Keyword research is an incredibly powerful tool for any online marketer, blogger, writer or website owner. Once you learn keyword research skills and how to use them in your content writing, you’ll be able to increase the amount of online traffic that comes to your site by using keyword-focused keyword phrases.
Let’s take a look at what keyword research is all about – and how it can help you develop more effective content pages for your website.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying words related to a specific topic or niche. The keyword data tells us which words are used most often, by how many people and on which search engine those keywords are entered most frequently. This gives keyword analysis insight into keyword popularity, or keyword demand. If you think about keyword research this way – it’s really just a fancy way of saying “what people are searching for.”
The goal of keyword research is to develop effective keyword phrases that you can use in content and link building efforts. You want every keyword phrase you create to be targeted and specific so that when someone searches on Google or Yahoo!, your site will show up at the top of search results. Keyword phrases also help with targeting the right audience when emailing campaigns, blogging and within content pages.
How To Do Keyword Research?
I’m going to break down keyword research into three simple parts: keyword discovery (demographics), keyword analysis (competition) and keyword strategy (where/how to use keyword phrases).
Keyword Discovery – Understanding the Demographics of Keyword Phrases
The keyword discovery phase includes narrowing down your keyword phrase list based on what you know about your audience. Start by asking yourself these questions:
– Who are my target customers?
– What are their pain points or problems? What do they need help with?
– How old are my target customers?
– Where does my target customer live (geographically) and is there a regional difference in keyword usage/demand? For example, if you sell snowboards in Canada, but snowboarders search for “snowboarding” in America – it would be beneficial to include both keyword phrases in your keyword strategy plan. Do you have a keyword phrase that is relevant to your product/service and your targeted keyword phrases all share the same intent?
– Does my target audience include multiple genders (M/F) – or only one gender (M)? This impacts keyword research as men and women would use different keyword phrases, such as “pregnancy diet” vs. “pregnancy symptoms”.
Keyword Analysis – Understanding Your Competition for Keywords
Knowing what keyword phrase to choose and determining the best content topics and page layout is crucial if you want to rank well in Google’s search results. You can look at keyword competition in two ways:
– Using the Google Search Analytics report : The Google Search Analytics report provides statistics on keyword phrases used on Google searches over a 30 day period. The information provided is keyword search volume (how many times people have searched for that keyword phrase), keyword difficulty score (which indicates how difficult Google thinks it will be to rank for the keyword) and keyword competition (the number of other web pages that are competing to get ranked on top of the keyword report). It’s a good idea to look closely at your keyword competition – you want to aim high, but not so high that it becomes unrealistic.
– Using Google Adwords Keyword Tool : The report provides monthly search volume data, estimated average cost per click (what people searching for this keyword would potentially pay if clicked on an ad) and search suggestions (additional keyword phrases you may want to include in your keyword strategy plan). This keyword tool is especially helpful if you already have a keyword phrase in mind and want to discover related keyword phrases. If you don’t know which keyword phrases to use, the Google search analytics report provides a good starting point for keyword discovery.
Keyword Strategy – Where/How Do You Use Keyword Phrases?
– In your content : Begin by using keywords within contextually relevant content aimed at addressing your audience’s questions and problems, as well as their pain points. The keyword phrase should be included naturally into the body of the text without disrupting flow or creating keyword stuffing. You can also sprinkle keywords throughout social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook) and blog posts that relate to your niche market.
– On your website : Include targeted keyword phrases into your keyword rich content (headings, title tags and meta descriptions) to help with search engine rankings.
– Use keyword phrases in links to other web pages: Remember not to keyword stuff – only use the keyword phrase once per link and don’t place keyword stuffed links on every page of your website. When you link out from your website, make sure the keyword phrase is directly relevant and will benefit the person clicking through to that webpage.
Relevance & Clarity Keyword Research Success
The most important thing for keyword research success is relevance and clarity. Make sure all domains linking back to you are related and complement each other. Avoid getting overwhelmed by keyword research – just remember that if it’s too little or too much, then you’re doing it wrong.
Good keyword research helps provide direction for keyword strategy, guides website content creation and improves search engine rankings. Just remember that keyword research isn’t everything – the most important part of your keyword strategy is creating valuable, relevant and consistent content.