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Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Digital Marketing

Imagine writing an excellent piece about your product and its benefits, but you’ve failed to get your target audience to read it because none of your keywords are getting any traffic. This is a problem that many bloggers and content writers face, but the solution to this issue has been around for centuries: keyword research!

Keyword research is the process of identifying and analyzing the keywords that are most relevant to your business or audience. Through keyword research, you can gain valuable insights into what your customers or prospects are searching for, as well as identify opportunities to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are several different approaches to keyword research, including both manual and automated techniques. Some popular methods include analyzing search volumes and competition levels on different keyword tools, using free online resources like Google’s Keyword Planner or keyword suggestion tools offered by various SEO software platforms, and performing extensive research through reading industry blogs and forums.

Whatever approach you take to keyword research, it is essential that you stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices to get the most value from your efforts. Whether you are just getting started or are a seasoned keyword researcher, there is always something new to learn about this vital aspect of online marketing.

 

Why is Keyword Research Important? 

Keyword research is essential for any business or content marketing strategy, as it allows you to identify the types of keywords and search terms that your audience is interested in. This can help you craft compelling content that better resonates with your target audience, increasing the chances that they will engage with your website and ultimately convert into customers or leads. Additionally, keyword research helps improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages, which can drive more traffic to your site and increase your online exposure.

For example, if you are a clothing retailer looking to increase online sales, you could perform keyword research to identify the most popular keywords related to your products or services. This could include terms like “best fashion brands,” “online boutique shopping,” and other similar phrases that people might search for when shopping for new clothes. You can then incorporate these keywords into your content to target your ideal audience and improve your search rankings.

Whether you are just starting out or are looking for ways to optimize and improve your existing content marketing strategy, keyword research is an essential step that should be considered. With the right tools and techniques, you can unlock valuable insights into what people are searching for online, as well as identify new ways to reach your target audience and boost your online presence.

If you are looking to take your keyword research efforts to the next level, several advanced strategies can help you gain valuable insights into what keywords or topics may be most relevant for your business.

Some of the most effective techniques include performing competitor analysis, leveraging user-generated content (UGC), and tapping into social media analytics tools to identify emerging trends. Additionally, it is important that you stay up-to-date with industry news and best practices to stay ahead of your competition and keep your website optimized for success.

 

Keyword Research Dos and Don’ts

DO research keywords and topics that are relevant to your business or niche. This will help you create content that is targeted and appealing to your target audience, improving the chances that they will engage with your website and convert it into customers or leads.

DON’T overlook the importance of staying updated with industry trends and best practices. This will help you identify new keyword opportunities, as well as keep your website optimized for success in search engine results pages.

DO use various tools and methods to research keywords, including Google’s Keyword Planner or keyword suggestion tools offered by various SEO software platforms, and perform extensive research through social media and competitor analysis to uncover new opportunities.

DON’T rely solely on the results of your keyword research, as these may not accurately reflect what people are searching for about your products or services. Always be open to experimenting with new keywords and content ideas to see which ones resonate best with your audience.

DO consider the long-term value of your keyword research efforts and how they might impact your overall content marketing strategy over time. This can help you make more informed decisions about where to focus your efforts and create a more effective, results-driven approach that gives you an edge over your competition.

DON’T choose a keyword or topic just because it is trending, as this can be a short-term and unsustainable approach to content marketing. Instead, focus on what will best resonate with your target audience over the long term and set you up for continued success in the months and years ahead.

DO use long tail keywords to increase your visibility in search results and improve your chances of driving traffic to your website. These keywords may not be as popular as other terms, but they can often convert at a higher rate due to the specificity and relevancy of the content.

DON’T over optimize by overstuffing. Avoid keyword stuffing your content with a large number of keywords to artificially inflate your search rankings. This can have the opposite effect, as Google and other search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated at detecting spammy or manipulative tactics.

Ultimately, effective keyword research is critical for any business looking to achieve long-term success online. With the right approach, you can unlock the full potential of your website and take your content marketing efforts to the next level.

 

Elements of Keyword Research

There are three main aspects of keyword research to keep in mind.

  1. Relevance

Google only ranks content that is relevant. If your content does not meet the searchers’ needs, it will not rank for a keyword. Keep in mind that you are competing with other resources on the web, so your content must be better than what else is out there if you want Google to rank it higher.

