Keyword research is a vital part of creating an SEO campaign and it is one of the first steps that you should take. In order to rank well on search engine results pages and to attract organic traffic, you need to conduct thorough keyword research. If you do not conduct keyword research and no one is searching for what you’re writing about, you will not get the right type of organic traffic from Google or potentially any at all – and that means you won’t be driving customers who are looking to engage with your product or service, it’s that simple.
What is Keyword Research?
So, what actually is keyword research? Keyword research involves researching and selecting key words or phrases that relate to a specific topic that users will be searching for. The process of keyword research is done in order to optimise websites. By having an optimised website, and the correct keywords, Google will be able to understand the content on that website and they will understand that you have pages that focus specifically around the user query and you are therefore able to effectively match user intent, this will mean that the site will have more of an opportunity to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Keyword research has a vital impact to your business, here are some reasons why:
- ➡️By doing targeted keyword research, it will enable you to know and understand what types of keywords and phrases people are searching for when trying to find your type of product or service. This will then allow you to create content that matches what the users are searching for. This will mean that your website is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages and it will also help to attract more users to your site.
- ➡️Keyword research can also give you valuable information about which keywords are easy to rank for, which keywords your competitors rank for, search volume of keywords and where your website is ranking for keywords.
- ➡️Keyword research will tell you exactly what users are searching for, allowing you to optimise your website accordingly.
Keyword research is one of the first steps when it comes to an SEO campaign, however, you should not just leave it there. Keyword research should be an ongoing process to see how well your website is ranking for keywords compared to your competitors. This will allow you to see what you need to improve in order to better match the user intent and rank higher on search engine results pages to gain organic search traffic.
According to AHrefs, 90.63% of websites get no organic search traffic from Google. Keyword research will help to ensure that there will be a search demand for whatever you are writing about in your website. So, if your website ends up ranking well in Google for a keyword, you are more likely to get a stream of targeted users landing on your website and not be part of that 90.63% of websites.
How to Carry Out Keyword Research
So now you know how important keyword research is for your website, you need to know how to actually do it. The first step that you need to take is to think about your business and what you are trying to sell, then start writing an initial list of ‘seed keywords’ that are related to your business. This would be a good time to think about what you want to be found for – what are your main products/ services and what is it that you want users to be searching for when they find your website to ensure they are the right kind of user to convert.
Think about what users you want to be landing on your website and what would they be searching for when looking for your product/service. Your keywords will shape the direction of your content and ensure that the content you are producing is relevant and easily searchable on Google. Strong keyword research will enable you to optimise your website to ensure you are matching user intent and giving users exactly what they are looking for.
Once you have compiled a list of seed keywords, it is time to use keyword research tools to refine your keywords. Using an online tool, type in one of your keywords from your list of seed keywords, the tool will generate specific keywords and tell you the search volumes for those keywords. This will allow you to see what users looking for your product/ service are searching for which will then allow you to form your content for your website based on these keywords.
There are many tools you can use when conducting your keyword research but here are some free tools to use:
- ➡️Google Trends
- ➡️Keyword generator
- ➡️Keyword sheeter
- ➡️Answer the public
Or if you want to use a paid tool then here are some paid tools to use:
- ➡️SEO profiler
The tools above will help you to find high-traffic keywords that relate to your business and that have relatively low competition so that you have more chance ranking for them in search engine results pages. This will also allow you to make a decision over which keywords you want to prioritise first. You won’t be able to target them all in one go, so understanding the levels of competition around each keyword can help you to put priorities in place to ensure that your time is being most effectively spent.
When you have found a few potential keywords, it is a good idea to do further research on these keywords to see if they will be a good fit for your website. A way of doing this is by searching for those keywords and looking at what type of websites rank on the results pages. This will allow you to see what types of websites are ranking for those keywords and if they would be suitable for your website.
It is then a good idea to compile a list of keywords that you think will work for your website and that you will be able to rank for on search engine results pages. This will allow you to refer back to this list so you don’t forget those important keywords!
You should now have a useful list of keywords to use for your website in order to get your website ranking. Remember to regularly review these keywords as search patterns and search volumes do change and it is important to stay on top of your users search habits so that you can keep your website up to date and keep ranking.
How to Use Your Keyword Research
So, you have now carried out your keyword research, how do you use it in order to rank on search engine results pages? Well, once you have finalised your list of keywords, it is important to use them in your website so that Google knows what your content is about. Ensure that your keywords are in the following:
- ➡️Meta title
- ➡️Meta descriptions
- ➡️Headings (H1)
- ➡️The main content of your website
- ➡️Images (alt text)
It is important to include your keywords in your website, however, don’t use too many and think that you will automatically rank! This is known as keyword stuffing and Google could penalise you for this. Only include your keywords where they will naturally occur in order to improve your visibility of the website. Remember that Google wants you to create content that is for the user and not for Google – as such it has implemented a number of algorithm updates including the recent Helpful Content Update which are designed to encourage websites to create content that leaves the user satisfied and provides a better overall user experience.
Summary of Keyword Research
So we have now realised just how important keyword research is, it is an extremely valuable activity for your business. Ranking for the right keywords is imperative for your website, if you don’t rank, it can have a significant impact on your business as you may not get the right type of traffic to have an impact on your sales and leads. By researching your keyword demand and including those keywords strategically on your website, it will help you to firstly, rank on search engine results pages and secondly, bring the right kind of visitors to your website. In order to rank successfully on search engine results pages, keyword research is a must, it is a fundamental aspect of SEO.