SEO keyword research is the process of locating words and phrases that people are searching for in the search engines. It is the goal of every good SEO to take those words and phrases and optimize content around them.
Effective keyword research affects every other aspect of search engine optimization like content creation and articles, on-page SEO, link building, and promotion through methods like content marketing, social media strategy, and more.
It is important to select keywords and phrases that will match up with your business, niche, brand, products, and services. Keyword research is also the first step in any solid search engine optimization campaign.
Researching keywords gives you a clear idea of what your target audience is searching for online. You get the insight you need to make your business successful.
Ways to Find SEO Keywords
One of the best ways to find SEO keywords is to research a list of topics around your niche, products, and business. See if you can come up with questions and topics that your targeted customer might be searching for to find your products.
Once you have created your list of topics, search on YouTube and Google to find terms and phrases that you can add to your keyword list. With Google, scroll to the bottom of the page for each topic and grab those additional relevant keywords. You can also make a note of questions asked at the top of select Google pages to add to your content marketing strategy.
Other great places to search for questions, keywords, and phrases would be forums based on your niche, Reddit, Wikipedia, and Answer The Public. These are useful tools to find great keywords and ideas for your list and content strategy.
Here are some search terms you can type into Google to find forums related to your business:
- “keyword forum”
- “keyword” + “forum”
- “keyword” + “board”
Searching for Less Competitive Keywords
One of the most important tips in a keyword research strategy is to know what keywords you can use to rank your content. If you choose a keyword from your list that is too competitive, you risk never being able to rank it. The key is to find keywords without a lot of competition so that you can rank in the top three positions of search.
For this strategy, research long-tail keywords because they are often less competitive and easier to rank for in search. If your website is less than a year old, it is a smart strategy to go for keywords that are not at all competitive and target the longer key phrases.
Brodey Sheppard, Owner of one of Australia’s fastest growing agencies says terms like “web design sunshine coast” often have a high-conversion rate, yet, the reverse “Sunshine Coast Web Design” is significantly lower. This is due to the customer’s search intent. You will always want to go after the higher converting keywords if there is a lower competitive ratio.
Here is an example:
- iPhone cases (too competitive)
- iPhone 11 cases (still a little too much competition)
- black marble iPhone 11 case (go with this keyword, less competition, easier to rank)
One way to determine if a keyword has too much competition is to look for authority websites on the front page like Wikipedia, Amazon, Walmart, Forbes, HubSpot and try to make the keyword longer or select another keyword from your list.
Selecting Your Ideal Keywords
The next step in your SEO keyword research would be to look at search volume. Search volume is the estimated number of searches a keyword gets per month. It gives you a good estimate of how much traffic you can get each month.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to find the estimated search volume per month for each of your keywords. Select keywords in your niche with low competition that have a reasonable number of searches each month.
Another method to use is to check the CPC or cost per click for a keyword. The CPC will tell you how much people are willing to pay for a keyword in Google’s paid advertising program, and it’s an indicator of value. CPC can also be found in the Google Keyword Planner.
Next, compare the search volume, but also look at the cost per click. If a keyword only gets about 100 searches a month, and it’s CPC is $6.00 with low competition, chances are it’s a good keyword to target.
SEO keyword research is an important step in your online marketing strategy. It’s a valuable skill that can help you gain insight into marketing your products and services. It’s critical to have this in-depth knowledge of what your targeted customers are looking for so that you can position your products and services to meet their needs.