As a website owner or operator, you want your site to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or keyword phrases. Keyword research is the process of finding which terms or phrases people are searching for in search engines and then targeting those terms with your content.
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Keyword research basics
What is keyword research?
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO. Keyword research is the process of finding and selecting keywords that will be used in your SEO campaign. The right keywords can help you to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), drive more traffic to your website, and improve your overall online visibility.
Keyword research can be used for many different purposes, including:
- Identifying which keywords or phrases to target with SEO
- Understanding your audience and their needs
- Evaluating the competition
Why keyword research is important?
Keyword research is important because it will help you to understand what people are actually searching for online. It’s not enough to just target a keyword or phrase with your content—you need to make sure that your content is relevant and useful to the people who are searching for that keyword or phrase.
According to a study by Ahrefs, 90% of pages don’t get organic search traffic from Google. If you would like to read more about Ahref’s study, Click here.
If you’re not doing keyword research, you could be missing out on opportunities to reach a wider audience with your content. Keyword research can also help you to understand your competition and make sure that your content is unique and different from what’s already out there.
Generate keyword ideas
There are several different ways to find keyword ideas for your website or blog. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Use a keyword research tool: Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer can help you to find hundreds or even thousands of keyword ideas for your website.
I will recommend using a tool like Semrush as it’s easy to use and compare to other keyword research tools. I use this tool to generate keyword ideas.
Check out your competition: Take a look at what your competitors are ranking for in search engines. You can use a tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to see what keywords they are targeting.
Look at Google Suggest: When you start typing a query into Google, you’ll notice that the search engine suggests related queries that you might be interested in. These suggestions can be a good source of keyword ideas.
Use Google Trends: Google Trends is a tool that shows you how popular a particular keyword is. You can use this tool to see if there are any seasonal or trending topics that you could target with your content.
Once you’ve generated a list of keyword ideas, it’s time to start narrowing down your list and selecting the best keywords to target.
Not all keywords are created equal. When you’re doing keyword research, you need to take a close look at each keyword and check the following.
The first and most important thing to check is whether or not the keyword is relevant to your website. If you’re a website about dogs, then you don’t want to target keywords about cats. Make sure that the keywords you select are relevant to your website or blog.
Before you start using a keyword in your content, make sure that it has enough search volume to justify the effort. You can use a tool like Semrush to check the search volume for a particular keyword.
Another factor to consider is the traffic potential for a particular keyword. Not all keywords will result in the same amount of traffic. Some keywords may have a lot of search volume but not much traffic potential, while other keywords may have less search volume but more traffic potential.
Check the keyword difficulty to see how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword. Keyword difficulty is a measure of how many other websites are competing for a particular keyword. The higher the keyword difficulty, the more difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. You can use a tool like Semrush to check keyword difficulty.
Cost per click (CPC)
When you’re doing keyword research, it’s also important to consider the cost per click (CPC) for SEO. The CPC is the amount that someone would pay for each click on an ad if they want to run a paid search campaign for that keyword. Keywords with a higher CPC are usually more competitive, which means they’ll be more difficult to rank for.
Search intent is the purpose behind a user’s search or what they are hoping to achieve by entering a particular query into a search engine. Understanding search intent can help you optimize your website and content to align better with what your target audience is looking for.
A simple Google search of your targeted keyword will give you an idea behind a searcher’s intent, or check the SERP’s result of your targeted keyword using a keyword research tool.
There are four main types of search intent: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. Each type corresponds to a different stage in the customer journey, and understanding which type of intent is behind a particular search can help you optimize your content accordingly.
Informational intent is when a user is looking for information on a topic. They may not be ready to make a purchase yet but are instead in the research phase of their journey.
Navigational intent is when a user is looking for a specific website or web page. This type of search is often used to find a particular brand or product.
Commercial intent is when a user is looking to buy something. They may be comparing different products or brands or researching a specific purchase.
Transactional intent is when a user is ready to buy something and is looking for a specific transaction, such as a coupon code or discount.
When conducting keyword research, be sure to consider the intent behind each keyword or phrase. This will help you determine which keywords are most likely to result in a conversion and how to best optimize your content to rank for those keywords.
Keywords in your content
Once you’ve selected the best keywords to target, it’s time to start using them in your content. Here are a few tips for using keywords in your content:
Use keywords in your title
The title of your blog post or article is one of the most important places to use keywords. Make sure to include your target keyword in the title of your content.
Use keywords in your meta tags
Meta tags are HTML tags that you can use to add information about your website or blog post. The two most important meta tags for SEO are the title tag and the meta description tag. Make sure to include your target keyword in both of
Use keywords throughout your content
Make sure to use your keywords throughout your content, including in the title, body, and keywords section of your website.
Don’t stuff keywords
Don’t stuff your content with too many keywords. This will not only make your content difficult to read, but it will also get you penalized by Google. A good rule of thumb is to use a keyword a maximum of 2-3% of the time.
Use related keywords
In addition to using your main keyword, you can also use related keywords to help improve your SEO. Related keywords are terms that are semantically related to your main keyword.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “dog food,” you could also use related keywords like “pet food,” “animal food,” or “dog nutrition.”
Using related keywords can help improve your search engine ranking for your chosen keyword.
Use long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases with less search volume than shorter, more general keywords.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “dog food,” a long-tail keyword could be “organic dog food.” Long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for than shorter, more general keywords.
Including long-tail keywords in your content can help you rank for your chosen keyword as well as for related keywords.
Keyword research tools
There are a number of different keyword research tools you can use to help you find the best keywords to target. Here are a few of the most popular keyword research tools:
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool that’s available to anyone with a Google Ads account. Keyword Planner can help you find new keywords to target, as well as get estimated traffic and CPC for those keywords.
Semrush is a paid keyword research tool that offers a free 14-day trial. Semrush can help you find new keywords to target, as well as get estimated traffic and CPC for those keywords. I will recommend using Semrush as it’s easy to use compared to other keyword research tools.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer is a paid keyword research tool that’s available to Moz Pro subscribers. Keyword Explorer includes features like keyword difficulty and search volume, as well as related keywords and SERP analysis.
Bing Keyword Research Tool
The Bing Keyword Research Tool is a free keyword research tool that’s available to anyone with a Microsoft Advertising account. The Bing Keyword Research Tool can help you find new keywords to target, as well as get estimated traffic and CPC for those keywords.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is a paid keyword research tool. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer can help you find new keywords to target, as well as get estimated traffic and CPC for those keywords.
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and profitable activities in the field of search marketing.
Ranking for the right keywords can mean the difference between success and failure for your website.
By researching keyword demand in your market, you can learn not only which terms and phrases to target with SEO but also more about your customers as a whole.
It is not always about attracting visitors to your website but rather about attracting the right kind of visitors.
Incorporating long-tail keywords into your content can assist you in attracting the right type of visitors.
Long-tail keywords are more specific than short-tail keywords and typically have less competition.
If you’re looking for more help with SEO, contact our friendly team. We will help you create a website that is optimized for search engines and help you build backlinks to your site. We can also answer any questions you have about how to improve your website’s ranking. Contact us today to get started!
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Written By Muhammad Khalid
Muhammad Khalid is a Web Designer, Seo Expert, and Blogger based in New Zealand.