Success in SEO and digital marketing depends on crafting tailored strategies. Keywords play a pivotal role and keyword research is vital as the starting point to the on-page SEO. Learn about how to do keyword research with the use of the right tools and the right way.
What exactly is keyword research?
Since so many hinges upon keyword research one must have a clear idea of what the term means. It is defined as the process of finding search terms people use on search engines and then analyzing the terms to know intent, frequency, the popularity of topics, and other factors.
This will help you to define and develop content to serve the purpose. You get a good idea of what people are searching for and why as well as how many people are searching using those terms during a certain period. You can do it the hard way or you can use specific tools for that purpose.
Select your keyword research tool
The task is not easy and if you go the long route you will be spending days without arriving at a definite choice. Most experts use tools for keyword research and so should you. Using the right tools could help you hit the right keywords, use them in content and promotions, and see a growth of traffic. Once you use any or a combination of the tools listed below you will not want to do it manually or any other way.
Soovle does it a different way by scraping keywords from popular sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube, to name a few. You can also find untapped keywords and you can save the suggestions into a .csv file.
#2. Google Search Console:
Use this and it should be sufficient. You get a performance report that lists pages on your site that get most clicks and you can use this tool to find opportunity keywords with ranking hierarchy. Use this in conjunction with Google Analytics to get in-depth keyword data.
This tool gives you in-depth information on each keyword like first-page competition and how many searchers click on a result. You also get to know the difficulty level and, importantly, etc.
#4. Google Keyword Planner:
Many SEO professionals rely on GKP to find data on top of page bid and commercial intent. GKP data is reliable since it is from Google.
#5. Moz Keyword Explorer:
Moz is another top tool preferred by SEO experts. It finds core keywords and associated keywords effectively. It gives you stats on the number of clicks you can expect from a selected keyword.
Unique to SEMRush is that it shows keywords used by competitors and the rankings. You can find keywords that other tools are not able to recommend. You also know rankings of sites in their database based on estimated organic traffic. It does have plenty of features one of which is a phrase match report that gives a list of long-tail keywords. Its keyword Magic feature is that it draws keyword suggestions from its database of 800 million terms. It is expensive but effective.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are tools such as KW Finder, QuestionDB, Google Trends, Keyword Snatcher, Serpstat, and Keywords Everywhere, to name a few. The important thing is to become thoroughly familiar with one or two tools and extract the maximum from them instead of trying out all of them.
Gather business-specific topics and filtering
On the face of it, keyword research is simple. You use the tool and select a set of keywords based on the company and its products. However, you could go off in the wrong direction and not get results unless you first select a topic relating to the keywords based on which you will create a strategy. SEO practitioners need to familiarize themselves with the client’s business, products, and target customers as well as competitors to decide on topics.
There are various considerations:
- What topics do targets care about? Keywords can be an indicator depending on the volume. It works iteratively.
- You carry out keyword research to find which topics hold high potential and then research keywords relating to the topics that get high volume searches. This gives you an idea of topics and content.
- The topic and content will indicate the choice of keywords.
- Consider brand terms, product terms, competitor terms, substitute product terms, audience terms. Think of substitute terms, eg, cutting instrument for knife and mods such as a serrated knife, stainless steel knife, circular knife, and so on.
Tangential factors to keep in mind are that not all people who search do so with the intent to buy. Some may simply wish to find information or to solve a problem. You will need to use your discretion to arrive at the right keyword choice.
- Pick topics based on your understanding of client, product, market, and targets
- Pick keywords and analyze figures of search volume and rank them into main and sub-topics
- Find keywords for sub-topics
- Compare with keywords that help searchers find your client’s site.
- Search for related search terms
- Decide on a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords – the latter is important
- Find out how competitors rank and select that keyword that will give you a better chance and then use Google AdWords keyword planner to trim the keyword list. You could say this is the filtering of keywords. It is important to use filtering. You can set various parameters such as the highest volume of searches beyond a certain figure, or ratio of search volume or other parameters of your choice.
- You can use Google Trends too. You could pick terms with low search volumes but which are likely to improve.
One way to succeed is to pick a keyword and create content for that topic keyword on your site. Then create content for that keyword based content on authority sites.
The foregoing has given you a fair idea of the importance of keywords research for SEO success. Success also hinges on divining user intent for ranking. Google gives preference to content that informs and resolve searcher’s intent.
A keyword’s intent depends on the context and the context here is the associated set of words the searcher used. For instance “how to make ice cream” differs from “how to sell ice cream”, where ice cream is the keyword in both instances but the intent is quite different for searchers.
User intent can be slotted into different slots such as:
- Navigational – people are looking for a specific site related to the term
- Informational – people want information on the keyword topic
- Purchase – searcher wishes to buy the product related to keyword
- Investigation – may be done by competitors, analysts or simply buyers who are comparing before buying
It is difficult to simply guess from keywords so you have to draw inferences from the associated words. You could use a tool like Ahref keyword explorer and set filters for keywords to find out intent.
Another way to go about is to simply enter the keyword in Google search and then draw inferences from SERP features. One thing to keep in mind is that intent is not always clear cut.
It is up to you to create content that conveys a precise intent and thus help Google list you accordingly.
Keyword research in 2020 is like going down the rabbit hole where you face choices problems. Keep at it. In time you will develop a technique and strategy that helps your SEO to succeed.
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