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How To Use Keyword Research for SEO

Keywords are one of the most essential concepts in SEO. If you want to get traffic from Google, you should know what exactly people are searching for, what topics are relevant, and what terms people use when they are interested in a particular subject. Keyword research is a necessary process that enables you to choose the right keywords for your content.

Perhaps, you already know the most popular keywords associated with your niche. However, you may need to use completely different keywords depending on your current objectives. For example, when you need to write a strong title for your email, you may use different keywords than when writing a blog article.

We decided to write this guide to help you do proper keyword research so that you can adapt your content to your specific objectives. Keyword research should be the first step of the SEO copywriting process, and it should serve as the basis of your SEO strategy.

You need to know what keywords your audience uses so that you can provide them with high-quality content. Before we get into detail, let’s figure out what keywords are and why they are so important.

What Keyword Research Is

What are keywords? These are words that people use when searching for something online. Keyword research is a crucial part of search engine optimization. The purpose of keyword research is to build a list of keywords you want your website to rank for.

To build such a list, you need to learn more about your target audience and how search engines work. What words do people use when they need to find products or services that you offer? What do they want to know when they encounter a problem that you can help them solve? What do they expect to find?

A proper keyword list that reflects the interests of your audience can help you create content that will not only attract more traffic to your website but also improve the quality of this traffic.

Keep in mind that keyword research is an ongoing process. The needs of your audience change, and so do search engine algorithms. Therefore, if you want to succeed, you should be able to adapt to the needs of your potential customers, improving your keyword list all the time.

The Importance of Keyword Research

Not only should you do your best to provide your target audience with the content that’s interesting to them, but you should also avoid creating content that nobody needs. Unfortunately, many website owners make such a mistake, and it has a very negative impact on their rankings.

In fact, as much as 90.63% of pages don’t get any traffic from Google, and the main reason is that website owners fail to conduct proper keyword research and don’t meet their target audience’s expectations. You should keep in mind that you can always describe the same products and ideas with completely different words. Therefore, your main goal is to use the same words that are used by your target audience.

For instance, sometimes, marketing departments decide to give their products unique names. On the one hand, it can be a great marketing decision because unique names help your brand stand out and make your products easier to remember. On the other hand, such an approach can create difficulties for those who are looking for your products.

For example, your company may rent out “vacation cottages,” but most people would google “vacation homes” so it might be difficult for you to get enough traffic. 

Obviously, there’s no point in optimizing your website content for keywords that are not popular among your target audience. Proper keyword research can help you not only understand what your potential customers are searching for but also optimize your future marketing campaigns and adapt your offers to their interests and needs.

Now let’s take a closer look at SEO research and its key elements.

How To Do Keyword Research

1. Determine Your Goals

First of all, you should determine your objectives. You should clearly understand the overall goals of your organization, who you want to reach, and what you’re going to offer. Besides, you should determine what makes your company special.

We recommend that you take your time and write down the key objectives of your business so that you can plan your keyword strategy accordingly.

Your niche and the market you’re in also determine whether or not you’ll be able to rank high. Some industries are extremely competitive, and in some niches, there are just a few large companies that dominate search results.

Large companies have big budgets and put a lot of effort into marketing so ranking in such niches will be difficult, and a lot will depend on your ability to communicate what makes your brand unique.

If you’re working in a competitive market, we recommend that you start out small and try to rank high for more specific keywords. As you become more and more successful, you’ll be able to improve your rankings for less specific keywords, as well, targeting a more general audience.

With time, your goals may also become more general.

2. Brainstorm Your Seed Keywords

Seed keywords serve as the basis for the whole keyword research process. They determine your niche, and they can also help you identify competitors. Finding seed keywords is a relatively easy task if you already know what exactly you’re going to promote online.

One of the best approaches is to brainstorm keywords related to your products.

For example, if your company sells computers and hardware, your seed keywords might be “computer,” “PC,” “laptop,” “CPU,” “RAM,” etc. You can also visit Google Search Console and check the Search Results section. In the Search Results, you will find 1,000 keywords you can rank for.

You can choose long-tail or short-tail keywords, depending on how specific you want them to be. You can also use a keyword planner tool in Google Ads. There are also many other SEO tools that enable you to find popular keywords in your niche.

3. Use Long-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords are too general, and they are also associated with stronger competition. Although they get a lot of traffic, most short-tail keywords are already taken by big companies from your niche. Therefore, it’s much easier for you to rank for long-tail keywords that involve less competition.

On the one hand, these keywords get less traffic. On the other hand, they have a higher conversion value because they focus on a specific product.

Add long-tail keywords to your list. For example, if your seed keyword is “computer,” long-tail keywords can be “buy a gaming computer,” “buy a computer in NYC,” etc. You may have many specific long-tail keywords related to different types of products and services, and you can even use such keywords to improve your website structure.

4. Research the Competition

Researching the competition will help you understand how much you need to rely on long-tail keywords. High competition basically leaves you with no choice, because all the top short-tail keywords are likely already taken.

However, if your niche isn’t too competitive, you can try to rank for short-tail keywords. Google keywords from your list, starting with your main keyword. Pages that you’ll see in search results are your direct competitors.

A great place to start with your keyword research is to research your competitors. How do their websites work? What keywords are they targeting? Click To Tweet

We recommend that you analyze your competitors in detail. Check out the search results. How do these websites look? What can you say about their design? Are these companies more or less successful than yours? Do you fit among them? How strong their influence in the niche is?

Obviously, competing with companies that have well-known names and brand images will be more difficult than competing with new startups. However, you can still benefit from analyzing their content. If your competitors have low-quality content, outranking them will be a possible task.

If their content is great, use it as an example and think of how you can use the same approaches when creating your own content. To improve the quality of your content, you could also hire professional writers.

5. Consider Search Intent

Modern SEO strategies should focus on answering specific questions. The reason is that many consumers use voice assistants. When people could only use text search, brands had to optimize their websites for keywords that look like this: “computer CPU buy NYC.”

Today, users are much more likely to ask their voice assistant: “Where can I buy a CPU for my computer in NYC?” No matter what queries your audience uses, they are always looking for answers to some questions.

You need to understand your target audience’s search intent. What do they want to learn? For example, they might have an informational intent, which means that they look for information about a certain subject. They may also search for a specific website.

In this case, it will be a navigational intent. A transactional intent implies that users want to buy something right now, and a commercial intent means that they want to research products before purchasing them.

You can determine the search intent by checking out pages that already rank for a certain query. Are these product pages or blogs? What type of content do they offer? Such questions will help you better understand what Google’s algorithm thinks about the search intent of the query.

6. Come Up With a Keyword Strategy

Now you can use all the information that you’ve collected to develop your own keyword strategy. If you’ve followed all the steps above, you must have a list of keywords, know the search intent of your audience, and have enough information about your competitors to figure out how to stand out.

Keywords and search intent will help you adapt your content to the needs and preferences of your target audience. First of all, you should think of what your audience is looking for. Secondly, you should think of what kind of content would be completely unique, and what your competitors don’t have.

Next Steps

Keywords research for SEO  is very important for any business that promotes its products or services online. You should know what your target audience is looking for, what your competitors have to offer, and how you can stand out.

Now, go choose the right keywords for your content and optimize your website for search engines to get more conversions and boost your sales.

Dominic Beaulieu is an expert writer who specializes in creating various training and professional upgrade courses, materials and manuals. He mainly writes on development, digital marketing, design, business strategies, etc. This breadth of specialization allows him to write expert columns on the most pressing topics in today's society and creating writing reviews in Writing Judge.

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