Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing. It involves identifying the words and phrases that people use to search for products or services like yours, and then using those keywords in your website content, meta tags, and other on-page elements.
By understanding the basics of keyword research, you can increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately, grow your business.
The goal of this blog post is to provide a comprehensive introduction to keyword research, including what it is, why it’s important, and how to get started. We’ll cover everything from identifying the right keywords for your business to using them in your content and tracking your performance. By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to conduct keyword research and use it to boost your online presence.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for products or services on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. These keywords are used by search engines to understand the content and relevance of a webpage and to match it with the user’s search intent.
There are 3 major types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords. These are single-word or two-word keyword phrases.
- Long-tail keywords. These are longer keyword phrases, usually three words or more.
- Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. These are related keywords that are semantically linked to the main keyword, and they help search engines to understand the context of the content.
How To Identify Keywords For Your Business
There are several methods to identify keywords for your business or website, including:
Brainstorming: Start by thinking about the products or services you offer and the topics related to your business. Write down a list of keywords that come to mind, including industry-specific terms and phrases.
Competitor research: Analyse the keywords that your competitors are using on their website and in their online marketing campaigns. You can use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to see which keywords they are ranking for.
Customer research: Ask your customers or potential customers what they would type into a search engine to find a business like yours. This will give you insight into the words and phrases they are using, and can help you identify keywords that you may not have considered.
Google Suggest: Use the Google search bar to enter a keyword related to your business, and scroll down to the bottom of the SERP to see the “Searches related to” section. These are the keywords that are closely related to your main keyword and that people are searching for.
Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool offered by Google Ads, that allows you to research keywords and get historical statistics such as search volume, CPC and competition for those keywords.
Once you have identified a list of keywords, you should analyse them to determine their search volume, competition, and potential traffic. You can use keyword research tools to help you with this analysis, and then organise and prioritise your keywords based on their relevance and potential impact on your website’s visibility and traffic.
Keyword Research Tools
There are several popular keyword research tools that can help you identify relevant keywords for your business or website, and analyse their search volume, competition, and potential traffic. Some of the most popular keyword research tools include:
- Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool offered by Google Ads that allows you to research keywords and get historical statistics such as search volume, CPC, and competition for those keywords. It is also a very useful tool for creating ad campaigns, as it allows you to see the estimated costs of your campaigns.
- SEMrush: This is a comprehensive SEO and marketing tool that allows you to research keywords, analyse your competitors, and track your website’s performance. It also provides detailed information on search volume, CPC, and competition, as well as suggestions for related keywords.Ahrefs: It is a tool that allows you to research keywords,
- analyse your competitors, and track your website’s performance. It is known for its large database of keywords and its ability to find long-tail keywords, as well as its backlink analysis capabilities.
- Moz: This is a popular SEO tool that includes keyword research, link building, and website audit features. It allows you to research keywords, analyse your competitors, and track your website’s performance.
- Keywords Everywhere: This is a browser extension that allows you to see the search volume, CPC, and competition for keywords on multiple websites, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, and more.
These are just a few examples of the many keyword research tools available. Each tool has its own set of features and capabilities, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. Keep in mind that some tools are free while others are paid, so you may need to try a few different ones before finding the one that works best for you.
Free vs Paid Keyword Research Tools
Both free and paid keyword research tools can be useful for identifying relevant keywords for your business or website, and analysing their search volume, competition, and potential traffic. However, there are some key differences between the two:
Free keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google Ads that allows you to research keywords and get historical statistics such as search volume, CPC, and competition for those keywords. It is a great tool for getting started with keyword research, but it may have some limitations in terms of data, and not providing some specific features.
- Keywords Everywhere is another popular browser extension that allows you to see the search volume, CPC, and competition for keywords on multiple websites, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, and more.
Paid keyword research tools:
- SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are examples of paid keyword research tools that offer more comprehensive data and features than free tools. They typically provide a wider range of data, such as historical trends and SERP analysis, as well as integration with other tools, such as website audit and backlink analysis features.
- These paid tools can provide more detailed information on the keywords and their performance, and allow you to compare your website to your competitors. They also offer more advanced features such as keyword grouping, and tracking your rankings over time.
In general, paid keyword research tools can provide more data and more specific features than free tools. However, it’s worth noting that the cost of paid tools can add up over time. If you are just starting out, you may want to start with a free tool, but as your
business grows, you may consider upgrading to a paid tool to get more advanced features and data.
