Steps In Keyword Research: Finding, Analyzing & Using Keywords
Do you know what words your ideal customers use to find businesses, products, and services similar to yours?
If not, then you must do thorough keyword research. It will help you find and select the right keywords for your site.
But, it is easier said than done. Generating the target keyword pool is one of the most important and difficult aspects of SEO.
Therefore, plenty of questions surround it. If you, too, have them, we got you covered because we know this pain firsthand.
In this blog, we will be discussing:
- What are the key terms related to keyword research
- How to find the best keyword phrases for SEO
- How to ensure your keywords align with user intent
Let’s get started.
Step 0: Know The Basic Terms
Before starting with keyword research, you should know a few basic terms to get the most out of them. Here are a few of them:
- Focus Keyword
Focus Keyword is the word or phrase you want the page to be found for in the search results.
It accurately describes the content of your blog post or page. It will be present in your title, URL, meta description, and text.
- Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords contain 3 or more words.
These are specific phrases that buyers are more likely to use during the buying cycle or while using voice search.
A long-tail keyword strategy is extremely helpful if your industry is highly competitive. Also, when you are looking at long-term gains.
- Search Volume
The search volume of a keyword refers to the average number of monthly searches for a keyword or phrase.
You can look up the global search volume for a keyword or narrow it down to a specific city, county, state, or country.
A higher search volume denotes more potential visitors to your website.
One of the most important goals of keyword research is to rank in Google and other search engines for your target phrases.
Competition tells you how competitive it is to do that.
Your ideal keyword should have a high search volume in your targeted market but low competition.
Using RankWatch’s free keyword research tool, you can easily get tons of keyword suggestions and these insights for them.
Based on their CPC, difficulty (or competition), and search volume, you can pick and drop keywords you wish to target.
We’ll come back to this later; let’s look at the next step first.
Step 1: Research Your Niche
You must dive deep in to learn more about your topic or niche before figuring out the best SEO keywords and optimizing for them. .
It gives you unique ideas; you can also discover different angles for your marketing and SEO strategy.
Here are some quick ideas on studying your niche:
- Know your existing customers; talk to them. Find out what words they use to describe your brand, company, product, or service.
- Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you need to discuss the brand’s offering with a friend, how would you discuss it?
- Be a part of online communities, like forums and social media networks. Read the discussions and identify any pain points mentioned about your niche.
When you do it, you are better positioned to select the target keywords for your site.
Step 2: Study the Search Intent
Using high-volume and low-competition keywords to increase the rankings for a page was easy in the past.
But it’s not the case anymore because search algorithms have evolved, prioritizing the search intent.
Search intent shows you why people search for a specific term or what they want to see in the search results for a specific query.
You can better understand the search intent by asking yourself the following questions:
- Why are they searching?
- Are they searching for a particular website?
- Are they searching to buy something?
- Or are they looking for a specific service/solution?
Once you understand the search intent behind the search queries, you will be able to refine your keyword research.
With that, you’d be able to target keywords relevant to your customer’s search intent and rank even better in the SERPs.
Step 3: List Down Relevant Topics
You should break down the goal and aim into smaller topic buckets based on the main category of your brand.
For example, if you’re an FMCG brand specializing in beauty/makeup products, some topics related to your brand can be:
- Eye Products
- Novelty Makeup
- Nail Products
Now, you can create content around these sub-topics by finding relevant keywords and optimizing for them.
Step 4: Conceptualize Seed Keywords
The seed keywords lay the foundation of the keyword research process. It helps you in defining your niche and identifying your competitors.
Every keyword research tool requests a seed keyword to generate an extensive list of keyword ideas (more on that shortly).
If you already have a product or business that you want to promote online, coming up with seed keywords is simple.
Just think about what people type into search engines to find what you offer.
Move to the next step as soon as you have a handful of broad ideas related to the topic of your website.
Step 5: Do A Competitor Keyword Analysis
Looking at which keywords are already sending traffic to your competitors is undoubtedly the best way to begin your keyword research.
To do so, you must first identify those competitors. That’s where your brainstormed list of keywords will help you.
Type seed keywords into the search box (of any search engine you wish to rank on) and see who comes up on the first page.
List them in one place and proceed to the next step.
Step 6: Use Good Keyword Research Tools
Studying your competitors can provide you with a great variety of unique keyword ideas. Even if you’re well-versed in the industry, brainstorming alone won’t help you discover all the key areas.
Now it’s time to use keyword research tools to refine your search terms further.
Google Keyword Planner is one option. But unfortunately, it only provides an estimation of search volumes.
Instead, you can use a free keyword research tool. It will provide you with a lot more suggestions and information.
Besides this, you can find out question keywords related to your seed keyword.
Just type in the topic (or seed keyword) into the tool’s search box, and you get a list of alternative keywords (or suggestions). It happens within a click!
Step 7: Identify Long-Tail Keywords
Seed keywords are short search terms closely related to your site’s main topic or category. But, they have high competition and thus are difficult to rank.
On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more elaborate and related to your site’s sub-topics or sub-categories.
They are quite specific and hence less competitive. So, they are far easier to target and rank for in the SERPs.
For example, if your website publishes content about makeup product reviews, using long-tail keywords like “what are the best novelty makeup products” will attract a more relevant audience than the seed keyword “novelty makeup.”
Step 8: Use Them To Your Advantage
So there you have it, basically everything you could ever want to know about how to find and analyze keywords.
But what about using those keywords?
Implementing keywords for SEO is a different matter entirely.
There are certain rules and best practices for adding keywords to a website to make the SEO efforts more worthwhile.
So, here are a few things you can keep in mind while using the keywords for maximum SEO results:
- Focus on 3-8 keywords per article; try not to stuff too many keywords in the content.
- Use the keywords in the Meta Descriptions, Meta Title Tags, and page URLs.
- Add your keywords in the title, headers, and alt-image tags.
- Insert keywords in your content evenly throughout the piece.
- Don’t force to insert the keyword if it doesn’t work naturally; use the correct version of keywords to make it relevant to your content.
You now have a list of keywords to focus on the right topics for your business. It will help you get both short-term and long-term gains.
Don’t forget to re-evaluate these keywords every few months and make the necessary changes to rank better.
You can even add more keywords to your target pool as you gain more authority in the SERPs.
It will help you maintain your current presence and grow in new areas in the future.
Do you know other ways to carry out keyword research? We will be happy to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to expand our guide.