One of the most basic strategies in SEO for boosting site rank on search engines is proper keyword research. Since the start of SEO to till today, the importance of keyword research has not changed, the only thing that has changed is its difficulty. Yes, keyword research was quite easier in the past years due to the low competition and less number of search engine users. But today, over 5.6 searches are made by users only on search engine giant Google, not to mention other popular search engines. Hence the number of keywords people use to search their query is also increasing tremendously. Hence the SEO tools and SEO blogs are making huge money these days.
Performing keyword research and finding profitable keywords is not a tough task, but it is a time taking process which is worthy as well. So this article helps you in learning what is keyword research, what is SEO keyword research, how to find powerful keywords that raise the graph of your site traffic and other tips. So are you ready to get started?
Most people misunderstand keyword research as showering the main keywords in the content of their page. And they wait for Google to crawl it expecting a growth in their ranking. But do you think this still works? A loud NO from our side. In fact, Google penalizes for stuffing keywords. Google has grown smarter, in fact, the smartest, so it can understand the worth of your website and your strategies to rank you. So, as people say now is never late, you still have time to rectify your blunders and start doing proper SEO keyword research to gain a sound and stable rank on any search engine. Myvu makes it so clear to help you understand right from the basics of the SEO keyword research topic. Here we go…
What is keyword research? Why is it important?
The process of finding popular search terms (nothing but keywords) people use on different search engines to get the results they want. The end result of the process helps SEO persons (managers or specialists) or site owners to boost their search engine result page rankings using those keywords.
Is keyword research still useful for moving the website rank to top?
Yes, not only now, until the search engines exist, keyword research has its own benefits to rank a website, though you properly follow all other SEO strategies such as link building, PPC etc. keyword research is the basic step to start SEO for your website.
Why is keyword research important?
What is the point if you have amazing content in your blog or incredible products & services in your website if people are not able to discover your site. You need to be visible for the keywords that your site sells. For instance, you cannot rank for “pet supplies” if you are selling kids’ toys in your store, right?
So, by doing proper keyword research you will get to know what are your main keywords and related keywords. Therefore you can rank higher and be visible for a wider range of people.
So, are you convinced that keyword research plays a dominant role in the part of SEO? Then stick till the end to explore more about SEO keyword research and earn some expertise.
What is keyword research in-depth?
Keyword research isn’t just your finding your main keywords, it is beyond that. For instance, if your blog is about reviewing technology-related products such as iPhone, gaming laptops or antivirus software, then simply “technology blog” or “technical blog keywords” are not enough to take your posts to a wider audience. You need to understand what your content talks about, and what is the end goal of your post etc.
To put it more simple, you need all your web pages to rank among search engines’ top results, not just your website home page. For this, you need to optimize all your web pages that bring benefits to your business to be ranked top on search results. So, you must have sound knowledge about what is keyword research more deeply to boost your website ranking and win your competitors.
Here are 4 steps to consider while doing keyword research
1. Find your goal
First, start with your main keywords. Write down what is your business, what your business does, how does it do and what does the audience gain from your business. These act as your primary keywords, make at least a list of 50-60 keywords to start using them. Do not overrate that only shorter keywords work. If your site offers a list of web hosts, then not just “web hosts list” is your keywords. Keywords like “top web hosting providers”, “10 best web hosts for beginners” etc. are also your keywords, which are also known as long-tail keywords. You will learn more about this later in this article.
2. Pick the right keywords
The most common mistake people do is choosing the broad keywords which means keywords cover the wider meaning and have high competition. Say, you have Bluehost coupons on your site and want people to use them through your site. So, what is the main keyword here, either “Bluehost coupon” or simply “Bluehost”? If you pick the latter one, we are sure you are not going to be anywhere in the first 50 pages for the main keyword.
3. Know users’ search intent
Search intent AKA User intent is the intention (simply desire) of a user while he/she is searching for something on any search engine. For instance, if a user is typing “how to make money online” on search engines’ search box, his intention is to get guides (articles, sites, blogs) that help him earn money online.
