The Importance of Keyword Research for SEO
Keyword research helps you target the right people and gain insights into what your audience wants to get out of your content. These insights are invaluable when forming your marketing and content strategy.
People search keywords to get solutions online—if your content gets in front of those people and offers them the answers they need, you’ll get more traffic.
In addition, inbound marketing thrives and content, and you don’t want to create that content around what you want to tell people; you should create content that focuses on what they want to cover. Successful keyword research and content execution means that your audience comes to you.
Some significant benefits of conducting keyword research for SEO include:
- Traffic growth: By identifying the best keywords for your content, you’ll rank higher in Google’s SERPs and attract more traffic to your site.
- Trend insights: Keyword research can also give you insights into the most current marketing trends, allowing you to center your content around the topics most relevant to your audience.
Customer acquisition: If your content targets people looking for a product or service, you can use calls to action if you can meet their needs, guiding them from the awareness stage to the buyer journey and point of purchase.
If you want your business to show up in the search results, you need to focus on keyword research. Despite all of the changes Google has made to its SEO algorithm over the years, one aspect that remains consistent is the importance of keywords.
Keywords help users find your website, and they help search engines determine what kind of content is on your site. How do you perform keyword research for SEO?
Read on to learn how to conduct keyword research.
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What is a Keyword?
Before we dive into the in’s and out’s of keyword research, we first need to talk about what keywords are.
A keyword is a word or phrase that best describes the content on your page. In terms of SEO, keywords serve as the core component of written content. Let’s say you have a business site that sells CBD products.
You may write a blog about what to look for when buying CBD products and share reviews of the products you offer in your shop. To write an article about buying CBD products, you’ll focus your content around a specific keyword/phrase. In this scenario, your keyword may be:
- “CBD products”
- “Buying CBD products”
- “Best CBD products to buy”
- “Where to buy CBD products”
By plugging these keywords into your content, internet users who are searching for CBD products will be more likely to come across your site. This is because Google will rank your site higher if it contains the same keywords that people type into a search query (aka, Google search bar).
If you use the wrong keywords, you won’t get the right visitors to your site, and Google may rank you for other, irrelevant search terms. This is why it’s so important to perform keyword research so you can select the best words and phrases for your website.
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What is Keyword Research?
Choosing keywords for your site isn’t a random guessing game. To select the appropriate keywords, you need to perform keyword research.
Learning how to conduct keyword research is a fundamental SEO task. Performing keyword research will help you identify popular words and phrases users enter into search engines. Keyword research can help you uncover queries to target, the popularity of these queries, and how difficult it’ll be to rank for these queries.
In other words, keyword research isn’t just about finding the words you want to rank for – it’s about finding the words you should rank for. When properly done, keyword research will help you yield topic ideas for which you should be creating site content around.
How Often Should You Conduct Keyword Research?
Keyword research isn’t just a one-off task. You should be conducting keyword research on an ongoing basis, and you should re-work your keyword strategy based on how your content performs.
Search language is constantly shifting, with new keywords coming into play all the time. As your audience develops and grows, so too should your keyword strategy. By regularly reassessing your keyword strategy, you’ll be able to keep up with your audience’s needs.
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How to Do Keyword Research
So how do you conduct keyword research? Here’s what you need to do:
Understand the Factors for Choosing Keywords
First off, you need to understand the factors at play when it comes to choosing keywords. You should curate your keywords based on the following information:
Google ranks for relevant content. This means that your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the user’s needs. Additionally, your content will need to be the best resource out there to rank at the top of search engines. Choosing relevant keywords will help you climb the rankings.
The volume describes how frequently others are typing in particular keywords into Google. Typically, search volume is measured on a monthly basis. For example, the keyword “best real estate agent in Las Vegas” may have a keyword volume of 50,000 searches per month.
Google gives more weight to sources it deems authoritative. This means your business needs to do all it can to be an authoritative voice in the industry. To do this, you need to enrich your site with useful, engaging content. Always make sure the keywords you choose make you sound like an authoritative voice in the industry.
Make a List of Relevant Topics
Once you understand the different factors for choosing keywords, it’s time to make a list of relevant topics. Try to come up with 5 to 10 topics for blogs that center around your products or services.
If you’re stuck for ideas, research other brands and competitors in your industry. To come up with topic ideas, you should also put yourself in the shoes of the customer. For example, if you own a pet company that sells dog products and toys, here are some topic ideas you could use:
- How to choose the best dog toys
- How to train your dog to sit
- How to choose a dog bed
- The top tips for traveling with your dog
Once you have a list of ideas, you can identify keywords that fall into those topics. For example, for “How to choose the best dog toys,” your keyword might be “Best dog toys.”
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Understand How User Intent Affects Keywords
User intent is a pivotal factor in how well your website ranks—it’s essential that your site addresses problems that searchers intend to solve (not just be filled with the keyword they used). Let’s explore how this affects your keyword research.
You can’t take keywords at face value; they can have various meanings beneath the surface. And you have to be careful how you interpret your targeted keywords because user intent is so important.
For example, if you’re writing a post about starting a blog and the keyword is “how to start a blog,” what does that mean when people search it—do they want to learn about making a blog post or creating a blog website? That’s the intent that will influence the direction of your content.
What’s the best way to verify someone’s intent when searching for your keyword? The answer is simple: Type your keyword into Google, and see what results turn up at the top of the page. Then, ensure your content is closely related to what Google is ranking for that keyword.
Look for Related Search Terms
This is more of a creative step, and you might’ve already done it while researching keywords. If you haven’t, it’s a great way to help with the first step—coming up with relevant topics.
If you’re having trouble thinking of more keywords that people search about specific topics, look at the related searches that show up in Google when you type your keyword in—typically located at the bottom of Google’s results.
You’ll get some suggestions based on your original keyword, and you can use them to spark ideas for additional keywords to consider for your content. You can take it further by typing in those related search terms and looking at what keywords are related to them.
Use Keyword Research Tools
The next step is to use keyword research tools to see how competitive the keyword is. SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest are just a few examples of keyword tools that you can put to use.
These keyword tools come with different features that will tell you average monthly searches, keyword relevancy information, and what other brands are using the same keywords.
Time to Start Your Keyword Research
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into keyword research. And, keep in mind that keyword research is only one component of SEO. Other components include writing quality content, developing a linking strategy, and creating metadata.
If you feel overwhelmed about all of the components of SEO, consider working with an SEO agency. An SEO agency can help you formulate a keyword strategy to help your site grow.
If you’re looking to set up a consultation with an SEO agency, click here.