While searching for ways to improve your website’s Google ranking, you’ve probably read about SEO, keywords, and so on. If you feel lost, do not worry. In this article, you will find everything you need to know to get started on improving your SEO and developing an effective digital marketing strategy.
Keyword research: what it is
Keyword search helps you identify the most common search terms and see how popular they are to your audience. By researching keywords that receive a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and rank by topic the content that interests you. Then, based on these topics, you can define specific keywords that you can focus on.
How to do Keyword research?
Whether it is about SEO or online advertising, you need to find the ideal search terms for you, in order to create and execute a dynamic keyword strategy. These are 3 simple steps to follow:
Step 1: Create a list of topics related to your business
To begin this process, think about the topics for which you wish your business to appear on Google, and group them by subject. Create about 5-10 topic groups related to your business, and then use these topic groups to find specific keywords.
If you are a blogger, these could be the topics you probably write about the most. Or maybe they are the topics that show up most in the conversations you have with your readers. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – which topics would your audience be looking for, and for what topic would you like your business to appear? If you were a company like Papaki, which, among other things, offers website hosting and domain names, you might want to consider groups of topics such as:
- domain registration
- web hosting
- website hosting
and the like.
Step 2: Do some research
Once you have created a list of topics, it is time for research.
There are several tools to use, but we will focus on the most popular, the Google keyword planner that is part of Google Ads. It’s a free tool developed by Google, that helps you to create your ad campaigns, find the right keywords, and estimate their volume.
As long as you have created a Google Ads account and logged in, click the tool icon in the upper right corner of the gray bar. Next, in the Design section, select Keyword Planner.
Now, there are two choices:
- new keywords
- keyword metrics and predictions
Select “Find new keywords”. Then, enter the topics you collected, one at a time, and a list of relevant keywords and various data appears to you. Pay attention to the following:
- the accurate keyword
- its average monthly volume
- how searches vary over time (especially pay attention to seasonality, if it matters to your business)
- the index for the competition that each keyword has
You need to record all this information and consider it for your marketing strategy.
Step 3: Group the relevant keywords
Grouping of relevant keywords is the last step in the keyword research process. This step requires a lot of attention. Two keywords, such as “Coffee” and “Buy Coffee”, may seem to have the same purpose and you may think that they need to be grouped. However, the search intent for these two keywords is different. For the keyword “Coffee”, the user is looking for information about coffee, while for the keyword “Buy coffee”, the user is looking to buy coffee. Therefore, you should not target both keywords on one page, and you should not group them.
The best way to find out the search intent behind each keyword is by searching in Google for that keyword. The results shown reveal what Google has defined that users search for as content using this keyword. For example, if you google the word “coffee”, you will find a Wikipedia page about coffee, an article on the health benefits of coffee, and maybe a page on the history of coffee. Looking at this, you can notice that users seem to be looking for general information. But if you google “buy coffee”, you will find several e-shops that sell coffee. In this case, you can understand that users want to buy coffee. This example may be simple, but this method works for literally any business and any keyword.
Once you have grouped your keywords based on search intent, your keyword research is complete! You are now ready to use this data either for SEO optimization, or for your paid digital marketing efforts, or both!