What is keyword research?
By performing keyword research, you can discover and decide which terms are essential to include in your content to meet a website’s objectives.
In the old days, keyword implementation was the main task of SEO specialists. This is no longer the case, and the search engines take a very dim view of keyword stuffing. However, if you use keywords in a meaningful and natural way, they are still a significant ranking factor. Hence the importance of analyzing them in-depth.
Why is keyword research crucial for SEO?
Keyword research is fundamental to SEO because you can search for two types of keywords through this process that has a direct impact on your website traffic:
- Keywords for which you want to position your site.
- And keywords that address the search queries of the people looking for what your business offers.
Another use of keyword research is to determine what topics the site’s content should cover. While researching, you can find out if your competitors are ranking for any keyword you are not.
Keyword research is so vital that it can ultimately affect the success of a business as a whole.
Keyword Research Process
Now that we know the importance of executing the keyword research, it is time to delve deeper into the steps to follow for this process:
1. Analyze your current keywords
In case you already have a list of keywords you want to rank for, you should start by reviewing them. If not, go directly to the next step.
Check how those terms are performing for your site. If you have a small website, there are many free tools available that you can use. However, if you require more complex research, it is better to choose a paid tool.
Use Google Search Console to determine which keywords your site is already ranking for. Create a list separating those keywords performing well from those that are not but are still valuable. You’ll have to go through this last one, following the steps below.
2. Set your objectives
Your keyword research efforts will be in vain if you don’t set your goals beforehand, based on the organic traffic you need for your business.
Keep in mind that they are search terms that can attract visitors and not merely words for which the site can rank. Something as obvious as this is often overlooked.
When determining your goals, you should ask yourself specific questions such as: who your target audience is, what their needs are, what you are selling, and what your value proposition is.
3. Make a list of the keywords you want to work on.
Based on the answers to the questions in step two and considering the business experience, the next step is to create a list containing the keywords that best match what your target audience is looking for.
Ask yourself what your potential customers would ask themselves when looking for information about your products, deciding who to buy such products from or want to buy products like yours.
4. Study your competition
The competition is one of the best resources to know which keywords to rank for. Especially if they have been in the industry for an extended period. In that case, they will certainly know the keywords by which they should rank, and you may have missed some of them. Without a doubt, running a competitive analysis will provide you with a lot of useful information when it comes to choosing your keywords.
5. Broaden your focus on keywords
By following the previous steps, you should have a bunch of keywords from which to start. Eventually, they will help you find other interesting keywords for your site. However, although they are vital for ranking high on SERPs, optimize them is not enough.
Google has become an expert at recognizing all the terms that are related to a certain topic, so each of them opens many doors. Also, there are many tools that suggest topics related to a keyword.
These applications scrape info from the SERP to find the most frequently used queries and searches for a given topic or keyword.
Therefore, you should create an extended list of search terms. Select the priority topics, and group the rest of the words below, listing them according to their importance.
6. Balance the opportunities of your keywords against their cost
The process would end at this step, which is not part of the keyword research itself, but it does serve to optimize the results.
It is a matter of weighing the potential of the terms collected against the cost of classifying them. If the price is too high in relation to the opportunities they would bring, it will be better to leave them aside.