If you’re a website owner or an SEO, you can’t afford to ignore the importance of keyword research. You can expect to move in the right direction only when you work on the right keywords. But, the truth is keyword research can be overwhelming, even for some SEO experts. In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to find highly profitable keywords for your website or blog.
Let’s dive in.
What is Keyword Research & Why Is It Important?
Simply put, keyword research is finding the queries people search for on Google and other search engines. But why is it so important? Keyword research is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. You can’t attract your target audience to your web pages without finding the right keywords. For instance, if you’re a digital marketing agency, You might want one of your pages to rank on the first page of Google for the term “Social media marketing”.
Factors to Consider in Keyword Research
Google considers the relevance of your content before ranking it against your target keyword, which is where user intent comes into play. Before working on it, you should understand the search intent behind every keyword or query.
The authority of your website affects its organic rankings. High-authority domains have a better chance of ranking for a competitive keyword than low-authority domains.
Another important factor to look at while doing keyword research is the monthly search volume. Although keywords with a higher search volume may look attractive, they also tend to be more competitive. So, you need to check the competition of a keyword before targeting it irrespective of its search volume.
How to Do Keyword Research for SEO (The Ultimate Guide)
Use Google Search
Google’s own search engine is a perfect source of SEO keywords. It’s essentially designed to help searchers find answers. But, webmasters use it all the time to find relevant keywords for their SEO strategy.
Here’s how you can use Google search to find a laundry list of profitable keywords for SEO.
Google autocomplete gives you a bunch of popular phrases around your main topic. And since the keywords are fetched from Google’s database, they’re reliable.
People Also Ask Box
Google’s People Also Ask box is a perfect source of question-focused keywords. It gives you the questions people are asking related to your target keyword.
Google Related Searches
Google Related Searches is another great place for keyword hunting. You’ll see the related searches box as you scroll down to the bottom of the first page of Google.
Use Free Keyword Research Tools
Don’t worry if you can’t invest in paid keyword research tools. There are plenty of free and effective options out there. Let me tell you about the most reliable free keyword research tool that you can get started with.
Google Keyword Planner
The nice thing is Google Keyword Planner gives you a list of keywords with their approximate monthly search volumes and paid competition. Although it’s not designed for SEO purposes, there’s enough data to give you a good idea. Just enter your main keyword, and it’ll give you a list of related keywords you can work on. To get the most of this tool, you can run a paid campaign, no matter how small. It’ll then give you the exact number of monthly searches for your keywords.
There’s no shortage of keyword research tools; here are a few more recommendations (free and paid):
- Ubersuggest (free + paid)
- Answer The Public (Free + Paid)
- Ahrefs (Paid)
- SEMrush (Paid)
You can use Google Search Console to find opportunity keywords if you already have an active blog. Opportunity Keywords are search terms that you’re already ranking for. Work on them to further improve their rankings. You can find these keywords in the “Performance report” of your Google Search Console account.
Find Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords consist of more than 3 words and are typically easier to rank for. This is mainly because big blogs don’t focus on search terms that have low monthly search volumes. The good thing is no matter what industry you’re in, you’ll find tons of long-tail keywords to target. This means there’s a lot of traffic potential, even if the individual keywords don’t have a very high demand.
Plus, long-tail keywords are much more clear on what the searcher really wants, allowing you to better understand user intent. This makes long-tail keywords more converting. But, how do you find long-tail keywords for SEO?
Find Question-focused Keywords
Questions make perfect long-tail keywords. The following tools are ideal for question-focused keyword hunting:
- Keywords Everywhere (Paid)
- Google’s People Also Ask (Free)
- Answer The Public (Free)
Analyze SERP Features
So, you have a list of potentially profitable keywords under your belt. Should you start targeting all of them? Not at all. You need to carefully vet every keyword before working on it.
Here’s how you can do SERP (Search engine results page) analysis.
Understand the Search Intent Behind the Keyword
A keyword can essentially have four types of intents:
Informational: When searchers are just looking for general information. Examples include how-to topics and ultimate guides.
Commercial: When people are considering buying something but are researching their options.
Navigational: When searchers simply want to navigate to a specific web page, for instance, “Facebook login”.
Transactional: When someone is looking to buy something, for instance, buy iPhone 11.
Understanding the intent behind a keyword is crucial to rank your content on it.
Check First-Page Ranking Results for Authority
As discussed before, ranking for competitive keywords is easier when your domain has a high authority with Google.
Keywords that are targeted by high-authority domains are tough to rank.
For instance, let’s say you’ve found a keyword and want to check whether it’d be worth working on.
You can search it on Google and observe the top-ranking pages.
Your goal is to pinpoint a spot on the first page that’s occupied by a low-authority website.
But, how do you know the authority of a domain?
Thankfully, the MozBar Chrome extension gives you an idea for free.
Just install this extension and search the keyword on Google.
It’ll show you the Domain Authority (DA) of the top-ranking pages.
The higher the DA of a domain on the first page, the more authoritative it is.
Search your keyword and if Google returns web pages with high authorities (DA), it’s not worth it.
Unless your domain has an even higher DA.
Analyze Opportunity Web Pages
An opportunity web page is a search result that’s fairly easy to outrank.
This would be a search result with DA less than your domain’s DA.
Next, what you want to do is analyze an opportunity web page for the:
- Number of images or visuals
- Number of words (Comprehensiveness of the topic)
- External and internal linking
Then, create something a lot better from every aspect.
This generally means covering the topic even more comprehensively and adding more images than your competitor.
Almost every SEO strategy starts with keyword research. Since your SEO success majorly depends on it, keyword research can be overwhelming for some.
But, if you’ve read this far, you know how it’s done and why shouldn’t you take it lightly.
Want to keep learning more SEO and business stuff? Forrestwebber.com has some amazing guides for you!
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