A Guide To Keyword Research

May 1, 2019

It’s no secret that keywords research play a significant role in search engine optimization. To rank for your content, you need to make sure you are including the terms are relevant to what people are typing into search engines. There are several steps you can take to ensure that you are creating content centered around valuable information. Firstly, let’s break down what keyword research entails and why it’s essential to utilize the proper terms. Keyword research involves using keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The knowledge about these search terms can help inform content strategy or marketing strategy overall.

Steps to keyword research

1. Make a list of relevant topics based on what you know about your business

To start, brainstorm general topics that you would like to rank for on search engines. An easy way to go about it is to come up with 5-10 topics you think are essential to your business. Then once you have those you can use that information to come up with specific keywords.

You can get inspiration for these topics from conversations, sales calls, input on social media, and other places. You can get a better idea of what your keywords should be by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of things you would search for if you were looking for your services. For example, if you are a garage door company, think of potential issues that can arise and use those terms to come up with keywords.

2. Fill in those topic clouds with keywords

Now that you have a few topics you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases you think are necessary to rank for in the search engine results because your target customer is probably searching for those specific terms.

The goal of this step is to come up with some phrases you think 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.

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