Does keyword research give you a headache? Well, it won’t, after reading my keyword research guide.
Keywords are the very foundation of SEO, the heart and soul of all online marketing strategies. All SEO experts emphasize the importance of proper keyword research, and rightly so. Keywords act as the link between the users and your website. You can only achieve higher search ranking if your website is correctly optimized for keywords, and you can only do so via keyword research.
But keyword research is more than finding phrases and inserting them into your content. Well, it worked a few years back, but not anymore. Google is getting smarter day by day, and it puts the user’s intent above all else. Therefore, your keyword research strategy should also focus on resolving users’ queries and offering them relevant content.
Sounds too much? Don’t worry; I will tell you a step-by-step method to do keyword research and bring loads of users and potential customers to your website.
Basic Preparation For Keyword Research
Yes, you read it right; keyword research requires some basic preparations. After all, keywords won’t just pop up with a button click. The goal here is to actually have some idea of how users are looking for a particular topic and then work on the keyword strategy to capture the user’s attention.
1. Familiarize Yourself With Keywords Tools
There’s no denying that keyword research tools help you uncover lucrative keyword opportunities that aren’t possible manually. Therefore it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with such tools beforehand.
I divide keywords research tools into two categories;
There are suggestion tools that help you brainstorm keyword ideas. But you won’t get any metrics. Think about Google suggest, similar search, answer the public, keyword shitter, etc.
Then there are SEO tools that offer you essential insights about keywords like search volume and more.
2. Understand Essential Factors for Choosing Good Keywords
Yes, there are actually factors that determine whether a search engine will favor a keyword;
2.1 First is Keyword Relevancy
One thing that is ruling the SEO arena nowadays is relevance. Google is giving too much weightage to relevant content. After all, why will Google rank your content if it’s not relevant to users’ queries? This can only be done when you understand the search intent, choose a keyword that addresses the search intent and provide relevant content.
2.2 Second is Keyword Volume
Keyword volume is deceptive, but it is still an essential criterion to gauge the importance of a keyword. You may rank #1 on SERP, but you won’t receive any traffic if no one is actually searching the term. So, keyword volume can’t be overlooked.
2.3 And third is Authority
Google gives more preference to websites it deems authoritative. If the SERP is already filled with established sites for a particular keyword, like Forbes, WebMD, etc., your chances of ranking for that keyword are slim unless your content is exceptional. Therefore, analyzing keywords on authority is prudent if you want to see your website on top in SERP.
3. Understand Search Intent
Understanding search intention is vital to judging the potential of a keyword based on your website’s theme. The aim is to understand what intent of users hides behind a keyword.
3.1 Informational Search
Users enter a search term with the intention of obtaining relevant information. For example, ‘how to do keyword research.’
3.2 Navigational Search
In these kinds of searches, users know where they want to go but do not clearly remember the URL. It could be like ‘Asus laptop amazon.’
3.3 Transactional Searches
The meaning behind transactional search is that the user is inclined towards action. It could mean buying something. For example, ‘buy Asus laptop.’
Understanding search intent helps us make assumptions about what the user wants. The idea is to devise content that fully satisfies the user’s query. If you weave quality content and understand the intent, Google will definitely reward it with a higher ranking.
How To Do Effective Keyword Research?
We are down to business now. Your basics are clear, and now it’s time to dive down and retrieve some quality keywords. Understand that there’s no hard and fast rule to doing keyword research. There are hundreds of different approaches to keyword research. But there are some sets of steps common to most keyword research strategies.
Let’s move on to actual practice, then;
1. Begin With A Seed Keyword
To begin your search, you must first have a starting phrase. It’s called a seed phrase, and it’s the first thing you enter in Google or any keyword research tool to find more keyword ideas.
Getting a seed phrase is simple; you just have to do a little brainstorming.
- Begin with a question.
- What is your website about?
- What your customer might be looking for?
- If you have a blog, what will your readers be seeking?
Let’s say you have a website about ‘laptops,’ you can use;
- Student Laptops
- Gamers laptop
Do you get the idea? Don’t worry; we are just getting started here. These phrases are just the starting point.
Pro Tip – Analyze the Competitor to Get Potential Keyword Ideas
It’s a great way to get tons of keyword ideas. Use any SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ domains.
These tools list the keyword that your competitor’s page ranks for. You can copy these keywords in an Excel sheet, and Voila, you have a whole list of keyword ideas to work on for your site.
2. Analyze the Core values of Keywords
We have earlier talked about keyword values to evaluate a keyword. Well, now is the time to apply them. You have a list of keyword ideas or phrases. Now enter them in the SEO tool like AHREFS or Ubersuggest. The tool will offer you insights about particular phrases.
Look for keyword difficulty, keyword volume, and keyword CPC. These values will paint an overall picture of the potential of particular keywords. To simplify the process, transfer keywords with their related matrices to an Excel sheet.
3. Narrow Down The List
Now that you have a bunch of keywords with all their matrices, it’s time to eliminate the clutter and find the real gems. Ideally, keywords with high volume and low competition seem lucrative. However, if you put those in Google search, you will find many authority websites already ranking for those terms. The trick here is to take the middle ground. It depends on your website’s authority and individually on the topic.
4. Search Related Keywords
If you have finalized a few keywords from your research, don’t stop there. You never know how a user will approach a particular query. Think about synonyms, input long-tail terms, and add keywords about the same subjects.
