How to research keywords that will help your content rank well.
Content creation is one of the most powerful tools in a company’s arsenal. However, if you find yourself creating websites or blog posts that never seem to rank highly in a Google search or other search engine, then you’re likely not taking advantage of their algorithms. Today, we’re going to explain how you can research keywords and keyword phrases that will help you get the attention of potential customers by improving your ability to rank higher in online searches.
Understanding How Keyword Research Works
Keyword research is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization and works just as the name implies – creating a list of keywords that you want your website, blog posts, and related content to rank for across multiple search engines.
The basic idea is to figure out which types of search terms or questions are being typed into a search engine by potential customers and then create content using specific keywords or keyword phrases so that those searches are directed toward your company. When you research keywords properly, you gain ranking position that translates to more exposure and a higher conversion rate.
Importance of Using Proper Keyword Research
The use of proper keyword research will typically determine a hit or miss scenario. Many businesses find themselves in a position where the keywords they’re putting into their content is different from the search terms being used by consumers online.
This basically means potential customers that are looking for the solutions you offer – be it products or services – will have difficulty finding you. The primary goal is to discover research keywords that reflect what an organic search for a product or service looks like and then capitalize on that to bring in customers.
Focus Keywords Vs. Long-Tail Keywords
Learning the difference between what’s known as focus or “head” keywords and long-tail keywords is an essential part of the research process. To give you an example, focus/head keywords would be along the lines of “house cleaning” or “deep cleaning” whereas a long-tail keyword would expand on that to something like “deep house cleaning services in Tampa.” Although long-tail keywords will typically get less search traffic, they will also be up against less competition, which can provide a higher conversion rate.
Three Primary Factors for Choosing Keywords
If you’ve taken the time to research keywords properly, then you’ve probably come up with a very long list. However, attempting to stuff four dozen keywords or keyword phrases into a single blog post will not only make the writing itself seem stiff but could hurt you in the long run because of a search engine’s particular algorithm. What you want to do is take that list of keywords and refine it by using these three main factors:
Reputable search engines such as Google will rank primarily on relevance so that potential customers typing in a search term are properly connected to useful sources. The basic rule of thumb is that if a keyword meets the searcher’s needs, then your content will rank for it. This helps weed out content that is clearly being “keyword stuffed” in an attempt to rank on particular search engines.
Another big part of the keyword research process is authority, which often happens over time rather than right away. Your basic goal here is to become an authoritative source for certain keywords or keyword phrases by promoting content that you’re not just familiar with but clearly have some expertise in the field. If you don’t come across as an authority, then you have a lower chance of ranking on most search engines.
The third and final factor for choosing keywords is also the easiest to understand. Although you do want to use unique keywords and keyword phrases as much as possible, it will do you no good if you’re ranking on the first page for a specific keyword, but no potential customers are searching for it. You want to focus on a the MSV (monthly search volume) to help determine how many times a keyword or keyword phrase is searched each month.
10 Simple Steps to Pick the Right Keywords
Although it may sometimes sound like the ability to research keywords that bring customers to your site is an art form, it’s something that can be learned through trial and error. The most efficient way to take advantage of a Google search or other search engines is by handing the task over to marketing professionals, but it’s also something you can attempt to do yourself. Follow these 10 simple steps and your keyword research capabilities will improve immensely:
Figure Out Company’s Mission
Your company’s mission defines its culture, values, and even agenda to the point where it permeates throughout everything you do. This also goes for keyword research. The main goal of your company will determine the types of keywords that you’ll want to rank highly for based on who you’re trying to reach and how you would like to be defined in the industry.
Always Think About Intent
Where many businesses fail with keyword research is that they don’t consider the intent of people on the internet. Instead of looking at it from the point-of-view of a business owner, you need to consider the intent of a consumer typing search terms into a search engine that could lead them to you. This very often means that you may find yourself concentrating on non-technical terms, which may sometimes go against your instinct as a business insider.
Write Down a List of Keywords
The first true step of figuring out which keywords or keyword phrases will work best is to make a list of them. At this stage, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Instead of just choosing 10 or 12 keywords or phrases, try to come up with at least triple or quadruple that number. Also, be sure that you’re including variations of each primary keyword so that you’ll have plenty of potential hits.
Research the List of Keywords
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty by taking your list of keywords and keyword phrases and conducting research on them. You can start off by simply typing them into a Google search or similar search engine and seeing what pops up. This will give you a good idea of which keywords are most popular, but more importantly, it can help you learn which specific keywords may be used by consumers but not utilized too much by your competition.
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Many businesses will focus on keywords that are limited to only a word or two. They’ll make a long list of these types of keywords and then wonder why they’re not bringing in more traffic. Although singular keywords and short keyword phrases are important, long-tail keywords will give you more focus and are very often the types of search terms that potential customers are using.
Utilize Online Keyword Tools
If you’re just starting out and a little wary about your keyword research skills, there’s nothing to worry about because you can find plenty of assistance. The internet is filled with keyword research tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner that will help you find keywords and analyze how useful they may be for your business. Some of these online keyword tools are free to use whereas others may require a fee for the best results.
Analyze Competition Keywords
As always, there’s no shame in looking toward a competitor for inspiration and/or business strategy. Trust us – your competition has done this with other companies and is likely to do it with yours, too. It may be difficult to rank highly against a big competitor when it comes to focus/head terms, which probably means that you’ll want to focus on long-tail keywords that will help you create a niche and get you a little more attention.
Consider Regional Keywords
If your business primarily targets a specific region whether it’s a state, county, or city, you may be better off with regional keyword research. Online tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Trends can help you out with geo-specific research functionalities. This can get a leg-up against national competitors while also besting local ones by focusing on more refined search terms.
Consider Seasonal Keywords
Seasonal trends typically include traditional seasons such as fall and winter or specific holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Whenever possible, your keyword research should include checking on terms that utilize seasonal elements that may garner more attention during certain times of the year. You can also mix this with regional keywords that focus on a specific area’s local events and traditions.
Determine a Keyword Strategy
Once you’ve done ample research, you need to determine a keyword strategy. In other words, figure out exactly where you’ll be using all these keywords to optimize their performance and effectiveness. Your company’s website is an essential place to put the proper keywords so that the site can rank on search engines, but it’s also important to use keywords in blog posts and any other content creation methods.
Contact P3 Agency for Expertise on Research Keywords
P3 Agency offers SEO optimization and website design in Clearwater that will help take your company’s marketing savvy far past the next level. Our seasoned professionals will use our decades of combined experience to create a uniquely focused business strategy that will not only help you research keywords that bring in more customers but will also touch on multiple marketing initiatives for the future. If you have any questions about our services or would like a free, no-obligation quote, give us a call at (800) 515-9422 today for web design in Clearwater.