How to Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of any successful digital marketing strategy. It's the process of identifying popular words and phrases people enter into search engines with the aim of using that data for specific purposes, like search engine optimization (SEO) or general market research. Today, we'll guide you through how to conduct keyword research, using some of the most recommended tools in the industry.
Step 1: Identify Your Niche
Before you start your keyword research, it's important to clearly define your niche. What does your business offer? Who is your target audience? Having a clear understanding of these factors will guide your keyword research and help you find the most relevant keywords for your business.
Step 2: Brainstorm Initial Keywords
Once you've identified your niche, start brainstorming potential keywords. Think about the words and phrases your customers might use when searching for your products or services. This will give you a good starting point.
Step 3: Use Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research tools can help you expand your initial list, find new keyword ideas, understand search volumes, and gauge the competition. Here are four tools we recommend:
WordStream's Free Keyword Tool gives you hundreds of relevant keyword results, plus additional, actionable information like competition level and estimated Cost Per Click (CPC).
Google Keyword Planner
This free Google Ads tool helps you discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them.
SEMrush offers a comprehensive suite of keyword research tools, providing deep insights into keywords' performance, like their ranking in search results, the amount of traffic they bring, and how they're used in your competitors' websites. Their plans start at about $120 per month.
Keysearch is an easy-to-use web-based keyword research tool with in-depth analysis capabilities. It offers keyword difficulty scores, search volume, CPC, and a comprehensive competitor analysis. The starter plan is only $17 per month and gives you access to a great set of tools that can be helpful to your marketing strategy, especially if you plan to create keyword-targeted content on a regular basis.
Step 4: Analyze Keyword Metrics
Once you've compiled your keyword list, analyze the metrics. Look at factors like search volume (how many people are searching for the keyword), keyword difficulty (how hard it would be to rank for the keyword), and relevance (how relevant the keyword is to your business).
The keyword difficulty (level of competitiveness) will give you an idea of how well your content will rank if you focus on that keyword. Keywords with medium to high competition will be much harder to rank for, as there are already so many sites targeting those words and Google will show the most popular and most relevant sites on the first few results pages, and if you choose to pay for ads targeting those keywords, you will have to pay far more to get the exposure.
There are strategies you can try, but we'll discuss that more later.
Step 5: Implement Keywords into Your Content
After selecting your keywords, the next step is to incorporate them into your website and content. This could include your website's meta tags, your content's headings and body text, and your URLs.
Update Your Strategy
Keyword research is an ongoing process. As trends change and your business evolves, the keywords that are relevant to your business may change as well. Regularly conducting keyword research and updating your strategy accordingly is key to maintaining an effective online presence.
Remember, successful keyword research isn't just about driving traffic—it's about driving the right kind of traffic. By understanding and using effective keyword research, you can reach your target audience more effectively and boost your business's visibility online.
The Power of Long-tail Keywords
Finding the right keywords is like unlocking a secret code that connects your business with your audience. One key strategy is the use of long-tail keywords – phrases that are longer and more specific than most commonly searched keywords. These can offer greater opportunities for businesses to connect with potential customers who are looking for specific offerings. In this article, we'll delve into the world of long-tail keywords and provide some additional tips to help you choose the best keywords to target.
Long-tail keywords are three to five-word phrases that are very specific to your product or service. While they tend to have lower search volumes than shorter, more generic keywords, they often have a higher conversion rate because they target users who are further along in the buying cycle. For example, a person searching for "women's red leather boots size 7" has a clear intention, compared to someone just searching for "boots".
Benefits of Long-tail Keywords
- Less Competition: Long-tail keywords are less competitive than shorter keywords, making it easier to rank higher in search results.
- Higher Conversion Rates: As they are more specific, they tend to attract more qualified traffic, leading to higher conversion rates.
- Improved Voice Search Optimization: With the rise of voice search, people are using more conversational and longer queries. Long-tail keywords align well with this trend.
Tips for Choosing the Right Keywords:
- Look for Low Competition: This is especially important if your website is new or doesn't have a high domain authority. Tools like SEMrush or Keysearch can help you gauge keyword competition.
- Consider Search Volume: While targeting high search volume keywords may seem appealing, they are often very competitive. Instead, look for keywords with a minimum search volume that indicates a steady interest but doesn't have too much competition. What constitutes a "good" search volume can vary depending on your industry and niche. Even a keyword with a few hundred searches per month can be valuable if it's highly relevant to your business and has low competition.
- Prioritize Relevance: The keywords you target should be highly relevant to your content and your audience. Irrelevant keywords can lead to high bounce rates, which can negatively affect your site's SEO.
- Utilize Keyword Difficulty: Many keyword tools offer a 'keyword difficulty' score. This metric gives you an idea of how hard it would be to rank for that keyword. As a rule of thumb, aim for keywords with a lower difficulty score, especially if your site is new or doesn't have a strong backlink profile.
Mastering the art of keyword research is an ongoing process, but by understanding concepts like long-tail keywords and implementing the tips we've discussed, you can make significant strides in improving your website's visibility, driving more targeted traffic, and increasing conversions.
Remember, the goal isn't just to attract any traffic—it's to attract the right traffic. The more closely you can align your keywords with your audience's intent, the more successful your efforts will be.