Google uses over 200 factors in their algorithm for ranking websites — and one of the most important of these factors is keywords.
Using long-tailed keywords have a higher click-through rate, and almost 8% of searches are questions. These are all things you need to know to take advantage of keyword research.
But why is keyword research so important and do you know how to choose keywords for SEO?
Don't worry, we've got your back. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to keyword research.
The Importance of Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization
It's important to think of keyword research as the blueprint for your digital marketing strategy. It's the foundation from which all of your other marketing practices will grow.
When you are able to identify strong, competitive keywords it gives you an idea of what content to market.
When you do keyword research you're identifying phrases and words that users are searching for on Google (and perhaps other major search engines, too). You'll be specifically looking for the phrases and terms that relate to your brand, blog, product, or service.
This gives you vital information about what people are actually searching for, and what they actually want, rather than what you assume they are searching for.
So, you can better understand your audience and then create content and marketing strategies designed specifically for them using keywords. This will drive traffic and potential customers to your site.
Another reason why keyword research is so important is for SEO (search engine optimization). Ranking on the first page of Google is one of the most powerful digital advertising strategies for your business. And it's almost completely free.
Search engines need to understand what your site is about and whether it is valuable before they'll rank it.
Google does this by crawling your site and picking up on different factors. One of these is keywords.
Google wants to know if your content matches searcher intent and if it's what users are looking for. Keywords give this information.
How to Do Keyword Research
Getting started with keyword analysis and research can seem extremely overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of keyword research tools to help you out and make your job a little easier.
You could do the keyword research process manually by thinking of broad topics, brainstorming related queries, and then whittling them down by searching each one on Google.
This process is time-consuming, though, and difficult to get a grasp of in the beginning.
There are plenty of free, and subscription keyword research tools to choose from. SEMrush boasts an all-in-one keyword tool that provides you with easy-to-understand data and a ton of excellent keywords.
It's as simple as plugging in a seed keyword and getting a list of suggested keywords. You'll be able to see the search volume, trend, keyword difficulty, word count, and cost-per-click percentage for each keyword.
Your seed keyword will be the broad topic of your choosing. For example, if you are a wedding venue, you might use the seed keyword 'wedding packages' or 'wedding catering' to see what people are searching for under those two topics.
You can then filter the list of keywords. You may only want question-based queries, you can filter for this. Organize the keywords by the metrics you think are important, such as competitive density (a percentage that your competitors use these keywords).
How to Choose Keywords for SEO
So now you know how to do keyword research. But how do you choose the best keywords that have the highest ranking potential? You want to look for keywords with high traffic and search volume, but a low keyword difficulty.
The volume and traffic indicate how many people are searching for that keyword. The difficulty is a metric that indicates how difficult it would be to rank for that keyword.
For example, the keyword 'wedding' will have an extremely high traffic and search volume — that's great. But, it will also have a very high difficulty, because many huge sites and companies will be using that keyword in some capacity.
So, your chances of ranking for it are very low.
Look for specific terms rather than broad ones, and try using local keywords or filtering for regional keywords to find high traffic and search volume queries that have a low keyword difficulty.
There is no hard and fast number that determines the best traffic, volume, and difficulty. It all depends on your site, your competitors, and the keyword.
There is one more factor to consider when choosing keywords. The most obvious one being relevance. This is where you need to take into consideration searcher intent. You can't create content that doesn't meet the searcher's needs and expect to rank for the keyword.
Keyword Research Tips
The more experience you get doing keyword research, the easier it will become. But here are some quick tips to help you along the way:
- Include long-tail keywords (containing three or more words)
- Avoid keyword stuffing — keywords should be used naturally
- Check how your competitors are ranking for keywords
- Always use the target keyword in your title and URL
- Map keywords to content
Check out this SEO keywords example concerning the topic of camping equipment:
"Are you looking for the best camping equipment but you're not sure where to begin? This detailed guide has all the information you need, from affordable camping equipment to top-of-the-range gear..."
You can see how the seed keyword will provide a list of long-tailed keywords to determine the direction of your content.
Do You Need a Little Help With Your Keyword Research and Strategy?
Keyword research is an integral part of SEO and digital marketing. It's important for search engine rankings as well as creating content that matches the searcher intent of your audience.
If this all seems a little overwhelming for you and you're not sure how to choose keywords for SEO, we're here to help you out.
As one of the Semrush certified partner agencies, it's safe to say that keywords are one of our expertise. If you are ready to turn browsers into buyers with content that converts check out our SEO services and get in touch.