SEO Keyword Research in 4 Easy Steps
SEO keyword research is fundamental to your digital marketing success, whether you’re a startup or an established business. To ensure you have the right keywords, you need solid and effective keyword research with search intent.
Keywords are an integral part of the search engine optimisation process, and they help you rank higher in SERPS and increase your visibility to potential customers.
This blog post will discuss how you can do SEO keyword research effectively, from keyword research tips and tricks to adding them into content for maximum effectiveness. We’ll also cover the essential SEO elements you can incorporate into your keyword strategy and create content that ranks.
STEP 1: SEO Keyword Research
The first phase of search engine optimisation is keyword discovery, which involves coming up with new keywords and keyword suggestions. Unfortunately, this is an integral part of the process that many people rush through, but it’s critical to success.
Make sure you don’t skip and rush this step. For each keyword that you want to target, it is important to know which words or phrases your potential customers may type into the search engine when looking for your product or service and learn as much as you can about search volume.
Start with a seed keyword list
The first step to discovering seed keyword ideas is to create a seed list. This is a list of potential keywords that you think are relevant to your business or website.
Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research, and they will help you generate new ideas and find related terms.
There are a few ways to create a seed list:
- Brainstorming: sit down with a pen and paper, open up a blank document on your computer, and start brainstorming potential keywords.
- Look at your competitors: see what keywords they are targeting and try to rank for the same ones.
Discover Similar Keywords
To generate your seed list, think about the products or services you offer and what terms your potential customers might use to find them. You can also use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest to help you generate keyword ideas.
Research Related Search Terms
Once you have your seed list, it’s time to start researching related terms. Use a thesaurus, Google search, and other tools like Google Trends to find related keywords.
Check the Competition
The next step is to check the competition for each keyword on your list. You can do this by using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer
Find the Right Keywords
After you’ve checked the competition, it’s time to find the right keywords to target. The right keywords have a high search volume and low competition.
You can use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to find the average monthly search volume for each keyword on your list. Then, use a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer to check the competition level.
Identify Quick Win Keywords
A quick win keyword is a low-hanging fruit keyword that you can easily rank for.
To find quick-win keywords, look for long-tail, informational keywords with low competition.
STEP 2: Create SEO Content
Once you’ve found the right keywords and search terms, it’s time to create content based on your target keywords. When adding keywords to your content, whether it be a website page or blog post, make sure you use the right keywords that sound natural and don’t interrupt your content’s flow and readability.
A fantastic tool that can support your SEO content creation is SurferSEO. SurferSEO is a content optimisation tool that analyzes the top 10 results for any given keyword and provides you with valuable insights that can help you create better content.
Surfer’s Content Planner is ideal for creating content clusters and building topical authority in your niche. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about “SEO tips”, you can use the Content Planner to find related topics that you can include in your post to make it more comprehensive. This will not only help your post rank better, but it will also help you attract more traffic from long-tail keywords.
STEP 3: Bring Your Research Together
The Ultimate SEO Strategy Spreadsheet
The first thing you need to do for your SEO keyword research is to set up a spreadsheet to record your data.
Here is the data structure we’ll be working with:
Keyword | Competition | Search Volume | Difficulty
In the first column, place all of your keywords from your initial keyword research and the keywords you want to rank for.
While on the second column, use this section to add the competition level. In this case, we’ll use a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is no competition, and 100 represents high levels of competition (very hard to rank in).
The third column is search volume, which refers to how much search traffic each keyword receives every month. Search volume varies from niche to niche. You may need more keyword research on the average monthly search volume for your specific industry.
Finally, in the fourth column is keyword difficulty. The keyword difficulty will tell you how difficult it will be to rank in the SERP for a particular keyword. In this case, we’ll also use a scale from 0 to 100, in which 100 represents high levels of competition.
Once you have your spreadsheet set up, you’re ready to sort it out and pick the right keywords you can use in your content.
Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to use them by adding your keywords to vital SEO elements that will boost your site rankings.
STEP 4: On-Page Optimisation
After you’ve done your keyword research and added the right keywords to your content, it’s time to optimise your website for those keywords. This process is called on-page optimisation, and there are a few things you need to do to make sure your website is optimised for the keywords you’re targeting.
1) Optimise your Title Tags
The title is the first thing you should optimise once you’re done with your keyword research. Your primary keyword with high search volume and search intent should be included in your content title so that search engines can easily find your page. In some cases, you can also try using a secondary keyword or phrase from your keyword research, but don’t stuff it with multiple terms because this will look unnatural to readers and hurt your rankings.
Also, it’s important to note that titles shouldn’t be too long, as they will usually be cut in search results. Instead, make it engaging and catchy.
2) Optimise Meta Descriptions
A meta description provides a short overview of the content of a page. Adding your main keyword to your meta description is vital as it increases the clickability of the website content optimisation. This is a critical search engine element that a browser sees first, and it should be both engaging and enticing. There are also some specific situations when you can use more keywords from your keyword research.
3) Optimize your Website URL
Your URL is an essential on-page optimisation factor, and you should include your target keyword in it. Ideally, your URL should be short and to the point so that it’s easy for both users and search engines to understand.
4) Optimize Your Images
It’s important to optimise the images on your website as well. This means adding the target keyword to the file name and using the alternate text attribute (Alt-Text) to describe what’s in the image.
