In this article we will focus on keyword research.
Over the last years, keywords have become an important ranking factor for Google.
Today, you will find out why keywords are so important, and also how to perform keyword research for the best results.
Here’s what you will learn.
Introduction to Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of finding all the possible search engine queries that may be relevant to your business, followed by sorting and prioritizing them into logical and related groups.
So, you can find out what search terms people enter into Google when they are interested in certain topics.
This process will result in a list of popular search terms, which you will be able to strategically include in your content so that it appears as high as possible in Google.
In other words, keyword research is the foundation of a website.
It is one of the most important steps in achieving long-term business goals in content marketing.
With keyword research, the barrier between businesses and buyers can be broken, because you can understand and satisfy their needs much easier.
Importance of Keyword Research
Over the years, we can see an evolution of the methods used in digital marketing.
Search engines become more intelligent and user preferences are changing.
But the importance of keyword research remains constant.
Moreover, the keywords are the basis of organic and paid traffic.
Conducting proper keyword research is a key step, as it reveals and clarifies the search terms used by your target audience.
For example, if you use a set of words to describe your products/services, and your target audience uses a completely different set of words, potential customers will not find your website.
It is essential to use the voice of your target audience and your customers when using keywords to stand out in your field of interest.
Therefore, keyword research can help you get into your customers’ minds and can assure you that you are using the same keywords that they use.
This leads to finding topics to include in your content strategy to optimize it, providing the answers your audience needs.
Understanding Search Intent
Nowadays, SEO strategies should focus on answering users’ questions and providing optimal solutions to their problems.
They need to keep in mind that each question requires a specific answer.
Every time a user enters a query / key phrase into the search engines, they are looking for something.
To find out more about search intentions and create the content you need, you can examine the type of pages that rank for certain queries.
So you can see if product pages or news articles are displayed on various blogs, videos, tutorials, or a mix of these, which are clues as to what Google assumes is the intent of searching for a query.
It is essential to find out what users want or need.
Don’t just focus on the keywords.
You also need to consider the goals that underlie the wishes of the users.
Thus, the content presented must provide the best solutions to people’s problems.
Search intentions can be categorized as follows:
- Navigational: users know exactly where they want to go;
- Informational: users want to learn something;
- Transactional: users want to buy something or perform an action;
- Commercial: users look for information that can lead to a transaction, compare products to find the best ones for their specific needs;
- Local: users want to find something nearby;
Here’s an example:
Before starting the keyword research process, it is important to understand the keyword classification.
The most common way to describe keywords is given by:
- Head terms
- Long-tail terms
Head terms: represents searches consisting of 1-2 competitive words, with very large search volumes (approximately 30% of the number of searches);
Midterms: refers to keywords with average search volume;
Long-tail terms: 3 or more words with specific searches and lower search volumes (70% of searches);
They can be more successful than head terms because they help you better understand the user’s intent.
A long-tail term is often longer and more focused than a head term.
For example, if the main term is “training for dogs”, a long tail keyword could be “training for small dog breeds”.
Finally, low-hanging fruit keyword refers to all words with high search volume and low SEO competition.
In general, they have between 500-3,000 monthly searches.
After establishing the search intent, another keyword classification can be represented as follows:
- Navigation keywords
- Informational keywords
- Transactional keywords
- Commercial keywords
Most people who do keyword research tend to focus on head terms, which is not always the best option, as these main keywords are mostly taken by large businesses.
Long-tail terms, on the other hand, although they have less search traffic, have less competition and higher conversion value.
Thus, if you are at the beginning of the road, it is preferable not to focus on head terms, because it can take years of effort to achieve the desired success.
The key factor in this type of long-tail keyword is specificity because the longer the expression, the more specific it will be and the lower the search volume.
Therefore, the more context the user adds to the search terms, the better the results.
Types of Keywords
Broad match is the default match type to which all keywords are assigned as if no other match type is specified.
This helps you attract more visitors to your site, spend less time building keyword lists, and focus your spending on the keywords that work.
The syntax for broad matching is simply entering the keyword.
Partially matched keywords or phrases refer to the search results that match some of the keywords in the search query, but not all of them, or in a different order.
By matching your phrase, you can reach more customers, while still showing your ads to customers who are most likely looking for your product or service. Phrase matching is more flexible than exact matching but more targeted than the default wide matching option.
The syntax for matching the expression is given by the presence of quotation marks around the keyword.
