A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research
The keyword research process is crucial for any content to be successful online. Whether it is a blog or a service landing page. Utilising the right keywords and variations is the key to success in search engine optimisation.
In this guide, I will discuss how you can conduct keyword research successfully in six simple steps to help you generate more qualified traffic to your website.
1. Begin with researching keywords off the top of your head
When you wish to talk about a topic, do a quick search on Google of keywords that you think will be good to get you started. The chances are you will get lots of suggestions. The same works on YouTube and Amazon on the search bar.
Then once you have a list, dig deeper. We primarily use SEMRush but you can use SEO tools such as UberSuggest or Ahrefs to conduct more in depth keyword research. By doing this, you will gather far more information than you would in a simple Google search. You can also research your competitors’ websites and see what keywords they are using to attract visitors from Google searches.
2. Conduct keyword gap analysis
This allows you to find out what keywords/phrases your competitors are ranking for and where they rank in Google’s search results. This is incredibly useful as you can see similarities between your competitors and what you are missing out on. SEMRush includes an “Untapped” tab which really gives you the FOMO by showing you what everybody else is ranking for and you are not.
3. Assess the search volume
Once you have gathered a list of keywords, it is time to find out how many users are searching for each term. The higher the search volume, the more users there are that are searching the keyword. High search volume isn’t everything. Sometimes it is very difficult to compete. Whereas lower volume, long-tail keywords can be more profitable for you as they can have a higher intent and less competition.
You can use various tools to do this as we mentioned before or you can also use the Google Keyword Planner which is provided by Google Ads.
4. Find out the keyword difficulty
Now that you have the search volume for each of your keywords, it is time to find out the competition for each word and how difficult it will be to rank on Google with them. This is usually measured by scoring the keyword out of 100. The higher the score, the more competitive the keyword is and subsequently, the more difficult it will be for your website to rank with that keyword.
We use SEMRush heavily to help us with this process. They make it incredibly easy to gauge the competition and display accurate search volumes.
5. Find related keywords
SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool allows you to find keyword variations and related keywords. This feature shows all related keywords’ relevancy, search volume, recent trend, keyword difficulty and the total number of results that shows up for the selected phrase on Google.
6. Implement your findings within your content
With the keywords/phrases that you have collected through extensive research, it is now time to write content based on them! There are some important things to take into consideration before incorporating your keyword research into your content marketing strategy:
– Make sure your H1 tag (headline) contains your target keyword
– Don’t overstuff keywords in your content
– Hyperlink any keywords to relevant service and/or blog pages on your website e.g. if you add the word ‘SEO’ in your content and you have a service page for SEO on your website, hyperlink the keyword to that page (this is also known as internal linking)
– Try incorporating long-tail keywords into your content
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