Keyword Research for Beginners
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful process to help websites generate leads. As Google keeps updating their algorithm, businesses must keep up with the changes they are making to rank well in the search results. But one SEO aspect that remains consistent is keyword research.
It is an essential element of SEO that needs a lot of thinking and understanding of customer behaviour and needs. To learn about keyword research further, we are going to talk about what it is, why it is important, and how you properly do it.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of looking for and evaluating search terms that people use when searching for something on search engines. The idea you get from these search terms can help you formulate relevant content and create content and marketing strategies.
Why Is Keyword Research Essential?
Using keywords in your content that match people’s search is no longer the most crucial factor for SEO professionals. The intent behind the keywords is the new focus now. This means the content you publish containing those keywords should solve the intent.
But this does not mean keyword research is outdated because it still helps you identify useful topics for people and how popular these topics are to them. By researching keywords with a certain volume of searches each month using a keyword tool, you will find keywords to create relevant content from for your posts.
You can also determine what answers people are looking for online by researching questions people ask in Google Search. If you look at the general intent, search volume, and popularity. Your blog posts and other related content will need to include these answers.
How Does User Intent Influence Keyword Research?
As mentioned earlier, user intent is more important than just containing relevant keywords in your content. Businesses should publish content that provides solutions to people’s problems and that shows people how to perform the solutions.
Keywords should match the intent, so people can get value from your content and see your content as useful. For example, your keyword is “how to start a blog”. This is quite tricky because it can mean that people might want to know how to create an individual blog post or might want to know how to create an entire website.
The intent behind that keyword will affect your post’s direction. If you are targeting either one of the two, you must ensure that your content matches the intent.
To help you determine the intent of the keyword, enter the keyword in a search engine and check what types of content show up.
How to Build a Keyword List
Step 1: Create a List of Relevant Topics About Your Business
Creating this list helps you identify which types of content you will publish on your website. To make the list, think about the important and generic topics related to your business that you want to rank in the search engines.
You might produce up to 10 generic topics. Use these topics to group specific keywords you will use later.
For Innzone Hosting, for example, since we are a web hosting provider, we might produce topics like:
- web hosting
- website creation
Use a keyword tool to check your generic topics and see the monthly search volume for each. The higher the number, the more in demand the keyword is to people.
Step 2: Write Specific Keywords for Each Topic
This step does not aim to give you the final keywords you will use for your content. This is just to give you a collection of keywords that potential customers might use when searching online.
To create the list, go back to each generic topic mentioned on the previous step. For “WordPress”, for example, think about phrases that people might use when searching for related topics:
- how to create a website
- how to install a plugin or theme
- how WordPress works
- creating a post on WordPress
You can also use Google Analytics to search for related keywords of your generic topic.
Step 3: Search for Related Terms
If you find it difficult to formulate relevant keywords for each generic topic, you can research related terms on Google. Type in the topic on the search box and take note of the related search items that will appear at the bottom of the results page.
These related search terms can spark ideas for keywords you might want to include on your list. You can also use those related search terms to search for more related topics.
Step 4: Look for Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords for Each Topic
Head terms are keyword phrases that are usually more generic and shorter, typically one to three words. Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that are more than three words and are more specific than head terms.
It is essential to have a mix of both for each topic because it provides you with a balance of short-term wins and long-term goals. Head terms are commonly the most frequently searched but are harder to rank for.
You will, however, get a high chance of conversion with long-tail keywords because people searching for it are more likely to buy the product or service. If your topic is “web hosting”, you can have this list:
- web hosting services
- what to look for in a web hosting service
- website creation
- how to create a website if you are a beginner
Step 5: See How Your Competitors Are Ranking for the Same Keywords
When a keyword is important to your competitor, it does not mean it is also essential for you. Understanding which keywords your competitors are trying to rank on search engines is an effective way for you to see if your keywords and content overlap.
If your competitors are ranking on search engines for some keywords on your list, it is necessary that you should also improve your ranking for those keywords. But it is also crucial to not ignore the keywords that your competitors are not using because they can help you have a comprehensive marketing opportunity.
Achieve a balance of keywords that are more realistic for you to rank quickly and have harder keywords that you will rank for eventually. This way, you can have a list of keywords that provides quick wins and helps you progress to more challenging SEO goals.
To check your competitors’ position on the same keywords as yours, you can use an SEO tool like SEMrush. It lets you see free reports that display the top keywords for a certain domain.
Step 6: Utilize Google Keyword Planner
Because your keyword list is quite long, you can use Google Keyword Planner. The planner allows you to get estimates for traffic and search volumes for certain keywords.
Based on the results, keywords that have an extremely low search volume, could be easier to rank for. You can also check Google Trends to see keyword projection and trend history.
Keywords with low search volume might need to be narrowed down to be more specific, which you can then use to create specific content for your audience.
Keyword research may not be a straightforward process, but it guarantees more traffic and conversions when done correctly. The key here is to understand how it works and value the time it takes to do the proper research.
Follow the steps to do keyword research now and use relevant keywords that will bring enormous success to your business!