Keyword research refers to the process of using analytics to identify those elusive keywords that are going to resonate with the audience you’re targeting. By scoping out these keywords, you greatly improve your ability to strategize content and hit your digital marketing goals. While it’s a complicated process, it is very doable – and there are three straightforward steps that can help you get there.
The Lowdown on Keyword Research
Keywords are the words and phrases that people turn to when they’re looking for something online. And keyword research allows you to drill down into the keywords that consumers you’re targeting are most likely to use – affording you a direct pathway to their search efforts in the process.
Solid keyword research can accomplish all the following primary goals:
- It can help you become better acquainted with the niche market you’re attempting to dominate.
- It can help you better understand what motivates your target audience.
- It can help you hone your content strategy to better suit your target audience’s needs and preferences.
- Ultimately, it can help you bring more organic traffic to your site, which is the name of the digital marketing game.
If you don’t put the necessary legwork in – in the form of research – you can end up with keywords that aren’t good at what they do. This means that you could miss out on potential customers who, by rights, should be perusing your online offerings right now.
Step 1: Seek and Find Keywords
To begin, you’ve got to find some keywords to test drive, and there are a lot of solid keyword research tools out there – Semrush and Moz come to mind. These tools can hook you up with key metrics that afford essential insights into the direction that your keywords should be moving in.
Start with a Seed Keyword
Keyword research begins with a seed keyword, which means a basic keyword from your business realm that can serve as a stepping stone toward more finely tuned keywords. Once you’ve entered your seed keyword into the research tool, you’ll select your target locale, and voilà, you’ll see a whole lot of keyword suggestions, which you can sort by topical groups and subgroups. This allows you not only to identify the keyword groups that are the most popular but also to get rid of the groups that aren’t relevant to your business. Now is the time to do a bit of digging into the keywords that are supported by relevant subtopics, and with that, you’ll have a solid start.
Take a Peek at Your Competitors
We would be remiss if we didn’t tell you to do a bit of spying on your competitors. Doing some investigating into the keywords that are ranking for your competitors can afford you some serious insight into what makes them tick while also unleashing prime keyword opportunities.
Step 2: Analyze Those Keywords
Now that you’ve mined a wealth of keywords, it’s time to get busy with some good, old-fashioned analyzing, which includes – of course – search volume and keyword difficulty.
Search volume lets you know the average number of times searchers type in a specific keyword each month. The higher the volume, the more traffic you can expect to generate for those keywords you rank well on.
Keyword difficulty is a measure that allows you to estimate how difficult it is to land on the top 10 organic search results for a specific keyword. This metric is predicated on the level of authoritativeness of those pages that rank on the first search engine result page (SERP), and it’s represented by a number from 0 to 100. Generally, the higher the search volume, the higher the difficulty, which makes organically ranking in the top spots exceptionally challenging – and, in turn, is why it’s so important to explore your options in terms of lower-ranking keywords. The trick here is obviously finding balance, which always seems to be the sticking point.
Step 3: Target Those Keywords
You made it this far, and now it’s time to go for the gusto and target the keywords you’ve set your sights on. Regardless of your content’s focus, it’s likely to contain multiple keywords and can rank on all of them, but you’re still going to need a primary keyword. Let’s break this down a bit.
Your Primary Keyword
Your primary keyword should have all the following markings:
- It is the best representation of the topic at hand.
- It has the highest search volume for the niche at hand.
- It is incorporated into the specific page’s key elements, including title tag, URL, and headings.
Your Secondary Keywords
Secondary keywords are keywords with lower search volumes under the same topic umbrella. In other words, you can have multiple secondary keywords that it would be great to rank on, but your primary keyword is your primary concern.
A Note about Intent
Knowing which keywords your target audience is using is great, but it’s also important to know something about searcher intent. Generally, intent is considered in terms of four basic concepts that include:
- Navigational intent, or the specific page the searcher is heading to.
- Informational intent, or the kind of information the searcher is looking for.
- Commercial intent, or the searcher’s final purchase decision.
- Transactional intent, or the searcher’s quest for a specific product or brand, which is driven by their intention to make a direct purchase.
Tailoring your content to searchers’ intentions strengthens your SEO.
Other things you can do to stand out from the pack include:
- Offering in-depth content.
- Adopting a unique approach.
- Being generous with the examples.
- Focusing on a smooth user experience.
- Creating compelling media.
And with that, you have lift off.
Digital Marketing Pros Can Help You Make It Happen
Optimizing your SEO through keyword research helps to fortify the foundation of your business’s online presence, which makes it of primary importance. You’re not, however, all alone out there – the digital marketing professionals at The Web Guys have got you covered on this one. Learn more by contacting us at (317) 805-4933 today.