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How to Do Keyword Research for SEO. A Beginners Guide to SEO
Keywords ( SEO keywords) are the words or phrases searchers usually type in search engines’ search box to find what they are looking for.
If you’re here to learn the process of finding the right keywords, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and give this a read.
Table of Contents
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and analyzing words and phrases (aka “keywords”) that people type as a search query on search engines, like Google to use that data for performing search engine optimization (SEO).
Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO
Keyword research has a significant impact on an SEO strategy. This includes finding content topics, on-page SEO, email outreach, and content promotion.
Keywords provide you with the directions for all your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress.
Keyword research helps you understand your target audience‘s search intent behind a given query.
This is because keyword research provides you insight into what target customers are searching for and the exact words and phrases that they use in the Google search box.
It allows you to discover opportunities to drive more organic traffic to your website.
Keyword research can get you thousands of keywords through which you can form a content strategy as well as a larger marketing strategy.
Keyword research also helps you to find answers to questions like:
- How difficult is it for a particular keyword to rank?
- How much traffic is likely to drive if you rank for that keyword?
- What kind of content should be created to rank for that keyword?
- Are people searching for that keyword likely to become your ideal customer?
Process of Keyword research
Keyword research starts with finding out how potential users might be searching for your business or website. Knowing it can make it easier to use keyword research tools to find related keywords.
Keyword research will also help you in making a list of relevant topics based on your business.
A. Brainstorming ‘seed’ keywords
Seed keywords are the basis of the keyword research process. They help you in defining your niche and help you identify your competitors. All the keyword research tools need a seed keyword, through which it can generate a list of keyword ideas.
B. Competitors Keywords
Knowing the keywords that already create traffic to your competitors’ websites is regarded as the best way to start keyword research.
Just search on Google for one of your seed keywords on Google with uber suggest chrome extension & you can get the list of keywords your competitor is currently ranking for.
You can also try searching for relevant auto-suggest queries. Once you find some of the websites, you can put those websites on a competitive intelligence tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.
There you can check the top pages report and track their estimated monthly search traffic. The report even shows each webpage’s “Top keyword.” which generates most of the organic traffic.
C. Use keyword research tools
Keyword research tools are a great source of finding keywords for SEO.
You type a seed keyword in a keyword research tool and that tool will pull keyword ideas from their database based on that keyword.
Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer are perhaps the most well-known sources to find relevant keyword ideas.
Once you’ve got that covered up. You probably are looking for an answer to this question.
How to perform Keyword Research for SEO:
1. Analyzing keywords
A keyword analysis is the process wherein keywords are analyzed to attract visitors to your website through organic and paid search.
Finding the best keyword idea from numerous keyword ideas can be difficult but using SEO metrics you can narrow keywords to only relevant keywords required for your blog post. The analysis of keywords can be done based on the following SEO metrics:
- Search volume
Monthly Search volume tells you about the average number of times a particular keyword gets searched by a potential customer per month.
Keyword tools like keyword explorer show the SEO metrics such as monthly search volume and keyword difficulty for a keyword.
Here you also need to take care of two things:
- Filtering out very high-volume keywords.
- Filtering specifically for lower-volume keywords.
The clicks metric in the keyword research tool tells you the average number of monthly clicks on the search results for a keyword.
The clicks filter in the keyword research tool can help you in taking out keyword ideas with poor search traffic potential.
- Traffic potential:
Traffic potential is defined as the number of organic search traffic a webpage, or group of webpages will receive from Google’s SERP on average per month.
It’s always advisable to look at how much traffic the current top-ranking pages get for popular keywords, using Keywords Explorer.
- Keyword Difficulty:
Keyword difficulty is also known as SEO difficulty. This is a process of evaluating how difficult it is to rank in Google’s organic search results for a particular keyword.
SEO professionals usually measure the ranking difficulty of a search term manually.
There are many different factors to judge how hard or easy it is to rank a keyword:
- Number and quality of backlinks;
- Domain Rating (DR);
- Content relevance;
- Usage of the target keyword, and synonyms;
- Search intent;
Here is a guide on keywords to help you get started. Tools like Uber suggest help you identity keyword difficulty.
