Keyword research has become such an important tool for small business owners trying to boost SEO (search engine optimisation). Though if you’re unsure how to do keyword research, starting out can seem confusing, if not daunting. Though it doesn’t have to be.
Keyword research isn’t about guessing which terms your audience is searching for online. It involves strategy and deliberate steps to yield beneficial results for your online business.
If you’re eager to get started with SEO keyword search, you’re in the right place. This article will walk you through keyword research in 4 simple steps.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research involves identifying the search terms that people are commonly typing into search engines, like Google.
By using a keyword planner, you can see the terms consumers are searching for and integrate them into your content. This could be a blog post or your website’s home page.
If you’ve done your keyword research right, search engines can crawl your pages and deem your content relevant for various topics – allowing your web page to rank on sites like Google.
For example, if you were the owner of a putt-putt course in Brisbane, you may want to target and rank for certain keywords used by people looking for mini-golf courses in the area. Some keywords you might want to target include: ‘putt-putt Brisbane’, ‘putt-putt golf Brisbane’, or ‘indoor putt-putt Brisbane’.
This will help your site to rank above competitors on search engines and make it easier for customers to find you.
How To Do Keyword Research
1. Brainstorm Topics In Your Niche
The first step of your keyword search is to identify potential niche topics based on your target audience. What topics are your audience searching for and how can you relate it to your brand?
Try typing a relevant phrase that you think your customers might be using in search engines.
Let’s go back to the putt-putt example. For people looking for a nearby course, a popular keyword search could be ‘putt-putt Brisbane’. After typing your keyword into Google, scroll to the bottom of the page to find a list of search-related terms.
Search related terms are a valuable keyword tool, offering a series of similar phrases that are related to what you’ve searched for. This is based on user search data.
For ‘putt-putt Brisbane’, some search-related terms include ‘mini putt-putt Brisbane City’ and ‘mt Gravatt mini golf’.
These terms are often a representation of the exact phrases people are using when researching a certain topic. So, search-related terms can be a great place to start with SEO keyword search.
2. Generate A List Of Long Tail And Head Keywords
Next, it’s time to use these search-related terms to create a list of potential keywords for you to target – preferably a mixture of long-tail and head keywords.
As the name suggests, long-tail keywords are search phrases with larger word counts – meaning that they are much more specific. For example, a long-tail keyword for our putt-putt example would be ‘mini putt-putt Brisbane City’. These keywords are typically known as the easiest to rank for.
Head keywords are the opposite and are much broader and shorter search terms. Although they can often have very large search volumes, meaning that they’re usually much harder to rank for.
After compiling your list of possible long-tail and head keywords, you can use the keyword planner to see how easy or difficult targeting these terms are going to be.
3. Research Keyword Competition And Search Volume
Once you have your list of potential long-tail and head keywords, you can start to evaluate their metrics on a keyword planner.
A keyword tool like Google keyword planner allows you to see the monthly search volume and competition for each keyword you search, along with an assortment of suggestions to help you choose the best keywords for your website.
As you work through your list and search the different phrases, draw your attention towards the average monthly searches and competition columns. A winning combination is a keyword that has a high search volume and a low competition for ranking.
Using these metrics will help you sift through your list to find the best keywords to focus your attention on.
As a starting point, try targeting 5 relevant keywords per page.
4. Grow Your List
Though it may seem like an insignificant step, keeping a detailed list of all your targeted keywords can go a long way down the line.
You’ll be able to use the list to track the keywords you’ve used, how each of them has been used, and if they’re working or not.
Over time, your SEO keyword search list will grow and become a valuable tool for your SEO strategy.