Getting started with keyword research

Getting started with keyword research

Understanding what words people are using to find you online is an important piece not just for your SEO efforts, but also as a guide for the content you create. We’re going to take a look at the basic things you need to know about Keyword Research.

Why Keyword Research

The WHY is fairly simple. You need to know what terms people are using to find you, and of those terms, which ones are being used the most. Another important reason is knowing what other terms are out there that are in the ballpark of where you should be that you’re not being ranked for.

If you are getting traffic from certain terms, great! Optimize the relevant pages on your site for better ranking and more traffic. For the terms you’re not ranking for and not getting traffic from – these are the ones that can fit perfectly into your annual marketing calendar for the web content aspect.

Know your customer

“Everyone” is not your customer. Knowing your customers plays a big part in finding the right keywords. Hopefully, you’ve got this under your belt and can get right to business.

For those that don’t have your target market nailed, here are a few resources to walk you through the process. It’s an exercise you’ll want to complete before you do a serious dive into your keywords.

Finding good keywords

To see what people are currently searching for when they find you, you’ve got a great tool with Google Analytics and Search Console. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up yet, here’s a three-part article series we wrote to help you get rolling: Part 1 – The What and How of Google Analytics, Part 2 – Connecting the Google Search Console, and Part 3 – Making Google Analytics a Useful Tool.

To discover new keywords, you should start with a brainstorm of the keywords you do have. Expand your list of keywords using a keyword research tool. Wordstream has a keyword tool where they will email you a CSV file of several hundred variations to the keyword you enter. They’ve got a nag to sign up for their free trial, but we were able to do several searches and have multiple results emailed to us.

As you review the keyword results, you want to look for relevant keywords that have a decent amount of searches but medium or lower competition. Ranking on the highly competitive words can be done… but it takes time and a pro to make it happen.

If you’re hitting a wall on keywords, here’s a great keyword generator tool from HigherVisibilty.com that gives you results based on your type of business.

Google Trends is a good tool to show you how much traffic a keyword/keyphrase gets over time. AHrefs has a great article on how to use the tool, so we’re not going to recreate the how-to.

The keyword research process can be “wash, rinse and repeat” as you work through and hone your results. Take the time to work the process as it will create a solid foundation for your next steps.

Organizing & using your keywords

Ideally, you’ll have a solid range of different keywords that you can now categorize into buckets, ie. topic groups. For example, if you’re an insurance company, you should have a set of keywords for each of the types of insurance you offer.

These topic groups will provide the umbrella for the content you’ll be looking at closely on your site and the new content you’ll be creating.

In part two, we’ll take what you’ve discovered and turn it into a working plan.

 


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