Keyword research is a vital part of SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines won’t crawl through your website and rank it if they don’t know what keywords you want to target. However, there’s a lot more to keyword research than simply coming up with a list of words or phrases that people might use in search engines. It’s an art involving guesswork, data analysis, and some insider knowledge about how search engines work. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about determining which keywords are best for your website—from how to choose the right ones, to how many you should use on each page.
Organic keyword research matters.
Whether you’re a newbie or veteran SEO, organic keyword research is something that you should never overlook. There are many reasons why organic keyword research matters:
- It helps you understand what people are looking for.
- It helps you find out which keywords are most important.
- It helps you know which keywords you should focus on in order to rank high on search engines such as Google and Bing, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- And also it helps find out which keywords to avoid because they have too much competition (and spending more money than necessary) trying to rank for those terms would be futile.
High search volume doesn’t always mean higher rankings.
As you may have noticed, your top competitors aren’t always the companies with the highest search volume. If you’re wondering why this is so, think about it for a moment:
- Search volume alone doesn’t mean that people are searching for your product or service. For example, if you’re an SEO consultant in New York City and someone searches “SEO New York” on Google (which generates hundreds of thousands of results), that doesn’t mean they’re interested in finding an SEO consultant like you! They could be looking for information on any number of topics related to SEO—or anything else altogether.
- Even if the searcher is looking for an SEO consultant, they might not live near New York City or even use Google (for example). In other words, just because someone’s Googling “SEO” doesn’t necessarily mean they want what you offer!
Let’s look at Keyword Research Tips to help you improve your SEO game:
1. Focus on intent-based keywords.
As a rule, use intent-based keywords. These are the types of phrases that indicate your target audience is actively looking for something specific. For example, if you’re selling shoes online and someone searches “wholesale running shoes” on Google, they probably intend to buy sneakers—and that’s a great keyword for you to optimize your site around.
On the other hand, an unintentional search like “best shoe stores in town” doesn’t indicate any interest in buying anything. The person might be looking for information about where to shop or maybe even how to find local shoe stores; they don’t necessarily have any intention of making a purchase right now (or ever).
2. Start with seed terms and identify concepts.
When you’re starting to think about keywords, it’s important to start with seed terms. Seed terms are words or phrases that you use to identify the concept of your content and how it relates to other topics. For example, if I’m writing an article about SEO tools, my initial seed term would be “SEO tools.”
Now that we have our seed term, we can identify related concepts by looking at all the keywords people search for when they want information on “SEO tools.” Let’s say my next step is to look up a list of all these keywords—we’d see something like this:
seo toolbox – 14K results (0.12 seconds)
seo tools – 5K results (0.08 seconds)
free seo tools – 362 results (0.30 seconds)
free seo report template – 880 results (0.76 seconds)
3. Use keyword modifiers to build a diverse set of long-tail keywords.
When you’re building a list of keywords, don’t just go for the most popular phrases. Use keyword modifiers to build a diverse set of long-tail keywords.
These modifiers can help you discover new concepts and ideas that aren’t as obvious when using only root words. They can also give you an idea of how people are searching for your content, and what different ways they might search for it (or misspell it).
4. Fine-tune your keyword strategy using a topic cluster model.
Topic cluster models are a powerful way to find the right keywords for your website. A topic cluster model is made up of several related key phrases, each of which have different levels of popularity and competition.
They’re most useful when you’re targeting long-tail keywords with lots of search volume. Here’s how it works:
5. Map your keywords to the right pages on your site.
Using Google Search Console, you can see which pages are getting the most traffic. You can also use Google Analytics to see which pages are getting the most traffic.
Using the same tools, you can look at impressions instead of clicks and find out where your ads get the most exposure.
6. Don’t forget about local SEO keyword research.
Local SEO is important for small businesses, because it’s a great way to get more customers.
If you want to thrive in your local market, you need to start by learning about local SEO. The good news is that there are tons of resources out there that make it easy for you to learn what you need to know!
Incorporate keyword research into content creation.
SEO keyword research should be part of your content creation process. In fact, it should be one of the first things you do when you’re creating a new piece of content or updating an existing piece. A good place to start is by setting up a spreadsheet that lists all of the keywords and topics you want to cover in your content and then brainstorming titles for each one.
Once you have a list of potential titles, narrow down your options by looking at keyword usage data (Google AdWords Keyword Planner) as well as keyword difficulty ranking data (Ahrefs Site Explorer). You can also use Google Trends to see if there is any interest or activity around these words over time:
Keep track of the keywords you target, so you can discover new opportunities in the future.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to keep track of the keywords you target so that you can discover new opportunities in the future. This can be done with a spreadsheet or keyword tracking tool. I personally use SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool because it provides a ton of great data and insights into competitors’ search volumes, showing me how they’re ranking for specific terms, what their marketing strategies are, etc.
However, if I’m looking for new ideas from my own website (or competitor sites), then this tool isn’t quite enough—I need something more robust with more features. So instead of using one big program for everything related to SEO and marketing research, I use several smaller ones—each one serving a different purpose:
- SEMrush is still awesome for tracking the competition; but since it doesn’t provide much insight into what people are searching for on Google itself (just general trends based on their AdWords campaigns), I also use Google Trends to get an idea of what terms might be popular right now or next year as well as see which ones have been trending upward over time (and thus might be worth targeting).
Keyword research is vital for SEO success, but it’s more than just guesswork.
Keyword research is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. Keywords and keyword phrases are the words or phrases that your customers use when searching for products and services online, so choosing the right keywords can mean the difference between attracting customers who are interested in what you have to offer and driving them away.
Keyword research is also an ongoing process that should be done on an ongoing basis as your business changes and grows over time. Your business may start out selling one type of product or service, but over time it may expand into other areas such as shipping or support services. This expansion might require new content types (such as blog posts) or even new websites altogether!
At the end of the day, keyword research is a combination of art and science. It takes time, attention to detail, and an eye for Wix SEO trends in your industry. But if you put in the work and follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an SEO expert in no time. Good luck!