Your Guide to Keyword Research
If only there was a way to create content that was able to satisfy both the people using your website and Google. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? It’s actually not as impossible as it sounds. The secret here is using keywords to enhance your SEO. If you’re not ranking for what people are searching for, how will you get any traffic? It’s high time to build a digital marketing strategy and do some keyword research.
What are Keywords?
Let’s get down to business. Keywords are what people type into search engines when they want to find something. For example, ‘fish restaurants’, or even ‘cat videos’. If someone is looking for something of interest to them, there are going to be certain phrases that they’ll use to get the best results. The next question then is, how can you use keywords to enhance your SEO? Well, that’s going to require a bit of research. Keyword research is important because it means that you are trying to understand the language that your target audience is going to use when they’re trying to find you and your services. Once you’ve done your research and made a list of keywords, you’ll be analysing them and comparing them to narrow it down. You’ll then have a list of those keywords that you think are the most important to prioritise. This is what you’ll be able to incorporate into your overall SEO strategy.
Think about your Audience
The first part of doing your keyword research is to think about your target audience. You need to consider things like, who are they and what do they do? Where are they from? Why are they looking for your website or services? Creating a picture of who your target audience is will help you understand how they search for you.
You also need to have good knowledge of your industry. What are all the ins and outs of the products you offer, what kind of services are your competitors offering that you don’t, and why would people want to find you?
Find Seed Keywords
Once you’ve got a handle on who your customers are and what your industry is, you’re ready to start building your keyword research. Starting with your seed keywords. Seed keywords are exactly as they sound: they’re the foundation to make the way for more keywords later. Start off small and then branch out. You get your seeds by defining yourself. For example, are you an online flower market? Then your seed keywords should look something like: ‘flowers’, ‘bouquets’. You won’t necessarily be using these seeds, they’re more likely to help you develop your keyword research in the next stages. This part of your research should only take a few minutes.
Consider your Competitors
You’re not going to be the only person offering your service online. Do a quick Google search and see who comes up using your seed keywords. Who are your competitors? If big names like Amazon come up, don’t consider them as your competitors. Rather, you’re looking for companies that look like yours, or ones that look like what you want your business to look like. Sometimes the seed keywords might be too general. For example, searching for ‘flowers’ will bring up a definition of flowers, or websites about different species. In that case, try the autosuggestions. See what kind of keywords your competitors are ranking for, as these are the ones that people will be searching in order to find them. Now you’ll have more keywords to add to your research, like ‘online flower shop’ or ‘flower delivery service’.
Study your Field
While the autosuggestions will have given you quite a few keywords to add to your list, they’re not actually going to be enough. Time to dig a little deeper with your research. Check out online forums and groups where people are discussing your field. It’s here you’ll be able to find out more about your customers and what they need. See if there are certain phrases that come up again and again, as these will be things that your customers will also be typing into search engines. This way, you stand to get an edge over your competitors as they might not have gone this far with their keyword research. It’s also a good idea to see what your current customers are asking you. Check your emails or chat service and see what they commonly ask you or if there are any trends in their use of language. They won’t be using the same language as you when referring to your product, so it’s good to pay attention to what they say.
Analyse your Research
Once you’ve got your list of keywords, you’re going to have to analyse it in more detail to narrow it down a bit. As much as you’ll want to rank highly for every keyword, it’s just not possible as some keywords will generate more traffic than others.
You need to consider things like the search volume of your keywords. That is, the average number of times each keyword is searched per month. There are those keywords which are considered to be high-volume keywords, and those which are low-volume keywords. High-volume keywords become harder to rank for. Their high search volume each month makes them more competitive. If you go for low-volume keywords, it could work to your advantage as it’s less competitive, so it’s easier to gain ranking. However, since it has a lower search volume, you’ll need to find a way to bring traffic to your site since people won’t be searching for these keywords as frequently. Low-volume keywords are also known as long-tail keywords, and they usually consist of 3 or more words, making them much more specific.
You should also be aware of keyword trends. For example, going back to our online flower market example, the phrase ‘flower delivery service’ will probably have a much higher search volume in the month of February because of Valentine’s day. Once you have the search volume covered, you’ll also need to consider the average monthly clicks. How often are people clicking on the links that they search for? This determines how much traffic the keyword is actually going to bring you. Just because the search volume is high, it doesn’t mean that the average number of clicks will be.
Prioritise your Keywords
While you’re analysing your keywords, you need to be prioritising them too. This means asking questions like, how much traffic will this keyword get? And, how much competition is there for this keyword? You should also consider if you have content that includes those keywords you’re thinking of using. If not, what kind of content will you create in order to push those keywords and improve your ranking? And then there are the keywords that you already rank for. See if there are ways to increase your ranking and traffic by changing the way you use those keywords. And one final question, are the new keywords only going to bring brand awareness to your site? Ultimately, you’re looking to create conversions and so you need to consider what a keyword’s value is worth to your business.
Convinced that keywords should be part of your overall SEO and marketing strategy? At Blonde and Giant, we’re fully equipped to take your keywords game to the next level. Get in touch today to kick start your marketing mission.