With the ever-changing SEO practices over the years, keyword research remains one of the most essential tasks. Keyword research can help you expand or improve on the search ranking of your website, so learning how to properly conduct keyword research can make a huge difference in your SEO efforts.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and determining keywords that matter most to the objectives of your website. But it’s not just about the keywords you want to rank for, it also includes. Finding the ones you should rank for, in other words what people who want what you offer are actually searching for. Through keyword research, you can also determine what your competitors are ranking for using competitive analysis, which may lead to insight on keywords you can utilize.
Analyze Your Existing Keywords
If you have a site you’ve been working on or have a list of keywords you’ve been trying to rank for, the first thing you should do is run an analysis to see how those are performing. The goal here is to establish a baseline of keywords that you can either continue to use or expand upon down the line. To analyze a larger application, you’ll probably want to use a paid tool, but for a smaller, more basic site there are free rank tracking tools available as well.
Outline Your Goals
Outlining your goals will give you a sense of direction when doing your research. You want to gather keywords that you not only can rank for, but will attract visitors who can help you reach your goals. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when developing your goals:
- Who is our target audience?
- What do we sell / what value do our products bring to our customers?
- What are the needs and desires of our potential customers?
- What does our target audience need to know in order to feel confident buying from us?
Answering these questions will help you develop your goals in order to focus on the keywords that will matter to your business, and hopefully improve your SEO success.
Build Your Ideal Keyword List
Similar to when outlining your goals, you’ll want to outline a list of keywords you think best describe what your potential customers search for in their buyer journey. This includes:
- What they might search for when trying to educate themselves on the product or service you provide
- What they might search when trying to make an informed decision about who to buy from
- What they would search for when they know what they want to buy
Assess the Competition
One of the best ways to determine keywords you should be ranking for is by looking at what your competitors are doing. The simplest way to do this is Google. Google can help you identify who your competitors are, as well as their ranking when you search keywords related to the product or service they provide.
Using these tips can help you build a solid foundation for starting your keyword research, that can ultimately get you to start developing and implementing new keywords to your site and content. It’s important to remember that this is not a one-and-done process. Just like the content you post, you’re going to want to continuously revisit keyword research as your market situation will change overtime. Using keyword research correctly and making a habit of it can ultimately improve your SEO success.