Keyword research should be the basis of any online marketing campaign. This aims to find out what your target audience is searching for and determine what it takes to rank for those keywords.
68% of any online activity starts with a quick Google search. Without knowing what keywords to target, how can you optimize your website and connect with your audience?
In this article, we’ll lay down everything you need to know about keyword research including practical tips you can begin today!
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering the search terms used in search engines to find products and services in order to rank in search engine results.
This is critical to an online channel’s success as the top Google search result gets the most traffic 49% of the time. The second results get the most traffic 22% of the time. The second page? The results there get clicked on less than 1% of the time.
Therefore, the strategy of keyword research is crucial if you want to get eyeballs onto your content.
How can you do Keyword Research?
Set up a Spreadsheet
It’s old school but setting up a basic spreadsheet is one of the best ways to record data you will need in your keyword research. Columns to include are:
- GAKT – Competition (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
- GAKT – Global Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
- GAKT – Local Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
- GAKT – Approximate CPC (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
- SEOmoz KA – Difficulty (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
- SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)
After setting up your spreadsheet, the first thing to do is to come up with keyword ideas.
This can sometimes be the most challenging step because many people who are not familiar with keyword competition choose very general target words. Others will choose obscure terms like SEO, link building, or social media that are unlikely to be searched for (indeed, I’ve seen individuals try to use similarly over-punctuated words).
Finding appropriate, comparable terms for their business will therefore be your first task.
Always begin with some basic brainstorming. Look over your website’s primary subjects and make a list of keywords related to those subjects.
You can use keyword discovery tools like Ubersuggest to find keywords with in-depth metrics. You could also use built-in keyword suggestions from search engines like Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia or Dogpile.
Another great tool is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. This will show you Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches, and Approximate CPC. Make sure you’re logged in to your Google Ads account to get more results!
After entering your keyword data into your spreadsheet, it’s time to analyze and choose the best keywords.
Ubersuggest can show you a list of pages that rank for different keywords. It also shows how many visits the page gets from the keyword, how many backlinks the page has, and how many shares it has on Facebook, Pinterest, and Reddit.
Check the most successful websites and use that as a start point for what to include on your own page to rank for your desired keyword.
Finally, put everything you have found into your spreadsheet and organize it to see the top-ranking keywords relevant to your business. You can quickly see which keywords have the most searches and least competition. Aim for the sweet spot of high search volume in conjunction with low difficulty/competition.
Look at high search volume keywords from top competitors with low domain authority and low backlinks. If your website is already ranked on the first page, but not in the top 5 and your keyword search volume is high, then focus on ranking up for those keywords and phrases.
If you don’t want to do all this keyword research yourself, invest in AI driven marketing tools like SwaysEast.
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