1.Introduction to Keyword Research
Keywords or keyword research are some of the most common terms used by SEO and marketing professionals. So, before we dig into understanding how to do the keyword research for your brand and its implementation, it’s important to know what is keyword research?
Keywords Research explained
The keyword is a specific word that brings in some amount of traffic to your blog. Be it a little traffic or more, keywords strength can vary from low-quality keywords to high-quality keywords.
Keyword research is the whole process of finding the right keywords that your potential customers would search for in the search engines. And then using these keywords in the content marketing strategies to improve your webpage ranking in search results.
To summarize in simple terms, keyword research is how close you come to understanding your user’s query and providing content on your website as its solution.
As your got a gist of what keyword research is, it’s imperative to know why is keyword research so crucial for your business?
2. Why you should do keyword research?
Imagine creating content that nobody reads. Or, your webinars that nobody watches? It’s a waste of time, resources, and losing potential customers. In fact, a study by Ahrefs revealed that 90.63% of all the web pages on the internet receive no traffic from Google. This indicates that more than 90 % of brands generate content that’s not relevant to their audience.
Keyword research is done to search, understand, and implement content that your users are looking for through the use of keywords. Let’s understand this using the example below.
Assume there is a healthcare website. This specific website generates content around generic topics which are not relevant to their target audience. Such topics could be out of the context blog on marketing, or a blog post regarding trending news.
The audience of these blogs could be marketers or news seekers online. On the contrary, the ideal audience for this website would mostly comprise doctors, medical aspirations, patients, counselors, and other related profiles.
Therefore, keyword research is needed to understand the intent of the user’s queries and creating and building content assets around these keywords. This would ensure your business is serving the relevant potential audience and not everybody presents online as explained in the example above.
3. How to find the relevant keywords for your brand?
Finding the set of keywords for your website could be a haphazard task. This is due to the fact that there are multiple ways to find the keywords. Go through the below-mentioned points and get ideas to find keywords.
a) List ‘seed’ keywords for your brand
To begin with, finding keywords, the first and foremost thing to do is list out all the keywords that would act as a seed for more related keywords.
For example, if our niche is Push Notifications Company then the seed keywords for our brand’s website would be as follows.
- Push notifications
- Web push
- Mobile push
The Seed keywords are used as a source to find more related keywords to them. Finding seed keywords depends on your understanding of the audience and industry.
b) Research your competitor’s keywords
Getting to know the keywords your competitor ranks for is one crucial step to build keyword-rich content. But first, how do you research your competitors manually?
- Go to the search bar and type in a seed keyword your brand stands for. For example, let’s search for ‘email marketing software’ in the search bar.
- You will see a list of your competitor’s software. Once you check these blogs on the first page of the search result, check and see if their websites are offering similar services to yours.
- Now, make a list of similar websites to your list of competitors.
You can similarly check for more competitors by selecting the ‘autosuggested’ queries in the search bar. Taking the above example itself, if you type in ‘email marketing softwares’ in the search, some autosuggestion will emerge under the search bar.
You can pick these suggested keywords and follow the same process of finding your competitor’s websites as mentioned above in the point.
Once you have your competitor’s list, you can check each of these websites in the SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc. It’s imperative to say that keyword research can not be completed without using the right tools. Therefore, the process of keyword research can not be 100% free.
Here is how you do it in Ahrefs
-Go to Ahrefs Site Explorer and enter the site of your competitor.
– Select the tab ‘Top Pages’ from the left-hand menu present on the dashboard.
– Once the page loads, you can see the tops pages that a specific website is ranking for and the keywords that are used in its content.
– You have the option to download all the keywords that your competing domain is ranking for.
Now as you can see finding keywords is easy using Ahrefs tools. You can also find keywords using free tools like keyword planner or find the existing set of keywords using a search console that can improve your traffic.
c) Use keyword research tools
– Finding keywords using Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is used to find rich keywords for Ads, however, this free tool also gives you a set of various keywords that you can generate your content around.