5) Optimize your Content
After you’ve optimised all of the other on-page elements, it’s time to optimise your content. This means adding your target keyword throughout your body content in a way that sounds natural and is easy to read. Remember not to stuff your keywords, which will hurt your rankings and make your content difficult to read.
When adding keywords to your content, make sure you also include related searches from your keyword research. This will help you rank for those terms and give you a better chance of ranking in the top spot.
You should also try to include your target keyword at the beginning of your content, which has been shown to improve rankings.
6) Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile optimisation is important because more and more people use their phones to access the internet. In fact, Google has now implemented mobile-first indexing, which means that your website will be ranked based on its mobile version.
To optimise your website for mobile, you need to make sure that it’s responsive and loads quickly. You can test your mobile speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
You should also try to make sure your content is relevant, digestible and to the point, as people are more likely to be reading it on their phones.
What SEO Keyword Research Tool is Best?
There are a lot of tools you can use during this stage, and there are also free tools that you can try.
Find Search Volumes with Google Keyword Planner
A good SEO keyword research tool is Google Keyword Planner, a 100-per cent free keyword tool. Google Keyword Planner is a valuable tool that will enable you to develop a comprehensive keyword list and strategy, especially when you plan to run a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign.
It also features bid estimations to help you complete the keyword research process.
However, before you can access the Keyword Planner, you need to have a Google Ads account. Don’t worry; it’s easy to set up, and you only need to follow the prompts, enter your information and your business, and that’s it. You don’t need to run an active campaign or worry about Google Ads (or the Google Ads keyword planner) to use the Keyword Planner.
SEMrush and Ubersuggest
You may also use other keyword research tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest. These are great because they will give keyword ideas specific to your niche and give you an overview of monthly search volume.
SEMRush is an all-in-one website analytics software that can help you run your SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing campaigns. It can help you identify valuable keyword phrases and long-tail keywords and learn what keywords your competition is using and how they are ranking in search engines.
SEMrush is one of the best keyword research tools available today when it comes to SEO insights. Aside from keyword research, you can also use it to identify trends within your niche, review monthly search volumes and audit your on-page SEO to improve your ranking for relevant search terms.
On the other hand, Ubersuggest is similar to SEMRush, but this is more focused on keyword research. The keyword tool is created by Neil Patel and is free to use. Ubersuggest will provide you insights on new trending keywords and suggest keywords related to your offering that will take your content further.
Whether you use Google’s Keyword Planner or other free keyword tools that we suggested, using keyword tools to generate keyword ideas to rank higher on search results can go a long way. With that, don’t take it for granted–with any of these keyword tools, you can strengthen your keyword research and ensure there’s good search intent–and what’s even better, take your keyword strategy one step further than your competition.
Analysing Search Engine Keyword Data
Once you’ve completed thorough keyword research, the next step is to analyse them so that you can start consolidating and categorising your keyword lists. You’ll want to group similar search terms, find out which keywords have the highest search volume, and prioritise keywords with the most value for your website.
Here are some tips for turning your keyword ideas into search engine results:
- Think like your customers:
This is where your target audience comes in. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you want to find your products or services online. It’s a good idea to consult others to gain valuable insights. You can also ask your existing customers. Search volumes will help you to understand what your target audience is searching for alongside long-tail keywords
- Use long-tail keywords:
Gone are the days when marketers only use one-word keywords in their content. Now, long-tail keywords are taking the scene as search engines, specifically Google, become more user-focused. This is only due to the rise of voice search. Long-tail keywords usually consist of three or more words or phrases. You might be apprehensive at first, seeing that long-tail keywords tend to have lower search volumes. Despite the low search volume, they attract more relevant traffic, are less competitive and are perfect for use in a blog post. Therefore, it’s easier to rank them.
As you do your keyword research, note how difficult it is to rank for specific search terms. This is also known as keyword difficulty. If there’s high competition, try using some alternatives.
Use Google Search Console and Google Trends
Google Search Console
You can use the Google Search Console as part of your SEO keyword research strategy to boost your organic search rankings as part of your keyword analysis.
The Google Search Console is a tool you can use for your SEO keyword research. This free platform enables business owners, marketers, and individuals to monitor how Google views your website and optimise its presence to rank high on organic search.
You will also want to look at other factors, such as monthly traffic volume and cost per click, to prioritise which ones should go into your content.
Google Trends is a free online tool that lets you see how often particular terms are being searched for on the internet. This can come in handy when you want to find out what’s trending in your industry or niche.
You can use Google Trends to measure interest in topics over time, identify seasonality in searches, and compare related terms. Google Trends draws search data from social media marketing platforms and search engines to provide insights into how people are searching for things online.
You can use Google Trends to:
- Identify seasonality in searches
- Find related terms
- Measure interest in topics over time
- Compare related terms
When using Google Trends, you can compare multiple target keywords to see which one is more popular. Simply enter your new keywords into the search bar and hit enter.
Take Your Search Engine Optimization Further
If you want to improve your rankings, it’s essential to implement search engine optimisation tactics by knowing what keywords are most relevant to your overarching search engine strategy. SEO keyword research is a crucial part of your long-term SEO strategy. Having a keyword planner that allows you to import your keyword research data, keyword ideas, and search volume will go a long way.
Our team of SEO experts at Evolving Digital can help with your SEO keyword research and website optimisation. We’ll make sure that everything is optimised so that your site ranks higher on search results pages.