Thanks to algorithm updates made by Google, the world of SEO is ever-changing.
However, for inbound marketers wanting to optimize their websites, one thing has remained consistent: keyword research is king.
In this article we’ll delve a bit deeper into keyword research, why it’s so important and how to research highly converting keywords step-by-step, in line with your SEO strategy. Let’s get into it!
Researching Keywords For SEO: Step-By-Step
Let’s take a closer look at the keyword research process so you can get an idea of what terms you need to be targeting.
By knowing what keywords you need to target you can create an effective keyword strategy.
List topics that are important and relevant to you, based on the needs of your business.
To get started with this, think about what topics you would like to rank in terms of general buckets.
Think of 5-10 topic buckets you think would be useful to your business, and then use these topic buckets to create more specific keywords later.
If you blog regularly, these topics may be what you blog about the most, or they can be topics that are frequently discussed in sales conversations.
Now you need to fill your topic buckets with keywords.
These will be keyword phrases that you believe will help you rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) because the audience you’re targeting is most likely searching for these specific terms.
But how do you find keywords for these topic buckets?
Well, if you’re creating topic buckets for an inbound marketing software company, one of the topic buckets might be for ‘marketing automation.’
When trying to find keywords for this topic, brainstorm some keyword phrases related to the topic, such as:
- Marketing automation tools
- Best automation tools
- Email marketing automation
You can also focus on questions like:
- What is marketing automation?
- How to tell if I need marketing automation software
- How to use marketing automation software
In this step we’re not finalizing a lot of keyword phrases.
It really is about coming up with as many phrases as possible that you think potential customers may use to search for content in that particular topic bucket.
As you go through the process you can whittle the list down so you’re not stuck with loads of phrases.
Google encrypts more and more keywords every day, but a clever way to find keyword ideas is to find out which keywords are already drawing traffic to your website.
You can do this by using analytics software like Google Analytics.
Tap into your website’s traffic sources and sort through your organic search traffic bucket to find which keywords are bringing people to your site.
You can do this for all your topic buckets. Remember, if you’re finding coming up with relevant search terms difficult, reach out to those who work closely with your clients (such as those who work in the Sales or Service department), and find out what types of terms their clients use, and what questions they ask the most.
This is an excellent place to start with keyword research.
Our third step is understanding the relationship between intent and keyword research for analysis.
As previously mentioned, user intent is now one of the most crucial factors in ranking highly on Google.
It’s now more important that your site addresses the problem a searcher is looking to solve than just peppering in keywords included in the search.
So what difference does this make to the keyword research you do?
It’s all too easy to take keywords at face value, which is a problem when keywords can have a host of different meanings, and intent is so crucial to how highly you rank.
Therefore, you need to be very careful about interpreting the keywords targeted.
So for example, if you’re conducting research on the keyword ‘how to start a blog,’ then the meaning of ‘blog’ can range from a single blog post, or to a whole blog website.
The intent of the searcher and the intent behind that keyword will influence what you write about.
Does the person searching want to know how to write an individual post? Or do they want to know how to create a website domain for a blogging website?
If you want to target people interested in knowing about the latter, you’ll need to make sure the intent of the keyword is crystal clear before you commit to it.
To confirm what the intent of a keyword is, it’s recommended to simply search this keyword in Google and look at the results.
Our fourth step is to research related search terms. You may have already thought to do this earlier, but if you haven’t, it’s an excellent way to pad out those lists.
If you’re finding it difficult to come up with more keywords that people may be searching for regarding a specific topic, you can instead research related search terms that come up when you type a keyword into Google.
After searching for a phrase, scroll to the bottom of the Google results and you’ll see suggestions for related searches.
These keywords can help you come up with ideas for other keywords to consider.
Lastly, just remember to make the most out of keyword research tools.
These tools can help you think of keyword ideas based on exact matches to keywords and phrases based on the ideas you’ve come up with. Popular keyword research tools are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keywords Everywhere
While algorithms will always be subject to change, intent is now more important than ever in finding effective keywords.
Keyword research is crucial in ensuring your site ranks highly on Google and in driving traffic to your website.
But while it is undoubtedly important, we hope our article has shown you it needn’t be difficult, especially with the great keyword research tools available to maximize SEO.