If you are new to making marketing strategies for your business, Search Engine Optimization can seem like a daunting task. You must be aware by now that SEO is an essential part of any company’s digital marketing strategy because it factors into the revenue generation of the company.
But before you include the SEO techniques to your website and create the content, you have to conduct extensive keyword research. Keyword research ensures that your marketing efforts reach your target audience.
Keyword Research and Its Importance
Keyword research is an integral step in any SEO strategy. It is a process by which any organization finds an extensive list of words that can be used to ensure the success of the SEO strategy. These keywords are used in the content of the website so that they can attract more web traffic and achieve a higher ranking on search engines.
Business owners often struggle to capture the attention of their target audience because they try to guess keywords that they think might attract more traffic. For example, the make of the product might be uncommon, and thus people hardly use it on search engines. Keyword research is essential for them because it equips the marketing team with an ideal list of words and phrases that their target audience is currently using to search for similar products.
If a business optimizes their SEO efforts based on wrong keywords, they may not generate the amount of internet traffic that they desire. Therefore keyword research looks into the search intent of their target audience to understand what their potential customers might be looking for on the internet.
Some Essential Concepts of Keyword Research
Before we dig into how you can go about conducting thorough keyword research, there are some essential concepts that you must be aware of.
- Businesses often use a focus keyword or keyphrase to ensure that a particular page can be found on search engines. These sets of focus keywords and keyphrases form the foundation for specific keyword research.
- Long-tail keywords serve a more specific purpose of focusing the SEO for a niche set of people looking exactly for these words on search engines. They usually have lesser competition and are thus easier to rank. Long-tail keywords are directed towards conversions, such as sales, subscriptions, or sign-ups.
- Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are the pages that come up when a person uses a search engine to look up something.
- Keyword research is often a part of the keyword strategy that helps in determining the areas of focus and creation of the content on a website.
- The search intent of customers holds the key to determining the steps of keyword research. Marketing teams should think of keywords as answers to the problems searched by potential customers on search engines.
Steps of Keyword Research
These are some of the steps that can be a part of your keyword research strategy.
Determine Your Niche and Goals
Before you start looking for keywords, you should spend some types of studying the topics related to your products and services on the internet. It will help you to understand your business goals and how you intend to use SEO techniques to achieve them. It will also help you to come up with unique ideas to direct your marketing and SEO strategies. These are some ways to determine your niche.
- Conduct surveys and interviews with existing customers to understand their needs from products or services that you are trying to sell.
- Put yourself in the potential customer’s shoes and think from their perspective.
- Imagine that you are trying to sell your product to a friend. How will you highlight the product to conduct the sale?
- Look for discussions on social media related to your industry and try to understand what your potential customers might want.
Studying your niche will help you to define your business goals. It will give you a clear picture of what your brand’s statement should be to your potential customers, and what kind of promises you should make to them. You will also be able to learn how to make your brand stand out from the crowd of competitors. Once you have determined that, you will be able to give your SEO strategy a proper direction since the keywords you search for will be directed to achieve these goals.
Make a List of Relevant Topics and Focus Keywords
Based on your research for the niche that your marketing targets must be directed towards, come up with a list of topics that customers should relate to your brand on search engines. For example, if you have a restaurant that serves fast food, some of the relevant topics must be burgers, pizzas, tacos, or any other type of fast food that you intend to sell.
These topics must be related to the products or services that you want to sell and resonate with the buyer personas that you had created for your SEO strategy. Once you have generated the list of topics that your brand can get associated with on search engines, you must start creating a list of focus keywords. These focus our seed keywords that must be related to the topics that you have shortlisted.
But more importantly, they must be phrases that your target audience uses to search for products and services similar to what you offer. Focus keywords are already helping to identify your competitors. Buyer personas are particularly helpful in determining the focus or seed keywords.
Use a Trusted Keyword Research Tool Like Ubersuggest
If you are thinking, “Shouldn’t this have been the first step for keyword research?” There is no definitive answer to that question. But determining the focus keywords will help you to search for specific words and phrases, or you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of research.
You can use Ubersuggest for your keyword research, as it is one of the best freemium tools available on the internet. We recommend it because you can access more premium features for free that you would have to pay for with other options.
With Ubersuggest, you can search for up to 20 focus keywords to get hundreds of specified words that can get used in the content to improve your website’s SEO. Before you look for specific keywords, you can use their free option to audit your website for up to 150 pages that will point out the errors on it and what you must do to fix those issues.
It will help you to direct your efforts in the right direction for your keyword research. It will also give you a list of related keywords, questions, prepositions, and comparisons that you can use in the content.
Identify Search Intents
Incorporating keywords in your content is not adequate to ensure a higher ranking of search engines like Google. The present algorithms crawl through the keywords to judge if the content matches the reason behind a user placing a query. Once again, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think of the questions that your content might be able to answer. You can also look at the questions suggested on Ubersuggest to get ideas of search intents. It will help you fine-tune the keyword research.
Don’t forget the long-tail keywords that we spoke about earlier. You will find it easier to match long-tail keywords with search intent, so use them strategically in your content to answer questions posed by potential customers. Long-tail keywords may direct less traffic to your website, but they have a higher conversion rate.
For example, if your fast food restaurant in Sacramento offers burgers, you can use “the best burgers in Sacramento” as a long-tail keyword. It will help you attract more relevant searches than using a keyword like “burgers.”
Using the keyword research for your brand and products is not adequate. Search for the keywords that your competitors may have used successfully as well. It will help you to fill any keyword opportunity gaps in your content specific to your industry.
Conducting detailed keyword research can be a time taking task. But do not mistake or for a one-time effort. Keyword research is an ongoing process that is always evolving according to market trends and requirements. So timely keyword research will help you to feature your brand on the SERP when your target audience searches for products and services offered by you.