop content to better capture their interests.
This is the primary part of keyword research. Make sure you are using the right words and language that your audience is using. Your business may use one term or phrase for something, but your audience may be using different words when trying to search for the same topic. Your focus should be user-centered to bring in the best results.
Understand Your Competition
Study your competition to see what keywords they focus on and how well they rank for them in search results. If they are ranking well for the keywords you are aiming for, consider how you can use those keywords differently to attract visitors. See what types of content work well for your competition, and consider how you might be able to create similar content.
Understanding Search Engines
Testing out your keyword ideas and conducting keyword research will naturally bring you to testing out searches on search engines like Google. Keep track of which words and phrases produce good results, the types of websites and content that is generated from those keywords, or if you have the opportunity to target a more local audience. However, it’s important to keep your audience in mind first and not stress too much over algorithm changes over time.
The best way to track your keyword data is with helpful SEO tools that are able to provide insightful, detailed reports for how your website is currently performing and for how the keywords you have chosen are performing. Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great tools to use for analyzing your keyword data.
Creating Content with the User in Mind
The purpose of conducting keyword research and developing your keyword strategy is to improve your website content to bring in more visitors. We briefly discussed search intent in the previous section, and now we will go more into detail. Understanding user intent is one of the most crucial steps for developing your SEO content strategy. Once you know what your target audience wants and is searching for, you can create content to meet their needs and therefore rank higher on search results pages.
So, how do you create a user-intent SEO strategy for your content?
Search your keywords in Google, and you may start to notice these three categories of user intent:
- Information searches – Users in this stage are not ready to buy, but they are ready to learn. Informational topics such as “how to” articles and tutorials are common among top search results for information searches.
- Navigation searches – A navigational search is more specific than an informational search. Users have an idea of what they may want, but they are not intending to make a purchase just yet. Common results for this category include top lists of products or services under a specific topic.
- Transactional searches – Here is where users are actively seeking to make a purchase. Users may search specifically for “where to buy” what it is they are looking for. Results will include mostly direct product pages here, and very little informational pages.
It’s important to be effectively reaching your audience at all stages of their buying and searching process with your content. Testing out your chosen keywords will help you start shaping the types of content you want to provide your target audience at every stage.
However, it’s just as important to remember that your content should be user-centered, not keyword-centered. Yes, you do need to make sure you’re choosing the right keywords, which can be tracked with Google Analytics, but the keywords themselves aren’t what keeps your business operating. Your web content should incorporate relevant keywords from your research, while ultimately providing your target audience with the content they need at each stage of their buyer’s journey. So, for example, it would be good for your SEO strategy to provide a variety of blog posts relevant to your brand by cycling through the stages with “how to” articles for the information stage, top lists for the navigation stage and effective product pages for the transactional stage.
Develop the Best SEO Strategy for Your Business
If you want to increase traffic to your website and provide better content for your audience, consider the help of a digital marketing agency. Virtual Stacks Systems UK provides a team of professional digital marketers who are experts in keyword research and SEO strategy. To discuss the marketing needs of your business, contact us toda