In the world of digital marketing, nailing keyword research is the secret ingredient to SEO success. It’s all about understanding the search intent of your ideal customers and optimizing your website’s content so that your site is the one they see when they type relevant search queries into Google or other search engines. In this article, we’re going to break down how to approach keyword research so that you can tackle it like a pro.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is identifying and analyzing the words and phrases that people are typing into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. It’s a crucial aspect of SEO (search engine optimization), as it helps business owners understand what their target audience is actively searching for.
By conducting keyword research, you can optimize your website content to include these keywords, thereby increasing your chances of appearing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When keyword research is done right, it can help you enhance your online visibility in the search results, drive organic traffic, and improve the overall effectiveness of your website’s SEO strategy.
Why Is Keyword Research Important For SEO?
We’ve already begun to touch on the importance of keyword research for SEO. By digging into the exact words and phrases your ideal customers are typing into search engines, you’re not just getting insight into their interests and needs, you’re practically being handed a roadmap to create content that specifically answers the questions they’re asking.
It’s not just about stuffing random words into your content; it’s about knowing what your audience wants and needs and then using those insights to shape your website’s content strategy. In a nutshell, keyword research helps you speak your audience’s language, making it easier for search engines to connect your content with the people who are looking for it. It’s the bridge between what you offer and what they’re seeking – a must-have in the world of SEO.
Keyword research will also help you in optimizing the “on-page” elements of your site. As search trends evolve, keyword research remains crucial in adapting and thriving in this dynamic digital landscape.
Understanding The Elements Of Keyword Research
There are many elements that go into keyword research and ultimately finding the right keywords to generate high intent search traffic to your website, aka users that are actively looking for what you offer.
This is the process of identifying the terms and phrases your audience is searching for. There are many tools that you can leverage to help with this process, which we’ll get into a little later in this article.
When analyzing keywords, you’re checking out how often people actually search for the word (search volume) and sizing up how tough it is to rank for (competitive score). You’re trying to find a balance between what keywords are in high demand and which ones are achievable to rank for. You’re basically assessing whether it’s worth your time to chase after certain words and if you can hold your own against the other online contenders in your industry.
The search volume of a keyword refers to the number of times that keyword is searched per month. High search volume indicates popularity, and these keywords typically have higher competitive scores. Low-volume keywords on the other hand may be searched for less, but they’re still very valuable and great to mix into your content, as they usually have a lower competitive score and are easier to rank for.
Keyword difficulty is the measure of how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. This ranges from a score of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most difficult. Tools like UberSuggest, Moz’s Keyword Difficulty score, and Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty metric can be used to research keyword difficulty scores. Keywords with high competition from authoritative sites will require more time and effort to rank for.
It’s good practice to analyze your competitors’ websites to see what keywords their sites are ranking for. It should be part of your SEO strategy to rank for all the same (relevant) keywords your competitors are- and preferably rank higher.
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases, typically 3 or more words. These are more detailed searches, so they tend to indicate higher user intent and conversion potential. They can capture users who are closer to making a decision. Incorporating long-tail keywords can lead to generating more targeted traffic.
Understanding user intent behind keywords is crucial. Keywords can signal whether users are looking for information, seeking a specific website, or intending to purchase something. Align your content with the intent to provide value and meet expectations.
Trends and Seasonality
Consider keyword trends and seasonality. Some keywords might spike during specific times of the year or in response to current events. Adapting your content to these trends can help attract more visitors.
The chosen keywords should be relevant to your business and offer value to users. Ensure that the keywords naturally fit into your content without appearing forced.
If your business targets a specific location, incorporate location-based keywords (e.g., “best Italian restaurant in Virginia Beach”). This helps you attract local traffic and enhance your local SEO.
Include semantically related keywords to provide a more comprehensive coverage of your topic. Search engines understand the context, so using related terms can enhance your content’s relevance.
Keyword research involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses each of these elements. So taking the time to learn these basics of keyword research will aid you immensely in crafting an effective SEO strategy.
5 Expert Tips For Keyword Research
1. Take advantage of long-tail keywords. Incorporate long-tail keywords that are more specific searches. You may find that these keywords have lower search volume, but they also usually have lower competitive scores, making them far easier to rank for. Focusing on these keywords will help you get quicker wins with SEO.
2. Use Google Autocomplete and Related Searches. As you start typing a query into Google, it suggests related searches. These suggestions can provide insights into what users are looking for. You can get a lot of really great keyword ideas from these related searches.
3. Hunt for high-volume keywords that are low competition. Keywords that have a relatively high monthly search volume but a lower competitive score (preferably a score of 40 or under) are your golden nugget keywords. Using these keywords in your content is a great opportunity to attract significant traffic without struggling against high competition. Yes, these keywords are harder to come by, but they’re worth the time and effort it takes to find them.
4. Explore content and keyword gaps. Looking for content and keyword gaps is like giving your website a thorough check-up. It’s about making sure that you’re covering all your products and services equally in terms of content, educating your visitors about each one, and not leaving any of your offerings in the shadows. If you have gaps in your content, you’re likely missing out on valuable keyword traffic.
5. Utilize Keyword Research tools. Take advantage of tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz to discover new keywords, analyze metrics, and perform competitor analysis.
Using Keyword Research Tools To Find The Best Keywords
Speaking of keyword research tools, let’s take a closer look at how you can use them to help you with your SEO. It’s nearly impossible to develop a keyword strategy without using a tool to help you. At Alchemy, we use UberSuggest as our primary keyword tool. The reason being is that it has features that cover every aspect of the keyword research process and in our opinion, it’s one of the best keyword research tools on the market.
With UberSuggest, you can begin by entering a primary keyword or search term. The tool then generates an extensive keyword list with related and similar keyword ideas, including long-tail variations and alternative phrasings. This feature not only broadens the scope of potential keywords but also enhances the specificity of our targeting, allowing us to tap into diverse user queries.
UberSuggest also provides keyword data that guides our decision-making. It offers insights into search volume, revealing how often users search for a particular keyword each month. This helps us identify keywords that attract substantial user interest. It also gives us a competitive score and aids in evaluating the feasibility of ranking for a specific keyword. Striking the right balance between search volume and competition is integral to our strategy, ensuring we target keywords that offer both visibility and attainability.
One of the standout features of UberSuggest that makes it such a great SEO tool is its competitor analysis capabilities. By inputting a competitor’s domain, we gain access to a trove of information on the keywords they are ranking for. It’ll actually provide an entire list of keywords that includes all the terms they’re ranking for. This insight not only provides a glimpse into their SEO strategy but also helps us uncover keyword ideas and potential opportunities that might align with our clients’ goals. Essentially, UberSuggest empowers us to assess our own performance by displaying the keywords for which our website is already ranking. This self-evaluation enables us to refine our existing content and identify gaps in our SEO strategy. We can also perform a site scan in UberSuggest which shows if the site has any broken links or anything else that could be hurting its rankings.
Need More Help With Your Keyword And SEO Strategy?
While we hope that you found this mini guide to keyword research helpful, we also understand that keyword research and SEO can be a daunting task for busy business owners to undertake. That’s why at Alchemy, we offer a results-first SEO program, meaning you don’t pay until we rank your site on the first page of Google. This allows you to outsource this aspect of your marketing, without the stress of dishing out big upfront costs. If you have questions or would like to learn more about this service, give us a call at 877-978-2110.