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Are you looking for sustainable growth and visibility for your business? You should try to increase organic traffic to your website then. Targeting SEO is the way to do this and keyword research is its foundation.
Google’s algorithm for ranking can change over time, but keyword research cannot be substituted. In this blog, we help you understand what keyword research is and tips for doing the same.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of analyzing the search terms and phrases used by people while searching for data online, through search engines. With this research, high-ranking keywords can be found for SEO purposes.
The keywords are picked from the website where they are used, and based on this, the search volume of keywords is analyzed.
Why is keyword research important for SEO?
There is a huge volume of people searching for data online, and there are also competing websites offering them information. If you want to appear first on their search list, your website should be optimized for SEO. This can be achieved only with proper keyword research.
When people are looking for information, they type in the keywords to find websites related to their search. You increase your chances of appearing in their search list with proper keyword research.
For example, if your website contains information about project management tools, you should find out the best ranking keywords so that audiences can land on your site while searching. Keywords may be 'best project management tool', 'project management tool online', etc. Your research will help you identify which of the keywords ranks better.
Techniques for keyword research
To uncover the keywords you should be targeting, you need some essential tips:
1. Create a list of relevant topics relevant to your niche
You should start by listing topics that you wish to rank. These topics are relevant to your business and are most frequently blogged about. Suppose you arrive at 5-10 such topics, you should focus on the keywords related to these topics.
While scrutinizing topics, it is important that you consider them from your buyer’s perspective. You are offering information to your target audience, and so the topics should be of value to them.
Your search for topics and keywords will help you identify the search volume of these keywords. This ultimately defines the topics of utmost interest to your audience.
2. Identify keywords relevant to topics researched
To make your page appear in the SERP, you have to identify keywords that are related to the topics you have chosen. You have long- tail and short-tail keywords, where long tail keywords are the least searched for.
Your target audience may search for a specific keyword phrase related to your industry, and you should capitalize on these phrases by including them in your content. Your website must rank organically, and therefore, the keywords you choose should be planned accordingly.
You also have tools like Google Analytics that help you in this process. All the keywords you list will not bring about the necessary outcome. Prioritize them based on your analysis of the best phrases your customer may look out for.
3. Analyze user intent and how it affects keyword research
What is your audience interested in? This is the critical aspect that we are trying to understand here. You can select so many phrases related to your niche, but is this what your audience is interested in?
The intent or the purpose for which your audience is looking for a website may be different from yours. This can affect your keyword research, and you will land up with keywords that are irrelevant to the audience. This can ultimately affect your SEO ranking.
To analyze the intent, you can type the keywords in the search and find out the type of results obtained. For example, “YouTube ranking” is a keyword, but your audience may be looking for ranking tips or tools, or factors that facilitate ranking, etc. Thus, the user’s intent will affect your research.
4. Check the monthly search volume of the keyword chosen
Monthly search volume is a crucial metric for discovering the best keywords that you can use. It shows how competitive the keyword is. This indicates the number of times a keyword is searched during a month.
Good levels of organic traffic can be achieved with 100-1000 searches in a month. But this factor alone does not indicate the conversion of leads. Good search volume can differ based on various aspects like competition, type of industry, etc.
Google Keyword Planner and Wordstream are some tools that help you know the monthly search volume effortlessly.
5. Analyze head terms and long-tail keywords for the topics chosen
For a particular topic that you selected, there can be head terms and long-tail keywords. Head terms are broad phrases and have a high search volume, whereas long-tail keywords have a low search volume. Head terms are highly competitive and help you rank organically.
But long-tail keywords have lesser competition and can result in more conversions. This is most helpful when you are newly launching a website. You can have an edge over others and have more qualified leads.
6. Research the related search terms
You must have observed that toward the end of your search results, there appears a section named ‘related searches’. These are search terms your audiences might be looking for. These are the suggestions available to you to include in your keyword research.
It will help you arrive at comprehensive keyword phrases that could drive the attention of the viewers. There would be more related search terms each time you search for the ‘related searches’.
7. Check how your competitors are ranking
You will get a wealth of information by analyzing your competitor’s keywords. Your competitors might have already ranked highly for these keywords. It indicates the keywords you should target.
Also, identify those keywords you had missed, but your competitors have leveraged. Keeping pace with competition is one of the essential things in business that you shouldn’t miss out on.
