Keywords are the most fundamental pillars of SEO. You will never get traffic if no one searches for what you’re putting in your content. You can never rank on search engines no matter how hard you try if you don’t use the right keywords on your web content.
If you are a beginner in SEO, this guide is all you need to learn the basics of keyword research. First, however, let’s talk about some basics before diving into the main topic.
What Is Keyword Research?
The keyword research process includes understanding what your target market searches for online. It helps determine the language your potential customer uses when searching for any content, services, or products similar to yours. It also involves analyzing, comparing, and prioritizing the most suitable keywords to improve your website ranking opportunities.
Is Keyword Research Really Important?
Yes! The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to help a website rank higher on search engines. And, you can never achieve a higher rank unless you use the right keywords. It is the only way to know what your prospective users are searching for. Without keyword research, you will just create content that no one’s interested in.
Do you know there are more than 90% of websites that don’t get any organic traffic from Google?
It is because they don’t invest in keyword research.
So, keyword research is the most essential and crucial tool for SEO. However, it is not something one needs to worry about, or one cannot learn. It is a relatively straightforward process if you have the following two things:
- A good industry knowledge
- Understanding of keyword research tools
Now that you know the basics and the importance of keyword research, let’s find different ways to find keywords and improve your website SEO.
How to Find the Best Keywords?
1. Brainstorm Basic Keywords
The first step of finding the right keywords for SEO is to come up with some ‘seed’ keywords. Think about your business and make a list of all the important words and topics you think are relevant to it. These seed keywords will help you come up with more specific keywords later.
Coming with seed words shouldn’t be too complicated. You just need to think about what would people search for on Google when they are looking for services you offer. For instance, if you have a coffee business, here are some seed words you can use:
- French press
It is crucial to remember that these seed words may not be worth targeting alone. You will need these for the next steps. You don’t need to spend hours finding these keywords. Just take a few minutes and write down the first words that come to your mind when you think of your business offerings.
2. Check Your Competitors
Another way to kick-start your keyword research is to check your competitor’s websites. This will help you locate keywords that are already sending traffic to another company in your niche.
But, how do you find out who your competitors are?
Search your seed words on Google and find out who ranks on top of the first page. Then, if you cannot find any website relevant to your business, you can search for one auto-suggested query.
For example, if you produce coffee equipment, you can search for ‘coffee makers’ instead of just coffee. However, make sure you find the right competitors when looking for keywords. For example, you shouldn’t consider Amazon your true competitor if you are just a small coffee equipment manufacturer.
3. Use Keyword Research Tools
While looking at competitors is a great source to get keyword ideas, you cannot rely only on this method. There are plenty of keywords that may still not be targeted, and you can explore. You can find these keywords using specific keyword research tools.
Most of the keyword research tools work the same way. You will need to insert your seed keyword into the tool and search for keyword options from their database. You can use any keyword research tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, etc.
Keyword research tools provide relevant keyword ideas and show you data for the keywords. You will learn about the average monthly search volume of the keywords and their competition. You can pull out all the relevant keywords with a high search volume and low competition to make a list yourself.
4. Refine Your Keyword List
Now that you have your core list of keywords, here are some crucial factors you need to use to analyze them.
· Search Volume
The search volume of a keyword gives you the per month average of how many times it is searched. Keep in mind the search volume does not indicate the number of people who search for this keyword, but it is the number of total searches. The search volume also doesn’t indicate the amount of traffic you will get using a specific keyword. Instead, it gives you an annual average. If you are starting SEO for your business for the first time, you should cast a wider net of keywords, including both high and low volume, and slowly narrow it down to whatever brings you the best results.
Search engines rank content based on relevance. So you should also consider the search intent when choosing a keyword. You can only rank for a specific keyword if it meets the search needs of online users. Moreover, you need to ensure your content is relevant and unique. It should offer the readers something that no one else offers. It should be the most credible source out there for the keyword search. You will only rank well on Google if your keywords and content check all these items on the list.
Google prefers the websites and ranks them higher if they seem authoritative. Therefore, you must try everything to become an authoritative source for the content and keywords you want to rank for. You can do this by including relevant and helpful content on your website for your users. It would help to promote your content to earn backlinks and social signals. You have a lower chance of ranking for a keyword if you don’t seem like an authoritative website or other big names like The Mayo Clinic or Forbes ranking for the same keyword.
These were some simple yet effective tips to help you find the right keywords for SEO. Use these tips, and you will see an improvement in your SEO score and your overall search engine ranking. Remember, no matter how many creative writing experts and ebook writing you have on your team, if you are not using the right keywords, they can’t help you rank higher on search engines.
About the Author
Cheryl Brown is an SEO specialist with over six years of experience in SEO content marketing. She has an MBA in marketing and started working in content marketing when she was only 20. Cheryl is a single mother of a son and wants to make this world a better place for him. She loves reading, and George Orwell is her favorite author..