There’s no other way.
That’s why it’s essential to master these methods since you use them pretty much every day.
One of the most crucial SEO tasks is keyword research. If you want visibility, more leads, and engagement, that’s the answer. Good research will be handy in giving you what you need to rank better in result pages.
In case you’re wondering how, keep reading. We’re going to address it in this post:
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying and analyzing the terms people use on search engines.
By understanding those keywords, the brand can finally find the ones that matter the most and develop specific content to match people’s needs and intentions.
It’s about finding out what your buyer persona searches for and, then, making the right adjustment to find what they are looking for. You get to analyze not only what expressions they may use, but:
- how much they’re using those words;
- info on the search result pages for each keyword.
Putting it simply: keyword research is the heart and soul of your Content and Digital Marketing plan.
If the content production itself is about building the body structure, the keyword analysis gives the content a reason to exist.
With good keyword research, you can:
- boost traffic;
- qualify your visits: since people who actually are interested in your offering will find you.
However, keyword research is much more than only finding some combination of words.
It’s about exploring them to understand how you leverage to rank better. This is what you can gather from the research:
- search volume: you can see how much an expression is used every month;
- relevance: the tools allow you to understand which are the significant keywords in your niche;
- popularity: also, you can get a view of how many brands are already using each keyword.
How to do keyword research?
So, you already know what keyword research is and why it’s essential for your plan. Now, it’s time to understand how you can do it.
Don’t worry about which one to use right now because we’re going to walk you through the most relevant ones later on.
Yes, you will use some platforms. But the KW research begins way before that. Initially, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions about your company and then develop some ideas.
We’re talking about your mission and goal as a company. What are you trying to sell? Brainstorm some words that describe what you do.
After you’ve done that, you will have a small list of terms and keywords. They are basically your first draft.
Only then you can start using a tool. For this article, we’re using Google Keyword Planner because it’s free and easy to use. So, go check it out.
Here’s a step-by-step on how to use Google KP to find keywords.
First off, you will need a Google Ads account. Make sure you have it and log into it.
Click the wrench icon and go for “Keyword Planner”. There are two main options here: “Discover new Keywords” and “Get search volume and forecasts”.
“Discover new keywords” will lead you to find ideas for your content. On the other side, “Get search volume and forecasts” is appropriate when your team wants to discover the number of searches for a specific keyword.
If the users click “Discover”, they will end up on a page where you need to type in some terms.
Do you remember that first draft? Well, that’s the right moment to use those words.
Click “Start With Keywords” and paste your initial keywords.
After that, the planner will redirect you to the results page. That’s where the magic happens: your team will be able to see related keywords, their search volume, and their popularity.
This popularity, in other words, can mean “difficulty.” Basically, it’s telling you how hard it is to rank for those keywords.
If the term is too popular, many big companies are already optimizing for them. If, however, the popularity is low, almost nobody is trying for them.
But that’s a little tricky. Because the higher the competition is, the more chances you have of converting when using that KW. Beware of all that before choosing one.
So, you’ve come this far and already have a list of ideas for KWs. It’s time to select the best ones.
For that, you will need to analyze the competition, the commercial potential, and the user intent behind all those sentences.
The user intent is a big deal. To find it, marketers use a little trick: they google the specific KW and then keep an eye on what comes up. By doing that, you can get how Google understands that certain expression.
For instance, if you Google “Digital Marketing”, you will find many guides on what, why, and how.
It’s easy to assume that this KW is very vague and broad, so the intent is to understand more about the subject.
Users who are googling it are after information, not necessarily a product.
In fact, there’s a way of dividing keyword intent into some categories. Such as:
- informational: the user only wants to know more and learn about a topic;
- navigational: people want to go to a certain website, and they type in the name (such as “rock content blog”);
- transactional: users are looking for something to buy right away.
When talking about informational keywords, an excellent way to increase your authority and positively impact your SEO strategy is by hosting webinars on the theme.
When choosing keywords, the marketing team has to look out for their length.
Some of them are short, comprising one to three words, and some are long, comprising over three. We call the short “head keyword”. The long ones are “long-tail keywords”.
Head keywords are general. They can mean a lot of things.
Usually, they tell you that people are after an informational type of content. However, long-tail keywords are more specific and clear. It means that people know what they want.
While head keywords are the most valuable ones, long-tail KWs lead you to more conversions.
After all, when using a long-tail, the user is ready for something more than only read and learn. They are well-educated enough to start looking for options to buy.
