What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research identifies the level of interest in whatever topic or are people are searching for. The more interest that exists for something, the greater the number of people that will be searching for a certain word or phrase.
If you have Google Analytics set up in your website, I recommend you take a look at the search queries that are already providing traffic to your website. This is extremely valuable as it might indicate what keywords you are performing strongly on and what keywords need to be discarded from your website.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Keywords are the compass that helps you navigate the world of content marketing. You need keywords to act as a guide for what types of blog posts, copy text and information you need to feature on your website.
Understanding the phrases, words and language that people are searching for is necessary to understand what keywords you should be featuring in your own website.
Through keyword research you get to know the level of interest that exists surrounding each keyword and the challenge associated with competing against other websites in the organic search results around these keywords.
Through researching keywords, you get a greater level of awareness of consumer demand and what exactly people are searching. Keyword research is a powerful indicator of consumer interest and demand in virtually any category you can think of.
By knowing what people are searching for and the level of interest around these searches, you can meet the needs of these searchers by providing content that helps meet their search requirements.
This means that through incorporating the findings of your research into your website, you have a higher chance of attracting high quality, relevant visitors who are more interested in what you have to say.
Strategies to Find Great Keywords
Offline Keyword Research
For many businesses, phone and email conversations are still the way many searchers look for information around products and services. To understand consumer search needs, chat to your salesperson, secretary or whoever it is that receives inbound queries from people on a regular basis. If you are the sole person who receives these types of calls or emails, write down:
1. The language that people use when asking questions about your products / services
2. The most common questions people ask
3. The topics that are discussed most often during the call.
This information is hugely valuable to understanding what people may need information and what common questions are appearing the most. This might present a gap in the market for keywords if people can’t find information on something online.
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Finding great keywords means understanding the level of competition related to keywords. If the keywords you want to feature have huge levels of competition, it’ll be like swimming in a shark tank.
There could also be high amounts of paid advertisements for these keywords running across the page, distracting from the organic results. Even if you aren’t ranking high in organic search, you can still test a keyword’s success by buying an “exact match” of that keyword in Google AdWords. Then linking it to your relevant website page and then tracking conversion rates (aka, the level of people who took a desired action on your website after they clicked on your ad).
Depending on how well your ad performed vs spend, you can directly determine the return on investment that each keyword adds to your business. This is a strong indication of keywords you should be focusing on in your daily marketing efforts.
Best Tools for Keyword Research
The popular digital marketing website Moz has created their Keyword Explorer tool to simplify and boost how you as a business find the optimal keywords.
This Keyword Explorer tool supplies up-to-date search data based on volume, an estimate of how challenging it is to rank your keyword, an approximate CTR and a value based on ranking potential.
Moz’s tool also offers similar related keywords to research. As this tool takes away a lot of the heavy lifting associated with keyword research, and that it is free to try, it’s recommended as a good starting point.
Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner is a popular tool to begin keyword research. This tool has the dual benefit of recommending keywords as well as supplying estimates around search volumes and the estimated costs of incorporating paid advertisements for these.
Finding a keyword’s volume requires using the [Exact] Match Type and looking for Local Monthly Searches. The amount of traffic you receive from these keywords will be lower depending on how your rank as well as the click through rate.
Wordtracker is a powerful keyword research tool specifically focused on highlighting long tail keywords. This tool incorporates Google, Youtube and Amazon keyword data all in one place.
The main point of differentiation that Wordtracker claim to have vs. Google’s Keyword Planner is that Google is designed for AdWords while Wordtracker is focused on SEO. Therefore, SEO competition and other metrics are only provided for paid search in Google’s platform. Wordtracker’s proprietary data set can result to up to 10,000 keywords generated per search, including related keywords to allow effective page optimization to outperform competing websites.
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