Anyone who wants their website to rank high in search engine results needs to understand keyword research in SEO.
Search engine optimisation or SEO keywords are the words and phrases in your online content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. Keywords are related to queries, which are the words and phrases that users type into the search bar of search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
When users enter a keyword into a search bar, they are trying to find content that relates to their query. Search engines try to match websites that are optimised for that specific keyword to their users.
Naturally, keywords are a very essential component of SEO.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is a practice SEO practitioners use to discover and research search terms that users enter into search engines with a search intent when looking for products, services or general information.
The goal of keyword research is to generate a list of keywords that users are using and are relevant to your business and offerings.
With this keyword list, you will have a guide to create content that will more likely attract qualified traffic to your site. A well-researched keyword list can determine how fast you find success in your search engine rankings.
However, keyword research is not simply a matter of choosing popular keywords and stuffing them into your website. You also need to consider factors such as keyword density, relevance and competition. There are a number of tools that can help you with keyword research, including Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer. By taking the time to do keyword research properly, you can ensure that your website is up to required Google’s standard.
How to Find Your Keywords
You should start from the viewpoint of your targeted audience: For example, “what words will I type in the search box if I am looking for a service?”
Let us assume your website is about protein supplements. In that case, your root keywords will most likely be “protein shakes” or “protein powder.” From your root keyword, you can branch out to more specific keywords – for example, “isolate protein powder” or “whey protein.”
Your goal is to find keywords with relatively high search volume yet have lesser competing pages vying to rank against yours. These keywords are known as “low-hanging fruit keywords.”
Now how do you drill into your root keywords to find your low-hanging fruit keywords? Let’s start with a free tool from Google called Keyword Planner.
Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is a useful SEO tool that allows you to plan your SEO strategy using Google Analytics data. This will help marketers understand the state of the existing competition in terms of search volume and also helps in better keyword targeting.
To get the most out of Google Keyword Planner, you’ll need a verified AdWords account. Once you are in your AdWords account, click Tools > Keyword Planner.
Then enter your seed keyword in “Discover New Keywords,” Google will give you a list of potential keywords that Google users tend to search for. This is where you will sort the “Avg. Monthly Searches” to identify the most searched keywords.
You should look for keywords that have at least 100 to 1,000 searches per month. These are your initial set of targeted keywords.
The next step is to determine which set of these targeted keywords you should target.
Low-hanging Fruit Keywords
Low-hanging fruit keywords are keywords that are easier to rank for. They tend to have the following characteristics:
Low traffic volume: Most competitors usually ignore keywords with low traffic volume, like 10 -100 searches per month. You should take the chance to rank for these keywords first.
At least four words in length: In general, keywords with at least four words tend to be more specific and targeted. Longer keyword lengths tend to be low-hanging fruit keywords.
Low in competition: There are a lot of tools in determining how competitive the keyword is. The quickest method is to use allintitle: search. Go to Google, enter “allintitle:your keyword” in the Google search bar, and you will see a list of search results.
If you see less than 1000 search results, there is a good chance this keyword is a low-hanging fruit keyword with potential for you to target in your SEO efforts.
Use Paid Tools
You can also use paid tools like KWFinder, Ahref, and SEMRush to help you find your low-hanging fruit keywords. These SEO tools are market leaders in keyword research with powerful features that allow you to analyse search volumes, profile competitors, and identify SEO opportunities.
Enter your root keywords, and these tools will drill into your keywords and give you comprehensive data on low-hanging fruit keywords that you can use.
These paid tools can help you save a lot of time, and if you have catered budget for such tools, they can be a time-saver for you.
Keywords are the Starting Point for Content
To rank for your target keywords, you must create content that is relevant to your target keywords. Keywords without content will have no value to users and will be meaningless for SEO purposes. Content without keyword will not be relevant to your target audience and from an SEO perspective, search engines will not know how to rank your content with the right context that target keywords provide.
So, after SEO strategy, one of the first steps in an SEO campaign is to identify target keywords that your website should be ranking for.