The recommendation is to select both types of KWs and try to plan out content for them. Sometimes, you want to compete for those higher-value terms.
Sometimes, you only want to be there for your reader when they type in something direct and specific.
What is the best keyword research tool?
There are many research tools out there. They are very similar to each other but differ in some aspects.
Let’s review the most popular ones!
On SEMRush, you can identify the best keywords for your brand in the blink of an eye.
Users can find a list of the most relevant terms and even get some smart suggestions. Besides finding KWs, marketers can evaluate their businesses as well.
SEMRush offers you a list of your main backlinks and the keywords to which you’re ranking better now. You can also get a view of how your competitors are doing and get some insight to evolve.
They display the information on a dashboard, making it easy for you to understand what’s going on.
Another great option is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. To use it, you need to search for a general word or sentence.
Then, the software shows you related search terms and the information you need to know about them.
Users can identify the keyword’s difficulty, the monthly search volume, and even visualize the trends of ups and downs on the searches. Also, you can get excellent keyword ideas to produce new pieces.
Ubersuggest also gives you an overview of how your site is performing with a site audit.
Based on the insight the software provides, you can make some significant changes and get better results.
We can’t talk about SEO tools without mentioning Moz. It helps you get a better vision of how hard it is to go for each keyword. That means it provides you with each term’s difficulty.
It also gives you a deep understanding of search results, so you can improve your ranking. With Moz, you get to rank better and leverage SEO features, such as featured snippets.
What are the other keyword tools you need?
Now, let’s see some more options for keyword research we haven’t talked about yet.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
The Keyword Explorer and Keyword Generator from Ahrefs are as powerful as it can be when it comes to KW research.
They give you a ton of insight and metrics on a sentence, from volume and difficulty to a full breakdown of the results page.
Users can browse through over 7 billion queries that are on the Ahrefs database.
The good thing about its dashboard is the massive variety of filters: search volume, difficulty, presence of SERP features, etc. You can visualize information from different perspectives.
Besides, Ahrefs tools provide you data from several search engines, not only Google. You can see what’s happening on YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Baidu, etc.
Keywords Everywhere is an add-on for your browser that shows you related information about search queries as you use the engines.
So, in real-time, you can learn as much as you need about the keywords, the search volumes, intent, and more.
The supported sites are:
- Google SERPs;
- Google Analytics;
WordStream Free Keyword Tool
The Free Keyword Tool by WordStream is another straight-forward, easy-to-use keyword software. All you need to do is enter a specific keyword.
Then the page displays related terms, search volume, competition for each of those KWs, and other features. In the free version, you can use it for 30 searches.
Keyword.io provides marketers more than 700 keyword suggestions based on a simple idea. Also, you don’t even need to sign in. It’s really that easy to get started.
There are KWs for different search engines, such as YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, eBay, and more.
How to learn more about SEO?
Fortunately, if you wish to go further on SEO, there are several online courses available nowadays.
You can learn what you need without spending too much or wasting too much of your time. Do you want to know how?
Let’s see which ones are the best!
SEMRush offers a couple of courses that help people find their way into the SEO world.
There’s the “Free online SEO course”, for instance, that guides users through the first steps.
They teach keyword research, competitive analysis, and more while guiding how to use SEMRush software.
Besides that, there’s the “SEO Keyword Research Course with Greg Gifford”, a set of 8 lessons about keyword research, query intent, and benchmark, with Greg, a well-known expert on the subject.
The Moz SEO Certification focuses on teaching you what you need to know about SEO. It contains a series of 5-hour video lessons and a final exam.
Besides, there’s the “Keyword: developing your competitive strategy.” In this one, you’ll learn how to compare keywords, connect them with your sales funnel, get blog post ideas, and understand how to increase traffic.
What about Hubspot? You probably already know their courses. “Creating a Content Strategy in HubSpot” is about creating a content strategy from scratch.
You get to learn how to use SEO tools to identify and match user intent, so you can create new posts and convert more.
Also, there’s the SEO training, which is more of a general guide. In this one, you will understand how to test the website and apply practical changes for better ranking.
Keyword research is a fundamental process for your content strategy.
It gives you excellent ideas to produce new pieces and match people’s needs and query intent. This way, you convert more and generate more revenue through your blogging.
However, this is only one part of an SEO strategy. Every marketer needs a solid SEO foundation before doing anything online, so it’s crucial to keep learning about those three letters.