  1. Authority

The more authoritative Google perceives your site to be, the greater weight it will give your content. You can improve your chances of being seen as an authoritative source by ensuring that your site has informational, helpful content, that is easily and readily shared (earning backlinks). If you’re not seen as knowledgeable in your field or if there are already established sources at the top of the SERPs (such as Forbes or The Mayo Clinic), you have a lower chance of ranking even if your content is exceptional.

  1. Volume

If you rank on the first page for a keyword, but no one ever searches it, it’s like establishing a store in a ghost town–you won’t get any visitors. Monthly search volume measures the number of times a keyword is searched in a month by all audiences.

 

How to Do Keyword Research?

To help you come up with a list of terms you should target, we’re going to lay out a keyword research process for you to follow. That way, once you establish and execute your keyword strategy, you’ll be able to optimize your website for the search terms that matter to you.

  1. Start by researching the keywords that you currently rank for. To do this, enter your site into a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush and see which terms are driving organic traffic to your site. From there, you can look at what those searchers are looking for and refine your keyword targets accordingly.
  2. Next, review the keywords that your closest competitors are ranking for. Again, you can use Ahrefs or SEMRush to see which terms they’re targeting and how well their pages are optimized for those terms. This can give you additional insights into what it takes to rank highly for your target keywords and help you identify new topics to target.
  3. Once you’ve identified a list of potential keyword targets, it’s time to do additional research. Start by searching for those terms in Google Keyword Planner and see which results are generating the most traffic and engagement. Pay attention to what types of content seem to rank best–this can help inform your own strategy moving forward.
  4. Finally, use related keyword research tools, like SmallSEOTools, to evaluate your list of terms and refine the ones that matter most. There are several free and paid tools out there that can help you find additional keywords based on search intent, competition level, and more. With the right strategy and a commitment to ongoing optimization, you can take your content to the next level and see great results from your efforts.

 

Overall, effective keyword research is critical for any business looking to succeed online. With the right approach, you can uncover valuable keywords that are relevant, authoritative, and high-volume–helping you reach your target audience and drive more traffic to your site.

 

SEO Keyword Research Best Practices

SEO keyword research is focused on your website’s performance in search engine results pages and the keywords that drive traffic to your site.

When choosing target keywords for your website pages, you must consider several key factors.

First, you need to consider search volume and competition levels for the keywords you are targeting. High-volume, low-competition keywords can be easier to rank, but they may not drive as much traffic to your site. Conversely, lower-volume keywords with high competition may result in less initial traffic, but the traffic you get could be more engaged and convert better.

Second, you should evaluate the intent and search intent of your target keywords. Your goal is to choose relevant keywords for your audience and align them with what they are searching for online. This means choosing terms that reflect their interests, needs, and preferences–such as informational searches vs. product searches.

Also, consider mapping commercial and transactional keywords for important product and service pages. Commercial keywords typically indicate intent to buy, which can be a strong indicator of purchasing behavior. Examples of commercial keywords are “buy”, “shipping”, and “promo code”.

Transactional keywords, on the other hand, indicate purchase intent and can help you identify when customers are ready to take action. Examples of transactional keywords are “buy now”, “order online”, “near me”, and “price”.

Finally, it is important to keep your SEO keyword research strategy constant and ongoing. This means regularly monitoring your performance in search results and adjusting your content strategy as needed. With the right approach, you can boost your traffic, improve your search rankings, and generate better results from your online marketing efforts.

 

Blog Keyword Research Best Practices

When it comes to blogging and content marketing, you need to find keywords on the informational side. These keywords reflect the interests and needs of your audience, and they can help you create content that engages them and drives traffic to your site.

The first thing you need to do is to make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business. These can be topics related to your industry, products or services or even broader trends in your niche. These topics will be referred to as ‘Clusters’.

A topic cluster is a collection of content around a common keyword theme. This often includes a ‘pillar post’ that provides more in-depth information on the topic, as well as supporting pieces that further explore keywords and ideas within the cluster.

Let’s say you are a retail business selling clothes, some potential topic clusters could include ‘fashion trends’, ‘seasonal styles’, and ‘classic wardrobe staples’. These topics would all be relevant to your target audience and serve as ideal keywords for your blog posts.

Once you have identified your clusters, fill those topic buckets with keywords. If you want to rank high in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to target key phrases your potential customers are likely searching for.

