We all know you can’t just write random content and expect great traffic and outcomes for your website. When it comes to SEO, it is even more necessary to follow some strategies to make your page shine bright in the search engine results page (SERP).
An important part of those strategies is keyword research. Adding keywords are the most organic way to be ranked by Google or any other search engine and show up higher in the SERP. There are various steps to find the right keywords, customized only for you.
Before going into the deets of the article, let’s clear out some basic clarifications to be made.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO), where you research for a relevant list of phrases or terms people type into search engines and insert them deliberately in your content, so that your content ranks higher in the SERP.
Why is keyword research important?
Researching and using the right keywords has a huge impact and basically controls the probability of search engines displaying your content in the SERP when potential customers search for what your brand offers. Keyword research for online stores is very potent to make sales.
This basically lets the search engine know what your business is about and drives great traffic and new leads to your page. This won’t necessarily happen immediately, but can take months or even years after the page is published.
Picking the perfect keywords might be tricky but is worth all the effort as 0.16% of the most popular keywords are responsible for 60.67% of all searches! So never underestimate the power of (right) keywords.
How to do keyword research:
1. Know your purpose and market
Begin with knowing your field of interest and your goal for the work. Have definite answers for questions like ‘Goal of the business’, Target audience’, ‘Your speciality’, etc. These answers can help you get an idea of what and how you are going to proceed with developing your keyword strategy.
Analysing your working area helps you have an idea of how competitive your area is. The more competitive it gets, the difficult it is to organically perform in SEO.
Always start small. Starting small is a great way to attract an organic group of leads. Once you’ve established your name, you can gradually increase your range.
2. Gather a set of keywords
After exploring your brand’s motives, start creating a list of keywords.
For this, come up with root words. These are the basic words your keyword term is made of.
For example, if your brand sells cakes, these might be the root words:
- Best cakes
- Chocolate truffle
- Blackforest cake
Once you’ve come up with them, try to put yourself in the place of your target audience and type up searches and questions using those words which will lead the customers to the content of your page. The list you’ve come up with might be something like this:
- Cakes to order
- Cakes to order online
After getting the list, research them. Here you might need some help from external sources.
Easiest is Google. Typing the root words and phrases, look into the suggestions below the search bar. These are the most recurring questions people ask. You can also refer to the ‘related searches’ and add on to it.
3. Use Long-tail keywords
When the keyword consists of 3 or more words, it is a long-tail keyword. When you’re starting small, the popular and main terms are mostly dominated by big companies. 69.7% of search queries contain more than four words. So to attract traffic, using relevant long-tail keywords is the key.
These have comparatively less search traffic, but less competition too. Long-tail keywords are more specific, so they have a much greater conversion value.
So the long-tail version for selling cakes might look like:
- Cakes to order for birthday
- Cakes to order near me
- Cakes to order online near me
- Cakes to order online for delivery
- Best cake to order for birthday
- Best cake to order near me
- Best chocolate cake to order online
- Best fruitcake to order online
These can make users focus on exactly what they want and lead them to exactly what your business offers. To further down into only your site, have a detailed long-tail keyword.
Choosing to have the main terms or long-tail keywords totally depends on the competition in your field. If your niche is a popular area, you might want to go with a longer-tail keyword.
If it is not a highly competitive, but less known and unusual niche, you can go for the main terms itself. To find this, you need to do some benchmarking. Start googling the main term. If the search engine result page is flooded with professional and popular websites which are too big for you to compete with, you might want to tone down your keywords a little.
If you have popular brands in your SERP and don’t really think you are ready to compete with brands like ferns n petals and flower aura, it is better to go for long-tail keywords.
4. Find the search intent
When a user is googling something, it means they want an answer. So make sure your answer matches up with the questions they have. The problem a user is intended to find a solution to, easily carries the right keyword. So understand the intent of your customer, to ace up the keyword strategy.
5. Figure out a keyword strategy
After all these steps, you would now have a huge list with many long-tail keywords. Now you can strategize the usage of the suitable keywords according to your marketing budget.
Decide the type of content. Have answers for ‘search intent for my key phrase’, ‘what is the solution I’m providing for their problem?’ Analysing these can help you decide the content with suitable keywords.
6. Make them stay
Once your keyword strategy starts working, you have to be prepared to make the people who clicked your website stay and make the purchase. Optimising the landing page is very necessary to get the most traffic after your keywords have done its job.
The first 5 organic results in the SERP account for about 67.6% of all clicks! A lot of things change, including information and quality of service. So update everything regularly, including your keyword strategy and quality of content.
After time passes, your page might be in a much reputed place compared to where you started. Now, it is time to update and refresh your keyword strategy.
Tips for keyword research:
Here are some quick tips to remember while researching for the right keywords;
- Include negative words
- Make sure your keywords are localised
- Crossverify with your competitors
- Use Google as the tool
- Know the importance of questions
- Try using an SEO toolbar
Keyword research is the most important and basically the first step in any SEO strategy. So after doing all the research and optimising the website, go ahead and put them into play.
Check regularly and make note of the difference in traffic. It might be hard to get noticed in the beginning, but it will be good through the way.