There is no need to spend time convincing you that keyword research is one of the most important SEO tasks, the solution of which is necessary for your success in marketing.
There is no universal approach to keyword research.
It will depend on:
Your website (credibility, number of pages, quality of content, etc.);
Your goals and objectives (branding, exposure, traffic, leads, sales);
Your budget, resources, and deadlines;
Your industry and competitive landscape.
This is why it may be difficult for you to refer to the random walkthrough you come across.
Therefore, we will give you a basis for keyword research that can be easily adapted to your goals and resources.
The tactics and methods described below will significantly improve your traffic from Google.
1. Start with central keywords
Central keywords (Seed keywords) are the foundation of your keyword research. They identify your niche and help you identify your competitors.
If you already have a product or business that you want to promote on the Internet, coming up with central keywords is as easy as describing this product in your own words.
For example, let's say you launch the GoPro online accessory store. Google searches (keywords) that you might think of:
Gadgets for GoPro;
It’s easy and clear, right?
2. Generate key ideas
So, you have the original keywords. But this is just the tip of the iceberg keyword research.
The next step is to create a huge list of relevant keywords, as well as a good understanding of what people in your niche are looking for on Google.
There are at least four good ways to do this.
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SEO. How sites are ranked in search engines
1. See which keywords you are already ranking
If you have a website that has been around for some time, you should already be ranked by Google for several hundred keywords. Knowing what they are is the perfect way to start keyword research.
A good source of this information is the Search Analytics report in the Google Search Console.
The search console shows your average position for each of the keywords for which you get a rating, and how many impressions and clicks this will bring you. However, it does not show monthly search volume, and you are limited to only 1000 keywords.
2. Look at which keywords your competitors are ranking
Most likely, your competitors have already completed all the tedious keyword research for you. Thus, you can research the keywords by which they are ranked and choose the best ones.
If you don’t know who your competitors are, just paste your central keywords into Google and see who is on the first page.
Sometimes even one competitor can offer you enough keywords to keep your SEO team working for months.
3. Use keyword research tools
Enough good competitor research to fill your spreadsheet with many relevant keywords.
But if you are one of the leaders in your niche, this strategy is not entirely feasible for you. You should look for some unique keywords that none of your competitors are targeting yet.
And the best way to do this is to use a decent keyword research tool. Fortunately, there are not enough of them on the market.
No matter which tool you choose, there is no preferred workflow for finding great keywords. Just enter your keywords and play with reports and filters until you come across something cool.
Most tools extract keyword suggestions from the following sources:
Google Keyword Planner or Yandex Wordstat;
Google offer in the search bar (similarly with Yandex);
Related searches at the bottom of the Google and Yandex search pages.
These methods are good, but they rarely can give you more than a couple of hundred suggestions.
There are also advanced keyword research tools (Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush) that manage your own keyword database and therefore give you much more ideas for keywords.
4. Study Your Niche Well
The above keyword research strategies are extremely effective and provide an almost unlimited number of keywords. But at the same time, they seem to be holding you in a drawer.
Sometimes, just by looking at your niche well (and adding a pinch of common sense), you may find some great keywords that no one else is targeting.
Here's how to start thinking:
Put yourself in the place of your potential customers: who they are and what bothers them;
Talk with your existing customers, get to know them better, learn the language they use;
Become an active member of all niche communities and social networks.
For example, for a product waterproof headphones, you can find key phrases such as:
How to swim and listen to music
Music underwater, how to hear
Perhaps people who make such requests are not looking for waterproof headphones, but it is much easier for them to sell these headphones.
3. Understand metrics keywords
Performing the above strategies, you will find that thousands of keywords are typed and you need to decide which ones deserve to be on the short list.
And to help you separate the grain from the chaff, there are some interesting keyword metrics.
1. Search volume
This indicator shows the total need to search for a given keyword, i.e. how many times people around the world (or in a specific country) hit this keyword on Google.
To check the dynamics of the search volume for a keyword, you can use a free tool called Google Trends.
And if you doubt the "seasonality" of the keyword, be sure to check the trends.
Let's take the Donald Trump age keyword, which has a search volume of 246,000 searches per month (according to Google Keyword Planner).