A user searches for “movies about AI”, here user intent is to either watch movies related to AI or check the list of movies related to AI so that he can watch later or recommend someone etc.
Hence Google displays the list of movies about AI as the top results followed by pages optimized for those specific keywords. Though your blog is completely related to AI technology, it will not be able to rank first as user intention is matched.
Note: Notice any of the blogs optimized for the keyword (searched by the user) are not shown as the first result.
Hope you have understood how important it is to know the search intent or user intent. As Google gives top priority to users, hence you should.
Now, let’s study more about types of search intent to avoid wrong keywords in your site.
Types of Search Intent
The keywords used (by people) to find information about a topic, brand, product, or issue are known as informational keywords. Here the user’s intent is to learn something about his search word.
Help yourself with the examples below :
Tips to earn money online
How to improve website traffic
How to start a WordPress site
Users use navigational keywords for their search with an end-result in their minds. Simply put, they need the process or way to meet their destination.
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Gmail Sign in
Any keywords that express a user’s interest in making a purchase of product, service etc. in the future.
Best SEO tools
Latest gaming PCs
Keywords that represent an intention to buy any product or service right away are called Transactional keywords AKA buyer keywords. These are your target keywords to convert more.
Bluehost coupon code
SEMrush Black Friday discount
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According to research, informational keywords have high volume followed by Navigational, then Commercial and Transactional keywords. As informational keywords provide awareness and help people learn about their interests.
So, it is essential to know the search intent first to perform the keyword research and use the keywords wisely to improve your website ranking.
4. Observe Keyword Metrics
Keyword metrics consist of 4 key factors that help you in finding your profitable keywords.
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Keyword trend
- CPC (Cost per Cost)
Let’s discuss in-depth about them.
Nothing but the search volume of a particular keyword. The keyword search volume is a metric that helps you discover the traffic a keyword gets in a month in a given country. So, higher is the volume you are likely to rank on top followed by more visitors.
But if you lose the rank if you choose the high search volume keyword if the keyword difficulty is high. As there is huge competition already, it takes years for you to take the top ranks.
So, do not just blindly go for high search volume words. You can pick the keywords that have good search volume with medium or low competition. And you will see your position rising gradually.
Point to Remember: It is not recommended to pick high search volume keywords with high competition.
Keyword Difficulty (KD)
This doesn’t need much explanation as the name says it all. Keyword difficulty is represented as a scale from 0 to 100 where 0 is no KD and 100 is high KD. The high KD words will help you in no way, so prefer low – medium KD words are easier to rank better. Almost every SEO tool provides KD keyword metrics. You can go head with Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Uber Suggest etc.
Keyword Trend or Google Trend
There is no point in targeting the keywords that are no more popular. As a website owner, you need to stay updated with the trend in all aspects. The key aspect here is the keyword trend. Not all topics stay popular at all times. For example, a few months back “SEO agencies ” keyword was in high demand. Whereas now, SEO tools are trending. So, choose the keywords that are growing from months and grow your website traffic with them. There are a handful of free and paid SEO tools that help you find this most interesting metric such as SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner etc.
Cost Per Click
Cost Per Click also known as keyword value is a key metric the helps you find out the actual worth of a keyword. CPC is nothing but an average cost the advertisers pay for each click on their ad. So the more is the bid (CPC) for a keyword, the more worthy it is. Hence higher profits.
This is the reason why you need to consider CPC of different relevant keywords and identify the valuable keywords, though running Ad campaigns is not your interest.
Having that said, there are great SEO tools to find CPC value. Head into them and start discovering.
Keyword Length (Short-tail & Long-tail keywords)
It may sound strange, but the keyword length really matters. Wondering how? There are two types of keywords which are Short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. As said not all keywords have the same value, that works for these short-tail and long-tail keywords.
What are Short-tail keywords?
The keywords that contain less than or equal to 3 words and are also known as Head terms. These cover a wider range of content, and audience which is why short-tail keywords are difficult to rank higher.
A few examples are:
- Latest iPhone deals
- Web host offers
- Keyword Position tracker
- The list goes on.
