Effective Keyword Research For SEO

Want to learn how to perform effective keyword research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? You have come to the right place. Keyword research is the process of discovering and analyzing search terms that your target audience uses when searching something related to your brand. SEO keywords range from single words to phrases and typically inform website content to increase organic and relevant search traffic. With proper research and optimization, keywords are useful tools to connect your website with potential B2C and/or B2B clients.

In addition to content marketing and link building, keyword research is also important aspect of Search Engine Optimization. If your target audiences do not use the keywords to find answers to their questions, it is time to relook at your strategy. 

Understand Your Niche

A good starting point is to always study your niche in detail. Consider browsing through active Q&A websites, online discussion groups, and industry forums for the latest information. This process allows business owners to discover elements – which were overlooked by keyword tools –prospective customers may be struggling with. Avoid relying too much on forums because customers can be a superb source of keyword ideas. Since you are already doing business with these people, you will want to attract more individuals like them to your website(s). Useful channels to extract insights from customers include customer support requests, past emails, or engage customers via face-to-face conversations. Pay close attention to the language customers user during these processes. It may differ from the language you might use or think is correct. 

Brainstorm Relevant Topics and Seed Keywords

Kick off this step by brainstorming several topics that are important to your business. These topics will come in handy when you need to think of more specific keywords later in the process. What are the topics that people bring up the most in sales conversations? What are the topics that you frequently blog about? In addition to answering these questions, remember to put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas. They can be fact or fictional representations of your ideal customers. 

Seed keywords make up the foundation of most keyword research processes. These terms help define your niche and identify competitors. In addition, they are needed by keyword tools to generate keyword ideas. If you already own a business or selling products that you want to promote online, generating seed keywords is easy. Simply think about what consumers type into popular search engines to find your products, company, or services. For example, if you sell fresh fruits, your seed keywords might be apples, pears, persimmons, grapes, and more. 

Choose the Right Keyword Type

Now that you have a list of keyword ideas, how do you know which options to pick? Realistically speaking, there is currently no tool out there that can give a definite answer. Instead, you should assess each keyword on factors such as Search Volume, Authority, Click-Through Rate, and Keyword Difficulty. Choose wisely because certain keywords are competitive, and these terms can prevent you from getting past the third page of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)! So, find a keyword that does not face a ton of competition so that you have a better chance of improving your ranking and increasing visibility. 

If you have launched a brand-new website, always focus on non-competitive search terms. Long tail keywords are often less competitive than head terms and body keywords. Here is a detailed look at what these terms are: 

  • Long Tail Keywords: These phrases are comprised of four or more words and are very specific. For example, buy green t-shirts online or affordable electric guitars for beginners. Although long tail keywords make up most of the searches online, but do not get a lot of search volume individually.

  • Head Terms: These are single-word keywords that get a lot of search volume and competition. Common head terms include dresses, jeans, facial cleansers, and insurance. These terms are competitive because searcher intent is all over the place. Individuals searching for "drinks" might be looking for vitamin drinks instead of soft drinks. This is one of the reasons why head terms do not convert very well.

  • Body Keywords: Body keywords are phrases that consist of two to three words. These terms receive decent search volume and are typically more specific than head terms. Common keywords include order cosmetics online or English translation services.

Utilize Keyword Research Tools

Got a healthy mix of keywords at your disposal? It is time to narrow down the list with more quantitative data. Free and premium keyword research tools help business owners determine the most relevant keywords in their industries. In addition, these tools provide opportunities to maximize keyword usage throughout the entire SEO strategy. Some of the functions found in modern keyword research tools include: 

  • Deciphering overall keyword trends

  • Generating search volume and traffic estimates

  • Recommending keywords based on web page intent and/or website niche

  • Identifying keywords that help drive traffic and increase conversions

  • Providing instant/automatic feedback 

  • Organizing individual keywords into Ad Groups

Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends are a couple of useful tools for beginners to start with. All you need to do is set up an Ads account to gain access them. 

It is important to note that there is no best keyword; just terms that are highly searched by consumers. It is up to you to craft a unique strategy that drives traffic and rank new pages. Effective keywords are terms selected based on volume, authority, and relevance. Although you do not need to avoid highly searched keywords like the plague, use terms that you can reasonably compete for. Know the level of competition you are up against and determine if your team has the means to produce content that excels in quality and value.

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