How to do keyword research?
There are many ways to do it, either manually or using a keyword research tool like Keyword Tool. But whichever way you choose, there are a number of important steps that you need to take.
Step-by-step guide to performing a proper and thorough keyword research:
Step 1: Study your niche
Before you figure out what are the best keywords to optimize your page, it’s best that you start by diving deep to learn more about your topic or niche. It can give you out-of-the-box ideas and help discover angles to your marketing and SEO strategy that you might not have thought about before.
Talk with your existing customers and get to know them better. Find out the terms that they use when describing your brand, company, product or service.
Step 2: Define your goals
A plan needs to always begin by defining the end goal. But before that, you should ask important and introspective questions like:
- Who are you?
- What is your brand about?
- What makes you special?
- What is your website about?
- What promises do you make on your website?
- Once you have effectively answered these questions, then you need to specify what is your brand’s mission. Do you want to increase the number of subscribers? Or do you have a sales target by a certain date?
It’s important to define your goal because it will provide a direction for your SEO strategy and plan. The search terms that you will eventually use should be aligned to your goals.
Step 3: Make a list of relevant topics
Based on your the main category of your brand and the goals you aim to achieve, break it down to smaller topic buckets. Make a list of all the topics related to your brand that you want to rank on Google.
Step 4: Create a list of seed keywords
Now that you’ve broken down your main category to different buckets of sub-topics, you can start creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords need to be related to your various topics, and more importantly, are terms that your target audience might be searching on Google.
Seed keywords, or focus keywords, are important as they will become the foundation of your keyword research. They define your niche and identify your competitors.
Step 5: Use good keyword research tools
It avoids you from getting too bogged down with keywords and helps you gain a wider perspective for your content and SEO strategy.
Once you have identified your goals, topics, and a list of seed keywords, it’s time to use keyword research tools to further refine your search terms.
You can use a tool like Keyword Tool. It will give you a lot more details and help you narrow down on the right direction for your search terms.
Step 6: Study the search intent
Today, Google’s machine learning search algorithms compare search terms with user queries to learn about search intent.
Search intent is defined as the intent or reason behind why people search for a specific term.
Once you have a good idea of the search intent behind potential readers or customers, you will be able to use it to fine-tune your keyword research.
Step 7: Identify long-tail keywords
Seed keywords are often shorter search terms that are closely related to your brand’s main topic or category. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are more descriptive and often related to your brand’s smaller buckets of sub-topics. Matching your target audience’s search intent to long tail keywords is far easier compared to seed keywords.
Step 8: Find out about your competitors
Doing keyword research on Google about your brand alone is not nearly enough. You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. The better you understand the content landscape of your industry, the better it will be for your SEO.
Understanding the competitiveness of different keywords will also allow you to identify search terms that might be too difficult to rank.
Doing keyword research can be a tedious and time-consuming task. But more often than not, it pays off handsomely in the long run.