Whether you run an online business or a brick and mortar store, having your own website is essential to your operations. It’s because a website does not only represent your brand, but also helps your target audience find you through a quick web search.
In order to be visible to your target audience, you need three things: Quality content created around specific keywords, and quality backlinks to these content. Thus, when creating content, you want to go for less competitive but most relevant keywords in your industry. This ensures that you’re found when searchers query in your keywords.
- How can you find the right keywords for your business?
- How do you ensure your target market is going to use those phrases?
- And how can you increase your site’s relevancy to those terms?
Fortunately, the answers are not that difficult to find.
Why Do Keyword Research?
Since search engines such as Google cannot see websites the way human users do, they learn about online platforms through textual cues. This allows them to match web search queries to relevant websites, and lets them show the most accurate results to their users.
To make sure that your business fulfills this critical search engine optimization (SEO) requirement, you need to use the right keywords for your website. Doing so helps you establish your website’s relevance with your industry, and also enhances your chances to rank higher on search engine results with those phrases.
For instance, if you run a plumbing service in New York City, using keywords such as “plumber in NYC” or “plumbers in Manhattan” can help you connect with audience who are using those search terms to find a related business. This is just an example, since the search phrases can vary depending upon your industry.
Once you have the right keywords in place, you can use them within your website’s internal content, external profiles, paid ads, distributed media, and promotional material. This ensures that your brand has a strong presence against related search terms on the web.
With this information in mind, it gets easier for you to understand why you need to follow this SEO practice and how exactly you can find the right keywords for your website.
Now let’s look at some of the best keyword research tips for SEO
Use the table of content below to jump to specific sections of the article. I'll cover:
1. Compile Keywords by Yourself
Since you know your business inside and out, put this knowledge to good use and compile keywords and phrases you think are most relevant to your brand.
For instance, if you own a flower shop in San Francisco, using location-based keywords such as “flower shop in San Francisco” or “florist in San Francisco” would be a no brainer. In addition to that, using specific names of the flowers you sell can also collaborate to your list.
On the other hand, if you run an online business that’s not tied to a location, you can use general keywords such as “business consultation services” or “business consultancy companies.”
2. Use Tools Powered by Search Engines
With a staggering 86.02 percent of worldwide market share, Google reigns supreme as the global leader of search engines. Its competitors Bing and Yahoo lag far behind with their 6.25 percent and 3.36 percent market share, respectively.
This is why most SEO activities are centered around Google. It is also why the most critical keyword research step starts from a tool that’s purpose-built by the search engine giant.
By using Google Keyword Planner, you can put an end to the guessing game and source keyword suggestions and their relevant data directly from the search engine. You can get this information through your website URL, your industry, or your own compiled keywords.
This also allows you to see related stats such as the monthly search volume and competition for keywords. The monthly search volume is not always available, but it denotes user interest towards a particular keyword. Whereas, the level of competition describes competitor interest in the keyword. Knowing these factors lets you select keywords after determining how valuable or difficult it can be to rank for them.
You can also use Google Trends to see how your selected keywords stand against user interest. This also gives you projections about general market sentiment.
For additional keyword research from Bing and Yahoo, you can use the Bing Keyword Research tool that serves the same purpose as Google Keyword Planner, but for its native platforms that are both owned by Microsoft.
3. Check Keyword Intent
Some keywords are meant for conversions, while others show passive interest in a topic. If your business is focused on generating revenue through selling products and services, going with relevant keywords with transactional search intent should be your priority. Here, keywords containing terms such as “buy,” “purchase,” and “hire” can fulfill your objective.
On the other hand, if you are simply looking to attract traffic to your site, you can go with general keywords that would help you rank higher on search results and generate the desired clicks.
4. Look into Your Competitors
You should also make it a point to see what your competitors are doing in terms of keyword usage and content creation. You can do so by searching on Google and other search engines through your filtered list of keywords.
If your competitors are ranking on paid or organic listings for a keyword, it means the term is worth going after. Once again, you should consider the competition for each keyword to decide whether to include it in your final list or not.
5. Consult Professionals
While this outline gives you an idea of the required steps to take for keyword research, the process can be time consuming. If you don’t want to complete it by yourself or need an experienced professional to do it for you, you can turn towards SEO experts.
With their targeted skill set, these experts can help you find, filter, and finalize a list of keywords that fulfills all your objectives. With it, they can also help you with subsequent SEO activities to gain higher rankings on your targeted search terms. This ensures that you can get the most out of your selected keywords and establish your brand presence over the web.
Want to learn more about SEO?
Read Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Mysson. He shares vital tips that will help you rank your content much faster.