These are also your main keywords or seed keywords but with high competition. So, add modifiers to make them long-tail keywords to benefit out of those keywords. Because the above examples have a high volume with huge competition.
However, you can use short-tail keywords that have medium or low search volume and rank higher.
What are the Long-tail keywords?
Keywords with more than 3 words or phrases are called Long-tail keywords. These provide even granular details to search engines.Also Google loves long-tail keywords as its users get more accurate information.
- Tips to make money on the internet
- How to work from home productively
- Best keyword position checker tools
- Social media guides for beginners
Though these long-tail keywords are targeted more the competition is not definitely as high as for short-tail keywords. The best part is you can replace the modifiers in long-tail keywords with its synonyms to avoid competition and rank higher.
According to research, Long-tail keywords drive over 70% of traffic to search engines. Isn’t it interesting?
|Type of keyword||Term||Search Volume||Competition||Buyer Intent||Profitability|
|Short-tail keyword||Shoes||High||High||May or may not purchase||Low|
|Long-tail keyword||Nike Shoes for men||Low||Medium||To make purchase||Extremely High|
So, these are your target keywords to bring in more potential traffic to your website.
How to do keyword research?
Here comes the important part of this article. A complete and easy guide for your question of how to do keyword research for SEO. So shall we get started?
As now you know the importance of proper keyword research and things to consider before you actually start finding the powerful keywords. Here we discuss 5 important SEO keyword research tips to boost your SERP and attract colossal traffic to your site.
Find your Main keywords
So your goal is to discover main keywords which are also known as Seed keywords and Foundation keywords. These Main or Foundation keywords are nothing but the keywords whose meaning (or intention) does not change or modify by adding modifiers.
Plain and straight keywords with no modifiers are Seed keywords and with modifiers are called Long-tail keywords.
Example: “Guest Posting Sites” is the main keyword and also a short-tail keyword with huge competition.
If the modifiers like paid, free, guidelines, etc. are added to seed keywords, then they become long-tail keywords. But you need a strong list of Foundation keywords that are relevant to your business. And you need to have nearly 100 keywords in your hand priorly to use them at any time. So, how do you find them? Here are 4 simple steps.
- Do some guesswork! If your business is digital marketing, then the business name itself is the keyword along with “digital marketing agency” and so on. Guess what your audience might search to find you such as “top digital marketing agencies”, “best digital marketing agency in California” or “digital marketing agencies near me” etc.
- Test your guesswork! Type the keywords you jotted down from the Google search bar and you get a lot of recommended and related results, pick the most relevant ones and you are done. Thus, Google keyword research helps you find the most relevant and worthy keywords.
- Dive some deeper with Google keyword research. Type your guesses and jot down the suggested keyword ideas. You can also consider LSI keywords appearing at the bottom of the Google search result page.
- Lastly, spy your competitors. Find out for which keywords they are performing better, if you feel them worthy, simply go ahead and use them. Also, never forget to analyze your own website, identify which keywords are bringing you targeted traffic. Those are your seed keywords.
This process may consume some time, but still, it is worth it. As these are your seed keywords, they do not change with time, trend or competition. They are useful until your website exists. However, you need to check them once in six months to ensure you are on the same track with the market.
Start with basic steps
Now you have a huge list of main keywords for your website. It’s time to go ahead and find keywords to optimize your blog or your website home page. But here we need an SEO tool to find out the most related keywords with accurate volume. Let us consider SEMrush for this. It provides a Keyword Magic Tool that is incredible.
Okay, now let’s begin with the basic keyword research. Pick one keyword for which you want to rank from your list. Type it in the search bar of SEMrush Keyword Magic tool as shown below.
You will find thousands of keyword ideas that include both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Pick a keyword that has high volume low keyword difficulty.
Study why others are ranking
This is one of the crucial parts in boosting your keyword rankings on search engines. Search your preferred keyword on Google Search and notice the top 5 results. Copy their URLs to further proceed to this important step. We need to use SEMrush SEO tool again to those 5 competitors of yours. Paste the URL of the first result and you get great insights into their keywords, traffic, positions etc.
