What is keyword research?
Do you know what words your potential customers use to find services and products like yours? Keyword research is the process of uncovering those terms, allowing businesses to capitalise on them. By assessing search volume, competition levels, and commercial intent of keywords related to your business goals— this practice can be done manually or with automated tools.
Looking for something? Keywords are your map. People use the words and phrases to find products or services online, and search engines draw from this language to organise their results – bringing you one step closer to what you need. Whether it’s for SEO or PPC, keyword research helps paint a picture of user search behaviour for your brand to capitalise on.
Why is keyword research for SEO necessary?
Crafting an SEO strategy or content piece requires extensive SEO keyword research to ensure that you have the most accurate understanding of what your readers are seeking and the appropriate words to use to rank higher on search engine result pages.
Additionally, by researching pertinent keywords related to a topic, you can optimise written content for maximum engagement and impact. Effective keyword research can also help you improve your website’s content.
Before you begin keyword research, pinpoint your target audience and determine the words they are most likely searching for. This will help you create tailored content for them so that when it comes time to write an article or update a webpage, you can ensure it meets search intent.
Utilising user Intent with your SEO keyword research
Your keywords must be categorised accurately, as your users’ intent will determine what kind of key phrases you should collect. Segmenting each keyword by user purpose can help ensure your website visitors receive valuable content and services.
For example, as a sports shop, if you acquire keywords such as “where to buy gym t-shirts” or “black gym t-shirt”, – these will be transactional keywords. People who type in these terms are already seeking out your product with the intent of purchasing it.
Alternatively, if you acquire keywords such as “types of t-shirts” or “best equipment for the gym”, these would be regarded as informational keywords. People will use such terms when looking to research before making a purchase decision.
The four different categories for keyword placement consist of the following:
- Informational keywords: searchers are looking for an answer to a specific question or general information.
- Navigational keywords: searchers intending to find a particular site or page.
- Commercial keywords: searchers are looking to investigate brands or services.
- Transactional keywords: searchers planning to complete an action or purchase.
This can serve as good guidance as it lets you know where best to utilise a keyword for optimising your website.
How to do keyword research
Searching for and identifying the right words is an integral part of SEO and website optimisation. These keywords will help attract more visitors to your web pages, so understanding how to select effective ones could be crucial in driving traffic to your site.
Searching for the right keywords is a crucial step in SEO. There are various keyword research tools available that will give you access to data relating to your target keywords for your business.
A keyword tool is a software application that helps you find keywords related to your business or website to optimise your content for search engine optimisation (SEO).
However, doing thorough keyword research requires a good amount of time allocation, which may be difficult to do if you’re running a business. Hiring an SEO agency can simplify your SEO keyword research and allow you to focus on your business.
Keyword gap analysis
The next step in your keyword research is to analyse the top-ranking pages on Google related to your target keywords. From there, you can observe what these sites are doing correctly and replicate those successful strategies on your website.
A thorough and effective keyword gap analysis can provide invaluable information about your competition and help you add additional keywords further to enhance the content of your blog or product pages. By uncovering gaps in competitors’ keywords, you can gain a strategic advantage over them and boost visibility for yourself. This is very important when it comes to content marketing.
Keyword gap analysis helps you better understand the landscape of your industry through the work your competitors have done. Utilising high-traffic keywords obtained through this method provides even more of an edge, putting you in a pole position to succeed.
Prioritise your keywords
Not all keywords are created equal. Some will have more search volume than others, so assess the popularity of a keyword. This can be done with the keyword research tools we mentioned above.
Understanding the language utilised by those searching for content or services related to your business is critical. It allows you to develop material and product pages that use keywords in alignment with search intent to drive more traffic and maximise revenue. Doing this can also aid in optimising the conversion rate of your service/product pages.
Prioritising according to goals:
- If the goal is revenue focused, prioritise the most lucrative keywords searched by people who are ready to buy.
- If the goal is high growth and traffic, prioritise which keywords are the most popular.
Analyse what’s possible to rank for
To identify feasible keywords, you can search for them using Google. If big-name companies in your industry are seen ranking high for a particular keyword, it’s likely to be competitive and challenging to rank for. Familiarity with the major players in your sector is key here, as they will often be at the top of these listings – so use this information to help gauge how difficult a given keyword might be!
This doesn’t mean discarding those high-competition keywords completely. Rather, your energy will likely be best spent on keywords you can rank for based on your website’s domain authority. This can allow you to leave the competitive ones out of your immediate plans but still include them in your long-term marketing plan.
Select where to utilise keywords
When deciding on your website’s keywords, craft a comprehensive keyword mapping strategy for which pages will target each keyword. For instance, all the relevant transactional keywords can be associated with collections or product pages. This ensures that your target audience quickly finds what they’re searching for and boosts user engagement.
Allocating your keywords to a specific page clarifies what page should be targeting which keyword. This will also prevent your pages from competing for the same keywords. This is done by focusing on a keyword within the text of a webpage.
If you want to optimise your website’s SEO, creating additional categories for keywords can be a great way to start. Leveraging contextual backlinks is also an effective strategy, as Google gives more weightage to these than backlinks with plain URLs. Hence, it makes sense that you use them in conjunction with relevant keywords for maximum impact.
Continue researching new keywords in your industry
It’s essential to stay up-to-date with keyword research, as terms may change over time. Reviewing your past efforts helps keep you informed by discovering new words and phrases that could replace ones already used. Here are some ways to do this:
- Talking to clients.
- Reading industry publications.
- See what is coming up next in your industry.
- Signing up for your industry newsletters.
After carefully analysing your keywords and making a plan for the content, you can now implement these keyphrases within your on-page SEO plan.
Choosing a keyword tool
As mentioned above, you can utilise various tools to aid with your keyword research for SEO.
The best free keyword tool is Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a free keyword research and analysis tool from Google that helps you find keywords to focus your SEO and PPC efforts on.
The best-paid keyword tool is SEMrush. SEMrush has a variety of features that are not available in any other SEO or PPC tools at this time, such as rank tracking, backlink analysis, social media monitoring, domain comparison, etc.
SEMrush also has a keyword gap analysis tool. This enables you to discover keywords that your competitors rank for which you don’t.
Overall, keyword research will always be an ongoing activity for businesses. As industries change and adapt, terms used within an industry can increase or decrease in popularity. This is why keyword research is never an activity that can be done once and never again.