The days of cramming keywords into websites and reaping good results are long gone.
Anyone who wants their website to rank well on search engine results pages (which is everyone, right?), needs to channel their inner Keyword Cupid, and play matchmaker to find the right keywords to go with their website.
The job doesn’t end there; next, hone the relationship between content and keywords for a thriving website that ranks well and stands the test of time, or at least holds out until the next big Google algorithm update!
Here we explore keyword research and how it helps SEO.
Keyword research is conducted to identify and analyse the specific words and phrases people use when searching for information on search engines.
The ultimate aim is typically to rank higher on search engines such as Google, giving your website a better chance of being found by audiences.
Conducting keyword research can help you determine which queries relating to your business are most popular, and which you should focus your SEO on.
In a broader sense, it can also help you formulate your marketing strategy.
The short answer to this question is ‘yes’.
The long answer to this question is ‘hell, yes!’
Anyone who’s been keeping up with the continually changing Google algorithms that affect how websites rank on SERPs will know that keywords aren’t the be-all and end-all of good SEO practices.
However, keywords are still pivotal in helping to determine your ranking spot. Unlike physical stores that will attract a good portion of their customers from passing traffic, websites operate in a way where the customer has to find their way to you. If you’re not ranking well on search engines, you may as well not exist at all.
Keyword research helps you to gain insight on the types of queries your customers are searching, and position yourself in a good spot to be the answer to those queries.
This way, your target audience comes to you.
Effective keyword research will reveal current market trends, including which keywords and topics are declining in popularity, and which are increasing in popularity.
This can be really useful for developing a marketing strategy that capitalises on current and projected trends.
When you get keyword research right, it will help you rank higher on SERPs and lead to an influx of traffic.
The consequence of an increase in traffic can be an increase in customers, and effectively an increase in revenue.
One way to achieve this is by using a call to action on your keyword-heavy webpage.
The good news is, that putting together a list of your ideal keywords isn’t rocket science. This can be achieved by following the four simple steps listed below.
Focus on Topics
Before you get stuck in with keywords, brainstorm several topics that are relevant to your business, that you think your target audience will be interested in.
These topics will be used later on to determine your keywords.
Topics can be viewed as the tree trunk of your business, and the keywords are the branches. The keywords cannot exist without the topics they branch off from.
If you are a business selling residential properties, your topics may include ‘local house prices’, ‘property valuation’, ‘property investment’, and ‘mortgage services’. You should come up with a handful of topics you can use as the basis for your keyword research.
Using your topics as the starting point, create keywords for each topic, or ‘branches’ for your tree.
Keywords can be long or short, with keywords that are three words are fewer being known as head keywords, and longer phrases being known as long tail keywords.
Using our previous topic example of ‘mortgage services’, keywords that could form the branches on this tree could include: ‘how to get a mortgage’, ‘best mortgage provider’, ‘lowest mortgage rate’, ‘self-employed mortgages’, ‘is it hard to get a mortgage’, ‘online mortgages’, ‘mortgage advisors near me’.
If you get stuck for keywords, find out which keywords your website is already getting found using Google. How? Find more keywords by researching related searches. Do this by searching one of your keywords in Google and scrolling to the bottom of the page to see ‘related searches’.
Go one step further by putting the related search terms into Google and repeating the process to find even more related keywords.
Utilise SEO Tools
To find out which keywords are trending, along with more keyword inspiration, utilise free SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner.
This can tell you how often your keyword has been searched for each month, and provide insight on whether the keyword is experiencing an upwards or downwards popularity trend
Use this to narrow down your selection of keywords, focusing on those that you have authority over, or those that have minimal competition.
The most popular keywords are not always the best, because it’s likely that bigger brands will already dominate these.
At a minimum, aim to repeat your keyword research once every quarter to make sure you’re staying on the right track and maintaining momentum with your search engine rankings.
Now you know your keywords, but simply inserting them at random into your content isn’t going to get you very far.
Instead, you’ll want to consider authority and relevance in relation to your keywords.
Your content might be hitting the mark in terms of quality, accuracy, and keyword placement, but if you don’t have any authority in your field, you’ll be lucky to rank within the first few SERPs.
Google gives preference to sources that are deemed to have relevant authority, so bear this in mind when planning your content.
Focus on keywords that are within your area of expertise, and enrich your content with backlinks to reputable sites, and social signals.
This will help to ensure your keyword research does exactly the job it was supposed to do.
A webpage full of the right keywords isn’t going to rank well if it isn’t relevant to the search query.
Google aims to bring the most relevant and and accurate results in response to the searchers query, so you need to focus not only on your keywords, but also on the way they are used.
In Light of These Facts
Anyone with even a vague understanding of SEO knows what keyword research is and why it’s important.
But getting it done right and using your findings to their full advantage can be more complicated.
Keywords send signals to search engines to let them know what a web page is about, and this is how search engines will determine if your content is relevant to any given search query.
Use the wrong keyword and you risk having your web page disappear forever into the online void.
How Can SEO Impact Help With Keyword Research
SEO Impact is a results driven digital marketing agency.
We have a great track record of changing the marketing fortunes of clients from around the world, so if you need a big of help with your keywords, feel free to contact us today.