The SEO keywords will dictate the direction of your content, making sure that the content produced is relevant and also searchable on Google. And this brief explanation clearly shows you the best ways to do keyword research in 2021.
Keyword research is a time-consuming task and involves a lot of effort to generate details, numbers, and comparing long lists of keywords.
But it’s important to do it well, especially if your goal is to increase your streams of income by monetizing your blog. A thorough keyword research will be the foundation of your SEO strategy and content development.
What is keyword research?
By definition, keyword research is simply a process of analyzing and finding a list of important keywords for the purpose of SEO copywriting.
These keywords or search terms, often become a guide for the direction of your content and marketing strategy.
A keyword can have a single word but more often than not it’s made out of several words.
For example, search terms like the keyword like “the cheapest web hosting“, is an example of a keyword.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is a must do activity to improve your SEO ranking in Google. Why?
Because it is only through performing adequate and thorough keyword research that you will be able to craft a viable SEO strategy.
With a good strategy, you can then create a detailed plan of action to achieve your goals. For example, if you are in the business of selling clothes, your content may contain the focus keyword “clothes for men.”
But without proper keyword research, the keyword used might be “clothes for old people.” Although it’s still a technically correct term, there may be a mismatch to what your potential customers are searching for on Google.
So keywords that you choose to use should be those that your target audience is searching for on the internet. Only then will it make the effort of optimizing your page worthwhile.
How to do keyword research
It can be done either manually or using a keyword research tool. But no matter what method you choose, there are crucial steps that you need to take.
This journey starts from outlining your goals to executing your keyword plan. Therefore, follow these detailed step-by-step guides to performing a proper and thorough keyword research for realize maximum results:
1. Study your niche carefully and understand it.
Before you decide what the best keywords to optimize your page are, it’s important to begin by learning more about your topic or niche.
This will give you ideas and help discover angles in SEO strategy that you might not have thought about before.
Here are the four points to help you study your niche:
- Find out from your customers the terms they use to describe your company, product or service.
- If you were a customer sharing with a friend a product of the company, would you recommend it or not?
- Join forums in your niche online to get people’s opinions on topics that are in your niche.
- Read the discussions and find out any pain points that are mentioned regarding your niche.
2. Define your goals.
Specifying what you want to achieve needs at the end of an activity extremely important. Here are a few important introspective questions to help define your goals:
- Who am I?
- What is my brand about?
- What makes me special?
- What is my website about?
- What promises do I make on my website?
Once you answer these questions satisfactorily, specify what is your brand’s mission. State exactly what you want to realize.
For example, do you want to increase the number of subscribers? Or do you have a sales target by a certain date?
It’s important to define your goal because it will provide a direction for your SEO strategy and plan.
So write down your goals. Document them.
3. Make a list of relevant topics
Make a list of all the topics related to your brand that you want to rank for on Google.
For example, if you’re specializing in men’s personal care products, some topics that are related to your brand can be:
- antiperspirant deodorant
- male pattern baldness
They need to be topics that are important to your business and related to your buyer personas.
These topics can then later be broken down to keywords that are related to those topics.
4. Create a list of seed keywords
Start creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords should be related to your various topics or the terms that your target audience might be searching on Google.
Seed keywords or focus keywords, are important as they are the foundation of your keyword research. They define your niche and identify your competitors.
5. Use good keyword research tools.
Hence you identify your goals, topics, and a list of seed keywords, then use keyword research tools to further refine your search terms.
It will give you a lot more details and help you narrow down on the right direction for your search terms.
On top of that, it can also give additional ideas on related keywords. All you need to do is type in the topic into the search box and it will give you a list of alternative keywords, including those that contain prepositions and questions.
6.Study the search intent
Search intent is the reason behind people searching for a specific term on the internet in search engines like Google.
Searching for high volume keywords to rank for a page faster is now a thing of the past. Today, Google’s machine learning search algorithms compare search terms with user queries to learn about search intent.
There are many driving factors behind people’s search habits, such as:
- Why are they searching?
- Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer to that question?
- Are they searching for a specific website?
- Are they searching because they want to buy something?
So try to put yourself in their shoes. Why would they search for your topic? How will they key in the terms? Are they looking to buy something?
Once you have a good idea of the search intent behind potential readers or customers, you will be able to use it to fine-tune your keyword research.
7. Identify long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords usually get fewer clicks, but since they are focused on a specific topic or product, they often get a higher conversion rate.
8. Find out about your competitors
You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. Understanding the competitiveness of different keywords will also allow you to identify search terms that might be too difficult to rank.
You will be able to find keyword opportunity gaps. These opportunities occur when you find related keywords that are related to your brand or industry with low to medium competition level.
Key in the URL of your competitor into the search box and the results will show all the keywords that the page ranks for.
Keyword research tools
Before we conclude, let’s look at a few popular keyword research tools that will help you do everything discussed above.
- Google Keyword Planner (Free). For keyword suggestions.
- Google Trends (Free). For comparisons and researching the geography of trends.
- Google Search Console (Free) For checking the top 1,000 keywords you already rank for and how much traffic those keywords send you.
- Keyword Generator (Free). For generating hundreds of free keyword ideas from a seed keyword.
- Keyword Difficulty Checker (Free). For checking the ranking difficulty of a keyword.
- Keyword Rank Checker (Free). For checking where you rank for any keyword in any country.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you should have enough insights to craft a good content and SEO strategy. You would also have gotten adequate data for SEO copywriting for your content.
Whether you’re running a content-focused blog, a small business, or a brand marketer, you will need keyword research to kick-start your content and marketing activities.
Doing keyword research can be a tedious and time-consuming task. But it pays off handsomely in the long run.