Keyword research is one of the most important elements of any SEO campaign. It helps you understand what people are looking for, how they search online, and how your website fits into that picture.
In a recent survey, 73% of search marketers said that improving their keyword research process is a top priority. So realizing the importance of finding the best keywords for your website, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to conduct keyword research.
Figure out What You Want
Before doing any research and creating lists of relevant keywords, decide on the goals and objectives of your campaign. What will be the end result? Is it increased traffic to your website? More conversions? Will you be targeting long-tail keywords or more general ones?
Once you have clear objectives in mind, then you can figure out the relevant keywords that will help you achieve your goal. For example, if one of your goals for a new website is to increase conversion rates through lead generation campaigns using pay-per-click ads and email marketing, then you might want to target more specific keywords such as “cheap car insurance” or sugar daddies in the UK.
Get Past the Self-Serving Keyword Generator
Ever notice when you Google things like “web hosting,” the autofill results are often irrelevant? You might see words like, “cheap web hosting” but these are not really what people search for – trust me. When it comes to keyword research, throwing in a couple of generic terms is not enough. Make sure that your list of keywords has been thoroughly researched and is backed by data from real users.
Start with What’s Hot Now
One way to find out what is hot now is through news trends, which show you what people are talking about right now on social media and on websites. You can also use Google Trends to see what’s trending by location, time frame, language, category, and topic.
See What Competitors Are Doing
Let’s say you’re a wedding planner and you want to know the keywords that your competitors are targeting so that you can expand your list of relevant keywords. You could start by searching for your competitors’ website or brand name with the word “keywords” after it – this will show you which terms they are using in their URL structure as well as on their landing pages and throughout their content.
Use Search Operators for Research
Search operators help uncover long-tail keywords you might not have thought about before by helping you get more specific with your keyword research. Some useful search operators include words like “AND,” “OR” and “NOT.” For example, you could use the term [AND] wedding planner to find all the keywords that include both of those words (like “wedding planner Toronto”) or use [OR] wedding planner to find keywords that contain either of those terms (for example, you would get results for both “wedding planner Toronto” and “Toronto wedding planner”).
Use Relevant Phrases
Phrase match is a Google AdWords tool that lets you find relevant long-tail keywords for your website. You’ll need an up-to-date list of site content so that you can create phrases based on what your users are actually looking for.
Leverage Google Autocomplete
By using keywords you already know, you can uncover related terms that you might not have thought of before. You can also use the “*” wildcard search operator to see what other terms people request with your term. For example, if you type [wedding planner] in Google’s search box, Google will autocomplete to [wedding planners]. By typing * [wedding planner], Google would autocomplete to [wedding planners nyc]. See the difference?
Use a Keyword Research Tool
There are many keyword research tools available online that do all the hard work for you including Ahrefs, Semrush, and Soovle. These tools will look for autocomplete suggestions as well as related terms in different search engines to deliver you a wealth of data that you can use to expand your list of keywords.
Use Negative Keywords
You can set negative keywords to be excluded from your account to ensure that the ads are only displayed to people searching for relevant terms. For example, if someone is trying to sell baby products, it might not make sense for them to show up when someone searches “used cars.” Google AdWords has an excellent video tutorial on how to set negative keywords here.
Monitor Your Competition’s Most Effective Keywords
Finally, many useful tools provide instant access to your competitors’ most effective keywords. This way you can find out what’s working for them and replicate the success! Some tools I like are SpyFu, KeywordTool.io, and Keyword Discovery. Keep in mind that when you’re using these tools, you’ll need to consider the source of the data (like SEMRush) since many companies don’t share their keyword details with anyone but their customers.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Your keywords are the foundation of everything you do when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s crucial to identify which words and phrases your target audience is using in their searches, especially when you’re starting. This way you can create content around what your customers want.
The more terms that you rank well for, the more traffic potential Google sends your way. The better position you’re in, the easier it will be for people to find exactly what they were searching for on Google – right down to the letter.
As you can see, there are many ways to conduct your in-depth keyword research. Whether you’re looking for keywords surrounding a specific topic or are trying to uncover long-tail phrases that prospective customers are using, these tools will help you get started! Just remember that it takes time and patience to master this craft.
Remember, the best way to do effective keyword research is by knowing how people search on Google and what words and phrases they use when they look for an answer. So don’t just copy and paste popular terms into a list: tailor your content so that it’s unique and engaging! Google rewards websites with original high-quality content – never forget that.