Keyword research can make or break an SEO strategy.
When it comes to writing content for your blog or website, sometimes it can be a struggle finding the right title or words for the job. You want to be getting your content appealing to as many people as possible, which is where keyword research comes in. Finding how your audience searches for information, and how you can target gaps in the market to stay ahead of your competitors is crucial if you want to make your website a success.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding out the language your target audience uses to locate the information that they are looking for. By carrying out keyword research before you write a blog or any page on your website, you can get insight into what terms are most popular and what words are the most competitive in your industry.
Finding the keywords that have the highest search volume and the lowest competition helps you determine the terms you want to be targeting with your website to rank well on Google.
How to do keyword research?
Identify the purpose of your page
The first stage of aceing keyword research for your SEO is working out what your page is about. Without doing this how can you know where to start?
To find the purpose of your page you need to look at what your blog is going to be about. There isn't any point in writing a blog about automotive manufacturing and targeting keywords for “sports cars for sale”, just because they have more volume. These keywords just don't fit the purpose of your page.
How will people search for your page? After you know what your page is going to be about and what it will look like, you want to think about how people will be looking for your page. What words will they be using? Are they informed searchers looking for answers or a general audience who want information?
If your target audience is more informed, then you would want to be using technical language and maybe longer tail keywords that are used for a more specific search. Although these keywords will have a lower search volume, you will be attracting the right audience and providing them with useful information.
Whereas if your blog is aimed at people who are looking for general information using shorter, broader and more accessible keywords will make your blog more useful to these people.
Put together a list of potential keywords
When you’ve decided who your audience is and how they will search, it’s time to start compiling a list of keywords you could use. There shouldn't be any wrong answers for this. Just write down what comes to your mind when you think about different ways your audience will search for your page.
What do people also ask?
A very useful way of expanding your keyword list is to find what people also ask. The easiest way to do this is to paste one of your keywords into Google and find out what else people might ask about this topic.
Here’s what you might see.
Use these extra questions as inspiration for your blog and to get more keywords on your list. Tailoring content to what people want to know is the best way to secure a high number of organic visits for your blog.
Other tools you can use to get inspiration could include answerthepublic.com or alsoasked.com. These websites will give in-depth flowcharts and spider diagrams of what other questions people might ask e.g. how, why, who, when, what and where. They also provide topic links to things people also search for that your blog would be related to.
Find the search volume
After you have a good list of relevant terms you might be able to use as keywords you should find their search volume and determine how much competition you might have if you targeted them. The best tool for this is Google’s keyword planner. This tool will let you paste up to 10 keywords into its search and tells you the average monthly search volume and competition. It will also suggest many more keywords you can filter and choose from.
The best next step is to export this list of keywords into a spreadsheet and select the ones with the most relevance and highest search volume to use for your blog
Make your top picks
Choose a maximum of five good keywords you want to include in your blog.
You might see a keyword that looks relevant to what you're writing about but the user intent of this query may not match with your blog, and it’s very hard to tell just from a first glance.
Once you've picked the keywords you want to use, paste them into Google one at a time and see which results come up. If the results look similar to what you want to write about, that's perfect!
However, if the results look very different to what you are trying to do, you can see that the user intent of that keyword does not match your blog. In this case, it is often best to bin that keyword and find one that does fit the user intent.
You won’t always find search volume for the keywords you want to target and that's okay. After all, maybe what you're writing about is very niche? In cases like this, it's best to put search volume in the backseat and make sure the keywords you're using are very relevant and will draw in people who are looking for that information.
Find useful resources
Once you’ve found your keywords you can get on with writing your blog. But if you want to take it one step further, do some research into other similar resources to see what else is available online.
You can use these other blogs to inspire your own writing, to find an angle on your blog that your competitors have missed and even pick up points that you should include on your own page.
How to do keyword research for a blog: in a nutshell
1) Identify what your page is about.
2) Find out how your audience would search for your page.
3) Put together a list of keyword ideas.
4) Use Google and other online resources to find out what else people might ask.
5) Find the search volume and competition for your keywords.
6) Weigh up the volume and competition to pick out the most relevant keywords for your blog.
7) Go the extra mile and find out what your competition is doing to see success.