Keyword research is the process of recognizing, evaluating, and taking advantage of popular search terms used by online users when searching for products, services, and content from search engines like Google. This is the only way to figure out the language, type of queries, and information that people are typing into search engines.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research involves analysis, comparison, and inclusion of the best keyword opportunities for your website so that your content will have potentially higher ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). The goal is to use that data search engine optimization (SEO).
Keyword research should provide answers to the following questions:
- What are people searching for?
- In what format do they want that information?
- How many people are searching for it?
- Why are people searching for this? Do they want to find a solution, make a purchase, learn about something?
- How many ways could a visitor search for this content?
- Which pages rank for which terms?
- Are searchers using these keywords likely to become my leads or clients?
- Which keywords can deliver the quickest wins?
- How hard will it be to rank for this keyword?
- What should be my content creation strategy to rank for this keyword?
- How much traffic and revenue am I likely to get if I rank for this keyword?
- How do competitors and industry sources use these keywords in their content?
Keyword Research Best Practices
- The higher the search volume for a targeted keyword or a keyword phrase, the greater the competition and effort is required in getting a higher SERP ranking. Target long tail keywords with lower search volume. Thanks to searcher specificity, these provide better conversions which in turn can help you hone the content found on your page.
- Prioritize high-volume keywords that are either currently ranked or ignored by competitors. The former is an aggressive strategy to see if you can get better SERP positioning for those keywords, while the latter helps you take advantage of competitors’ missed opportunities.
- Be aware of seasonal trends so you can prepare content in advance for keywords that can spike during those days, weeks, or months.
- Understand format preference of searchers when typing keywords or keyword phrases. Searcher’s intent come in five categories:
- Informational queries
- Navigational queries
- Transactional queries
- Commercial investigation
- Local queries
- Keyword research and keyword ranking are important for positioning specific website pages higher on SERPs. Make sure to optimize content for uniquely valuable keywords or to target multiple keywords in one page to increase search visibility and ranking.
How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
- Make a list of important, relevant topics based on your product/service offerings. This data will help streamline specific keywords and keyword phrases for content creation that will help reach your target audience.
- Search your web pages one by one to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.
- Understand how intent affects keyword research and analyze accordingly. Enter specific keywords into a search engine to see all possible results.
- Research related search terms. When typing keywords on Google, you’ll notice at the bottom of the page some suggestions for searches related to your original input.
- Use keyword research tools to your advantage. Keyword research and SEO tools can help you come up with more keyword ideas based on exact match keywords that rank high on SERPs.
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