How To Conduct Keyword Research

In SEO, Content, Content Marketing15 April 202210 Minutes

Introduction

Whilst Google and other search engines consistently update their algorithms, one thing has remained consistent for digital marketers looking to optimise their websites for search – keyword research. In this post, we’ll define what keyword research is, why it’s important, how to carry this out, and how to choose the best keywords for your site.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and analysing search terms that people enter into search engines. You can use this data for a specific purpose, such as for search engine optimisation (SEO) or general marketing. Researching for keywords can uncover queries to target, showing the popularity of these queries, how difficult it is to rank for these and more.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research can provide valuable insight into what your target audience is actually searching for. The insight you can get into these search terms can help to inform content strategy, as well as your long-term marketing strategy.

People use keywords to find solutions when conducting research online, so if your content is successful in ranking, you’ll gain more traffic. Therefore, you should conduct keyword research and target the results through your site’s meta data, blog content and more.

You shouldn’t create content around what you want to tell people, rather you should create content based on what people want to discover. In other words, let your audience come to you.


Elements Of Keyword Research

There are three main elements to pay attention to when carrying out keyword research.

Relevance

Google ranks content based on relevance, and this is where the concept of search intent comes in.

Your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the searcher’s needs. In addition, your content must be the best resource out there for the query.

Volume

You may end up ranking on the first page for a specific keyword, but if no one ever searched for it, it will not result in traffic to your site.

Volume is measured by monthly volume, which means the number of times the keyword was searched per month.

Authority

Search engines will provide more weight to sources it deems to be authoritative. That means you should try to do all you can to become an authoritative source by enriching your site with helpful, informational content and promoting this content to earn high ranking positions.

How To Carry Out Keyword Research


Make a keyword list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what topics you might want to cover on your site. The world of keywords is a vast one, and it can be difficult to navigate if you don’t narrow these down.

Come up with a few different topic areas that you think will benefit your site – if you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you’ll blog about most frequently. Or, these can be topics that come up frequently in sales conversations.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience; what types of things will they search for?

Expand these topics with keywords

Now that you have a rough idea of the areas you want to target, you can identify specific keywords that fall into these themes.

Using keyword research tools like SEMrush, Moz or Ahrefs will allow you not only to look at singular keywords, but for related keywords, queries and more. Look for the search volumes relevant to these keywords – this will give you an idea of how popular they are amongst users, and whether or not they are worth engaging with.

You can also look at competitor sites to discover which terms they are targeting, which can spark inspiration.

Also bear emerging keywords in mind. These are trending topics that are on the rise, but don’t yet have a lot of search volume. It can be good to capitalise on these before the results pages become saturated with content targeting these terms.

Understand how intent affects keyword research

User intent is one of the most pivotal factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like Google. Today, it’s more important that your site addresses the problem the searcher intended to solve than simply using the keyword they searched for.

It’s easy to take keywords at face value but they can have a variety of different meanings under the surface. Because the intent behind a search is so important, you need to be extra careful about how you interpret the keywords you choose to target.

To verify what a user’s intent is in a keyword, it’s a good idea to enter the keyword into a search engine to see what results come up. Then, create content that falls in line with this intent.

Research related terms

If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching for, take a look at the related search terms that appear when you search for a keyword on a particular search engine. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of the results page, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to the original input. These should spark keyword ideas for other terms that you may want to take into consideration.


How To Choose Your Keywords


Once you have a general idea of what you want to rank for, now it’s time to refine your keyword list based on the keywords best suited to your strategy.

Prioritise keywords that you have a chance of ranking for based on your website’s authority.

Large companies usually go after high search volume keywords, and when brands are already well-established search engines tend to reward them with authority on many topics.

You should consider targeting niche keywords that will have less competition – keywords that don’t already have multiple articles battling for the highest rank can afford you the spot by default if there’s no one else trying to claim it.

Try to use a mixture of head terms (short keywords) and long-tail keywords (longer phrases) as this will give you a well-balanced strategy. Head terms will generally be searched for more frequently, which in turn makes them more competitive. They’ll boast the biggest volume, but the traffic that you’ll get from targeting some long-tail keywords can be more desirable.

See how your competitors rank for certain keywords, and this will help you to give your list an evaluation. If your competitor is ranking for certain terms that are on your keyword list, it makes sense to target these and improve your ranking.

However, don’t ignore the keywords your competitors don’t target; this can be a great opportunity for you to own market share on important terms too.


Benefits Of Keyword Research


Trend Insight

Conducting effective keyword research can provide you with valuable insights into current trends and help you centre your content on relevant topics.

Customer Insight

If your site contains content that someone is looking for, that can lead them to explore the rest of your site and potentially lead to conversions.

Traffic Growth

When you’ve identified the best fitting keywords for the content you publish, the higher you’ll rank in search engine results and the more traffic you’ll attract to your site.

Best Keywords for SEO


The most important thing to understand when conducting keyword research is that there are no best or worst keywords, just those that are highly searched by your audience. With this in mind, it’s up to you to craft a strategy that will help you rank pages and drive traffic. The best keywords for your strategy will take into account relevance, authority and volume. If you’re finding it difficult to decipher which keywords work for your strategy, or with keyword research in general, why not leave it to us?

Contact us today to discover how we can help your site become the best that it can be.

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