What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the core SEO task of identifying, evaluating and using the phrases used by people to search for online information. In other words, it’s about getting to know your potential visitors’ language, and using it to optimize your content.
Researching keywords offers marketers a better understanding of how strong the demand for certain keywords is and how challenging it would be in the organic search results to compete for those phrases, providing some guidance for optimization efforts.
Keyword research is not just about testing how many searches a single keyword has. It’s also about discovering the many different ways people use language to search for an idea or topic. As such, studying common keywords is not only a large part of improving the search engine, it is also a major element of content marketing as a whole.
Why would you care about it?
Because it can help you find inspiration for your next blog post, learn more about your audience’s needs, and stay up-to-date with the ever-changing search lingo.
Basically, you can bring the right traffic to your site by studying the words people type in search engines and using this research to build targeted content traffic that is more likely to be converted. Because with your content, it is one of the most critical SEO tasks and a perfect way to reach out to more people.
If your competitor also ranks for certain keywords on your list, focusing on enhancing your ranking for those would definitely make sense. But don’t ignore the ones who don’t seem to know about your competitors. It could provide you with a great opportunity to own market share on important terms as well.
How to do keyword research?
All keyword research begins with a topic, idea, or keyword head, also known as “seed.” This seed may come from your industry knowledge, from being an active member in related online forums and groups, or from the products and services you provide.
Make a list of interesting, relevant topics based on your business knowledge. Think of the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets to kick off this process. You’ll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets that you think are important to your company, and then you’ll use those topic buckets to help you later come up with some relevant keywords.
Make sure you have a spreadsheet or notepad where you can explain these phrases as you navigate through the websites and social networks maze to find variations on these keywords.
If you’re struggling to think of more keywords, people may be looking for a specific topic, go to Google.com and look at the search terms that appear when you’re plugging in a keyword. You will note some recommendations for searches similar to your original feedback when you type in your term and scroll to the bottom of the results of Google. Such keywords can give rise to ideas for other keywords that you might want to consider.
When to do keyword research?
Keyword research is usually the first step in improving every website’s search engine. Most often, it is necessary when you are: seeking a new niche in search of new content ideas to optimize your existing content.
Any website owner, blogger, or SEO specialist should do keyword research if he is planning to get good SERP position.
What tools do I need?
Keyword research can be done either manually, or using keyword research tools. Because of the practicality it offers, I prefer using tools rather than doing this process manually.
You can simply benefit from Google auto complete feature if you want to manually find long tail keywords that can be profitable for your business. Alternatively, there is a great tool called Ubersuggest from Neil Patel. Using it will give you quite detailed information for a free keyword research tool. Paid keyword tools give much better results than free tools since they have premium features that really shorten the research process.
However if you cannot afford a paid tool, it doesn’t mean you are out of SEO game. Just use free tools, and as soon as you can be profitable you can consider investing in a high quality keyword tool.