Search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing. As a business owner or digital marketer, you must keep up with the SEO trends. However, there’s one thing you mustn’t ignore—the importance of keyword research.
This process involves searching for relevant terms your target users might use on the search engines. It remains relevant to this day and vital for your online marketing strategies. But how do you conduct keyword research?
This page delves deeper into the impact of keyword research on SEO results. Read on to learn:
- What it is;
- Why it is important for your SEO; and,
- What steps to take to conduct this.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research entails searching, analyzing, and using words or phrases your target users will most likely enter on search engines like Google, Bing, YouTube, and TikTok.
You can incorporate these keywords into your content pieces or web copies as part of your search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and other digital marketing strategies, such as email outreach and social media management.
When inserted strategically, you’ll have a greater chance of getting your site and content found online. And that can lead to a boost in customer engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion.
There are three types of keywords you can find:
- Head keyword usually consists of a single word, such as “SEO” as a perfect example. Also known as seed keywords, they have high search volume and competition.
- Body keyword comprises two to three words like “SEO tactics.” These keywords are more specific, having lesser search volume and competition than head keywords.
- The long-tail keyword has four or more phrases. “SEO tactics for digital marketers” is an example. These keywords are quite specific, making them less searched and competitive than the first two types.
Keyword placement is as equally important as keyword research. What good are your keywords if they are not inserted naturally and properly into your content? Here’s where you can insert these words or phrases:
- URL: It is the web address of your page showing up on the search engine results pages (SERP). Make sure to add a primary keyword to it.
- Title tags: This HTML element specifies the title of your web page. Write it for humans, but optimize it for robots using primary keywords.
- Meta description: It provides a summary of your web page. Incorporating some relevant keywords is best for SEO.
- Heading: H1 is the section title of your article used for content formatting. Adding primary keywords to section titles is a good idea.
- Subheading: H2 is a subtitle of your article, also employed for content formatting. Including primary keywords in them helps with SEO ranking.
- Content Body: The body of your content should naturally include some primary and secondary keywords. However, avoid keyword stuffing—adding keywords excessively.
- Image Alt attribute: As the name suggests, alt text describes a photo. Many site owners often overlook adding keywords to images, but doing so helps with your SEO.
But how do you conduct keyword research? For the most part, you can use free SEO tools to do the job. But when doing so, consider three key elements:
- Relevance: Keywords seek to reach your target market. As such, have the search intent in mind when crafting pieces of content. Remember, Google and other search engines rank them for relevance.
- Authority: Incorporating keywords into your content is one thing; Creating authoritative content is another. Add keywords to attract audiences, but establish authority to keep them. In the end, Google provides more weight to content showing authority.
- Volume: Monthly search volume (MSV) is a critical metric for measuring the number of times people search for a particular keyword per month. Examine the volume to check your competition and see if the keyword is worth using.
Why Is Keyword Research Important for SEO?
Keyword research is important because it lets you find relevant terms that your target audience will most likely enter into search engines. You can then integrate these keywords into your content or site as part of your SEO process.
When people search online, there’s a greater chance for your content or website to appear on SERP. In short, keyword research can help boost your search engine ranking. However there’s more to this than meets the eye.
What are the benefits of keyword research then? They are five-fold, as follows:
- Earn Marketing Insights. Keyword research allows you to identify words and phrases people in your industry use when searching online. However, it goes beyond this by letting you discover consumer needs, marketing trends, and industry competition. These insights will help optimize your strategies and achieve your marketing objectives.
- Reach Your Target Market. Keyword research isn’t just unraveling relevant words or phrases. Its ultimate goal is to align your marketing content with your customer needs. Incorporating the right keywords can help you connect with potential and existing customers.
- Increase Your SERP Rankings. Keyword research is one of the first few steps you must take for your SEO. The right keywords let your content and site rank high on SERP and appear right before your customers’ eyes. Learn how our white hat linkbuilding with keyword integration increased our client’s organic traffic by 1200%.
