A Guide To Keyword Research

The path to Search Optimization

It’s no secret that a little bit of keyword research can play a significant role in your search engine optimization. To rank for the content on your web pages, you need to make sure to include the terms that are most relevant to what your audience typically types into search engines. We have provided several steps for you to ensure that your online content remains centered around valuable information.

First and foremost, let’s break down what keyword research entails and why it’s essential to utilize the proper terms. Keyword research is the use of keywords to find and research the actual search terms that people consistently type into search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Knowledge of these search terms will greatly improve your chances of succeeding online.

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Steps to keyword research

1. Make a list of words that are about your business

To start, brainstorm popular words that best describe your business.  Explore topics that you would like to rank for in the search engines of the internet. An easy way to go about this is to come up with 5 to 10 services you provide to your customers. Once you have recorded them, you can now research these new keywords to determine whether or not they truly target your audience.

You can gain inspiration for these topics from conversations, sales calls, input from social media, and other places your customers may tend to migrate to. This broad study of your audience will continue to provide a clearer focus on the common terms used when describing your product or services. This is all done by studying your consumers language habits.

*Hint

Think of things you personally search for when looking for your services. For example, if you run a garage door company, what potential service demands will your paying customers have? Then, simply use those common terms and phrases they would ask you throughout your online content for Google and others to see.

2. Categorization of your keywords

Now that you have a few topics you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some categories that your new keywords will fall into. By grouping keyword phrases that will rank well in the search engine results, you will be able to scatter your topics throughout your pages.

The goal of this step is to discover phrases that potential customers might search for on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You don’t need a final list at this point in the process. It’s better to take the extra step to research and brainstorm ideas from the consumer’s point of view.

3. Research related search terms

Now that you have a list of keyword terms, it’s time to expand and search for more related search terms to add to the list. For this step, you can use Google as a resource and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you type in a keyword. You’ll see the suggested keywords when you scroll down to the bottom of Google’s results. These keywords can inspire ideas for other keywords you may want to consider adding to your list.

4. Check for a mix of short terms and long-tail keywords in each bucket

It’s essential to make sure you cover all of your bases with SEO content, including short and long-tail keywords. Short term keywords are generally shorter and more generic. Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases usually containing three or more words. Long-tail keywords typically mimic human speech patterns more so than the shorter, broader keywords.

A mix of short terms and long-tail terms is essential because it will give you a balanced keyword strategy with long-term goals and short-term wins in terms of rank. That’s because short keywords are generally searched more frequently, making them much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail phrases. Make sure to check your keyword lists to make sure you have a healthy mix of head terms and long-tail keywords. As far as strategy goes, long-tail keywords will allow you to rank quickly, but you should also incorporate short keywords to try to rank for over time.

5. See how competitors are ranking for keywords

Having a clear understanding of what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is an excellent way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation. The thing to remember is, what might be right for their business might not be the best for theirs.

If your competitor is ranking for specific keywords that you want to rank for as well, it’s a good idea to work on improving your ranking for those as well. However, don’t ignore the ones your industry competitors don’t focus their energy on. Keying in on ignored terms could be an excellent opportunity for your business to rank on relevant terms as well. The end goal is to come up with a collection of keywords that provide some quick high rankings but also helps you make progress toward more meaningful, more challenging SEO goals that will overall improve your marketing.