When executed well keyword research can provide high returns for your business. This plus the other benefits of keywords were explored in a previous post, take a look at it by clicking here. So, we know that keywords are a fundamental tool to the success of your business, but how do you actually do keyword research? This post details how keyword research is conducted to find the best keywords for your business.
Start with the basics. Make a list of all the topics associated with your business. For example, topics relating to 2xN may include ‘healthcare marketing agency’ or ‘business development agency’. Use these topics as headings then think of more specific keywords or short phrases that relate to each heading. When doing so put yourself in the customer’s position, what would they type in to a search engine when trying to find a service or product you offer? For example, under the topic ‘healthcare marketing agency’ a customer may search the following:
Write down as much as you can, nothing is wrong at this stage! The list will be fine-tuned later in the process.
Enter the keywords you have come up with into a Google. First of all, take note of the relevant autocomplete suggestions that appear and add these to your list. Secondly, see what results come up, are they relevant? Are they your competitors? If so, you’ve got the right keywords, if not, cross them off your list.
You can also take a look at the bottom of the SERP where you will find a list of searches related to the search that has been conducted (see image below). Add all relevant search keywords to your list.
To recap, short tail keywords are typically three words or less. Whereas long tail keywords are normally short phrases consisting of three or more words. Short tail keywords are searched more frequently which makes them harder to rank for than long tail keywords. However, long tail keywords are normally used by searchers who know exactly what they are looking for and are more likely to purchase from you. The benefit of ensuring you have a mixture of these on the lists you create is that you will be targeting both audiences, those that are just browsing using short tail keywords and those more likely to commit using long-tail keywords.
You already know your competitors so use this knowledge to your benefit. First step is to see which of your competitors appear on the SERP when you enter the keywords you have collated. Second step is to see which keywords your competitors are using in order to get a high ranking. To do this you need to read their content to spot the keywords that are used frequently. Note that some competitors may be paying for ads which will always rank higher unless you pay for ads too.
If you searched a keyword and your competitors are not at the top of the SERP you need to use this to your advantage. Use this keyword to increase your SERP ranking whilst your competitors are not. After all the aim of researching keywords is to find those that you are most likely to rank for.
By this stage you should have long lists of short tail and long tail keywords stemming from the initial topics. To narrow down the lists you can use quantitative data from a keyword tool such as Google Keyword Planner. This is a great tool to search for the estimated volume and traffic of the keywords you have collated. You can also use Google Trends to analyse trend history of keywords and projections – if keywords are trending upwards or not. These tools will allow you to identify how popular keywords are, which websites rank highest for them and recommend related search terms. Other keyword tools include: Wordtracker, Uber Suggest, SEMRush, Wix SEO Wiz and Moz Explorer.
By the end of this process you can narrow down the initial lists you created. There is no set number of keywords you should have. It depends on how many you are left with at the end of your keyword research. If you think you can slot all of these in to your headings and content easily, then do this. Alternatively, you may want to focus heavily on a few of the keywords if these are most likely to be searched. Remember that keyword research is an evolving process, therefore keywords can be added, modified or removed in response to changing rankings.
If you have any questions on keyword research please contact us at 2xN by clicking here.
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