From our above example of Laptops, it could be the ‘best laptop for nursing students under $500.’
Here’s what you will achieve;
· Your chances of gaining high search ranking on various terms increased manifolds;
· Even if the search volume of related keywords is low, multiple phrases add up to propel volume by a significant proportion; therefore with just one post, you can derive huge traffic.
Well, that is the best path to find the most relevant keywords for your website that are easy to rank and bring loads of traffic. Now you can apply the steps to find out all types of keywords (informational, navigational, transactional) and use them as per your need.
Ideas To Do Deep Keyword Research
When there’s a set standard, everyone might apply the same steps. You can differentiate yourself by going ultra-deep into keyword research and tapping opportunities that are hard to find but ridiculously easy to exploit. Here how;
1. Understand your Audience
In the era of intent-based keyword searches, understanding the audience is the key to achieving better search ranking. SEO is all about providing relevant content to the users, and you can only do that if you understand how a user searches the internet for particular information.
2. Think Beyond Traditional SEO Tools
SEO tools are undoubtedly great for finding easy-to-rank keywords. However, a whole bunch of SEOs are doing that. You can opt for not-so-obvious tools that extract data from different sources – let’s say, social media platforms. People might be looking for information on social media. You can analyze how they search on social media platforms and extract valuable keywords. Likewise, popular hashtags also reveal trending topics and provide a wealth of keyword ideas.
Examples of such tools are Demographics pro, Social Searcher, etc.
3. Explore YouTube to Find Keywords
YouTube has become a search engine of its own accord. People input all kinds of search queries on YouTube. You can use tools like VidIQ and Kparser to explore YouTube for keyword ideas.
4. Go With The Trends
Trending topics could give a real boost to your search ranking. To do that, you have to identify trending keywords. Google Trends could be a massive help in this regard. It allows you to understand what people are searching on that particular instance, explore regional searches, and compare popular trends. Google trends is a gold mine to extract relevant high-traffic and easy-to-rank keywords.
5. Don’t Search Keywords, Search Questions
People on the internet are looking for answers and solutions. Therefore, approach keyword research as a way of resolving users’ queries. This way, you will be able to capture the intent better and attract more visitors. The good news is that a handful of tools can assist you with this. There’s, Answer the public, AlsoAsked.com, Question Analyzer, etc.
Bonus: Advance Technique To Find Keywords In 5 Minutes
These tricks work with advanced SEO tools. I prefer Ahrefs. So, having access to Ahrefs will significantly simplify the process. Ok then, let’s dive in;
Tactic 1: Scour Your Competitors’ Website For Low Competition Keywords
It’s the easiest trick to find untapped, low-competition keywords. Just extract them from your competitors of the websites already ranking in SERP. It’s by far the easiest to explore relevant keywords for your niche.
To do this, simply put your competitor URL in the Ahrefs Site Explorer bar and press enter. Next, select the top pages option to get a list of all the pages attracting most of the most traffic for that site.
Now go to the keyword difficulty tab and set the value to 5. Once you apply the changes, Ahrefs site explorer will show you only the keywords with a KD of 5, along with their search volume and the actual traffic the terms are getting.
That’s it; now you just have to scan the URL slug and see what keywords are actually targeted by that page. If you find one, you have low-competition keywords with decent search volume and traffic.
Tactic 2: Search For Modifiers That Significantly Changes Search Results
Well, the above heading is a mouthful. But don’t worry, I’ll explain. Modifiers are terms that we add to a keyword. If ‘Laptop’ is a keyword, then a modifier can be top, best, etc.
Two terms, ‘Top laptops’ and ‘top laptops 2023’, might not yield different results, but ‘top laptops graphic designers’ and ‘top laptop architects’ will fetch radically different results. Our goal is to find unique modifiers that impact the SERP in a significant way.
This way, you can eliminate authority websites and find easy-to-rank opportunities. You can try a different combination of modifiers with the seed phrase, then put it in Ahrefs to gauge difficulty, CPC, and volume.
Wrapping Up: Keyword Research Strategy (2023)
You might have learned that there are no good or bad keywords. It’s all about what your audience is actually searching for. With that in mind, you can follow any approach to do keyword research.
The best keywords for your website will be the ones that meet the requirements of relevancy, volume, and authority. You need to search terms that have a reasonable search volume and that you can effectively compete for.
You need to keep in mind the following;
- The extent of competition you will face.
- Your own ability to construct effective, high-quality content.
Pat yourself because you must have found some pretty attractive keywords that will bring a continuous stream of traffic, customers, business, and profit.
There are four different types of keywords, and they are intent targeting keywords, long tail keywords, short tail keywords, and questions.
Many keyword research tools are available in the market, but we at DemandSage prefer Semrush, Ahrefs, SpyFu, SE Ranking, and Google Keyword Planner to find the best keywords to create content for.
Yes, there are many free keyword research tools available that you can use to do keyword research. Some of them are AnswerThePublic, Google Keyword Planner, Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, ChatGPT, Keyword Surfer of Surfer SEO, etc.
To maintain the rankings of your keywords, you need to keep up with the algorithm changes of Google. You also need to watch out for the latest trends and new keyword opportunities. You also need to keep your content fresh, and for that, you need to update frequently if the changes are frequent.
Keyword research helps you find the best keyword opportunities which can help you create highly engaging content for your audience. This will eventually give a traffic boost to your website. If you are keeping up with the latest trends, then it will be better for your website.