When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keywords are the name of the game. They determine which search results your web content appears in, which in turn, determines who encounters that content. But if you’re new to SEO, you may be wondering where businesses find those keywords.
To create a successful marketing campaign, you must know how to find high-quality SEO keywords. How do you do that, though? Below, we’ll go over some basic keyword research tips that you can use to drive your SEO.
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1. Know what you’re looking for
Before you begin your keyword research, you should know what keyword research is and why it’s important. Keywords help you target the correct audience so that the right people find your content. That said, so you’ll need to start off by determining who that audience is.
You should consider things like:
- Who currently buys your products or services?
- What is the average income of your current customers?
- What is the age and gender of your current customers?
After determining your marketing persona, ask yourself what those people might search for on Google. What sorts of queries might they have that would be relevant to your content? You’ll want to keep these questions in mind as you work through the research process.
2. Come up with some relevant topics
After you determine your target audience, you can start brainstorming topics you might want to target. These ideas won’t be specific keywords yet, but rather, five to 10 broader categories that keywords might inspire keywords. Let’s say your business sells various types of tools, from hammers to shovels.
Here are a few topics that might be relevant to your business:
- Home maintenance
Keep the questions about your audience from step 1 in mind while coming up with these categories for your keyword marketing plan.
3. Brainstorm keywords for each topic
Once you lay out your initial list of topics, you can start thinking up keywords to use. Let’s look back at the examples from the previous step, starting with “woodworking.” Ask yourself: What woodworking-related queries might people have? Since woodworking is all about shaping and building things out of wood, you might come up with “how to build X” as a good topic, with “X” being exchanged for different items like “a bird box” or “a shelf.” Once you’ve listed as many potential queries as you can think of for each topic, it’s time to start getting into the actual research part of the process.
4. Find out what keywords you already rank for
Even if you haven’t yet made a conscious effort to target any keywords with your web content, you may still already be ranking for some. Seeing what keywords your content currently ranks for is a great way to learn what topics are most relevant to your business. But how do you find out what you currently rank for?
The easiest thing to do is to use analytics software. Google Analytics is one option — and it’s free. Alternatively, you can use MarketingCloudFX, WebFX’s industry-leading digital marketing platform.
With the AnalyticsFX feature, you can receive a detailed assessment of the keywords your website is currently ranking for. Whatever platform you use, you’re bound to find some good keyword ideas from among your existing rankings, and you can add those to your existing list.
5. Look up related keywords
You can brainstorm all day long, but ultimately, the best resource for knowing what keywords people are searching for is Google. And the best way to learn this information is by delving into related keywords. For two keywords to be considered related, Google has to determine that they have the same, or a similar, search intent.
For example, if you look up related keywords for “cabinet making instructions,” one result is “how to build a wall cabinet.” A great thing about looking up related keywords is that there are a variety of keyword research tools you can use. The easiest way is to search a keyword in Google and then look at the “related searches” at the very bottom of the results. For more extensive results, you can use a free keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner or KeywordsFX.
You can find plenty of other options online as well. Using the keyword research tools of your choice, search the keywords you have already listed to find related keywords — adding them to your list as you go.
6. Refine your keyword list
By now, you should have a sizeable list of keywords to work with, but not all keywords are good. Some aren’t a good fit for user intent, while others might not receive ample search traffic. You’ll only want to keep keywords on your list that are high in both search volume and relevance.
Thankfully, your research process should have already taken care of relevance, since you used things like your current rankings and related keywords. But what about volume? Search volume refers to how much traffic a given keyword receives.
You don’t want to write a whole article targeting “birdhouse tips” only to find that no one ever searches for that keyword. To avoid this problem, you can use yet another free keyword tool: Google Trends. Google Trends will let you view search volume for a given keyword over time.
This means you can see whether a keyword is increasing or decreasing in popularity. As you cut down your list, get rid of any keywords with exceptionally low search volume. Also, aim to have a healthy balance of long-tail and short-tail keywords.
You don’t want all your keywords to be so broad that the competition will be overwhelming, like “screwdriver.”
Give your SEO keywords a boost with WebFX
After following these keyword research tips, you should now know how to search for SEO keywords — but that’s only the first step. You still have to write relevant content, integrate the keywords, and carry out other good SEO practices getting any of your website pages to rank. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone!
WebFX has over 25 years of experience in SEO, and we’d love to use that experience to help you make your SEO the best that it can be. Just give us a call at 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!
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