Do Keyword Research The Smart Way - A Guide
In today’s world, if you are into digital marketing or in any way associated with anything digital (which most of us are), you will know how significant keywords are. Love it, or hate it…SEO is a colossal fraction of any marketing strategy. Not only do you need the right keywords to conduct successful SEO and ad campaigns, but content marketers even use keywords to identify the topics they should write on to enhance footfall on a particular website. Did you know that a Regalix study has shown that 96% marketers use search engine marketing to provide informational and educational content?
Without further ado, let’s get started with the nuances that govern keyword research:
➢ What are Keywords?
When you do a search on Google or Yahoo, the words that you feed into the search bar are known as keywords. Depending on the kind of words you insert, the search engine shows you the relevant results.
➢ Why is SEO so important?
SEO enhances visibility of your posts/website/business
The entire point of doing proper SEO is to help your website/products/services rank better on SERPs isn’t it? However ranking high is just one part of the entire process. Most searchers do a search more than once when trying to make a purchase decision. They usually start with a generic search term; then shorten it further to find the exact match. Now, if your website is visible on all the results, you gain the searchers confidence and chances of them clicking through to your site and even making a purchase enhance multi-fold.
SEO boosts credibility
The higher you rank, the more confidence and relevance a searcher has on your website. It’s simple; when you search for an electrician, will you call the person on the 5th page or someone showing on the 1st page? Ranking higher gives credibility.
Obtain more traffic
When you rank higher, chances also get higher for your website to get more clicks. While chances are very narrow that all of them will convert at a go, eventually your customer base will grow with proper SEO marketing.
With SEO, you don’t need to broadcast TV/radio ads or newspaper ads and waste money with very miniscule ROI. Because SEO is inbound, you market to people when they are searching for something. Then again, you just show up on a search result and do not have to convince them to make a purchase. As and when you keep appearing on search results, your credibility increases and slowly so do your customers.
Get matchless insight into your customers’ minds
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, SEO brings in a lot of traffic which gets stored on Google Analytics. Through Google Analytics you get a lot of data and metrics on how your customers function – what they search, in what language, demographics, location etc. This knowledge comes handy when you are planning your business strategies and ad campaigns.
➢ How to do keyword research the right way in 5 easy steps?
List out the most important, relevant topics people may search for
Here you may come up with a list of topic buckets that you think searchers may look for. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer. What words would you choose to search for a particular item?
Say for example, if someone is looking for a lead generation marketing software, some keyword buckets would be – lead generation software, lead generation tools, lead generation, inbound marketing, marketing automation software and the like.
Get the point?
Fill those buckets with keywords
Now that you have your topic buckets ready, it’s time to identify keywords and fill them. These will be the keywords that you think people are using to do searches and will help you rank better on SERPs.
For example if we take digital marketing as a bucket, here are some keywords that you may use:
• Digital marketing
• Online marketing
• Social media marketing
• What is marketing
• Digital marketing course
• Digital marketing courses
• Digital marketing strategy
• Online marketing strategy
This list will not be your final keyword list, it will be a bank for all keywords you could identify you think your probable consumers may use to do searches. There are several keyword research tools that you can make the most of to identify the right keywords. We’ll discuss that in a while.
With the ever-changing Google algorithm, more and more keywords are getting encrypted every day, here’s another smart way to categorize keywords. If you have Google Analytics, you will be able to decipher the keywords people are already using to find you. You will find this list on the organic search traffic bucket under your traffic sources on Google Analytics.
See what’s on ‘People also ask’ or ‘Related search terms’
When you type in a broad search term, check out the related search terms at the bottom of the Google page or people also ask in the mid section of the front page to get more searches. These suggestions are also keywords linked to your original search. Take them into consideration. They are equally important.
Have a good mix of long tail keywords and generic keywords in each bucket
The generic keywords are also known as head terms and they are by and large shorter, typically one to three words in length. On the other hand, as the name suggests, long tail keywords are longer phrases containing three or more words. It’s important to have a mix of both kinds of keywords in all your buckets because that will help you strategize better and stay well-balanced.
Head terms or the shorter keywords are searched more often making them additionally competitive and harder to rank. Here’s an example: here are two keywords, which do you think will rank better?
• Social media
• Social media marketing certification courses
If your answer is 1, you are absolutely right! While the first keyword will get you a lot more search traffic, the leads may not all be relevant, most of them may be junk. However, the second keyword phrase is more sought-after because it is unique and will get you accurate traffic.
See what keywords your competitors are ranking for
Trying to comprehend what your keywords are ranking for is a great way to help you devise a good plan. Nevertheless, it’s not necessary that all keywords your competition is using will be useful for you. If you see that you have certain keywords your competitor is ranking for as well, you should start working on ranking those better and help you get better market share in terms of searches.
Now how do you figure out what keywords your competitors are ranking for?
You can manually search for them on an incognito window or take the help of any of the below mentioned SEO tools.
➢ Tools to find the right keywords:
● Google keywords planner – This is the most popular free keyword research tool on the web. Everybody, from a seasoned blogger to an inexperienced person can use this tool to identify keywords.
● BuzzSumo – Next time when you are selecting creative ideas for your content, try BuzzSumo. When you have a keyword bank, this tool comes very handy to provide creative unique titles.
● MozBar – This is the SEO toolbar from Moz which has a paid and a free version. The tool provides easy to read page elements like title tags, meta tags etc while also showing how many websites are linked to a particular link that you visit.
We’ll discuss each tool and several more in great detail in a separate article.
➢ In conclusion…
Now that you know of the ways in which you can do keyword research the smart way, here’s a program that can help you become a Google digital marketing expert. This course has been designed in association with Google India.