How to Conduct Keyword Research

If you want to achieve and maintain a solid online presence for your business or brand, there are specific actions related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that you will need to take to position your brand to the right people. But, you might be wondering, ‘Why would I need to secure a presence online? Can’t I just create a website and everything will just fall into place from there?’ Not quite.

Firstly, SEO includes setting up your website and other online content (such as videos, blogs, etc) so that they are leading your target audience from search engine sites such as Google and Bing back to your website. It is a process that involves directing valuable traffic to your website.

Search engines (like Google and Bing) use algorithms to help to position your brand before your target audience through keywords. Keywords are words related to your brand’s industry and niche, and services or products provided that your potential clients or customers are searching for.

What is Keyword Research and Why is It Important?

Keyword research involves discovering and analyzing the most likely or most popularly used words or phrases that online users are using to find specific content online. Optimizing your website includes the use of niche-related keywords to make your business and what you offer easy to find by the people you want to serve. Keyword research is a process that can allow you to use the best search terms when developing content and marketing strategy for your business online.81% of buyers search online before making a purchasing decision. This means, potential buyers are using keywords to find the best options for their needs. Keyword research helps to rank your business on search engines when people search for what you’re offering. Not every user might be aware of your brand, so they won’t necessarily end up searching for the name or website of your brand when they want to find a particular service or product. So, the better your SEO ranking, the higher your chances are of turning up in the results of a search via Google, Bing, etc. With great SEO tactics, you can easily be positioned among the top 3 results in a Google search. Through keyword research, you get to understand what your target audience is searching for per month and why. This helps you to know how to target them based on what their intent is when using particular search words. In other words, you’ll get a feel for the type of things they are looking for based on the topics they seem to be most interested in.

As a result, you can also find out about the demographics, age range, education level, age, behaviors, etc. of the people searching for what you’re offering and create your content surrounding these specific topics of interest.

The best way to carry out an effective keyword research that shows the popularity, search volume and intent of online users is by using a reliable SEO tool, whether you are a beginner or professional. Finding all the relevant data from all the right places can be a very tedious process if you were to try to do this manually. Do not underestimate the amount of data that would need to be collected and analyzed in order to achieve your desired result. These SEO tools are designed with specific algorithms to collect the essential data you are looking for when researching keywords for your SEO purposes. While the procedures for conducting keyword research have changed, it is still an essential step in ensuring effective SEO for your brand.

In order to create and execute an effective keyword strategy, you’ll need to identify the best keywords for your brand through a series of stages.

How to Find The Best Keywords For Your SEO Strategy

1. Create broad categories

Before getting started, you will need to make a note of a few topics or headings that are related to your niche or industry. Select these pool of words according to the topics you think are related to who you are as a brand and what you offer. A good way to do this is to start out with the industry you are in and common topics being discussed online in that niche. You may consult with your sales or customer service team to find out common questions potential buyers seek answers for when they interact with your brand. So, for example, if you have a restaurant that offers dine-in and takeout experience, you can start out with keywords such as; dine-in restaurant, takeout restaurant, food delivery service, restaurant, etc. Try not to create too many categories and try to choose the best out of the lot, as you might need to create several subtopics in order to successfully rank for one topic due to its search volume.

2. Make a list of subtopics from your main/broad categories

Out of these main broad topics you’ve jotted down, you’ll now need to come up with more specific keywords that fall into these categories. These are subtopics that branch out from a larger volume keyword, which you anticipate will show up on search engine results pages (SERPS) when potential buyers search for what your brand offers. They could be narrowed down based on the name of products or services, features and functionalities of products or services, and so on. You can also try to search your website analytics to find out the keywords people are already using to arrive at your site.

Again, there are existing tools (website analytics tools, in this case) that can gather and sift through the relevant data to provide you with your desired result. Although you are now narrowing your search terms, the aim here is not to get your final list of keywords. Not yet, at least. Be sure to repeat this process for every single topic you’ve decided on before moving on.After you have narrowed down your keywords, start looking for keywords related to these keywords. At this point, you’ll need to think as creatively and out-of-the-box as possible. A quick way to get started is by going to a search engine site and plugging in one of your narrowed keywords and making a note of what appears as suggestions. But, once again, there are tools you can use to bypass doing this on your own. With latent semantic indexing (LSI) tools, you can find related keywords with ease. Ensure you are using a good balance of short and generic keywords and longer phrases, which are classified as head terms and long-tail terms respectively. This ensures you are taking advantage of all your potential audience based on how far they are willing to go to search for what you’re offering. Shorter keywords can yield a lot of results and can be easier to achieve than longer phrases. However, long-tail terms can prove to drive a lot more valuable visitors to your site, especially in the long run.

5. Check your list against your competitor’s

When you’ve selected a balance of long and short keywords, it’s time to do a check on your competitors to see what they’re using and what’s working for them. Try to rank better for top keywords that are related to your niche but never ignore the keywords that they seem to be ignoring. In fact, maximize these keywords. Bear in mind that you don’t need to be doing everything your competitor does. This is not the point of this stage. Your aim is to assess what works and what doesn’t, and what keywords your competitor is being ranked for. Since no two brands are the same, there will be some keywords that won’t perform the same way they do for you as they would for your competitor. So, your aim is to check out the keywords you have gathered against what your competitor is using. This analysis can be done by searching manually or using a competitor reporting tool that can show you the best keywords associated with other brands’ websites.

6. Solidify your list

You may now choose to use a tool that helps you narrow your list even more based on relevant data. These tools can identify the possible outcomes of each keyword according to their search volumes, trending status and so on. This can help you to further shave down your list to include the keywords that are most meaningful for your short and long term gains for your brand

You should now have a list of valuable keywords to use to position your brand before your ideal audience. Be mindful that this is a process that you will need to revisit after a certain amount of time to ensure that as your brand evolves, you’re still targeting the right people and getting the desired traffic to your website.

Now that you’ve got all the information you need, it’s time to get started on conducting your own keyword research for your brand!For a business owner, this can be a long and tedious process, and we totally understand.

Strategic eMarketing offers a full service for Keyword Research and More!