SEO Basics: Keyword Research
Updated: May 17, 2020
In this article we will show you the correct way to do keyword research. We’ll leverage different tools and methodologies to make sure we stay ahead of your customers intent.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is a very important part of SEO. It is the process of creating a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and your customers. In order to create this list, you need to deep dive into search engines and into your customers needs and intent. Are they looking for your business? Where are they looking? And when? Seasonality plays an important role. Did they find what they were looking for? If not, why? Keyword Research is an ongoing process much like the rest of SEO. It takes time and effort to achieve the desired results. But when you do reach them, then you will be on top of your competition!
Essential concepts of keyword research
In my previous article, SEO Basics, we mentioned that It is important to measure SEO and compare your overall website traffic with traffic from Organic Search in order to know where you stand and structure your content strategy and keyword research.
This is my favorite part. We have seen the two types of keywords you can look for. Today we will focus on the keywords people are searching all over the internet. Find relevant keywords to your product or business or new initiative and compare different metrics like search volumes, average position and competition. Choose the top 10 keywords to move forward. Ideally you may choose 5 top branded keywords (Apple iPhone) and 5 non branded keywords (smartphone).
Why is keyword research important?
Many business owners have a specific set of keywords on their mind. But their customers have an entirely different set of keywords in mind. That happens more often than they care to admit! As a result, prospective customers cannot find the business’s website and the business cannot deliver their product or service to their customers.
For example, sometimes the marketing communication department may choose a specific keyword to name a new product. It might sound sexy or new or fresh. And it’s a great idea to stand out! But they should take a step back and wonder. Is this what the customer is looking for?
Yes they will rank high on the terms they choose. If their customers are not looking for them however, what's the point? They will end up missing an important amount of Organic Search Traffic that would otherwise result in higher Conversion Rate!
The truth is somewhere in between. Find unique keywords that are relevant to your audience and match their search intent!
How is keyword research done?
Let’s start the process together!
1. Have a clear objective
What is the strategy behind your marketing actions? Who are you trying to reach? What are you going to offer them that the competition does not?
2. Create a list of your keywords
Gather all your keywords together in an excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet and start analysing them. Choose the top keywords you think are more relevant to your customer and your business. Lot's of pivoting, vlookuping and removing duplicates are among our faveorite spreadsheet functions!
3. Organic search for top keywords
4. Google results
Look for other clues that come (or not) when you type those keywords. For example Google maps results.
5. Meta tags
Remember this ol' little tool we mentioned, SEO Quake? You can find all you need to know about the elements that affect SEO: URL, Canonical, Title, Meta Description, Rel, H1-H3 Headings, Alt Text, Text/HTML ration, Frames, Flash, The Open Graph.
6. Research your competition
Does your competition use the keywords you have chosen? Do they rank higher than you in Search Results?
7. Scan for duplicate content
9. Scan social channels
Social mentions are not a direct ranking factor but they surely boost your brand image!
9. Leverage content gaps
Evaluate the difference between your keywords and the competitions. Are your competitors ranking for them? Is your website ranking?
10. Consider Long Tail keywords
The hows and who and what of our search intent. "How does my iphone work?". "Where can I find an Italian restaurant nearby?". "Why did my new car break down?". These are caled long tail keywords are the most relevant to your customer’s search intent!
11. Start Creating Landing Pages
Now that you’re done with your research, it is time to write! Integrate your keyword research into your content strategy for optimal SEO strategy. More on Content Strategy later!
12. Consider AMP pages
Last but not least, AMP pages or Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a simple and robust format to ensure your website is fast, user-first, and makes money (source AMP).
Tips for keyword research
Research, research, research
Keep your customer in mind
Consider long tail keywords
Create unique content
Remember to stay true to this process and you will not fail to perform a Keyword Reasearch for a new product or during an SEO Audit!
This concludes our article about how you will perform a Keyword Research. Our next article will be about the top Keyword Research Tools!
Are you still afraid of this process? If yes, contact me and we're going to slay this mythical beast together!
Stay tuned on my blog for more articles about SEO!