- Drive Traffic to Your Website. Keyword research helps with keyword integration for your content creation and might boost your SEO ranking. The higher your SERP ranking for relevant searches is, the more traffic your website will get. This means more and more relevant users will visit your site from SERP.
- Generate Leads and Convert Sales. Keyword research is only the first step to many opportunities for your business. A boost in online visibility and website traffic can go a long way. It can go as far as helping generate leads and convert sales for your business.
Learn the crucial steps for conducting keyword research in the next section.
How To Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research appears straightforward—simply finding words or phrases your target customers are more likely to use. Thanks to SEO tools, they can make the whole process a lot easier and more convenient for you.
Keep in mind, however, that keyword research has to be strategic. As mentioned, you must consider its relevance, authority, and volume. On top of that, you must ensure that content, where keywords get integrated, matches the user intent.
Looking to get started? Here’s how to do keyword research:
1. Create a List of Topics Relevant to Your Business or Niche
As a business, you can think of several ideas revolving around your niche. To get started with keyword research, create about ten topic ideas relevant to your business. That will help you list specific keywords later in the process.
Suppose you are a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO services. In this case, you can enlist the general topics below:
- Search engine optimization
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
- Mobile SEO
- Content Optimization
- Keyword research
- SEO audit
2. Come up with Related Keywords for Each Topic
The next step is to identify some keywords that fall under each topic. The trick of the trade is to wear your target customers’ shoes. What terms do you think they’ll enter into search engines when looking for information online?
Let’s take the general topic ‘linkbuilding,’ for instance. What are the related keywords users might type in on the search engines?
- High-quality backlink strategies
- Effective outreach for linkbuilding
- Best practices for guest posting
- How to conduct journalist outreach
- Link prospecting techniques to use
Note: This isn’t your final list. The idea is just to come up with relevant keyword phrases. Then, you can narrow down the list later.
3. Dig in further for Related Search Terms
Now, you can unravel more search terms related to your topic. Fret not, as Google can be your friend, especially if you struggle to add more keywords to your list. But how do you go about doing that?
Given the formulated list of topics and keywords you’ve done earlier, type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of SERP. And voila, you’ll get more search recommendations related to your keyword!
Using the example above, let’s try the long-tail keyword ‘high-quality backlink strategies’ and see what we’ll get on Google SERP:
4. Factor in User Intent behind Those Keywords
When it comes to keyword research, this should be on top of mind: user intent. Simply put, it refers to why users search online in the first place. Are they looking for answers to their questions? To buy products or hire services online?
The good news is, keyword research can help you create content ideas. But here’s the rule of thumb: When crafting content, address the problem of searchers rather than simply incorporating keywords they used.
Why? One keyword might have different meanings. You can use a search term, but ensure your content aligns with what your target users search for. Let’s take from the examples above:
- Bucket Topic: Linkbuilding
- Chosen Keyword: High-quality Backlink Strategies
- Content Titles Generated:
- 8 High-Quality Backlink Strategies That Boost SEO Rankings
- From Zero to Hero: 5 High-Quality Backlink Strategies for Beginners
- Mastering High-Quality Backlink Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide
- Unlocking the Power of High-Quality Backlinks: Expert Strategies
- Measuring the SEO Impact: High-Quality Backlink Strategies and KPIs
5. Take Advantage of Keyword Research Tools
Finally, you’ve reached the last part. Are you struggling to think of keywords based on the steps above? Don’t worry; an arsenal of SEO tools is at your disposal. Here are some free tools you can use:
1. Word Stream’s Keyword Tool
WordStream offers one of the most popular SEO tools used for keyword research. It’s relatively easy to use and pretty straightforward. Follow the steps below:
- Enter a keyword or website URL.
- Filter your search by Industry and Location.
- Get a list of keywords.
