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Keyword Research Guide For the Clueless

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The Keyword Research Guide for the Clueless

In this article, you’re going to learn how to perform keyword research for search engine optimisation (SEO) as part of your content strategy.

So you think you’ve written a knockout piece of content?

The only way you could’ve done that is by using our ultimate checklist for knockout blog writing and if you did that then you should of already done your keyword research..

So we’re going to take a stab in the dark and say you haven’t if you’re reading this content. Or you are looking to understand content writing in even more detail.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to perform keyword research for search engine optimisation (SEO) as part of your content strategy.

Let’s get started:

  1. What is keyword research?
  2. How to start your keyword research
  3. The right tools for the job

What is Keyword Research?


Let’s start off with what are keywords?

Keywords are either a single word or phrase that search engines look for when crawling the internet, for relevant content for the searcher.

The overall goal of keyword research is to find out what your buyer personas are searching for and what it will take to actually rank for those keywords.

If you’re not sure who your buyer personas are, you better read this.

For example, when you type ‘Best Doner Kebab in Hove’ into Google after a big Saturday night out in Brighton, Google will search for relevant content that includes the specific keyword and variations, such as the following:

  • Doner kebab Hove
  • Kebab Hove
  • Best kebab Hove
  • Doner kebab
  • Best doner kebab

    keyword research


Even when you think you’ve listed out all the different keyword variations there are plenty more! One way to find common searches and variations of your keyword is to perform a standard Google search and note down all the searches that come underneath.

Keyword research is the process of finding those keywords and analysing the actual search terms that people enter into search engines against your business.

Why is keyword research important?

Simply put- because without it, how do you know which way you’re steering your content strategy?

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can build content that answers the questions that your buyer personas are searching for.

However.

This doesn’t mean that you can just insert those keywords randomly in to your content and hope to rank number one on the first page of Google..

The way Google’s algorithm works, means that rankings no longer rely solely on the exact match of a keyword.

It’s the intent behind the keyword, and whether or not your piece of content solves that intent.

User intent is now one of the most important factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like Google.

Your web-page should address the problem a searcher intended to solve, rather than simply holding the keyword the searcher used.

Aimlessly adding keywords inside your content with no real user intent or purpose can be seen as keyword stuffing by Google. Once you’ve been identified as keyword stuffing there’s no going back with Google.

How to Start Your Keyword Research

keyword research

To kick off your keyword research, you’ll need to think about the topics you want to rank for.

When you’re creating this list of keywords, you should keep the following in mind:

  • What is your product or service?
  • Who is your target customer?

Had a think?

You should have your list of 5-10 topics now.

These will be your core topics and are normally a much broader keyword like ‘Pizza’ or ‘Pasta’ if you were an Italian Restaurant.

Underneath these core topics you will have 5-10 subtopic keyword phrases. For instance, let’s take ‘Pizza’ our core topic keyword and break this down into keyword phrases that we think our user will be searching for.

  • Margarita Pizza
  • Top pizza restaurants
  • Calzone
  • Pizza delivery
  • Pizza near me
  • Pizza deals

Repeat this process for each of your core topic keywords, making sure that you are using a mix of both short and long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases that usually contain three or more words that are specific to your product or service.

Someone searching for ‘pizza restaurants in Hove’ has a much higher propensity to purchase than someone just searching for ‘pizza’. Including a mix of short and long-tail keywords will

mean you’re guiding your buyer at every stage in your marketing funnel.

You should be left with a very large list of keywords and phrases, that you need to whittle down- let’s look at the tools you can use to do this.

The Right Tools For the Job

keyword research tools

There are a number of tools you can use to check things like cost per click (CPC), competitiveness and most importantly, average search volume.

Google Adwords; Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner is easy to use and flags any terms on your list that either:

  • Have too little or too much search volume.
  • Have a high competition level.
  • A high CPC.

Terms that match the above don’t help you maintain a healthy mix.

Before you go ahead and start cutting out terms from your list, use the Google Trends tool to look at their search history and projections!

This will give you an indication into whether it might be something you should invest in now, and look forward to reaping the benefits later.

  • Competition – The Competition column gives you a sense of how many advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword. This data can help you determine how competitive the ad placement is.

     

  • Global Monthly Searches – The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword on Google search.

     

  • Local Monthly Searches – If you specified a country or language for your search, this is the approximate 12-month average number of user queries for the keyword for those countries and languages.

     

  • Approximate CPC – This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.

     

SEMrush

You can run a number of free reports using SEMrush that show you your top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a really quick way to see the types of terms your competitors are ranking for and to search for your own domain.

Our favorite features for keyword research:

  • Keyword magic tool
  • Topic research
  • Keyword difficulty

Moz

This tool has a whole host of amazing features that Google Adwords and SEMrush can’t give you. One of the features we use is predictive keyword. It tells you the keyword difficulty, volume, and expected organic click-through rate (CTR) to help predict your ability to rank and drive traffic.

Using a mix of these tools will help you make an informed decision on which keywords are going to help boost your SEO efforts and which ones just aren’t worth it.

What are you waiting for?

You’re armed with keywords for each stage in your buyers journey, now you just need to implement them into your content strategy.

Be sure to re-evaluate your keywords every quarter to ensure they are maintaining your current presence whilst being aware of changing trends in search volume and competitiveness.

We’re aware that keyword research is a large and timely task, hand over the stress of it all to us and we’ll deliver a comprehensive and in-depth keyword research for your business!

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