Note down all important info you need and concentrate on analyzing their keywords. So that you will get an idea of which keywords to use and which do not. Or else, you can view all their keywords and positions, you could also find keyword position differences (you will learn this later in this article) and search volume.
Repeat the same process for the other 4 top results (you can keep it to 2 competitors if you have found too much data already).
Pick the related keywords
To avoid keyword stuffing and Google penalties. Using related keywords is the best practice. But you need to find exceptionally related ones to rank for the target keywords. So, here is a simple way.
SEMrush helps you far better with the highly related and relevant keywords which you can use in place of your actual keyword.
You can also find related keywords through Google autosuggest but you can’t expect exactly similar keywords that too that match with current trends. So, it is always recommended to use worthy tools when you have an option.
Similar to the first step, enter a keyword in the Keyword Magic tool.
Use filter options, tap on “Related” and you will get a massive list of related keywords for your head keyword. Select a few of them based on the Related Rate.
You can replace your seed keyword with these highly related keywords which are also known as Latent Semantic Keywords (LSI) to optimize your pages. You can expect a rise in your ranks confidently with this strategy.
5. Users’ search intent is key
As we have already discussed the importance of Search intent, you need to apply it for every keyword you use to make your site rank among top 3 results.
So, the simple way to do it is: you have a huge list that includes Main keywords, long-tail keywords, and related keywords and highly relevant keywords. And have already the users’ intent. Now, take a look at them and remove the keywords that do match with the users’ intent.
And now, you will have only the profitable keywords, as you have removed the odd ones out.
If you have optimized your web page but failed to boost your rank, try the above strategy and wait for the result. Also, recheck your web page (complete content) for “search intent” after you inserted all your keywords.
DA: To find easy-to-rank Keywords
There are two strategies to see your website rank among top 3 or 5 results (or even as the first result).
- Optimizing your site for your target keywords (however, other factors such as content quality, link building etc. are also needed to meet the criteria).
- Finding easy-to-rank keywords and optimizing your content according to them. (Though these are not helpful every time, you can try them when you have an option.)
So, how can you find easy-to-rank keywords or topics? Here comes Domain Authority into the picture. Find out your competitors for a given topic and pick the ones who have a lower DA than yours. Peep into their keywords report on SEMRush or any other SEO tool and jot down the broad keywords with better volume. These are your easy-to-rank keywords.
As SERP has nothing to do with DA and only high-quality content with a few powerful backlinks (to the particular page) are considered. Both domains with high and low DA can rank on top positions. As the websites with lesser DA than yours is ranking on top, then you might also rank higher, right?
You can get the MozBar extension and view the DA of your competitors as shown below.
This is an optional but useful step, as this helps you only when you are stuck finding easier to rank keywords.
SEO tools are the helping hands
The other best option to find powerful keywords with zero efforts is relying on SEO tools. Yes, there are plenty of SEO tools available on the internet today with amazing benefits. Of those plenty of tools available, choosing one best tool might be tricky. So here are our 4 best recommendations.
Out of those 5 five only UberSuggest, Moz and KWFinder are free tools so you can happily use them when you are on a low budget. The paid tools like SEMRush and AHrefs are must-have tools for your website if you are too serious about boosting your ranks, and also when you have an option to afford. And the best part is you can access free trials for both the tools and purchase the plan only if you are satisfied.
So, now let’s see how to use those SEO tools to perform keyword research.
SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools for keyword research and competitor analysis, not to mention other jobs it can do. It offers a great tool called Keyword Magic tool with amazing advanced filters to perform each process involved in keyword research.
Wanna know more about this outstanding SEO tool? Check out the complete SEMrush review.
That said, SEMrush Keyword Magic tool comes with diverse filters, let us see what you can do with them.
- SEMrush allows you to find keywords that are broad matches, which means you get numerous keywords.
- You can filter those huge numbers of keywords using filters such as exact match, related keywords, question-based keywords reducing the number of keyword ideas.
- Out of those, question based keywords help you boost your rank as they are long tail keywords as you see in the image and let you target your exact audience.
