How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Simple Guide for Beginners

February 9, 2021

Keywords are the building blocks of SEO or search engine optimization. They are also essential for any marketing and advertising related strategies. Without keywords you cannot expect to reach your target audience. Keywords allow your audience to look for content, products or services that your business offers. Optimizing your website is important to rank well on search engine results pages. One of the ways to do this is by using relevant keywords on your website. This is especially useful when you have a blog. To target the relevant keywords a keyword research is needed.

In this article, we will discuss how you can do a keyword research to target the right keywords for your business.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of searching and analyzing search terms that are used by your target audience on search engines to look for certain information. Search engines show these users the results that are relevant to their searches. Hence, the goal of keyword research should be to look for the terms that your audience is using to look for specific content, services or products. In this research you can also analyze a keyword’s search volume, ranking difficult, competition, etc.

Why is keyword research important?

Keyword research helps you gain insight on the type of search queries your audiences are looking for. These insights are useful in your SEO strategy and other marketing and advertising strategies. You can build your content strategy based on these search queries. When you provide customers with the answers they are looking for, they engage with your content. Moreover, using relevant keywords helps you gain more visibility on the search engine results page or SERP. This is a good way to increase brand awareness and attract more leads to your website.

Hence, keyword research is important so that you can create a list of relevant search terms and use them in various marketing efforts.

How to do keyword research?

Start with seed keywords

Seed keywords are the starting point of your research. Seed keywords are the primary search terms that are relevant to your business. These keywords are simply different variations of search queries a person might use to look for the type of products or services you offer. These keywords are typically short, consisting of one or two words. To come up with a seed keyword list you can brainstorm different variations of search terms relevant to the type of products or service you offer. If you already have an existing website, then you can focus on the keywords you are already ranking for. There are many tools that help you analyze the search terms that your website ranks for.

We will see later on in this article the various tools you can use to research keywords. Seed keywords are just to kick start your keyword research process. You do not need to get specific here. Once you find out these broad keywords then you can get specific later on.

Find out competitor’s keywords

Take a look at the keywords your competitors are ranking for. If you do not know who your competitors are, use the seed keywords to find out similar businesses in your region. Analyze the type of keywords these top-ranking websites use. To make things easier you can use various tools for your competitor’s research like SEMrush or Moz. You will just need to enter the website URL and you will get a list of keywords your competitor is ranking for.

Keyword research helps you identify the keywords that are driving traffic to your competitor’s website. It gives you an insight into the interests of your audience. In addition, you can also get new ideas for keywords that you had not thought about before. These ideas can help you build content for your website that your audience finds engaging. This step is important and should not be avoided in your keyword research.

Look for long-tailed keywords

Long-tailed keywords are specific keyword phrases. These keywords can be integrated into your content strategy. They can also provide ideas on topics that your audience is searching for. When you use these in your blogs it becomes more relevant to a user’s search query. This will help become more visible on SERP. Moreover, your users will engage with your blogs as it will be useful to them.

To look for these types of keywords you can enter any of the seed keywords into the search queries and Google’s auto suggest can give different options. Google also shows you more options on what other people are searching for related to these terms. You can add ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘what’ before your keywords to get more suggestions. If you are using any keyword tool, then simply add these words in the filter so that more specific search queries show up.

Understand user intent

User intent identifies the purpose of an online search. It shows what exactly the users are looking for when they enter a search query. Your website should provide the most relevant answers that the users are looking for. Keywords can have different meanings. Hence, you need to analyze what exactly the users want. The intent behind the search is what helps you improve your ranking. Users can use queries that have multiple interpretations. Google cannot provide the exact results for a user’s search query, but it displays several results that include various interpretations. 

For example, if you enter the query ‘how to create a website’ Google will show various interpretations that include a guide to create a website, tools that can build a website, and creating a website for free. It depends on the search query how many interpretations it produces. Some can have many interpretations while others only have minor ones.

Whenever you create content, you need to understand what the user intent is and what people are interested in knowing. To find out user intent you can simply Google a search query and see what types of results come up. Create the type of content that is relevant for the keywords you use.

Leverage keyword research tools

Research tools just make your life easier. There are a number of tools online that can help you with your keyword research. Here are some of them:

These tools can help you come up with your list of keywords. You can use filters to further refine your search. These tools also help you analyze your competitor’s keywords. With these tools you can generate many keyword ideas that might not have thought about before.

How to analyze and choose the right keywords?

When you use keyword tools you come across a ton of keyword ideas. These tools also provide SEO metrics for all the keywords. With the help of these metrics choosing keywords becomes easier. Here are two important keyword metrics you need to look at before you choose your keywords.

Search volume

Search volume shows you the average monthly searches for a specific keyword. Ensure that the keywords you pick are being searched by people. Because even if you rank in the first position and no one is looking for that term then you would not get any traffic. You do not want to pick really high-volume keywords because they will be competitive and ranking for them will be difficult. Choose keywords that have a low volume and less competition so that you have an opportunity to rank for them.

Competition

Another area to look into is competition. Keyword competition determines how difficult it is in ranking for a certain keyword. If many domains are using that keyword, then there will be a lot of competition. It is always best to choose keywords with medium to low competition so that you have a chance to rank higher on SERP.

Keyword research can seem like an overwhelming task, but when done correctly it can produce positive results. Keep experimenting with different keywords to see what works best for your website. Optimize your website with these keywords to improve your search engine ranking. The one important thing to remember is relevancy. Ensure that your keywords are relevant to your target audience. This is what will help you reach the right people.

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