Exactly matched keywords refer to the search results that match all the keywords in the search query perfectly, just as they were entered.
These are important for both organic and paid search and are a frequent topic of SEO debate.
Of the three types of keyword matching, exact matching gives you the most control over who sees your ad.
What is the difference between exact matching and matching keywords?
While an exact match keyword indicates the target keyword that exactly matches a search query, anchor text in a link, or domain name, a partial match is a keyword included among other words in those items.
Exact and matched keywords are often used in SEO, link building, and PPC, and while both are effective, you’ll still need to make sure you’re using the right type of match to avoid Google penalties or Ads costs.
Search patterns or keyword patterns refer to situations where several different people search for the same topic using words in the same order.
When a lot of people search for the same thing, there will automatically be some phrases that will appear more often than others.
Therefore, choosing keywords according to each person’s patterns is a way to find keywords with specific search intent.
Singular VS Plural Keywords
To answer this question, you need to check your Google search results, as this depends on your query.
The more Google finds out about your search query, the better it can guess what you’re looking for.
For example, if you search for the word “reading”, you will get a different result than if you search for the word “readings”.
Google will think that in the:
- First case you are looking for a definition
- Second case, you intend to buy
Thus, you need to make sure that you know what you are offering on your page and that it matches the query and results provided by Google.
Keyword Competitor Analysis
It’s important to know that checking the keywords targeted by your competitors can help you refine your content strategy.
If you are looking for long-tail keywords, this will largely depend on your competition.
If the competition in your niche is very high, then there will be difficulties in using competitive terms.
With a low keyword competition, you will be able to use several main terms. Therefore, it is necessary to do some comparative analysis for SEO.
However, for beginners, it is preferable to consider head terms.
Look at the SERP and you will see which sites you will compete with once you optimize your content for such a keyword.
Analyze, in detail, and ask yourself:
- Are they professional sites?
- Am I equal to these companies?
- Is my site one of these sites?
- Does my company have any influence on my niche?
Also, it is harder to stand out when competing against sites with strong brand names.
If brands are known from TV or radio commercials, the chances of getting noticed and rising to a high level will become extremely low.
But if your competition has weak content, there is a chance to surpass it.
You can also evaluate Google Ads as long as they exist.
If you have a Google Ads account, then you can check your PPC.
Search terms that have a high PPC are generally harder to rank in organic results.
Keyword Research Tools
Some of the best keyword research tools include:
- Google Keyword Planner
These can help you evaluate, in addition to keywords, many other aspects of your site’s performance.
Google Keyword Planner
This tool is essential for the early stages of keyword research and can be used to determine key keyword sets.
Although it can restrict your search volume data, Keyword Planner remains a source that contains wealthy information on keywords.
It allows you to analyze your monthly global or local search volume, competition levels, and estimated CPC.
It is another popular keyword research tool, a complete package of keyword research, content, and SEO tools.
By using this, you’ll be able to come up with keyword ideas by typing some words into the search box.
A complete list of keyword suggestions will then appear.
Also, this tool can be used to discover profitable keywords used by your competitors that are not in your content, so you can create new content that targets keywords related to those topics.
SEMRush offers several other useful tools, such as reports that find negative links on your site, PPC Ads keywords, Keyword Overview, and more.
It is a keyword research tool that works a little differently than others.
Keyword results from this tool are based on Google and Bing autocomplete.
If you click on any of these keywords to search on Google, it will automatically open in a new tab that will display the content that is ranked for those terms and if there is a snippet presented on it.
So, AnswerThePublic is a great tool for understanding search intents.
Keyword Research Conclusion
Finally, the keyword research process is essential for any online business, and therefore it is extremely important to do it carefully, respecting each step. Being a key factor in the field of SEO, keyword research is constantly evolving and improving, which makes the success of your business easier to achieve.
It’s important to keep in mind that low-volume search keywords can lead to your business goals.
Choose the right keywords for a successful online promotion.
So, if you want to develop a site for a company with low domain authority, low organic traffic, and no backlinks, it can be tricky to create an SEO content strategy that can deliver early ROI.
However, you should not be intimidated by the big brands that use high-search keywords, which seem to be the most suitable for your business.
All you have to do is focus on other important issues, such as user intent, context, or relevance, and less on strict keyword phrases or density measurements.
Now, we have come to this guide’s end.
What do you think of keyword research?
How do you do it?
Leave us a comment down below!