Keynote: The question based keywords can actually help you achieve featured snippets on Google. You can use these question based keywords in FAQs to let Google to display your content as a featured snippet.
- You filter further by clicking on advanced filters. Enter your requirements, that’s it you get the list of keywords you exactly needed. Jot them down.
- You can pick any keyword you found with high volume, low KD and highly related and make it as the main keyword and repeat the process.
- You will get a handful of worthy keyword ideas which you can use directly.
- Find more keyword ideas based on it and check all metrics for it to have enough of keyword ideas to optimize your page.
- You can run a competitor analysis with SEMrush Organic Research and get deeper keyword insights.
While you are analyzing your competitors, observe the data mentioned below to study where your website stands in the comparison.
- SERP features – to build your strategy
- Keywords – for keyword ideas
- Position changes – run analysis
- Traffic – for SEO
- Monthly search volume
- KD score – to find target keywords
- CPC – to perform keyword research
- URL to each keyword – to find the quality and other factors of the page
SEMrush serves you with enough features needed for your keyword research. Actually, you can explore more than the features and metrics you needed for basic keyword research. But you can at least try their free trial for 7 days to decide if the tool is for you.
If you are not up for investing in SEO tools, then there are few SEO tools as said earlier that offer free services. You can choose Ubersuggest which is an ultimate tool to perform keyword research.
So, let us see how to use Ubersuggest SEO tool for doing keyword research.
Ubersuggest is an awesome tool to discover keyword ideas that help you boost your keyword ranking. As you can see, it generates a great number of keywords though the number is less than the ideas provided by premium tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
If you see the below image, you can find some filters like suggestions, Related, Questions, Prepositions and Comparisons. You can select a particular filter and get some useful ideas while shortening the list.
You can also access the keyword overview which shows your competitors along with their URLs on the same tab.
Well, you can follow the same process as explained for SEMrush to get a list of keyword ideas that are useful for optimizing your blog. However, you cannot run competitor analysis here. But you’ll get a fruitful keyword list.
Another awesome tool that helps you with a profitable keywords list that improves your website rank and shifts your target keyword keywords positions to top.
This is a premium tool with pricing almost equal to SEMrush. But the only difference is that you need to pay $7 to access the free trial whereas SEMrush offers a completely free trial.
Now lets’ see how Ahrefs helps you in performing keyword research for SEO.
Ahrefs has a larger keyword database which is why you can find a big list of keyword ideas when you enter a keyword in Ahrefs Keywords Explorer. Ahrefs has got Keywords Explorer that can help you find tons of keyword ideas with multiple diverse metrics.
You can perform keyword research with Ahrefs Keywords Explorer in the same way you do through any of the SEO tools such as SEMrush. Here you can access to view KD, search volume, clicks, CPC, and keyword ideas.
You can find profitable keywords by applying filters such as phrase match, questions, having same terms, search suggestions etc. with Ahrefs. Thus you can just rely on premium SEO tools for kinds of keywords that are useful. Hence you can skip Google keyword research and save some time.
Thus SEO tools both paid and free offer helping hands for SEO people and website owners in optimizing websites with powerful keywords. These tools also help in link building strategies, competitor analysis, CPC strategies, marketing etc. apart from keyword research. So, you better have a tool on your side to keep your keyword positions notable and constantly improving.
Found my keywords, What’s Next?
So with some awesome SEO tools, hope you have prepared your keywords checklist with data such as Keywords, Search volume, KD, Competition and CPC. Now, its time to use them properly in your content. As keywords alone can’t help you boost your rankings tremendously, make sure you have high-quality content in your website or blog. Avoid stuffing keywords. Instead, place them naturally keeping users in your mind not search engines. And focus on building strong backlinks to your site to increase your DA which is also a ranking factor.
Point to remember: If you really want to rank top for a keyword that has high KD (Keyword Difficulty), never take a step back. It may take few years for you to rank for a broad keyword with high difficulty, but if you meet all the criteria Google definitely considers your page and shows you in top results in less time.