To use a keyword planner, enter the keyword in the search bar. For example, I type in a seed keyword ‘Push notifications’ let say.
As you see above, one seed keyword in the keyword planner gives you more than 1000 related keywords. Some of them are as follows.
Web push notifications
Firebase cloud messaging
Firebase push notification
Web push, etc.
You can also check the other details provided like competition, monthly search volumes, etc.
– Finding keywords using Google search console
Google Search Console is another free tool you can use to find the right keywords for your website to rank for. One important thing to consider is search console gives you a set of keywords that you are already ranking for organically. It does not give new keyword ideas.
So, how using a search console for keyword research make sense? The answer is simple.
In the ‘search results’ tab on the dashboard, the console gives you a list of queries and keywords which are sending traffic to your site.
Once you click on ‘CTR’ and sort it in incremental order, you will be surprised to see many keywords that your website ranks for organically with high impressions but a low click-through rate.
Putting emphasis on low CTR and high impression queries can be utilized in building new content on your site. This will bring in the added traffic you are already getting from, and increase in CTR using the right content strategies.
d) Online forums for new keyword ideas
Online forums are garnering the attention of the worldwide audience. Platforms like Quora, Reddit, etc are great places to exchange ideas and seek ideas from like-minded people and groups.
What if you could use this to your advantage and pull out keywords that would have been difficult to find otherwise.
So, how to pull out related keywords from forums like Quora? Read below to understand and you can follow pretty much the same procedure for other platforms as well.
Go to quora and enter your seed keyword. For example, continuing the above example, I put in a keyword ‘Push notification’ in the search bar.
You can see the above list of answers to different questions that will be displayed. This content is user generate content and the most possible queries expected on search engines.
See the highlighted keywords above that are discussed with push notifications. Here are some of the keywords I found for my query ‘push notification’.
Google Cloud Messaging
Best Push Notification service provider
You can make a list of all such relevant keywords and do a basic google search. Let’s say I pick up the keyword ‘Google Cloud Messaging’ from the above list of keywords I found on Quora. Now let’s find out the search results for this term.
See above the highlighted terms that are added keywords for your new content assets. Searching for any query on Google will give you ‘People Also Ask’ results. This is the list of most related queries to my actual searched query (See image above for reference).
Make a list of these queries and keywords and blend them in your content to see a higher ranking on SERPs.
Therefore, using online forums to find rich keywords and topics for your content is sure way a great method to build your online presence.
In the above section of the blog, we learned how to find quality keywords for your website. Now, it’s important to understand and analyze the quality of the keywords.
4. Understanding Keywords analytics
To better understand the keywords, it’s important to know specific terms that describe a keyword’s quality. Some of the hard-to-miss metrics are as follows.
a) Keyword Difficulty
Keyword difficulty is the measure of the number and quality of backlinks a query receives on the top 10 search engine result pages.
The higher the keyword difficulty is, the tougher it gets to rank your pages for that keyword.
So, how would rank for such keywords?
You can use tools like Ubersuggest for free for limited query searches or if you have an Ahrefs plan, you can search for specific keywords and get detailed information on it.
Let’s take an example using Ubersuggest.
If I type in the same keyword ‘Push notification’, here is what I see in results.
You can see various metrics as highlighted above.
The SEO difficulty is 59 here. According to research, keyword difficulty between 30 to 70% is moderately difficult and KD below 30% is a lower difficulty which is easy to rank for. Therefore, betting on the moderate difficulty keywords would be a profitable option as it has high search volumes, but achievable competition.
Similarly, you can search for more similar terms to your queries, here for example it is ‘push notifications’. So, another term I can search for is ‘Web push notification’ instead. This is what I see in Ubersuggest.
If you compare the above two results for two different queries, you will notice that the query ‘Push notification’ has a KD of 59 and a search volume of 12,000. However, the second term ‘web push notification’ has a KD of 57, but a search volume of 1600.