- Choose a specific keyword based on their Monthly Search Volume and Competition. Note: Opt for long-tail keywords with decent search volume and low competition.
2. Ahref’s Keyword Generator
Keyword Generator is one of the most reliable SEO tools for keyword research. Follow the steps below:
- Enter a keyword, choose your country, and click ‘Find keywords.’
- Get a list of keywords, whether Phrase Match or Questions.
- Choose specific keywords based on their KD (keyword difficulty: how hard a keyword ranks on SERP) and Volume (average monthly number of searches). Note: Pick long-tail keywords with low KD score and decent search volume (not too high and low)
3. Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool
Semrush offers a free tool for SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC, and social media marketing, all in one place. For keyword research, follow the steps below:
- Enter a domain, keyword, or URL. Choose a country and click on ‘Start now.
- Look for Keyword ideas on the dashboard sorted into keyword Variations and Questions. Click ‘View all keywords’ or ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ in the left-hand corner.
- Get a list of keywords, whether Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, or Related.
- Examine the list of keywords based on their Intent (search purpose), Volume (monthly searches), and KD (keyword difficulty). From there, you can choose keywords for your content creation. Note: this allows for a comprehensive analysis so you can pick high-performing keywords.
4. Other SEO Tools for Keyword Research
Wait, there’s more—Here are other popular keyword research tools you can use:
- Answer The Public: This SEO tool is best for finding keywords phrased as questions. Just enter a broad topic, choose a target country, and click on “search.”
- ChatGPT: This AI technology can help find seed keywords and generate content ideas. If you struggle with steps 1 to 4, this tool will help you create topic ideas and relevant keywords. Take a look at below.
Top Tips for Making the Most of Keyword Research
Earlier, you discovered the importance of keyword research. You also learned how to do keyword research step-by-step. Now, it’s time to make the most of this process so you can optimize your SEO strategies and achieve marketing success.
So, how do you make the most of your keyword research? Here are some SEO tips to boost your search engine ranking and website traffic:
- Match keywords with user intent. What good is using relevant keywords if your content doesn’t meet your audience’s needs? Apart from conducting keyword research, study your target market and their search purpose.
- Capitalize on long-tail keywords. As mentioned, long-tail keywords have decent search volume and less competition. However, they have high conversion rates so long you use them strategically. So, capitalize on them for search engine ranking!
- Conduct competitor analysis. When doing keyword research, find out what terms other businesses in your niche use. You’ll find a goldmine of keywords to help you strategically rank high on SERP against your competitors.
- Use keywords to create content ideas. Keyword doesn’t only let you discover relevant terms; it also provides you with marketing ideas for your content creation. Remember, content optimization is the core of your SEO.
- Produce keyword-optimized content. Integrate these keywords on all SEO parts, from the URL to the title tags, headings, and body to the image Alt attributes. You’ll be amazed at how that can improve your SEO ranking.
- Opt for quality over quantity. Keyword stuffing, the practice of incorporating excessive keywords in your content, is a big no-no. Be wary; Doing so can only hurt your SEO ranking!
- Conduct keyword research regularly. The goal is to keep up with the industry and marketing trends and find relevant terms for your SEO strategies.
As a business owner or digital marketer, you mustn’t ignore the importance of keyword research. Research to discover terms your audiences are more likely to use on search engines.
That way, you can incorporate relevant keywords into your content and align your marketing strategies with your target market.
As such, follow the crucial steps recommended above for conducting keyword research. Most importantly, consider our practical tips for optimizing this process. Doing so can help you reap several benefits, from reaching your target market to converting sales for your business.
Looking to boost your search engine rankings? At Jolly SEO, we offer white hat link-building services to help improve your SEO ranking.
Our team of outreach managers, link prospectors, and content writers conduct keyword research to generate relevant content ideas and create valuable content pieces with quality links. Contact us today, and we’re more than jolly to assist you with your SEO initiatives!