Every website owner these days knows the importance of doing well on Google. Unless you understand how to handle Google, it is difficult to do well in the online arena. However, there is a lot of competition these days on the internet, and it is tough to climb the success ladder without a smart SEO strategy. Yes, you need a smart SEO strategy to drive the relevant traffic to your website. And one aspect of SEO that is extremely crucial to the scheme of things is keyword research.
Whether it is organic traffic that you plan to drive to your website or run a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign on Google Ads, you should not expect to do well unless you target the right keywords.
So, what should you do to get to the right keywords?
You need to do keyword research to find out the keywords that are exactly or closely related to your business so that people can find you on Google.
What is keyword research?
Let us get down to understand what is keyword research, the benefits of keyword research, and how to do keyword research the right way.
What are keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases that define your content. In the SEO context, these are words/ phrases that searchers type into search engines, which is referred to as search queries. Hence, the words or phrases that best explain your images, videos, copy, etc. on your page are your primary keywords.
And, keyword research is a process used to get to the relevant search terms that searchers type into search engines like Google. These frequently searched keywords (words and phrases) give you a fair idea of what searchers are searching for on the internet, which allows you to streamline your SEO activities so that people can come to your site in hordes.
When you do your keyword research properly, you can get to know a lot of things. Some of these are:
You can get to know the number of people searching for your keyword phrase every month.
You can get to know the related keywords that these people search for on search engines.
You also get to know the activities you need to cover so that you don’t miss out on the trending things.
Also, you can find out other websites that are competing to rank for your specific keyword phrase.
If you want to keep your audience engaged, you need to make sure that you create valuable content for them. And, one thing that helps you do this is keyword research. But you need to understand that you should use the right tools to do keyword research. You can use Google Keyword Planner to do keyword research.
The benefits of keyword research
Keyword research is central to your SEO strategy. But apart from SEO, keyword research also offers several other benefits. Some of the major benefits of keyword research are:
Keyword research allows you to understand your audience – With keyword research, you get to know what your audience is typing into search engines like Google for their search queries. Hence, when you identify the relevant search terms, you get to know your audience, what they want, and things they are looking for in a product or service.
When you know these insights, it helps you to target your audience more specifically. You can also group them into different personas based on what they want. You also get to understand things that you should do to meet their requirements
Keyword research strengthens your content strategy – If you want to drive more traffic to your site, you need to have a content strategy in place. When you do keyword research, you get to know the trending topics of your industry. When you know the trending topics, you can formulate an effective content strategy for your website that generates maximum user engagement for your efforts. Hence, keyword research, when done in the right manner, can strengthen your content strategy.
For example, when you search for the topic “CRM software”, you can get a fair idea of the trending topics in the industry. Also, with the suggested related questions that come up in the search results, you can understand the kind of information people are looking for on this topic. And, if you formulate your content strategy around these topics, you can surely generate more user engagement.
Keyword research allows you to measure brand sentiment – When you perform keyword research with branded keywords, you get to know the common search terms people use to find info about your product.
You can also use branded keywords to perform social media searches. It helps you to know what others are saying about your product. With these search results, you can gauge the mood or sentiment of your audience.
Keyword research allows you to monitor your competitors – if you want to do well on the internet, it is important to keep track of your competitors. And, keyword research helps you do this effectively. The way you do branded keyword research for your brand; similarly, you can also conduct branded keyword research for your competitors. When you do this, you get to know what keywords they rank for, what is being said about their brand, and various other things. With keyword research, you get to know where your competitors stand and how you fare against them.
How to do keyword research?
Keyword research offers several benefits, but you can only get all of them if you know how to do keyword research correctly. Here is how you should conduct keyword research:
You need to have a list of relevant topics to target – When you begin the process of keyword research, you should think about what your customers want to know about your business. You need to make a list of 5 -10 general topics for which you want to rank well. When you select 5 – 10 important topics for your business, you don’t have much problem in coming up with specific relevant keywords for the topics selected.