Therefore, it’s easy to decide which keyword to focus on. Choosing to rank for ‘push notification’ would be the right thing to do as far as opting for the optimized keyword is concerned. As we have talked about Search Volume above, what exactly it is?
b) Search Volume
Search Volume of a keyword is how many times that keyword is searched for in queries for a certain time period.
For example, how many times users have searched for the query ‘push notifications’ from May 1, 2021, to June 1, 2021.
The more the search volume, the more traffic such keywords bring to your website.
How deciding on the right search volume helps?
Search volume keeps changing from time to time. Imagine a sales offer that is going on Flipkart for laptops. The search volume of ‘Flipkart Sale’ for that specific time period would be more and can decrease or increase based on future promotions.
Keywords could be short-type keywords like a single word or medium-tail keyword or long-tail keyword.
As the number of words in the query increases, the search volume decreases however the conversions increases.
For example, if you are directing users to your landing page, it could rank for keyword Flipkart Sale’. However, if you want to educate and build awareness among users, the long tail keyword like ‘ Best laptop with i5 specifications’ may rank better in terms of traffic. The long-tail keyword may have a niche audience, but the right audience as well.
Therefore, opting for the right keywords depends on your content intent; if it’s for sales purposes or to drive traffic from useful content assets.
c) Cost Per Click
Cost per click or most often referred to as CPC is a useful metric for Ad professionals. However understanding CPC can contribute to your much-analyzed results.
Let’s again consider the above two keywords explained in the sub-topic ‘keyword difficulty.
The CPC for the query ‘push notification’ is $13.35 whereas the CPC for the query ‘Web push notification’ is $9.38.
This gives you an understanding of which keyword is prioritized among advertisers as they are willing to pay more for the first query than the second one. Therefore, you can pick up the keywords that are less difficult to compete with based on your site intent.
Clicks for keywords tell us how many times a specific keyword has been clicked during a certain time period.
How to make use of Clicks?
Using Ahrefs, enter the keyword in the ‘Keyword Explorer’ tab. On the results page, you will see the clicks on a keyword.
For the keyword ‘Push notification’, the clicks are 958 on a monthly basis.
On the other hand, for the keyword ‘web push notifications, the click data is not available indicating little or no clicks. Check the image below for reference.
Considering the above two scenarios, you can pick up the keyword that has more clicks. Therefore, ranking your site for such high clicked keywords can result in increased CTRs and conversion.
5. Prioritizing keywords for better execution
Once you have your keyword to work upon your content, it’s important to prioritize them.
You can group your set of keywords on the basis of user intent.
For example, generic queries like ‘eCommerce site engagement’ would be a Top Of the Funnel query. However, the query ‘how to optimize user engagement using Push notifications’ is a Middle Of the Funnel (MOFU) or Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) query.
The TOFU stage is helpful when you want to increase traffic to your website and educate users about widely related topics to your brand industry. The MOFU and BOFU stage keywords are more suitable for conversion pages as the user is actively searching for the product.
Therefore, make sure you prioritize your keywords in order to have a functional Content Marketing funnel.
Some of the content formats you can use based upon the funnel stage are as follows.
Lastly, what are the tools you can use to research keywords?
Searching for a high-quality keyword without using any tools is as hard as it gets. At some point, one needs to make use of these tools for better accuracy. Check out the list of tools you can use for free to find the right keywords and optimize your content accordingly.
Note that the above tools allow you to run a limited number of queries for free. However, use it first to understand how the keyword tools work and how you can utilize them to your advantage. And once you grab the right tool for you, you can use advanced plans for building a better presence.
Searching for the right keywords is not a difficult task. You can use various tools and resources mentioned in the article above to your advantage.
Focus on aligning your keyword-finding strategy and be consistent in picking up the better keywords to rank for.
Once you have learned the art of using keywords in your content assets, it becomes a learning experience SEO-wise and your brand receives better recognition in SERP.
So far you have learned what is keyword research, why is it important, how to find keywords using different methods, and how to measure your keyword quality using valuable metrics. Let us know what worked the best for you?