5 Different Ways to Do Keyword Research
Although search engines have gotten smarter at understanding human language and identifying high-quality content, SEO is still the primary language through which you should communicate with them. SEO still plays a crucial role when it comes to ranking, and there is nothing more important than ranking. Why? Well, try and recall the last time you ventured beyond the first page of search results for any keyword. Exactly, almost never.
In the past, brick and mortar businesses attracted more customers by renting or buying office spaces in areas where there was high traffic. Since most are now present online as well, good ranking represents the equivalent of a desirable location.
Why Is Ranking So Complicated?
There are over 200 major and 10,000 minor SEO signals Google takes into when ranking your website, and that’s just the part that they are willing to disclose. Also, the sheer number of users online is making your job even more difficult. There are thousands of people trying to sell their products online. Furthermore, there are probably dozens of businesses which offer something that is similar to your product or service, whether you are trying to market fitness equipment, assignment help, or household electronics.
Sometimes, they will be doing better than you, not because they have a superior product, but because they have done a better job of optimizing their content. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the very essence of SEO: keyword research. Check out 5 different ways for doing keyword research.
1. Research Seed Keywords
At the very core of every keyword research are seed words. What are seed keywords anyway? They are those words which represent the essence of the topic you want to target. Removing them would alter the search altogether. However, you can add words in order to modify them or include other, similar keywords, as well as narrower search terms. For example, if you are looking to market your product for weight loss, one of the seed keywords you should definitely target is “weight loss”.
The most obvious modifiers would be words like “products”, “plan”, “exercises”, or “foods”, for instance. You can think of them as foundation upon which you will build all those other keywords that you intend to target. Seed keywords are usually pretty easy to identify. The most obvious seed keyword would be the name of your product or service, as well as your niche. In this case, your niche would be “weight loss”. The problem is that you can’t base your SEO effort on just seed keyword, since there is almost too much competition.
2. Take a Look at Your Competition
If your competitors are doing better than you, despite you having a better product, it’s time to take a peek at what they are doing when it comes to SEO. You can find out which keywords they are using relatively easily by using one of the keyword tools which are available out there, such as Ahrefs Site Explorer. You can use it to analyze the websites of your competitors and identify which keywords they are ranking for. However, scouting each competitor from the first page of search results might be overkill.
A smarter way to do it would be to figure out which pages of those websites perform the best, and then see which keywords they are ranking for. But even then, simply copying what they are doing doesn’t mean that you will wind up with the same ranking. You might want to try to rank for a keyword which is similar or synonymous to that of your competitor.
3. Brainstorm Your Target Keywords
Once you have your seed keywords written down, you can use them to brainstorm ideas about other keywords you want to rank for. Try and put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Analyze the way in which you are searching for a particular topic on the web and try to apply that to your keyword research. Another thing which can really help is Google Autocomplete, as it gives you an insight into how your customers think.
Forums, as well as platforms like Quora and Reddit are true goldmine of keywords. Think about it. People which gather there exchange information which is specific and useful, not generic and vague, and on top of that, they use natural conversational language to do it. As a result, such content is full of keywords you can use for your SEO campaign. This goes especially for long tail keywords, which can also be identified by using Google’s Autocomplete feature. Although the competition isn’t as fierce here as in the case of seed keywords, long tail keywords have a higher click rate, and they usually contain user intent.
4. Find Words with the Highest Number of Clicks
One of the things most people overlook when it comes to SEO is the number of clicks for each keyword. Everybody gets so caught up trying to rank for keywords which are the most popular. But, high volume doesn’t necessarily mean that they will click on the link to your website inside the search results. Sure, a click is not the same as a conversion, but if they don’t click, they will never visit your website and buy anything.
The reason why we are so obsessed with high volume keywords is because quantity breeds quality, in most cases. In case of SEO, you can and you should do both. Go after high volume keywords, but also try and target those keywords which have a high number of clicks. High traffic is not a goal in itself. It is merely a stepping stone toward what you really want, and that’s better sales. And you can only get those by focusing on relevant and targeted traffic.
5. Organize Your Keywords
After you have done all of the above, you will have plenty of useful data and keywords. In fact, you will have too much of it, which means you will have to organize everything and discard some of the data and keywords. The simplest and probably the best way to organize your keywords would be to put them inside a spreadsheet. Whether you will sort them based on traffic volume, clicks, or difficulty is up to you. The only thing that matters is that your staff gets it and has no trouble making use of it.
We also suggest using intent and value as criteria. For example, in our earlier “weight loss” example, you can create one group where the intent is to lose weight through exercise, and another one which intends the same using various products. It would also be good to create a separate category for those keywords which have the best value. We are talking about those which are most likely to result in a sale. For instance, while you may rank for something like “healthy lifestyle”, this doesn’t necessary mean the keyword is valuable to you if you are trying to market your weight loss plan/exercises/products.
Keyword research represents the very essence of SEO. While Google’s use of AI algorithm might change things in the future, keywords are always going the be relevant, whether they are given in the shape text or verbal command. In order to boost your business, start applying the tips from this article today. Good luck!