May 10, 2023
How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The insight you can get into these actual search phrases can help inform your content strategy, as well as your larger marketing and search engine optimization strategy. Here’s a basic process of how keyword research is conducted:
- Identify Your Goals: Before you start your keyword research, it’s crucial to understand your website or business goals. Are you trying to increase traffic, and sales, or simply improve brand awareness? Understanding this can help shape the direction of your keyword research.
- Brainstorm Initial List of Keywords: Think about your topic and the terms related to your products or services that your target audience might be searching for. These could be single words or phrases. It’s also important to consider the intent behind these searches – is the user likely looking to buy something, or are they just looking for information?
- Use Keyword Research Tools: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, etc., to expand your list. These tools can show you how often people search for these terms, how competitive they are in the digital advertising space, and suggest other related keywords you might not have considered.
- Check Out the Competition: Look at the keywords your competitors are targeting. This can give you an idea of other keywords you might want to consider. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can also help you identify your competitors’ keywords.
- Understand Keyword Metrics: Understand different metrics like search volume (the number of searches for a specific keyword), keyword difficulty (how hard it will be to rank for a specific keyword), and cost per click (how much you would pay for a click in a PPC campaign).
- Refine Your List: Based on the data you’ve gathered, narrow down your list. Consider factors like search volume, relevance, and competition. High search volume and relevance are generally good, but they can also mean the keyword is highly competitive.
- Prioritize Your Keywords: Based on the metrics and your business needs, prioritize your keywords. Some businesses might opt for low-volume, low-competition keywords to get quick wins, while others might aim for high-volume, high-competition keywords for a longer-term strategy.
- Implement Your Keywords: Begin to use your keywords in your website’s content, meta tags, URLs, and other SEO areas. Remember that keyword use should feel natural and not forced. Overuse of keywords (called “keyword stuffing”) can actually harm your SEO.
- Monitor and Adjust: SEO is not a one-time thing. Monitor your results over time to see how your efforts are working. Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track how you’re doing. Adjust your strategy as needed.
Remember, keyword research is an ongoing process. As your business changes, and as search trends evolve, you’ll need to continually revisit and revise your keyword strategy.