This article will introduce you to the process of keyword research and why it is important for your business.
Every minute, users enter millions of terms into search engines to find products, services, and specific information. The words, questions and phrases used to search for a particular result are keywords.
Keywords cover search queries from broad categories such as ‘digital marketing’ to incredibly niche subjects such as ‘roller skating wheels for beginners.’ These two types of keywords are categorised as short-tail and long-tail.
Short-tail keywords are broad phrases, typically no longer than three words.
They retrieve a wide range of results and receive a high traffic volume level. These keywords are generally very competitive and challenging to rank for.
Here are some examples of short-tail keywords:
On the other hand, long-tail keywords are niche search terms that are far more achievable for ranking.
Long-tail keywords target a specific audience searching for particular items or answers to their questions. These terms receive a far smaller search volume, leading to lower competition for ranking.
Examples of long-tail keywords:
To recap, keywords are the terms, questions, and phrases your audience uses to search for products and information. In that case, keyword research is the technique used by businesses to understand what their audience is searching for.
Search engines are constantly evolving to provide the most relevant results for their users. Keyword research is no longer about identifying phrases that are easy to rank for by keyword stuffing your content.
Instead, keyword research is a delicate process of analysing user intent, refining high-quality content, and optimising for keyword variations.
Keyword research doesn’t just tell you which phrases and terms you should include within your content. It can shape social media posts, PPC campaigns, and blog article content.
Effective keyword research is essential for online business growth and to satisfy the needs of search engines and their users. With efficient optimisation and constant attention to which keywords are currently performing well, you can improve your organic traffic, click-through rates, and conversions.
The majority of search engine users never click past the first search result on Google. Therefore, to grab the attention of your target audience, you need to rank highly for keywords that will offer a positive return on investment.
An effective keyword strategy is essential for growing organic website traffic. Since Google’s Rankbrain algorithm update in 2015, the focus has shifted towards the value of content and satisfying user intent.
Identifying and analysing keywords based on user intent will allow you to tailor well-optimised content which informs search engines and users of the purpose and utility of your website.
Keyword research is vital for every PPC strategy. It is often considered one of the most important factors that influence the success of your entire campaign.
Efficient keyword research allows you to target specific keywords and phrases that will capture the attention of your target audience. This will encourage clicks and successful conversions.
Another vital component of PPC keyword research is to devise a list of negative keywords. If your campaign catches the attention of the wrong audience, you can end up wasting your entire budget on uninterested users. Providing a list of negative keywords prevents users from discovering your advert with commonly associated but unrelated keywords.
There is plenty of contradictory advice on the most efficient and successful ways to direct your keyword research strategy. However, the direction you choose to take within your plan will vary depending on your business’s needs and your overall goals.
For businesses just starting, the world of keyword research can be daunting and complicated. We’ve laid out a step-by-step actionable guide to help you perform initial keyword research
As an expert in your industry, you’ll know which topics are essential to your audience or relevant to your business.
Generate between 5-10 topic buckets focused on your business’s purpose, subjects most frequently blogged about in your industry, or topics that your target audience would likely be searching for.
The topics should be broad, short-tail keywords at first, as you’ll be filling them with niche long-tail keywords later on. You should find that these keywords will have a large monthly search volume.
With clearly defined topic buckets, you can start to identify medium and long-tail keywords. Start to think about specific terms that your audience would use to search for particular products or services that fall into your categories.
Don’t worry about being picky with keywords yet, as you will further refine this list in the following steps. Your first goal is to fill out your categories with ideas and questions that your audience is interested in.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned the recent shift favouring content optimised towards user intent. Google’s algorithms are now far less concerned with the frequency of keywords within your content and more interested in their placement and utility.
Understanding the search intent behind each of your keywords allows you to generate content that fulfils your users’ needs.
Tools such as SEMrush are handy for categorising keywords based on intent. Once you search for a term within the keyword magic tool, keywords are indexed as informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional.
This step is an optional extra if you want to bulk out your existing keyword research lists.
If you’re struggling to think of additional keywords from your audience’s perspective, perform a search for one of your seed keywords. Within the SERP, you can identify the related searches and featured snippets. These will present alternative search terms and inquiries related to your keyword.
Alternatively, you can scope out the competition to look for untapped opportunities. With the help of a keyword research tool, or even by reviewing their last few articles, you can discover the topics your main rivals are ranking for that you haven’t thought of yet.
There are various keyword research tools on the market, each offering different features to enhance your content and SEO strategy.
We’ve selected three of our favourites for you to consider implementing within your keyword research strategy.
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO suite that offers a variety of features to assist you in some successful keyword research.
The keyword overview tool does what it says on the tin. It provides a breakdown report of valuable metrics such as keyword difficulty and monthly search volume. It even presents related keywords. This tool offers all the relevant data to help you decide whether you should focus on a particular keyword.
The keyword magic tool can assist you in building your ultimate keyword list. SEMrush gathers data for hundreds of matched terms related to your seed keywords.
Amongst these features, SEMrush offers a range of innovative and powerful keyword research features to enhance your current strategy. From competitive analysis to position tracking for current keyword rankings, there are plenty of insights to benefit your business.
If you prefer to gather data and insights for your keyword research as you search the web, Keyword surfer is the ideal tool. This tool is a free chrome extension powered by SurferSEO that shows the estimated global and monthly search volume of every term you enter into Google.
The tool provides search estimates for 19 countries worldwide and can toggle on and off global search estimates. Whilst similar tools are available; Keyword surfer is the only tool that remains free.
Whilst the tool isn’t designed to provide bulk search insights, it is beneficial for displaying data as you search the web.
Ubersuggests is a free keyword research tool offering a unique advantage to your SEO strategy.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next blog post, enter your seed keyword to discover hundreds of related long-tail ideas accompanied by their monthly traffic volume, keyword difficulty, number of backlinks, and more.
Keyword research has evolved to become a vital component of the marketing process for businesses across all industries. Analysing keywords used by your target audience is essential for creating content that performs well.
Keyword research isn’t just about using the terms searched by your clients. It’s about creating high-value content that satisfies their queries and telling search engines what you have to offer.