2. Targeting keywords
Every website needs to target a set of well-researched keywords. They inform both Google crawlers and users about the information present on your website
You can analyze the following three C’s of search intent to understand how to target the right keywords:
The type of content usually falls into one of five categories: blog posts, product, category, landing pages, and videos.
- Content format:
Content format applies mostly to displayable ‘informational’ content. How-tos, news articles, opinion pieces, and reviews are some examples of content format.
- Content angle:
Content angle is a brand’s unique perspective or opinion. it is the main selling point of the content and it sets the tone for the entire content.
3. Prioritizing keywords
Once you have searched the keywords, analyzed their metrics, and grouped them, prioritizing them becomes critical.
Prioritizing keywords means having a balance between many competing forces: relevance, volume, competition, click-through rate (CTR), and more.
Search volume, traffic potential, difficulty, and search intent are important factors to consider, but you also need to consider the quality of traffic you can expect from a keyword. Is it adding any value to your business?
Some of the things you need to focus on:
Prioritizing keywords that have the highest return on investment.
Focus on short, medium, and long-term ranking goals. Focusing only on short-term goals will never make you rank for the most lucrative keywords.
If you only focus on medium and long-term goals, it’ll take many years to get any traffic.
Keyword Research Tools
Let’s look at a few popular keyword tools that will help you find valuable keywords for your websites’ content:
- Google Keyword Planner:
Google keyword planner can help you search for words or phrases that are related to your products or services. It is widely used for its unique and competitive keyword suggestions and up-to-date CPC values.
- Google Trends:
Google Trends is a tool by Google that provides keyword-related data including search volume index and geographical information about search engine users across various regions and languages.
- Google Search Console:
Google Search Console is a free SEO tool that can be used for checking the top 1,000 keywords your website already ranks for and how much traffic those keywords bring on to your website.
- Ahrefs’ Webmaster Tools:
Ahrefs’ Webmaster tools help in keyword research strategy by checking all the keywords your website currently ranks for, along with their estimated searches per month, keyword Difficulty, traffic potential, and other useful SEO metrics like backlinks.
- Keyword Generators:
Keyword generators provide you with keyword suggestions for paid and organic search marketing campaigns by generating hundreds of free keyword ideas from a seed keyword.
One great tool for this process is called lsigraph.com which allows you to generate a lot of keyword variations
- Keyword Difficulty Checker:
The keyword difficulty tool helps in checking the ranking difficulty of a keyword, as per Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty (KD) score.
- Keywords Explorer:
Keyword Explorer helps in finding the best keywords or keyword phrases for your website. You can find tens of thousands of keyword ideas in just seconds, filter the keyword ideas for keywords that matter to your business, and assess their traffic potential and ranking difficulty with ease.
Keyword research helps you build effective keyword strategies for improving or expanding your websites’ content to acquire higher rankings, to rank on a wider variety of potential keywords, and to ultimately drive in more relevant organic traffic to your website.
If you’re using WordPress tools like Yoast & Rankmath make allow you to improve your on-page SEO for each page. Additionally, you can read this guide on how to create an effective on-page SEO strategy to help you get started.
If you have any questions please feel free to share your questions and thoughts in the comment section and I will be sure to answer & discuss the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :
What is keyword research?
Is keyword research off-page or on-page SEO?
Keyword research is an on-page SEO activity that involves analyzing, targeting, and prioritizing the best keyword opportunities for your website.
Want to understand how SEO works? Here is a simple SEO guide to help you get started.
What is the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords?
Short-tail keywords: Short-tail keywords are search terms that are no longer than three words. They refer to very broad topics.
Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases than short-tail keywords. These keywords users use when they're closer to a point-of-purchase or when they're using voice search.
What are LSI keywords?
Which tool can be used to find keywords your competitors rank for?
SEO tools that can be used to find keywords your competitors rank for are:
About Mohammed Faizan N
He is the Founder of Itzfizz Digital. An Aspiring Entrepreneur and Passionate Growth Hacker with over 5+ years of experience in building, maintaining, and running successful digital marketing campaigns. Helping brands create amazing websites & improving organic visibility on Google economical prices