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The Comprehensive Guide to SEO Keyword Research

seo keyword research

Did you know that 90% of pages never get organic traffic?

If you own a website or plan to have one, you will need a great SEO strategy to improve your site’s visibility.

Out of the many possible SEO strategies, keyword research is the most crucial part you will need to focus on. In simple terms, keyword research is the process of finding relevant, searchable, and high volumes words for your site.

If you use the right words, the search engines will improve your rankings, and online users will find your page with ease.

Keyword research may not be easy for a starter, but the good thing is that you can learn and experience effective results within six months.

Here is a comprehensive guide on finding the right words and using them in your content.

Know Your Niche

The first vital step for implementing the right keywords is to understand your current industry. For instance, if you own a legal website, then you will need to know more about the legal niche before you can start finding the right words.

Wondering how you can study the niche? It’s simple. There are plenty of ways of doing so, with the main one being talking to our clients. 

Your conversations with customers will help you know the words which they search most. The talks might also give you some insights into the places which your customers think need improvements. 

Here are other ways through which you can gather the right keywords information for your niche:

  • Conduct online surveys
  • Join online communities in your niche
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think of the words which you would be using to find websites
  • Use your past experiences to gather new ideas

Create a list of all the information or ideas you have collected. You will use those points to come up with great keywords strategies.

Create Your Goals

What do you want to achieve after implementing the right keywords? Who are you trying to reach? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself when setting the goals.

With ideas at hand, you can quickly develop clear goals for your SEO keywords strategy. The plans you set should be realistic and achievable, depending on your business muscles.

Your goals in improving your keyword research could be to:

  • Generate more sales
  • Increase your organic traffic
  • Enhance the awareness of your business
  • Attract more clients and business leads

If you are a starter, you will be competing with thousands of established businesses. Their financial capability is high, and maybe, their rankings are high too. 

If you focus on competing with them, you might lose the game too early, and that’s why you should only focus on producing the best results. Find out the things that will make you stand out of the crowd and focus on them exclusively. 

Research Your Keywords

You can now start creating your keywords since you have a goal, and you have a list of the possible words.

There are two main ways for keywords research: the manual search and the use of tools. You can combine both methods to come up with the best keywords.

Manual research is a popular method of using search engines. Here, you will enter your suggested keywords to a search engine, such as Google. Google will provide a list of other related words that you can consider.

The search engine collects those suggestions from competitors and the leading sites. It also gets them from the most common searches based on what others look for frequently.

You may not find all the suggestions helpful, but you can choose the best fit for your business.

Use the Keywords Research Tools

As mentioned above, you may use the available software if the manual search does not bring you results. There are many keyword research tools online, and your only work is to find out the best one for your needs.

Some research tools are free, while others are paid. However, they don’t work the same. Confirm that the tool you use is easy to use and affordable too. Here are helpful factors to consider when choosing the right keyword research tool:

Competition Analytics Feature

The right tool should help you know the competitiveness of a keyword. If you know the word’s competitiveness status, you will make a wise choice on whether to use it or not.

For instance, you might find a word that has more than 50,000 searches online. Ideally, that word has a higher chance of boosting your rankings than the less popular ones.

But maybe, popular sites such as Forbes, CNN, Washington Post, Amazon, Wikipedia, and so on are using those words. Do you think that your site will be popular by using the same keywords? 

Unless you have a strong backlinking strategy to link those authoritative sites, you will be wasting your time and money.

Therefore, the right keyword research tools should indicate the competitiveness of the word so that you can make an informed decision.

In-Depth Analysis Features

The right tool should dig deeper to know more about the keywords. For instance, it should check what your competitors are using so that you can use the same.

It Should Be Reputable

What do other marketers say about that tool? It would be disappointing to use a keyword research tool which has many negative reviews.

The ideal tool should have an excellent reputation. The reputation will give the confidence that you will get the best keywords.

Sort the Keywords Suggestions

From your research, you will probably come up with a long list of keywords suggestions. You can’t use them all. Therefore, you should sort them starting with the most relevant to the least important ones.

The ideal keyword that you choose should be:

Relevant to Your Audience and Business

Ensure that the keyword describes your business. If possible, the word should include the location of your business for the sake of local SEO.

In the past, websites would survive even with irrelevant keywords. Things have changed now, and Google has become keener on determining the relevancy of the keywords used.

Furthermore, irrelevant keywords will only drive potential customers away. This is because the wrong keywords will be directing online users to your site, only to find out that your content is different from what they want.