Analysing and Organizing Keywords
How to analyse keywords for search volume, competition, and potential traffic
Once you have identified a list of keywords for your business or website, you need to analyse them to determine their search volume, competition, and potential traffic. Here’s a general overview of the steps you can take to analyse keywords:
- Search volume: This refers to the number of times a keyword is searched for on a search engine in a given period of time. High search volume keywords are generally more valuable than low search volume keywords, as they indicate that there is a large audience searching for that keyword. You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs to get an idea of the search volume for your keywords.
- Competition: This refers to the level of competition for a particular keyword, or how many other websites are trying to rank for that keyword. High competition keywords are generally more difficult to rank for than low competition keywords. You can use keyword research tools to see the estimated number of websites targeting a keyword and the strength of their backlink profile.
- Potential traffic: This refers to the potential number of visitors you could drive to your website by ranking for a particular keyword. To calculate this, you can multiply the search volume for a keyword by the click-through rate (CTR) for that keyword. CTR is the number of clicks that a webpage receives divided by the number of times it was shown. You can use keyword research tools to get an idea of the CTR for your keywords or you can use the industry standard of 2-3% CTR.
- Relevance: It’s important that the keywords you choose are relevant to your business or website. If you use irrelevant keywords, your website may rank in the SERP, but you’ll attract the wrong audience and they will leave your website quickly which will lead to high bounce rate and low conversion rate.
By analysing keywords for search volume, competition, and potential traffic, you can prioritise them according to their relevance and potential impact on your website’s visibility and traffic. It’s also important to note that keyword research is an ongoing process and you should continue to monitor and update your list of keywords over time to ensure that they are still relevant to your business and audience.
How to organise and prioritise keywords
Once you have analysed your keywords for search volume, competition, and potential traffic, you need to organise and prioritise them in order to determine which ones are most important for your business or website. Here are a few steps you can take to organise and prioritise your keywords:
- Grouping keywords: Organise your keywords into groups or categories based on their relevance to your business or website. For example, you could group your keywords by product or service, by topic, or by audience.
- Prioritising keywords: Within each group, prioritise your keywords based on their search volume, competition, and potential traffic. Start with the keywords that have the highest search volume, lowest competition and highest potential traffic, and work your way down the list.
- Creating a keyword map: Create a map of your keywords that shows the relationship between them and how they relate to each other. This will help you to understand the context of your keywords, and to identify any gaps in your keyword strategy.
By organising and prioritising your keywords, you can ensure that you are focusing your efforts on the keywords that are most likely to drive traffic to your website and generate leads or sales. Keep in mind that not all keywords are created equal, so it’s important to focus on the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business.
Best practices for tracking and monitoring keyword performance
Tracking and monitoring keyword performance is an important step in the keyword research process, as it allows you to identify changes in search volume, competition, and potential traffic, and to update your keyword strategy accordingly. Here are a few best practices for tracking and monitoring keyword performance:
- Set up tracking and monitoring tools: Use tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to track and monitor the performance of your keywords. These tools can provide valuable data on your website’s visibility, traffic, and conversion rates.
- Track your rankings: Monitor your website’s rankings for your target keywords on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. This will give you an idea of how well your website is performing for those keywords and how it compares to your competitors.
- Monitor your competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ keywords and rankings, as well as their backlinks, content, and other SEO efforts. This will help you to identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
- Track your conversion rates: Use tools like Google Analytics to track the number of conversions (sales or leads) you are getting from your website, and compare this to the number of visitors you are getting from your target keywords. This will give you an idea of the effectiveness of your keyword strategy in terms of driving conversions.
- Track your backlinks: Monitor your backlinks and track the number of new backlinks you acquire, as well as the quality of those backlinks. Backlinks are important for SEO and they can help you to rank higher on SERP.
- Re-evaluate and update your keywords: Re-evaluate your keywords on a regular basis, and update your keyword strategy accordingly. Make sure to remove keywords that are no longer relevant or that are not driving traffic to your website, and add new keywords that are relevant and that are driving traffic.
By tracking and monitoring keyword performance, you can identify changes in search volume, competition, and potential traffic, and update your keyword strategy accordingly. This will help you to stay ahead of the competition and to continue to drive traffic to your website, leading to more conversions and revenue for your business.
Keyword research is an essential part of any successful SEO strategy. By understanding the basics of keyword research and incorporating best practices into your keyword strategy, you can ensure that you are targeting the right keywords to drive traffic to your website and generate leads or sales.
Now that you’ve had the basics of keyword research. The next step is applying this to your content. Read here [future link] to learn how to optimise your content for your website.
For more helpful information about SEO, visit the Digital Deluxe website.