Before you dive into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you’ll need a basis to build that strategy on, which is where keyword research enters.
Thanks to some handy apps and a bit of creativity, keyword research can actually be quite a fun process. Or maybe our inner nerd is busting out again? Regardless, if you have a keen understanding of your business and who its customers are, you’ll be off to a flying start.
In a bid to avoid a complete information overload, we’ve split this mammoth topic into two phases. In today’s blog we’ll dive into the first step – how to find the keywords relevant to your business.
We’ll then womp you with the nitty-gritty of analysis in our second phase. We’ll unpack the metrics of keywords to determine the most beneficially keywords to target in your SEO strategy.
What Is Keyword Research
Saying you want your website to be more visible on Google is like saying you want to compete at the Olympics without even choosing a sport to participate in. It’s a little too ambiguous to get us anywhere.
Keyword research allows you to pinpoint where on Google it will be most beneficial for your company to appear. It’s the process of finding and analysing the common search terms that your target audience are punching into Google. The goal is to then filter these terms into an overarching SEO strategy that will aim to thrust your company into the top of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
Why Would I Need to Do Keyword Research?
Google’s algorithm is renowned for its constant evolution. But one element that has remained at its core is the use of keywords to inform relevance.
Keyword research allows you to:
- understand your business from the customer perspective
- see where you currently rank on SERPs
- see what keywords your competitors are ranking for
- uncover which keywords will convert to the most searches and clicks
- create a basis to inform a content strategy and digital marketing strategy
Keyword research bridges the gap between what you think your customers are searching for, and what they’re customers are actually searching for.
How To Do Keyword Research: Finding Keywords
Let’s get cracking by firing off some relevant words which we will form our ‘seed word’ list. Don’t worry about making these super complex or unique. Just jot down the main words your customer might punch into Google to find your product or service.
Let’s say you own a lawnmowing business – your seed list might begin like this:
- lawn mowing
- grass cutting
If you’re coming up short on inspiration, you’ll find Google is a trove of keyword ideas. You can begin by tracking down the keywords your competitors are ranking for. Keyword research tools can help with this, and we’ll get to that later.
Google’s autosuggest is also a blessing to digital marketers. It’s those handy phrases that pop up as you begin typing in the search bar. These phrases are informed by common search terms, and are therefrom a brilliant gateway to capturing the right audience.
Beef It Out With Search Phrases
Now that you’ve got a pretty hefty list of words, it can be helpful to pull them into search phrases. This is as simple as thinking how your customer might phrase a keyword in a Google search.
Let’s run with the lawn mowing example from earlier. ‘Lawn mowing’ could be anything from ‘do I need a lawn mower’ to ‘how to find a good lawn mowing service’.
It’s worth keeping in mind what step of the purchase decision process you want to target. For example, someone googling ‘how to make coffee’ probably isn’t looking to buy a coffee machine just yet. But someone googling ‘where to buy Nespresso 3000 machine’ is practically fanning themselves with the cash.
Keyword Research Tools Are Your Best Friend
The best thing about digital marketing today is the arsenal of user friendly tools at our disposal. Keyword research tools are one of the most helpful programs to add to your arsenal.
Once we’ve got our list of keywords, we’ll jam them into a keyword planner or analyser. These tools filter huge amounts of Google’s data into a digestible, a more importantly – useful – format to inform your strategy.
This includes everything from how many times a keyword is searched, to how many clicks each word generates.
We’ll drop some of our favourite keyword planner tools below. Be mindful that these programs vary greatly in cost and capacity, so we suggest finding one that works for your budget and SEO needs.
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
- Keyword Surfer
- Keyword Generator
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Now that we have these lifechanging apps in our hands, what do we do with them?
Our follow up article will explain how we convert these slabs of data into a useable formula for your business goals. Dive in here – A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research: Analsying Keywords.
Can’t wait that long? Lucky for you our team of SEO-loving, keyword-fanactical experts are on standby to kickstart your keyword research journey. Just give us a call!