Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing the phrases that people use to search for information on the internet.
It is an essential part of SEO, as it helps you understand what your potential visitors are looking for and how you can optimize your content to match their intent and expectations.
In this blog post, I will show you how to do keyword research for ranking on search engines, using some of the most popular tools and techniques available. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Define your goals and audience
Before you start looking for keywords, you need to have a clear idea of what your website is about, what your goals are, and who your target audience is.
This will help you narrow down your focus and choose the most relevant keywords for your niche.
Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- What is the main topic or theme of your website?
- What are the main products or services you offer?
- What are the main problems or needs that your website solves or fulfills?
- Who are your ideal customers or visitors?
- What are their demographics, interests, preferences, and pain points?
- How do they search for information online? What words or phrases do they use?
Step 2: Brainstorm a list of seed keywords
Seed keywords are the basic terms that describe your website’s topic or niche. They are usually broad and generic, and they serve as the starting point for your keyword research.
You can brainstorm a list of seed keywords by using your own knowledge, asking your customers or colleagues, or looking at your competitors’ websites.
For example, if your website is about dog training, some of your seed keywords could be:
- dog training
- puppy training
- dog obedience
- dog behavior
- dog tricks
Step 3: Use keyword research tools to find more keyword ideas
Once you have a list of seed keywords, you can use keyword research tools to expand it and find more keyword ideas.
Keyword research tools are online applications that help you discover what people are searching for on search engines, how often they search for it, how competitive those keywords are, and more.
There are many keyword research tools available, but some of the most popular ones are:
- Semrush: A comprehensive SEO tool that allows you to find keywords for any topic or domain, analyze their difficulty and volume, see related keywords and questions, and more.
- Moz: Another all-in-one SEO tool that helps you find keywords with low competition and high opportunity, see keyword suggestions and metrics, and track your rankings over time.
- Mangools: A suite of SEO tools that includes KWFinder, a keyword research tool that lets you find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty, see their trends and SERP analysis, and filter them by various criteria.
To use these tools, you simply need to enter one of your seed keywords and see what results they generate. You can also use filters and options to refine your search and get more relevant keywords.
For example, here’s what Semrush shows when I enter “dog training” as a seed keyword:
As you can see, Semrush provides a lot of information about this keyword, such as its volume (how many times people search for it per month), its difficulty (how hard it is to rank for it), its trend (how its popularity changes over time), its SERP features (what types of results appear on Google for it), and more.
It also shows a list of related keywords that people also search for, along with their metrics. You can click on any of these keywords to see more details about them.
Step 4: Analyze the intent and difficulty of your keywords
less popular and more niche than high-difficulty keywords. For example:
- High-difficulty keyword: dog training
- Low-difficulty keyword: dog training for aggressive dogs
To analyze the intent and difficulty of your keywords, you can use the keyword research tools mentioned in the previous step.
They usually provide indicators or scores that help you assess these factors. For example, here’s what Mangools shows when I enter “dog training for aggressive dogs” as a keyword:
As you can see, Mangools gives this keyword a low SEO difficulty score (26/100), which means it is relatively easy to rank for.
It also shows that this keyword has a high search intent, as it matches one of the four main types of intent: informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.
In this case, the intent is informational, as the searcher is looking for information on how to train an aggressive dog.
You can also use your own judgment and common sense to evaluate the intent and difficulty of your keywords.
For example, you can look at the length and specificity of the keyword, the type and quality of the results that appear on Google for it, and the level of demand and competition in your niche.
Step 5: Choose the best keywords for your website
The final step of keyword research is to choose the best keywords for your website. These are the keywords that match your goals and audience, have high intent and low difficulty, and are relevant and valuable for your content.
To choose the best keywords for your website, you need to consider several factors, such as:
- Your website’s authority and reputation: If your website is new or has low authority, you may want to target less competitive keywords that are easier to rank for. If your website is established or has high authority, you may want to target more competitive keywords that have higher traffic potential.
- Your website’s structure and content: You need to make sure that your keywords fit well with your website’s structure and content. You should have a clear hierarchy of pages and categories that cover different topics and subtopics related to your niche. You should also have unique and engaging content that provides value and answers to your visitors’ queries.
- Your website’s conversion goals: You need to align your keywords with your website’s conversion goals. These are the actions that you want your visitors to take on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free ebook, or buying a product. You should choose keywords that attract visitors who are likely to convert.
To help you choose the best keywords for your website, you can use a spreadsheet or a tool like Semrush’s Keyword Manager to organize and prioritize your keywords.
You can also use Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool to compare your keywords with those of your competitors and find opportunities to outrank them.
SEO Expert Management
Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO that can help you rank higher on search engines and drive more organic traffic to your website.
By following the steps in this guide, you can find and choose the best keywords for your website and optimize your content accordingly.
Give our digital marketing agency a call or send us a message to help with your website keyword research.