What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is essentially finding out what people are searching for. It finds and analyzes search terms that people enter into search engines, giving you an insight to your demographic.
Keywords can be long or short, but the general rule of thumb is the shorter the better. Businesses and marketers must do regular keyword research to find out what keywords their audience is using – how is your audience supposed to find you if you don’t know what they’re searching for?
However, it’s not just the individuals that you should be doing keyword research on. Search engines such as Google will use your website to find keywords, and your site will be ranked based on what those keywords are.
Buyer intent keywords typically follow formulas similar to these:
‘best x for y’
‘best x under $xxx’
‘best budget x’
This is a great formula when you’re writing ‘Top 5’ or ‘Top 10’ reviews and buyers guides.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
There’s an abundance of keyword programs that can help you find the best keywords for your topic/ niche.
Some of the most popular programs and sites are:
Some of these programs can be quite costly, so if you’re a beginner, it’s probably best for you to find a free program. One of the best free keyword finders is Ubersuggest – it’s a free, fully functional keyword research and competitor analysis tool.
Most of these programs will give you a list of relevant keywords in seconds, as well as what your competitor’s keywords are.
These programs and sites can give you plenty of valuable information, such as:
- Growth trends
- Organic keywords
- Keywords tracking
- Traffic estimates
- Keyword difficulty
- Clicks and impressions
- Search volume
- Domain ranking
- Number of backlinks
These programs and websites are great for analyzing keywords. The whole point of SEO is to outrank your competitors, but you need to find out WHO your competition is first.
Use Keywords Your Competitors Use
First of all, find out who your competition is. This can be done on google search (just search in your main keyword, and see what other sites are at a similar ranking to you), or using a program such as Ahrefs.
Your competition has most likely done the keyword research before you, so find out the main keywords that they rank for, and select the best, most relevant ones.
You may naturally decide to use the keywords that rank highest, but this isn’t always the best way forward. A keyword can have a high search volume without getting many clicks – and it’s the clicks that you’re after.
Keywords with high competition may be a waste of time, so opt for keywords that have low competition – around 2000 searches per month is a good number.
Many marketers tend to forget about the valuable Google Suggest, but it’s definitely something that can be used to find the best keywords.
When you type something into the Google search engine, Google supplies a list of similar searches below it. If you’re a small business, this can be extremely valuable.
For example, if your site is a rabbit-care niche, then type in “rabbit food”. See what comes up on google search.
You’ll most likely see the following:
- Rabbit food Bristol
- Rabbit food bowl
- Rabbit food dispenser
- Rabbit food storage
- Rabbit food pellets
You can utilize this information to gather relevant keywords and phrases. Google has learned this from what people are searching – it recognizes when people type in several phrases before finding the result they’re after.
This is to benefit searchers, to help them find their result quicker – but it’s also great for us marketers. If you’re after more potential keywords, then scroll down to the bottom of the page, and look at the “searches related to ___” section – it will give you more potential keywords that searchers are looking for.
Build a Mailing List
With the information you’ve received from your program of choice, from google, and from your competitors, start building a list of keywords.
It’s best to keep the list of keywords in a document, that you can keep updating and adding to. You’re likely to have hundreds of keywords on the list, and it will become a valuable resource for you and members of your team.
As your list grows, you’ll start to notice which keywords are more popular. This is where prioritizing your keywords comes in.
To simplify this process, you can use metrics like search volume and competition. Consider the potential that each keyword has, and do a search of the keyword in a program like Ahrefs to find out some analytics on the keyword.
It can be difficult keeping track of each keyword, but there are programs available to help you keep your list organized – Keyword Planner is a popular choice amongst marketers.
Your list of keywords should be changing all the time – in marketing, pretty much everything is in flux, keywords included.
Try narrowing down your keyword list based on what the analytics of the keyword is showing. If a keyword has too much competition, it may not be worth keeping on your list.
Keywords are extremely valuable in the marketing game, and essential for the online growth of any business. However, it’s important to remember that this is only one step that needs to be taken.
If you have poor keywords, your site isn’t likely to get much traffic as people won’t find it on the search engine.
Keywords are key to increasing the number of visitors to your site, and they should be well-thought-out before you implement them.
Do you have any more keyword research tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this post with your marketing friends.
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