The field of SEO has seen rapid changes in recent years, but that does not change the fact that keyword research is still very much an important part of optimizing your website or blog content. Over the years though, the idea of repeatedly using just one single keyword or phrase has taken a backseat. Today’s social media managers are playing with the idea of using clusters of keywords around a particular topic. The process is still very similar and involves finding the correct keywords that will promote your services in the most optimum manner. With the startup culture, affordable SEO services for small businesses are available to help them to target better recognition.
Keeping in mind the importance of increasing the ranking of your website/blog on Google or any other search engine, we take a look at some of the key steps you should be following and certain tools that can help you maximize your keyword research before you begin writing the content for your next blog post or your website. Over a period of time, keyword research will come naturally to you and you will soon master the process of targeting your most desired consumers.
What is Keyword Research?
First things first – in order to use keywords, you need to first understand what keyword research is. Keyword research is the process of using keywords to research and find the actual search terms that people are using in real time on search engines. When you are able to have this knowledge about what actual search terms your potential consumers are using to find the same products or services that you are promoting or selling, then this will help you develop an informed content strategy and even help you modify your overall marketing strategy accordingly.
How to Research Keywords to Build a Sound Content Strategy?
To kick off the process of keyword research, you need to, first of all, pick out the topics that you want to rank on search engines. You should ideally come up with at least 5 to 10 groups of topics that you know are important to your line of work. You can then use these groups of topics to come up with specific keywords that you will be needing later on while writing your actual content.
If you have a blog and you are a regular blogger, then you should be picking topics that you blog about frequently. Or they can even be topics that you use most in your marketing and sales conversations. So in order to determine which would be the ideal topics for you, you should put yourself in the shoes of your buyer and think about what you, as a buyer, would be most likely to search for when it comes to your industry.
Fill in your Shortlisted Topics with Keywords
Once you have shortlisted a couple of your topic groups, the next step is to identify certain keywords that would fit into these groups of topics. These should be keyword phrases that you think should give you a higher ranking on the search engine results pages. Keep in mind that your target customer is probably conducting searches using these specific terms.
You do not need to necessarily finalize your keyword phrases, but you should at least come up with a couple of keyword phrases that you think your potential customers could be using right now to search for content that is related to what is your particular topic group or, of course, what you are selling.
The best way is creating an inbound marketing plan to come up with a list of keywords that you think will work for your website or blog, to figure out which keywords can ideally describe your website/blog. To do this, you can easily use a website analytics software such as Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources, or there are several other tools that you can use as well.
Consulting and discussing with your sales and marketing team will also give you an idea about what types of terms they are using on their prospects and potential clients. Or they can even tell you the common questions customers pose to them when they are on a sales call. These are usually a very good starting point for keyword research.
Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Once you have collected all the right keywords, then it is time to start narrowing down your list with the help of quantitative data. Using Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends software will help you in doing this. In Google Ads Keyword Planner, you will be able to get the search volume and traffic estimates for the keywords that you have shortlisted and considering to use. You can take the information you get from the Keyword Planner and then use Google Trends to fill in whatever blanks are left in your research.
You will be able to use the Keyword Planner to find out and flag any of the terms on your list that have either too much or too little search volume. This will not help you maintain a healthy mix of keywords. However, it is important that before you drop any of your selected keywords, you check out their trend history and projections on Google Trends. You will be able to see whether or not some of the low search volume terms could actually be worth investing in right now to reap the benefits from them at a later stage.
Always Have a Strong Content
Regardless of whatever you are writing about and whatever your keywords are, you have to make sure that your content should be engaging, be of a decent length, and also have a unifying theme. The more content you have, the better are the chances of you to carry out a good job on your SEO, so always aim to have at least 300+ words for each blog post or even when you are writing your website content.
Importance of Optimization
Optimization is important if you want your web page or blog to rank higher on search engine results. If you want to optimize your content, you need to ensure that you have the exact same keyword phrase not just in the content of your blog post, but also in your post title, the meta description, and the rest of the content also needs to be relevant to your chosen keyword phrase. If possible, you should also try to carry out some internal linking from your older blog posts. You can also try to optimize images by giving them names that will include your search term.
It does not take long to get used to the whole keyword research process and you can easily learn new tricks and tips for optimization of your site as you continue to publish and post.
Re-evaluate your Keywords Every Couple of Months
Once you have completed your keyword research and published your website content or blog post, the work does not just finish there. You need to keep re-evaluating your keywords and content every couple of months. Reviewing your keyboards once a quarter should be a good enough benchmark for you if you are writing and publishing regular content. However, there are many businesses that like to carry out this re-evaluation more often than once in a quarter, and that is also fine.
As you start to gain more knowledge and authority in the search engine results pages, you will find that you are able to add more and more keywords to your content and to your keyword research list as you work towards maintaining your current position on the search engines, and continue to grow in new areas as well.
Bear in mind that there is no master list of keywords. Nor is there a ‘one size fits all’ kind of a concept when it comes to picking the proper keywords for your website/blog. It is always better to create content around your chosen terms or phrases as well as work them into your existing web pages and blog posts. This is what is known as ‘keyword-optimized’ content, which increases the ranking of your page or post on search engines.
At the same time, remember that keywords are just one part of what makes a successful website and blog. Keyword research will prove to be handy when you want to improve your SEO, but at the end of the day, apart from keyword optimization, the success of your website or blog also depends on what value you are providing to your customers.
While keywords make up a huge percentage of what search engines consider for determining the ranking of your page, the quality of your content along with some other factors also come into play while determining your ranking. So the best way to ensure a good ranking for your website or blog is to regularly publish high-quality content that is peppered with the right keywords. Do not go overboard on the keywords as well, then search engines might just assume it to be a spam page and rank your page lower. Always focus on producing better and more helpful content.