Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword Research for SEO

Developing a list of keywords is one of the first steps in the SEO copywriting process and one of the highest return SEO activities that are essential for your marketing success. It is getting inside people’s heads to find out which words they use when searching.


What is Keyword Research and Why It’s Important for SEO?

Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of optimizing content around those terms.

People often use a word or phrase to describe their products, while their target audience uses a completely different word or phrase when searching for that same product. As a result, potential customers don’t find those websites, because of a mismatch in word use.

That is why researching keywords are very important. It helps you figure out the thoughts, fears, and desires of your audience. That’s because keywords research gives you tremendous insight into what potential customers searching for and the exact words and phrases that they use.

How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

Important and Relevant Topics About Your Brand

To kick off this process, think about generic topics you want to rank for. Use those topics to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Think about the types of topics they search that you’d want your business to get found for?

Identify Keywords

Now that you have a few generic topics, you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some keywords that fall into those topics. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.

It’s OK not to come up with your final list of keyword phrases yet. You just want to end up with a brain dump of phrases you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic.

Related Search Terms

You can go to Google.com and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.

Long-Tail Keywords

No website should rely on one single keyword or one key phrase for its traffic.

Focusing on long-tail keywords should be an important part of a long-term keyword research strategy. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus more on a specific product or topic.

Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific (and usually longer) than more common keywords, often called ‘head’ keywords.

It’s important to check that you have a mix of head terms and long-tail terms because it’ll give you a keyword strategy that’s well balanced with long-term goals and short-term wins. That’s because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often (not always, but often) much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms.

Competitor’s Ranking

Always keep an eye on the competition. Whether you should go after long tail keywords, which are specific and consist of multiple words, or after head terms, largely depend on your competition. Understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation.

Aside from manually searching for keywords in a browser, SEMrush allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for.

Google Trends

Keywords are a window into what users want, the user intent. Google Trends is a good tool to identify changes in how keywords are being used.

Google Trends will help you see how phrases are trending up, trending down, trending in a cyclical pattern and identify regional patterns.

Compare keyword phrases with keywords whose actual search volumes you are familiar with.

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