It is crucial to have a thorough knowledge of how to conduct keyword research and target specific keywords when publishing content online.
If you don’t target the right keywords with real search volume, you won’t receive any visitors to your site. This is an essential part of SEO, as SEMRush’s database estimates the usage of 18.8 billion keywords on 717 million domains.
It’s as simple as thinking step by step and rephrasing the text below without adding or removing information, while maintaining the same meaning.
Searching for highly targeted or profitable keywords resembles the process of panning for gold. With billions of keywords available, discovering the desired ones can be challenging. Hence, the question arises: how can you identify keywords that will drive traffic to your website?
One way to make it easier is to utilize SEO tools for conducting keyword research. Numerous tools are available in the market specifically created to analyze the vast amount of data associated with the billions of keywords entered by individuals into search engines daily.
In the following text, I will provide an overview of keyword research, explain its significant role in digital marketing and organic growth strategies, and present some of the top keyword research tools available in the market.
Why are keywords important for SEO?
Keywords drive SEO and play a crucial role in search engines like Google. Their main task is to provide the most suitable outcomes by analyzing the keywords entered, which helps determine the intention of the searcher.
The presence of keywords greatly impacts the selection of pages displayed by a search engine. When searching for “keyword tools,” all the pages appearing in the search results will undoubtedly pertain to keyword tools.
Using the correct keywords is essential in SEO, as it is a crucial factor in Google’s algorithm. Despite the numerous ranking factors and calculations involved, keywords play a significant role in determining which web pages are displayed from the vast number available. Neglecting to utilize the appropriate keywords can hinder the effectiveness of other optimization strategies.
By identifying relevant keywords for your business, you can focus on incorporating those keywords into your content and delivering the desired answer. Effective keyword research includes discovering keywords that have low competition but high search volume. Additionally, it enables you to discover search terms and topics that may not have been initially considered.
Discover what your niche is searching for
When brainstorming keywords, it is crucial to prioritize relevancy. It is essential to understand your niche and determine the search terms your target customers are using.
When you have an ecommerce business that sells furniture, one step to take is to search for keywords that are relevant to the furniture industry. After that, you can go even further by finding specific e-commerce SEO keywords that are related to the individual products you offer. This could involve focusing on different types of furniture like chairs or tables, or it could be more effective to concentrate on keywords associated with specific brands or products.
Create a list of SEO-worthy topics you can pull keywords from
To maintain topical relevance, one must approach keyword research in an organized manner, otherwise, they run the risk of deviating in various directions.
To begin with, it is crucial for any website to generate a list of five to 10 topics or categories to organize keywords. Many websites make use of the existing categories on their site. However, you have the option to choose something more suitable for your specific needs, such as various brands or types of products.
The initial step in keyword research involves searching for broad keywords. These keywords offer a general overview of a subject and serve as a starting point for creating a keyword list. Moreover, broad keywords tend to have the highest monthly search volume, which makes them challenging to optimize for SEO success.
If you were creating website content for a landscaping company, your main keywords could be:
- landscaping companies
- landscaping services
Broad keywords and main keywords are similar in that they both serve as categories. However, the distinction lies in the fact that broad keywords represent a general category, whereas main keywords are a specific focus within that category. To illustrate this, consider the analogy of industry and service. A business belongs to a larger industry but provides particular services within that industry.
Let’s continue using the landscaping company as an example. Suppose your focus is on providing landscaping services to residential customers. Your primary keywords could be as follows:
- residential landscaping
- residential landscaping company
- residential landscaping services
Secondary terms are keywords that help narrow the focus of broad and main keywords. These terms enable you to specifically target phrases that are related to the main topic.
When creating a keyword list, you will find that it contains more related keywords compared to broad or main keywords. Additionally, many of these secondary keywords tend to have lower monthly search volumes than broad or main keywords. This is because their focus is more specific, making them advantageous for targeting SEO opportunities.
Continuing with the landscaping company illustration, associated keywords might encompass:
- front yard landscaping
- side yard landscaping
- backyard landscaping
- front yard design
- backyard design
- backyard garden design
- backyard water features
- retaining wall installation
- patio installation
- pool installation
What exactly is a long-tail keyword? Simply put, it is a keyword that consists of a more precise search phrase. Typically, long-tail keywords are composed of three or more words and contain modifiers that are relevant to the searcher’s requirements (such as “cheap”).
Despite their low search volumes, these keywords are valuable for SEO as they are less competitive and more likely to generate website traffic and conversions, mainly because searchers using them have specific product or service preferences.
In the case of our landscaping company example, long-tail keywords might consist of:
- affordable residential landscaping services
- residential landscaping services for elderly
- landscaping company for retaining wall installation
- landscaping services with lawn care and snow removal
If your business caters to local customers, it is important to incorporate geo-targeted keywords into your list. These keywords are similar to long-tail keywords as they combine broad, main, and related keywords with a local area modifier (e.g., near me).
If we consider the landscaping company as an example, the keywords that could be used are geo-targeted.
- residential landscaping in Chicago
- patio installation company near Lincoln Park
- Chicago area landscaping services
User Intent Phrases
User intent phrases, like long-tail keywords, are focused on a specific “intent” and often provide answers to questions. These phrases, commonly used in voice searches, typically consist of a broad, main, or related keyword and help searchers find information online.
Even though these phrases have lower search volumes, it is still valuable to include them in your keyword research. This is because they reveal the questions that online searchers (who could potentially be customers) are asking and the questions that are pertinent to the content you intend to generate.
In keeping with the example of our landscaping company, phrases expressing user intent could resemble the following:
- How much does landscaping cost?
- What does landscape design include?
- Do I need a retaining wall in my front yard?