This huge search demand implies that you have to get a huge amount of traffic if you occupy the top Google on this keyword. But, do not forget about the search for zero query. The answer to the question goes directly to the search page and the user does not go anywhere!
These “unusual” search results are known as “SERP functions,” and there are quite a few:
results of purchases;
image packs, etc.
Some of them will significantly improve the search traffic to your site, while others will steal it from you.
Search volume and clicks are great metrics to understand the popularity and traffic of a single keyword. But this keyword can have many synonyms and related search queries, and all of them can be targeted to one page of your site.
People look for the same thing in different ways. Thus, a single page on your site may be ranked for hundreds (if not thousands) of related keywords.
4. Keyword Difficulty
The best way to measure the difficulty of ranking a keyword is to manually analyze the search results and use your SEO experience (and intuition).
But this is something you cannot do on a scale for several thousand keywords at once. This is why a keyword difficulty score is so convenient.
Each keyword research tool has its own methods for calculating rating difficulty rating. Use Ahrefs, Moz, and SemRush.
5. Cost Per Click
This metric is mostly important for advertisers, not SEO. However, many SEO experts see CPC as an indicator of the keywords' commercial intent (which actually makes a lot of sense).
What is important to know about CPC is that it is much more volatile than the volume of the search. Although a keyword’s search query changes monthly, its cost-per-click can change at almost any minute.
Therefore, the CPCs that you see in third-party keyword research tools are nothing more than a snapshot of a specific time period. If you want actual data, you must use AdWords.
4. Group your keyword list
So you generated a ton of promising keywords and used the above metrics to determine the best ones.
Now it's time to add some structure to your list.
1. Grouping by “parent theme”
The days of targeting one keyword on one page are long gone. Now SEO professionals are faced with a new question:
Should I target one topic on several relevant topics or create a separate page for each set of keywords?
We know that a single page can contain hundreds (if not thousands) of relevant keywords. But how do you know which keywords are relevant to your topic and which aren't? Tools such as Ahrefs, for example, will come to the rescue.
if the central key phrase of this article is keyword research, then more phrases are suitable for this topic:
This means that you don’t need to create separate pages to target each of these keywords. It is enough to use them on one page. Here we would advise you to read an article about related LSI keywords that will help you find more keys on a selected topic.
2. Group by intention
So, you have grouped semantically related keywords by the “parent topic” and compared them to the various pages of your site. The next step is to group these “pages” according to the so-called “search intentions”.
For every search term people enter on Google, there is a certain (and often very specific) expectation. Your goal is to decipher this expectation in advance so that you can create a page that perfectly matches it.
This can be quite complicated at times. Let's take a keyword, for example, "roses." What is the purpose of the user? Most likely one of these two:
View photos of roses.
Learn more about this flower.
The best way to decipher the intent behind the search query is to find it on Google and see what comes first. Google is getting better and better at determining the purpose of each search query, so search results usually speak for themselves.
3. Grouping by business value
This grouping is actually closely related to the grouping by intent. But this time, you need to find out what intentions provide the best return on investment for your business.
If you're mainly looking for traffic and brand recognition, you can focus on keywords that will bring tons of visitors, but not necessarily lead to leads or sales.
If you have an unlimited marketing budget, you can shoot all the guns at once. But most companies cannot afford such a luxury, so they need to think carefully about which keywords will affect their business and which ones will only affect vanity metrics.
Most of the time, marketers will focus on keywords with commercial intentions, since they are the ones that drive sales and grow your business.
Prioritization is not really the “last step” in the keyword research process, but rather what you do naturally by going through the above steps.
While you generate keyword ideas, analyze their metrics and group them, you should note the following:
What is the estimated traffic potential of this keyword (group)?
How fierce is the competition?
How much resources should be invested in creating a competitive page and its effective promotion?
What is the profitability of this traffic? Does it only bring brand recognition or actually bring leads and sales?
Futureinapps company is engaged in SEO promotion of any sites on the network. We understand that promotion is not easy and it requires resources and specialists. we are happy to explain and talk about it from the pages of our blog so that clients and newbies of SEO do not have false ideas and expectations, but at the same time so that they know that it’s possible to advance in search engines! It’s important to prioritize.