Keyword research is the backbone of any online marketing campaign. High intent keyword research with proven methods bolsters the groundwork and makes your website easily visible to your target audience.
Keyword research on search engines like Google, Bing is a simple tactic to find what your target audience is looking for. And yes, you as a business want to rank for those keywords.
It is an in-depth process to identify, target and optimize the website for the keywords. You cannot afford to have weak knees in this.
A solid keyword strategy is needed to —
- Optimize website for the keywords
- Target phrases for link building
- Content curation for the audience
But before, let's understand what the term keyword research means?
Keyword research is figuring audience's search queries that apply to their interest. Businesses rely on keyword research to find the search phrases typed by the audience the most. The aim is to rank higher for these keywords in search engine page results (SERPs) and further tap on potential customers.
Let's unleash the head and tails of complete keyword research. Please take it as a mini crash course on keyword research.
More About Keywords
Having a firm knowledge of different keyword types and incorporating it correctly forms the essence of a successful keyword strategy.
To drive a good volume of traffic to your website, ensure your keyword strategy includes all the following elements into your keyword planner —
Semantically Related Keywords (LSI keywords)
1. Search volume: The number of times the target audience searches a keyword defines the search volume of that keyword. If the keyword has high volume, it should also be relevant.
So the idea is to balance high search volume keywords and relevancy.
2. Relevance — Showing up in the search when the audience types any query. It defines how much your content is relevant, matching the future visitor's questions.
Simple is to put yourself in the audiences' shoes and set your content topics accordingly with the keywords.
Relevant keyword = Matches target audience's needs + Moderate search volume + landing page intent
3. Seed keywords — These keywords have high search volume and often bring good traffic, but the only con is the intense competition.
eg. Best diapers have "high search volume" of 9900. Hence, the competition is neck to neck.
The head term or seed keyword is desirable because many people are already searching for it, but the ice breaker is again the balance between head and long-tail keywords.
4. Long-tail keywords — Understand A-Z of long-tail keywords here. Briefly, long-tail keywords are highly desirable for businesses with specificity, low search volume, targeted audience, and lower competition.
E.g., best diapers for sensitive skin have only 1900 search volume. The keyword is extended with 4-5 words, specific, and serves the query.
Long-tail keywords majorly account for 50% or even more of the website's overall traffic.
Audiences searching for these long tail keywords are more likely to settle down with a purchase.
5. Semantically related keywords - These are conceptually related to a target keyword or a search used by search engines to find the content on the page.
Don't take LSI keywords as the synonym of your keyword. These are words that help a search engine identify the context of your content.
Eg. For the search "baby diapers," LSI would be diapers, disposable diapers, diaper wipes, diapers, etc.
Best tips, tactics, and practices for Keyword Research
For an SEO beginner or a content marketer, unlocking these tips and basic tactics is pure gold. There is always a rabbit hole in figuring what to follow and what not to?
Simplifying it down below with some expert-recommended practices—
1. Create Content Buckets
The initiation of any business or marketing campaign begins with the niche. Once you have found your niche, it's time to write your topic ideas and make content buckets.
Use a spreadsheet to organize topic ideas. Ideally, doing brainstorming, keeping yourself in the audience's shoes works. There are tools like Answer the Public, Buzzsumo that make the complete ideation process surreal. The topics searched by thousands of users prompt the simplicity in creating your very own content buckets.
Content buckets or known as content categories, are pre-defined categories to group your marketing content. These are broad themes to segment your content, intending to make your audience feel a certain way.
Meaning, content distribution with the help of these content buckets on your social accounts, blogs, and emails.
Content buckets are needed to follow a roadmap in the stride of strategically creating content and information the customer needs in the buying cycle journey.
For instance — You can create buckets for a new business in 4 segments —
- General information bucket — Topics with general questions and more intense information about your product
- Small business bucket — The search term a small business owner comes across while finding the services
- Services Bucket — The search terms while finding the services you as a business are offering.