8. Take the help of keyword research tools
When you feel a dearth of ideas for keyword research, you have keyword research tools that can be of great help. Without a tool, your options would be limited. A keyword research tool explores the competitors’ sites and fetches you the most popular keywords that can help your site rank for SEO.
Some of the popular keyword research tools are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Long Tail Pro
Example of doing keyword research for a website
Here are some keyword research ideas with a step-by-step process for a website on "customer loyalty & rewards".
1. Generate seed keywords
Begin by brainstorming seed keywords related to "customer rewards" and "customer loyalty." These could include terms like:
- Loyalty programs
- Rewards programs
- Customer incentives
- Loyalty points
- Loyalty benefits
- Customer loyalty
- Customer retention
- Loyalty discounts
- Customer referral
- Customer retention
2. Expand your keyword list
Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz Keyword Explorer to generate more keyword ideas. Enter your seed keywords into these tools and explore the suggested keywords they provide. Look for keywords with a good search volume and relatively low competition.
For example you can check the keyword variations of “customer loyalty” using Semrush. Check the screenshot below to identify what type of suggested keywords we get from Semrush for the keyword customer loyalty.
3. Analyze search intent
Consider the intent behind each keyword. Are people searching for information about customer loyalty programs, looking to join a loyalty program, or seeking to understand the benefits and incentives of loyalty? Understanding user intent will help you create content that aligns with their needs and ranks well in search results.
You can check the type of content ranking on a particular website by just typing the keyword in the Google search engine and analyzing the top pages, or you can also check it on tools like Semrush or Semrush alternatives. It gives you the list of top 100 pages ranking on that particular keyword with their positions.
Check the below screenshot for the pages ranking on the keyword “customer loyalty”.
4. Search for long-tail keywords
Look for long-tail keywords that are more specific and consist of three or more words. They can be valuable for targeting a niche audience or capturing users searching for highly specific information.
Some of the examples of long-tail keywords for "customer loyalty" could be:
- Customer loyalty programs
- Customer loyalty benefits
- Customer loyalty and retention
- Best customer loyalty programs
- What is customer loyalty
- Why is customer loyalty important
- How to increase customer loyalty
- How to measure customer loyalty
- Customer loyalty strategies
- Loyalty program rewards
- Customer loyalty incentives
- How to build a customer loyalty program
- Customer loyalty program for small businesses
Some of the examples of long-tail keywords for "customer rewards" could be:
- What are customer rewards
- Types of customer rewards
- How to reward customers
- Customer reward program
- Customer rewards ideas
- Loyalty rewards for customers
- Customer rewards vs. discounts
- Customer referral rewards
- Reward programs for customers
- Best customer rewards programs
- Reward point system for customers
- Customer rewards and incentives
5. Keyword selection
Evaluate the keywords you've gathered based on relevance, search volume, competition, and search intent. Choose keywords that align with your website's goals and have a good balance of search volume and competition. Consider targeting a mix of broad and long-tail keywords to capture a wider range of search traffic.
6. Create content
Develop high-quality, informative, and engaging content based on your selected keywords. Optimize your content by naturally incorporating the chosen keywords into the page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and content. Remember to provide valuable information, tips, and strategies to attract and engage your target audience.
Let’s take an example of the keyword “customer loyalty program”. The type of content ranking on this keyword is blogs (check below screenshot).
So you should write a blog on “customer loyalty program” and add keyword variations in the content to make it highliy optimized.
You can add keywords like:
- What is customer loyalty program
- How to create a customer loyalty program
- Do customer loyalty programs really work
- Best customer loyalty program
- Customer loyalty program examples
You can use semrush to identify the keywords variations of the topic you plan to work on.
You can refer to our blog on “A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Loyalty Program” to understand how to use keywords to make the the content SEO optimized.
7. Monitor and adjust
Regularly monitor the performance of your targeted keywords using SEO analytics tools like Google Search Console, Semrush, etc. Keep track of your rankings, organic traffic, and user engagement. If necessary, make adjustments to your keyword strategy and content optimization to improve your SEO performance.
Keywords form an essential element of SEO. Mastering keyword research is essential for successful SEO. Understanding the importance of keywords, conducting thorough research, and strategically implementing them in your content, you can improve your website's visibility, attract targeted traffic, and achieve higher rankings in search engine results.
With this beginner's guide, you now have the tools and knowledge to kickstart your keyword research journey and optimize your website for search engines.