Relevant keywords will help you stand out from the competition. Most importantly, they will direct more online users to your site.

It Should Be Popular

The right keyword should be popular. The popularity shows that people search it many times. For instance, a word with 200,000 searches’ will be more important than the one with 20 quests.

Having it in your content will be a big boost for your site because your page will be appearing every time a user searches it.

Should Be Specific

Avoid broad keywords. If the keyword is general, it will be tough for it to rank in Google’s top pages.

Remember that you are competing with many other sites, and you will be the last on the list of you don’t specify your keywords.

For instance, if you offer personal injury legal services in California, then the keyword “California lawyer” will be too general for your site. There are many lawyers in California, and there are many types of lawyers also.

You would attract more visitors if you be specific and use the keyword “personal injury lawyer California.” The long-tail keywords (specific keywords) will help you attract the right people in your location.

The people who will consult will be looking for personal injury lawyers only, and not other types of lawyers. And what does this mean? The bounce rates will be low, and you will be growing your website.

Analyze the Competition

Finding the right keywords to use is not a gateway for resting. You still have a lot to do, with the primary task being to check what your competitors are doing.

You will be competing with prominent businesses, irrespective of your niche. Regardless, there is no crime in checking out the content.

So, search the keywords you have selected on the search engines. All the sites that will appear on the first and second pages are your competitors. You may have used the same keywords, but they may have higher quality content.

Analyze them and see the specific words which you should improve in your work. If the other sites’ contents are insufficient, you will stand a higher chance of outranking them.

You may also carry out your analysis by using Google Adwords. All the terms that have a higher pay per click in the Adwords are very hard to rank in search engines’ top pages.

List them down and remove/add them depending on your keywords goals.

Plan on How to Use the Keywords

Now that you have invested too much time and money in finding the keywords, you should use them in the right places. You will need to create an excellent SEO strategy on how you will apply them to your site.

The best strategy for using the keywords is by creating blogs/articles. The content you create should be directly related to your business. You can then include the keywords in the content so that they can make the entire content visible.

Besides the articles, you can optimize the keywords in your landing pages too. Here are practical content writing tips that you should apply when optimizing your keywords:

Align the Content to Search Intent

Search intent is a term used to describe the reason why online users search for some words. For instance, their goal could be to find the definition of a specific name, to buy a product, or to gain general knowledge on the word.

You can know of the search intent by reviewing the trending searches in Google. If many people use that word to buy products, you will need to write many product reviews and buyer guides to attract more people.

Don’t Overstuff

Overstuffing is the excessive use of keywords. No matter how much you need to use that word, you should not overuse it. For instance, if you use several keywords in the same paragraph, the work will look unappealing to the reader because of repetition issues.

Besides, you may get a penalty from the search engine for forcing the keywords. If possible, confirm that the keyword density of your keywords is less than 2%. 

For the best results, you should select a few keywords to use and then sprinkle them throughout the content.

Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

Keywords cannibalization is the act of using the same keywords in many landing pages/articles. Most of the marketers who use this technique do so to increase their search rankings. Probably, they assume that some articles will qualify for ranking because they are many.

This is wrong. When Google finds out more than two sites with the same keywords, it will be hard for it to choose the right one which should get a high ranking. This means that you may not get any ranking at all. Even worse, you may get a penalty for the act.

Avoid it, and instead, invest in writing different content with different articles. You will get a top rank if you write compelling content.

Review Your Keywords Regularly

Don’t optimize your SEO keywords and dump them there. The current competition in the search engines is very high. Furthermore, the search engines change their performance metrics often, and your old tactics may lose meaning in no time.

You will be on the safe side if you review your keywords regularly. If your website appears on the first page of Google, keep finding better keywords that would make it maintain its position.

Otherwise, you will be surprised to find it among the last pages if you don’t make timely services.

Start Your Keyword Research Process Today

Now that you know more about keyword research, it would be better to start the process today. Find out the available tools in the market, compare them, and choose the best. Don’t hesitate to hire an SEO expert to do the work for you if you have a busy schedule.

Ghax is a reputable digital marketing agency. We help small businesses thrive in a highly competitive business environment by customizing them with the right digital services.

These services include Pay Per Click advertising, SEO, and content marketing. Contact us to learn more about our services.

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Antonio Calabrese Founder GHAX

Hey, I’m Antonio Calabrese, Founder at GHAX. We love working with businesses who are serious about growth.

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