- Social media bucket — The search terms make you discoverable on various social media channels.
It makes the content strategy simpler and organized.
2. Keywords Your Competitors Are Ranking
It is another hands-down robust keyword strategy followed by marketers. In comparison, creating a lot of keywords or topics in your niche, eye on the keywords your potential competitors are targeting.
- Analyze their website, their content
- Learn the keywords they are ranking for
- The amount of traffic through those keywords
The keyword research tool SEMRUSH is so handy. Select organic search from domain analytics and type in the URL of the competitor.
Find the list of keywords and filter it for a decent search volume. This practice gives an insight to rank better in your line of business. It is a step ahead of the usual course and highlights ideas you might have missed but your competitor might have unlocked.
3. Choosing Appropriate Keywords For Web Optimization
Now comes the part of keyword placement.
Of course, with all the deep research and keyword collection, the list could be extensive. Pruning the list and weeding out unnecessary keywords from the keyword planner may get difficult.
You need to seek the help of a few tools to narrow down the list up to 20-30 keywords and optimize the website with the landing pages, homepage, or new blogs. But before, let's understand two parameters: keyword difficulty and domain authority to rank on the first positions of Google.
What is keyword difficulty?
It estimates how difficult it could be for the keyword to rank in the Google search. The higher the percentage, the lower are the chances to rank for the specific keyword.
What is domain authority for top positions?
Like the king in a niche, some authoritative websites make it to the top 10 positions for a keyword, and no matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to pull them down.
For example — for digital marketing, the top names are Moz, HubSpot. A small business may find it impossible to see their blog up there.
The placement of keywords now depends on the following scenarios—
Is the search intent of the keyword aligned with marketing goals?
Low keyword difficulty compared to other keywords?
Is Google ranking all the websites in the first ten places, or are the giants still holding up?
Is there a moderate search volume for the keyword targeted?
Yes, to all the answers, well, its time to keep those keywords. If it's a NO, weed out the keywords.
The goal of the keyword strategy is to put a lot of enriched keywords on the table rather than an extensive, long list.
4. Keywords in Page Titles
The ideal practice to make winning blog headlines is the integration of ranking keywords in the titles.
The content on the internet is enormous, and you don't want to create another junk, never read blog piece to the heavily suffocating space?
An ideal SEO practice stresses using a target or specific keyword for each page or blog post.
Meaning the titles should follow a specific keyword.
In a nutshell, while writing titles focus upon —
- The first 10 page titles on google with the keyword
- Create a title with the keyword referring to the top-ranking headings, but yes, make it unique.
- Analyze headlines in the free headlines checker tools.
- Use powerful, actionable words like incredible, easy, etc.
5. Upgrading The Keyword list With Trending Keywords
After all the hard work of listing down keywords, you can't call it a STOP. You need to monitor your niche for the trending keywords timely.
Every month there are 30% new queries on Google, and hence the list needs to be changed.
Seek the help of Google trends and put in your seed keyword. Filter it by area, categories, and seed keywords.
This exercise will give an edge for keywords your ideal competitor might not be aware of.
Remember, Google trends may need multiple filtering and keywords to target new trending keywords. Better don't give up.
6. Use Keyword Tools For A Straightforward Approach
There are many tools for listing down keywords based on the above parameters. The approach is fail-proof and as easy as pie. The best free keyword search tools are
- Ubersuggest (free)
- Google Keyword Tool
- Google Search console
- Google Trends
Keyword research is an integral part of SEO, without which complete SEO may paralyze. Following the above tips and tricks may take your keyword research strategy above and beyond.
It is just one step towards a complex search engine optimization puzzle, but again prominent. Keep in mind the search volume, journey stage, and potential competitors.
Progress towards your business goals and set your strategy in sync with the marketing goals.
SEO is great for lending online visibility and bringing in more leads to the site.
Invest in an unfailing keyword strategy and target them for website optimization.