For example, if you run a home cleaning business, you might target keywords like ‘home cleaning services’, ‘housekeeping tips’, or ‘stain removal techniques’.

When doing keyword research, it is also important to look beyond the obvious. You may find that keywords that are relevant to your topic clusters can be surprisingly competitive, so you will need to take this into account when creating your content strategy.

 

PPC Keyword Research Best Practices

The goal of PPC keyword research is to identify terms that your target audience is using when they search for your products or services.

One important best practice when doing PPC keyword research is to use buyer personas and other data sources, such as Google Analytics, to better understand your target audience. This will help you identify the keywords that are most relevant and effective for your business goals.

Identify key terms or phrases that indicate purchase intentions. These are often commercial or transactional, as they typically indicate a higher level of interest than informational keywords. For example, you might target keywords like ‘buy shoes’, ‘order eyeglasses online’, or ‘cheap flights to Hawaii’.

Next, evaluate the competition for these keywords and make sure that there is enough search volume available to justify your investment in PPC ads. You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Rank Tracker to help you find keywords with good search volume and low competition.

Finally, it is essential to keep your PPC keyword research strategy constant and ongoing. This means regularly monitoring your performance in the search results and making adjustments as needed.

 

YouTube Keyword Research Best Practices

Ever wonder why some YouTube channels get millions of views in a short period and go viral with their content regularly? This is because they have mastered YouTube keyword research and understand the best practices for optimizing their videos.

Before researching, create a list of topics related to your business or niche. These can be topics that have attracted a lot of interest in recent months, such as the latest trends in your industry. You might also want to identify popular content on other similar channels or specific videos with high engagement rates.

Next, use YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Type in a broad keyword related to your topic and see what other suggestions are generated. These keywords can give you a good idea of the types of videos people are searching for, as well as which terms or phrases might be low-hanging fruit in terms of search volume.

For example, if you are a fitness blogger, you might type in ‘workout’ and see that this keyword leads to lots of related suggestions. You could then target keywords like ‘yoga sequence’, ‘full body workout’, or even more specific terms like ‘ballet barre workouts’.

As you continue doing YouTube keyword research, be sure to keep track of the search trends for your target keywords. This will help you identify new opportunities to optimize your videos and get more views.

Then, you can run your list through a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner. This will help you identify the search volume and competition associated with each term to prioritize your efforts. You can also use tools like Google Trends to track keyword popularity over time, so that you can stay ahead of the curve and create content that is relevant and timely.

 

Keyword Research Tools

There are a variety of tools that you can use to help with your keyword research. With countless tools on the market, it can be overwhelming to try and choose which one is best for your business. Research each tool’s benefits and features to make an informed decision.

Google Keyword Planner

This is one of the most popular tools for keyword research. It provides you with search volume and competition data for keywords, helping you to prioritize your efforts. And since it is made by Google, you can expect to get highly accurate and reliable results.

Google Search Console

This tool gives you suggestions and insights into how your website shows up in search results, which can help you identify effective keywords to target. While it doesn’t provide you with data on search volume and competition, it can tell you which keywords you are already ranking for and make it easier to identify low-hanging fruits.

SEMrush

SEMrush is another popular tool for keyword research, offering powerful analytics and data insights to help you optimize your website or content for search traffic. Some of the key features include backlink analysis, rank tracking, competitor research, ad monitoring, and more.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another popular keyword research tool with a broad range of features, including backlink analysis, keyword monitoring, and competitive analysis. Its powerful search function can help you find thousands of long-tail keywords to target in your content or ads.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a great option if you are looking for an easy-to-use, fast, and affordable keyword research tool. It offers a wide range of data and insights for both organic and paid search keywords, making it easy to identify high-performing terms and rank higher in the search results.

Moz

Moz is another powerful keyword research tool that provides a wide range of features and insights for both organic and paid search. This includes over 200 unique data points, such as difficulty scores, click-through rates, backlink data, and more. And with its free version, you can easily analyze top-performing terms to help boost your visibility in search.

 

In a Nutshell

Overall, keyword research is an essential part of optimizing your content for maximum visibility and engagement. By using the right tools and techniques, you can identify high-performing keywords that will help you attract more traffic and leads to your digital business.

Do you need help with keyword research for your website? Contact Public Advertising Agency today to learn more about the best practices for creating effective keywords and boosting your website’s performance in search results!

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