Keyword research is a process where you identify popular terms that people search for on search engines like Bing, Google, and so on. These keyword search terms are then incorporated into content, so that it ranks higher on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Keyword search analysis is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The entire process involves choosing topics for your content that focuses on specific keywords for which you want your content to rank.
How to Research Keywords
In order to decide what keywords may work best work for your business, you need to identify your buyer’s journey and buyer personas. The buyer’s journey is important for numerous teams in your organization; its usefulness is not limited to the marketing team alone. For instance, your sales team might find it a lot easier to determine what approach works best for your potential customers.
There is no doubt each user has their own unique journey, but finding out as much about their goals, intent, and demographics provides you with countless keyword ranges. This is also why it is important to work on a content map, as it helps you plot your buyer’s journey and buyer personas on a map, giving you valuable insight about what content you are missing out on.
Once you have clearly defined personas, plan for the keywords you want to rank for and those you already rank for.
A simple process to follow would be the PIE method; which stands for Protect, Improve, and Expand.
This portion is primarily concerned with keywords you already rank for — keep them locked as they are. This includes keywords associated with your product or service.
Here, you deal with opportunity keywords. Your rank can lie anywhere between second to tenth on Google search result pages, these “low hanging fruit” keywords can be tweaked to increase authority.
Finally, and most importantly, this portion deals with opportunity terms that fare well in PPC, but have little to no visibility in organic. These keywords have a low probability of ranking on the top ten pages on Google.
Search Engine Keyword Research Best Practices
If you lack SEO keyword search, it is high time you take the necessary steps to up your game before you lose to your competition. To aid you in your endeavor, here are some keyword research best practices for you to consider.
Capitalize on Trending Topics
There is no need to complicate things. Sometimes, you do not need strategies or campaigns with unique content.
All you need to do is to check on the latest trends. Don’t overthink it, but it takes time to create relevant and fresh content.
Improve Your PPC Performance
Most companies think they can throw money at a problem to make it go away. Due to this, they only solve their problems by throwing their money at it, which means they have lesser finances to experiment with.
What these companies do not understand is that it is not money that is important, it is time. Marketers simply do not have the time to guess what keywords are going to work. To solve this, they can use Google to provide those much needed keywords.
You can start searching for keywords using a service or product name. Look for related keywords for relevance. Look for keywords that are pretty close, but something that is much more popular.
Once you have found enough keywords, load them into Google Ads.
Analyze Your Competition
When it comes to SEO, the idea is to outdo your competition on search engine results — find who your competitors actually are. You will also need to find out how they rank for keywords that you want to target.
To find out more about your competition and their strategies, you can use tools like SEMrush’s Position Tracker. Simply enter your competitors’ URLs, and the tool compares your rankings with those of your competition.
There are many tools that not only provide you with organic keyword results, but Google Ads as well. This way you can see what keywords are used by your competition for their ads.
Pick the top three competitors and analyze their strategies off-site and on-site. Look at their Meta titles and Meta descriptions. Check out what sites are linked back to them. See how well their pages are structured.
Use Keywords in the Right Places
Keywords need to be incorporated into the headings, Meta titles, and Meta descriptions on your page. They must be used appropriately, throughout your written content.
Think of it this way: every web page is an optimization opportunity — do not just focus on your homepage.
While optimizing each and every page on your website, target 2-3 keywords for each page. Of course, this means you need to plan what keyword phrases will be used on which pages.
Writing unique content around keyword phrases is an art. For this reason, be careful about the words you use and how you use them for maximum search ability and readability.
Keep in mind, keyword research is not a list of boxes you need to tick off. Take it seriously as a consistent and comprehensive activity for your next big marketing idea.
Use keyword research to constantly tweak your strategies based on what your customers search for. Then all you need to do is to figure out how you can do an even better job than your competitors to give them what they want.