Proper keyword research is a crucial part of any successful SEO strategy. It involves identifying the right keywords and phrases that people use when searching for information related to your business or website. By conducting proper keyword research, you can optimize your content for those keywords and improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
It allows you to understand your audience’s needs and behaviors, improve your website’s visibility, and increase your chances of ranking high on search engine results pages. According to a study by Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages get no traffic from Google, demonstrating the importance of conducting proper keyword research to make your content stand out.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to conduct proper keyword research.
How To Conduct Proper Keyword Research - 5 steps
Step 1: Define your goals and target audience for a proper keyword research
Defining your goals and target audience is crucial for conducting proper keyword research. Your goals will help you identify what kind of keywords you need to target to achieve your desired outcomes, while understanding your target audience will help you identify the language and terms they use to search for your products or services.
And by understanding your target audience, you will also understand their search intent. After which you can create a list of relevant keywords that will drive more qualified traffic to your website, improve your search engine rankings.
Start by clarifying the main objectives for your website or business. Are you trying to increase sales, generate leads, or drive traffic? Your goals will help you determine which keywords to target.
For example, if you are a fitness coach targeting women in their 30s who want to lose weight, you might target keywords such as “weight loss for women over 30” or “fitness coaching for busy moms.” By defining your goals and target audience, you can create a keyword strategy that will help you reach your audience and achieve your business objectives.
Step 2: Brainstorm potential keywords and phrases based on your goals and audience.
To brainstorm potential keywords and phrases for your client’s audience, try the following steps:
- Identify your client’s target audience and their needs.
- Think of words and phrases that your client’s audience might use to describe their needs or search for solutions.
- Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find related keywords and phrases.
- Look at your client’s competitors and see what keywords and phrases they are using. You can do this by using certain tools such as Spyfu.
- Consider long-tail keywords and phrases that are more specific to your client’s products or services.
- Use social media listening tools to see what words and phrases people are using when talking about your client’s industry or products.
- Test and refine your list of keywords and phrases based on search volume, competition, and relevance to your client’s audience.
- Use keyword research tools to analyze search volume, competition, and relevance of your potential keywords.
- Refine your list based on the data gathered from your research.
- Continuously monitor and update your keyword strategy.
Step 3: Use Keyword research tools
Come to think of it, the task is Keyword Research, obviously, you need the right Keyword research tool.
Keyword research tools can provide valuable insights into search volume, competition, and relevance of your potential keywords. By analyzing these factors, you can identify high-traffic, low-competition keywords that are relevant to your target audience.
Some popular keyword research tools include:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs, and
- Moz Keyword Explorer.
These tools can help you optimize your website or content for search engines, and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
As our example, we will use Ahrefs as our Keyword Research tool.
To use Ahrefs for keyword research, follow these steps:
- Enter your target keyword into the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool.
- Analyze the keyword metrics, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and potential traffic.
- Use the “Keyword Ideas” and “Phrase Match” features to find related keywords and long-tail variations.
- Filter and sort the results to find the most relevant and high-traffic keywords.
- Export the list of keywords to use in your content strategy or PPC campaigns.
Step 4: Refine your list based on the data gathered from your research or survey.
To refine your list, you should carefully analyze the data gathered from your research or survey. Look for patterns, common terms, and keyword trends that can help you narrow down your list to the most relevant and important keywords for your clients. Having the most search volume doesn’t necessarily mean that the keyword is valuable. Sometimes, it is the intent that you want, rather than the metrics.
Consider feedback from your target audience and prioritize items that are most important to them.
Also, consider the feasibility and resources required to implement each item on the list.
Step 5: Continuously monitor and update your keyword strategy based on Google algorithms
It is recommended to regularly review and adjust your keyword strategy in response to changes in Google algorithms to maintain optimal SEO performance. The latest update last April 12 somehow focuses on the reviews, “The reviews system is designed to evaluate articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content written with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis.” – Google search central.
Here are some additional points to consider when reviewing and adjusting your keyword strategy:
- Keep an eye on your website’s traffic and monitor any shifts in search queries that are driving visitors to your site. This can help you identify which keywords are performing well and which ones may need to be re-evaluated or replaced.
- Use keyword research tools to uncover new, relevant keywords that are related to your business or industry. This can help you stay ahead of the curve and target new audiences.
- Consider the intent behind the keywords you are targeting. Are they informational, transactional, or navigational? Understanding the intent behind a user’s search query can help you create content that better meets their needs and boosts your search rankings.
- Don’t forget about long-tail keywords. While they may not have as much search volume as broader keywords, they can be highly targeted and help you attract more qualified leads to your site.
- Finally, remember that your keyword strategy should be aligned with your overall business goals and objectives. Make sure you are targeting keywords that are relevant to your products or services, and that will help you drive the right kind of traffic to your site.
Things to Consider when Conducting Proper Keyword Research
- Search volume: Look for keywords that have a high search volume to increase the chances of your content being discovered.
- Relevance: Ensure that the keywords you choose are relevant to your content, otherwise, it may not attract the right audience.
- Competition: Consider the level of competition for each keyword and choose ones that have a lower competition to increase the chances of ranking higher in search results.
- User search intent: Understand the intent behind the keywords and create content that meets the needs of the searcher.
- Long-tail keywords: Consider using long-tail keywords that are more specific and have a lower competition, which increases the chances of ranking higher for that keyword.
- Trends: Research trending topics and keywords to capitalize on current events and stay relevant.
- Target audience: Consider the language and phrases your target audience is likely to use when searching for your content.
Effective keyword research is key to optimizing your website for search engines. Start by brainstorming relevant topics and use tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords with high search volume and low competition. Consider long-tail keywords and variations of your main keywords to expand your reach. Analyze your competitors’ keywords and track your own performance regularly. Use your chosen keywords strategically in website copy, meta tags, and URLs. By conducting proper keyword research, you can increase your visibility in search results and attract more relevant traffic to your website.