Updated: Jul 14
Keyword Research Guide for SEO:
Are keywords important for SEO? Yes, they are highly important. This is where Keyword Research comes in and it is a term that many entrepreneurs, online marketers, content creators, and SEO experts use.
But what is keyword research actually? And how does it affect your website’s ranking in search engines like Google?
Keyword research is the process of picking the words or phrases that people are looking for when they go to search engines like Google in its search bar and of course, even you have done this many times in the past.
Keywords can be anything from product names to blog topics or even services you offer. The more keywords you include on your site, the more likely your site will rank in Google and other search engine results pages (SERPS).
If you’re new to the world of SEO and don’t know where to start, this comprehensive guide will provide you with keyword research tips and actionable advice for best practices in keyword research.
Do you know? - “Keywords are the foundation of SEO. But today, rather than scanning for just a keyword, Google takes a high-level look at your website to get an overall sense of its tone, scope, and relevancy” – HubSpot
How to Research Keywords for SEO?:
Let's start to explore.
What is Keyword Research?:
Keyword research is the first step of SEO. When you do keyword research, you are looking for words or phrases that people might be searching for when they visit search engines like Google.
The goal of keyword research is to create a list of potential keywords that you could include on your website or in the content to rank higher in SERPs.
The process of keyword research involves brainstorming possible keywords and phrases before deciding which ones to use. You should always start with broad terms before narrowing down your list to specific terms.
“A study by Backlinko revealed that the top 3 search results on Google receive over half of all clicks, underscoring the significance of ranking higher on SERPs through effective keyword research” - Ross Simmonds Newsletter
How Does Keyword Research Affect SEO?:
Before we get into how to do keyword research, let’s talk about its importance of it. Keyword research is extremely important for SEO on your website. Search engines like Google rank websites based on the keywords that are on them.
When people search Google, they type in words or phrases that they want to find, and then Google will show the results with those keywords.
If you use the same words or phrases throughout your website, you have a better chance of ranking in Google for those specific words or phrases. But not that, keyword stuffing is not allowed, and use them naturally.
"You can use Google Analytics Dashboard to view the performance of your website, and Google Search Console to see if Google has indexed it"
As a result, keyword research is an important step in creating a successful SEO strategy.
It also provides you with a better understanding of what people might be looking for when they search for information on Google and helps you devise a plan to capture their attention and generate free or organic traffic consistently.
This will eventually be helping in generating leads and sales from any online business perspective.
There are many different ways to conduct keyword research, such as using SEO tools and platforms like Google Keyword Planner, Answer The Public, Also Asked, Quora, Reddit, ChatGPT, Exploding Topics, and many others.
Paid tools, such as Ahrefs, MoZ, and SEMrush, are generally recommended by experts if you're serious about SEO due to their multiple features and advantages. [If interested, access these Best YouTube Channels for Learning SEO].
You can consider using the Keyword Tool Pro and Long Tail Pro tools to get some traction for your website and content in search engines if you have a new website or are a newbie.
Long tail keywords have a higher possibility of ranking in searches because there is little competition for them even though there is less search traffic for such phrases.
However, due to the highly targeted nature of the traffic, conversion rates are greater.
Illustration of various forms of keywords:
As you can see from the image below, search volume decreases as the number of words in the keywords or search phrases increases.
'tomato plant' is a short tail keyword. Here, the ranking chances are tougher.
'when to plant tomatoes' and 'tomato plants for sale' are mid-tail keywords.
'why are tomato plants turning yellow' is a long-tail keyword. Here, the ranking chances are easier.
Best Practices For Optimizing Your Site’s SEO:
While keyword research can be a difficult task, it is necessary to help your website, and content rank better in Google. One way to do this is by using keywords strategically throughout your content.
Where to Place Keywords:
You don’t want to use the same keyword twice on a page, but you should include a balance of keywords and other natural languages during the course of a paragraph, article, or website page.
Another best practice for SEO is to have a text-based file with your keyword phrases in order from most important to least important.
This will allow you to put these keywords in their proper places without needing to keep track of them all in your head while writing content.
"When deciding which keywords are the most important, always consider the search traffic volume and competition levels"
SEO Keyword Metrics:
Remember that not every tactic will work for anyone, and you may need to trial and error before figuring out what works best for you! If interested, access these Best Search Engine Optimization [SEO] Tools.
“In the AI Age of search, merely matching your keyword to a search query is no longer enough. Google is now able to understand your site and the content of your pages in deeper ways that allow it to do much more sophisticated matching or content to a user’s intent, search journey, and more” – seoClarity
Tips For Finding The Right Keywords:
In order to find the right keyword, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. For example, what are the words people use to search for your product or service? What do you want your website to be known for?
You should also consider what keywords will be relevant in the future. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and money into using a keyword that won’t be popular in a year or two.
When you first start out with SEO, it might seem like an overwhelming task to find the perfect keywords. But as you keep practicing and refining your research skills, finding those perfect keywords will become second nature.
Here's related information that you may also find helpful – Which keywords are best to target in SEO?
Keyword Intent Mapping:
Start With Your Target Audience:
The first thing to do when creating your keyword list is to figure out your target audience.
Once you know who your target audience is, it will be easier for you to come up with relevant keywords that will help them find what they need on your site.
And the more relevant keywords you have on your site, the higher your rankings will be in Google and other search engines.
To stress it again, remember that not every tactic will work for anyone, and you may need to trial and error before figuring out what works best for you!
However, the paid SEO tools will make the process easier by helping you with the potential keywords that you can use on your website or content that builds significance to ranking.
Also, to mention that there are other factors like your website speed, website navigation, external backlinks building, and internal links building that will also accelerate your website or content to perform better in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
“Many do not understand the need or importance of keyword research, and this is part of the reason why studies show that 90.63% of pages on the internet get no traffic from Google” – Ahrefs
Here's related information that you may also find helpful – Can keywords be two words?
How to Use Keywords:
Enhance Your Keyword Research:
Your keyword research will be more effective if you use rich data. Google uses a variety of sources to get the most accurate information on what people are searching for, including:
Data from its search engine,
Data from social media,
Pages that rank highly in SERPS
Pages that you link to from your site or from social media sites.
Those sites link to you, and many others.
Remember, if Google can’t find enough links to a page, it may not rank high in SERPs [of course, there is an exception in the case of long tail keywords-based content or copy]. So make sure you’re also focusing on building links [backlinks] to your site.
You want Google to know what your site is about and where it ranks among other pages on the internet.
Gauge niche trends, conversations, and topics to strengthen your keyword research. You can also use social media to share your website or content links to improve reach and visibility.
Be sure that any social media posts you create, and publish have keywords in them so they can rank higher in SERPS as well! This comes under social media optimization.
“Having the keywords in your landing pages can help you gain up to 40% or more conversions from the same traffic you get from your ads” – Search Engine Journal
Here's related information that you may also find helpful – Should keywords be capitalized?
Keyword Research is a crucial part of an SEO strategy. In order to rank higher in Google or in general any search engines, you need to use the right keywords in your content and also on your website.
These keywords will help you attract more visitors, generate more views, increases leads, and customers, thereby saving your financial resources [on ads] over time.
Also keep in mind that timely [at least quarterly] monitoring of On-Page SEO, Technical SEO, and Off-Page SEO components will enable you to concentrate on any improvements and problems that need to be resolved in order to keep your website competitive.
Here's related information that you may also find helpful – Search Engine Marketing Statistics
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