If you actively blog for your business/ website, you are already doing content creation for these topics. You can refer to these topics when you explain your product to your potential customers.
For example, if you want to target CRM users, your list of topics could include:
CRM services company
CRM software company
CRM software development
CRM development company
After preparing the list, you should try to find out their search volumes so that you invest in the right topics.
Find seed keywords for the selected topics – After selecting your relevant topics, you need to find seed keywords that cover these topics. Seed keywords are words and phrases (read keywords) that best explain your business and are most relevant to it. The list of selected seed keywords will become the building block for your keyword research.
When you have a list of topics, it is not all that difficult to find the relevant seed keywords. All you need to do is search online for those topics and your products/ services.
For example, if you are searching for CRM services, here are some of the topics that you can use:
CRM services company
Best CRM services company
Best CRM services company in Manchester
Affordable CRM services
CRM service provider
Here, you don’t make your final list of keywords; instead, you make a list of phrases that your target audience can use to find your business/ products/ services.
You can use tools to find out the search volumes and competition for each phrase. The analysis will help you to pick up the right keyword so that you can rank well on search engines for that phrase. One way of doing it is to take the opposite route. You can study your traffic source, instead of doing keyword research. With this method, you can find the list of keywords that are helping your website to rank well. You can use Google Analytics to study your traffic source.
You can also pick up alternative keywords from related search terms – Many people don’t pay a lot of attention to the related search terms that Google throws up – at the bottom of its page – when you enter a search term on Google. You can pick up ideas for other keywords from these related search phrases.
If you find it difficult to come up with relevant keywords for your topic, you can use these alternative keywords to compile your list.
Make sure your final list has a combination of long-tail keywords and generic head terms – Phrases that are short and generic are referred to as head terms. Head terms have one or two words, but their search volumes are higher. But you need to understand that competition on these terms is usually high.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, have at least three or more words. Long-tail keywords are more specific and relevant to your business, and they have lower competition.
When you perform keyword research, you need to make sure that you use both long-tail keywords and short head terms. While long-tail keywords can drive relevant traffic to your website and increase your conversion rates, short head terms can increase your overall traffic volume.
For example, it is difficult to rank well on CRM services, but your ranking can significantly improve if you try CRM services in Manchester. Also, with CRM services in Manchester, you can expect to get more relevant and valuable traffic.
A person searching for CRM services could just be doing a general search. But if someone is searching for CRM services in Manchester, he or she is looking for CRM services in Manchester. And this could well be your company!
Hence, it is always important to use a combination of both long-tail keywords and short head terms.
Always keep a tab on keywords your competitors are targeting – As mentioned earlier, it is always helpful if you keep a tab on your competitors. If you check out your competitor’s activities, it helps you analyse their strength and weaknesses. The whole exercise can help you to do better than your competitors.
But it is important to track your competitors systematically. Make a list of your top five competitors and find out the keywords they are targeting for ranking purposes. Open an incognito window and manually key in the top keywords in your domain. It allows you to find out where your competitors are ranking for the specific keywords.
You can also use SEO tools to find out the keywords that your competitors are using and doing well.
You can also try using your competitor’s keyword for which they are not ranking too well.
It is also advisable to evaluate the type of content your competitors are using to rank high on the SERP. You can modify the content and add more value to it to do well on the SERP.
If you see that your competitors are not targeting certain keywords that have potential, you can use them to rank high on the search engines.
Hone your list of keywords – Once you get a combination of relevant keywords for SEO, you can do some qualitative analysis to narrow down your list. Qualitative analysis of keywords should be based on their search volume, keyword difficulty score, and competition. You can use online keyword research tools like Google Keyword planner for qualitative analysis. You can get real-time and authentic data for search volumes and traffic estimates for the keywords you choose.
You can discard the keywords with low search volume or those that have high competition. But make sure that you pick up those keywords that show steady growth in popularity in Google Trends.
In case of any further queries on keyword research, you can get in touch with vStacks Infotech now. From a smart SEO strategy to keyword research, we will make sure that you get everything right so that you can rank high on the SERP.