Keyword Research

1.Keyword Research Basics

What are keywords?

Keywords (sometimes referred to as “SEO keywords”) are any words or phrases that a user types into the search engine to find certain information on the internet.

E-g: Weight loss diet plans

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is an SEO practice of finding, analyzing, and using the phrases people use to search for information on the internet.

Why is keyword research important?

It is one of the most important SEO tasks and a great way to reach more people with your content. With Keyword research you can understand which keywords have a volume and which do not. 

It impacts every other SEO task that you perform, including finding content topics, on-page SEO, email outreach, and content promotion.

WHEN do keyword research?

  • First client proposal approach
  • Create a new page/post
  • Optimize existing page/post

Algorithm Update Influenced Keyword Research

  • Google Panda – has penalized thin, low-quality content and duplicate text
  • Google Penguin – has penalized unnatural usage of keywords
  • Google Hummingbird – has improved semantic search and focus on search intent
  • Google RankBrain (a component of Google’s algorithm based on artificial intelligence) – helps to google understand How users interact with the organic search results and What is the search intent behind the query.

2.How to Find Keyword Ideas

The first keyword research advice would be: Know your niche!

The second is understanding how keyword research tools work and how to get the most out of them.

Seed keywords – sometimes called fat head keywords

 It’s the foundation of the keyword research process. 

If your niche is based on selling cars Your seed keyword will be a car sales.

Note: Seed keywords themselves won’t necessarily be worth targeting with pages on your website. 

Middle Keyword ( short tail keyword) – car sales

Long Tail Keywords -Maruthi Car dealers in Coimbatore.

  • Consists of 3 or more words
  • Has lower search volume but usually also lower competition
  • Is more specific = has higher engagement and conversion rates

Keyword Research Methods

  • Keyword Research using SEMRUSH, Ahrefs.
  • Keyword Research by Competitor
  • Niche based keywords
  • Google Suggestion LSI Keywords
  • People Also Ask questionary Keyword Research
  • Search Related to Keyword Research
  • AnswerThePublic Keyword Research
  • Google Search Console Keyword Research

3.How to analyze keywords

Now that you have dozens of keyword ideas, your main task is to select the ones that will bring the most value to you. 

Every time you create new content, you should give it a focus keyword also called the primary keyword. The focus keyword is a keyword that best represents the topic of the page and has the best properties from the SEO point of view.

There are 3 key aspects to consider

Search volume

Search volume tells you the average number of times a keyword gets searched per month.

Note: 

  • It’s the number of searches, not the number of people who searched.
  • It doesn’t tell you how much traffic you’ll get by ranking ( even though in #1 position)
  • It’s an annual average. 

Keyword difficulty

Keyword difficulty is a metric that estimates how hard it is to rank for a certain keyword.

The higher is the keyword difficulty, the harder it will be to rank for the keyword with your website.

Many different factors to judge how hard or easy it’ll be to rank

  • Number (and quality) of backlinks;
  • Domain Rating (DR);
  • Content length, relevance, freshness;
  • Use of the target keyword, synonyms, entities;
  • Search intent;
  • Branding;
  • etc.

Relevance (search intent)

The search intent behind the keyword to see whether the keyword is relevant to your content.

There are 4 basic search intent categories:

  • Navigational – the user is searching for a specific website/brand
  • Informational – the user is searching for general information
  • Transactional – the user wants to buy something online
  • Commercial – the user wants to do the research before purchase

The best way to discover the intent behind the keyword is to Google it and see what ranks in the first SERP. 

Sometimes, the keyword may be topically relevant to your page, but not relevant in terms of the search intent.

SEARCH INTENTWHAT IS IT USED FOR?EXAMPLE
InformationalTo find new information“how to write better content”
NavigationalTo get to a sprcific online property“google blog”
TransactionalTo find and buy products“buy asus laptop”
CommercialTo research future purchases“best laptop for students”

4.How to target keywords

For every keyword on your list, you need to create the right kind of page and content to address it.

You might be wondering, should you build a different page for each keyword or target all of them on a single page?

The answer largely depends on how Google sees these keywords. Does it see them as part of the same topic?

5.How to prioritize keywords

Keyword prioritization isn’t exactly the final step in the keyword research process, it may be you have to do it earlier.

Think before update keywords in the content,

  • What is the estimated traffic potential of this keyword?
  • How tough is the competition? What would it take to rank for it?
  • Do you already have content about this topic? If not, what will it take to create and promote a competitive page?
  • Do you already rank for this keyword? Could you boost traffic by improving your rank by a few positions?
  • Is the traffic likely to convert into leads and sales, or will it only bring brand awareness?

Think of keywords as topics

There are two main types of content in the content hub model:

  • Pillar content – the main post or page broadly covering the topic – targeting broader keywords
  • Cluster content – supporting blog posts explaining the subtopics in detail – targeting more specific keywords

The pillar content and supporting cluster articles are interlinked in a way depicted in the scheme below

Use the focus keyword

Once you selected the focus keyword for your page, use it on the page in the key elements.

Don’t overuse the keyword. The best practice is to use the exact-match keyword in:

  • The title tag
  • The heading of the page (and subheadings, if relevant)
  • The body of the page (ideally in one of the first paragraphs of the text)
  • Anchor texts of internal links pointing to the page

Note: If Google sees that your content is top-notch and relevant, you may rank for keywords you did not optimize for at all.

Keyword Mapping

Keyword Mapping for buyer Journey like tunnel methods.

Top of the Funnel (TOFU): online marketing, what is SEO, how to grow website traffic.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): how to do keyword research, how to build links, how to do website audit.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): ahrefs vs moz, ahrefs reviews, ahrefs discount.

Generally speaking, TOFU keywords have the highest traffic potential, but visitors aren’t looking to buy anything just yet. 

And MOFU and BOFU keywords will bring you less traffic, but those people are closer to becoming your customers.

Note: Sometimes Keyword mapping will end in TOFU and BOFU depends on the niche and product.

Pro Tips:

  • Keyword Content Gap analysis
  • Optimize Content around Synonyms and Related Keywords ( Keyword Cluster)

6.Keyword research tools

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