How to do keyword research for SEO? If you are asking this question then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will be sharing steps, tips and tricks on how to conduct a keyword research to help you optimize your website. Keyword research is one of the important factors in Search Engine Optimization. It allows you to target specific audience and bring traffic to your website. However, in adding keywords to your website, you have to ensure that you are targeting the correct set of people.
What is Keyword Research?
Before we go deeper into discussing further details about keywords, let’s define keyword research first. It is the process of searching and analyzing specific keywords or phrases which attracts traffic into your website. This can be used in creating strategies on how to rank your website on top of Search Result Pages (SRPs) such as Google. Google bots have become smarter and smarter. They adapt, adjust and make changes to their algorithms from time to time. Hence it is important to properly strategize on your website’s content by placing correct keywords.
To further explain it, let’s take this article as an example. When you go to Google, what keyword or phrase did you search? Did you type “keyword” or “keyword research” or maybe the exact “how to do keyword research for SEO”? By doing so, it has lead you to this article. So, keyword research is basically looking for the exact same term/s your customers or readers are typing in search engines and putting it in your website’s content. There are, however, multiple factors that you have to consider in conducting a keyword research. These factors will be discussed further in this article.
How to Conduct Keyword Research for your SEO Strategy
By now, you should have an idea on what is keyword research and why do you need to do it. How does it affect your website and help you outrank your competitors position in SRPs. The following are the steps on how to do keyword research for SEO and optimize your website.
1. Identify Your Market
Business branding refers to your business or website’s core details. There are multiple information included in your business branding such as your business name, mission, vision, tag line, target market, location, etc. In performing a keyword research, you will however, only need to focus on two things under your business branding. These are target market and location.
It is important that you identify your target market in doing the keyword research. You don’t want to drive traffic to your website from general audiences. It might be good as your website is discoverable but it won’t convert into your desired sales since your traffic is not targeted specific to your business. I will explain this further as we go along. In some instances, depending on your business, you have to identify your location where you want to rank. Same as with identifying your target market, it would be useless to drive traffic to your website but not converting into sales. Not unless, you are running a blog which can pretty much benefit on general audiences. Again, this would depend on your business hence, you have identify these two first.
This would depend on your business. Are you selling mobile phone cases? Or do you have a coffee shop, restaurant or travel and tour business. Let’s take use the same example as stated previously. For this article, my target market are business owners looking to rank their websites in search engines and those who are wanting to learn how to conduct SEO keyword research. Just like with the previous example, you are here reading this article because you searched “how to do keyword research for SEO” in Google. So, you’re one of my target markets.
Using the same example, I am targeting this article to rank locally, anywhere in the Philippines. Since I don’t really have a physical location, I won’t have to target a specific place. Let’s say you own a coffee shop in Bacolod City, so you should be targeting those who wants to drink coffee within Bacolod City. It wouldn’t make sense that you are targeting locations far from Bacolod since they can’t come in your physical store. Now, let’s say however that your coffee shop also sells packed ground coffee, it’s okay to target locations anywhere in the Philippines since you will be benefiting from it.
2. Put Yourself in your Customer’s Shoe
Now that you have already identified your target market and location, it’s time for you think what would your customers search in search engines. Put yourself in your customer’s shoe, go to search engines and think of questions that your customers or target market would search. Unlike before, Google now checks your website if it addresses an issue rather than stuffed with a lot of keywords. Google is crawling millions of websites everyday and one way of getting a higher rank is if your content has much information related to what people are searching.
Using this article as an example, since I am targeting business owners wanting to rank their websites in SERPs or those who wants to learn how to conduct keyword research, the following are sample searches that my target market might search in Google:
- “How to perform keyword research”
- “How to do keyword research”
- “Keyword research tools”
- “Keyword research tips”
- “SEO keyword research steps”
So, if you have a coffee shop in Bacolod City and you want to target people within the area or maybe a tourist visiting the city, what would possible their searches in Google?
- “Coffee shop in Bacolod City”
- “Best coffee shop in Bacolod City”
- “Where to go for coffee in Bacolod City”
- “Coffee shop near me”
- Coffee places in Bacolod”
How to Look for Possible Search Phrases?
As you can see in the images, one simple way to know what your target market are searching is by going to Google. Type any possible question or search that your target market might look in the search engine and Google will show you the top searches for that market. This is why you need to identify your target market and location as mentioned in the first step. Also, this is one of the reasons why your website needs to be able to address your target market concerns or queries and not just focus on any keyword. If Google detects your website with more information addressing most searches in your target market, there’s a high chance that your website will be ranked on top of Google’s search results.
One best way to also look for the commonly searched phrases in Google is by going to the bottom of the search results page. Let’s say you searched “how to do keyword research for seo”, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see suggestions related to what you are searching.
3. Look for the Search Volume
Very good! We are down to the last part. Now that you have already identified your target keywords or phrases, it’s time to look if those are worth adding to your page or post. This is important for you to be able to effectively add keywords or phrases with high search volume on your page. You might be targeting a keyword with only 10 searches per month and it won’t really bring much traffic to your website hence low number of conversions.
There are a lot of keyword research tool that you can use. There are free tools, a lot of them and there are also paid ones but you can get pretty much all you need in the free ones. You can use Google Keyword Planner, Google Trend, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, etc. What I usually use is Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.
How To Use Google Keyword Planner Tool
Using this article as our example, I went to Google Keyword Planner and plugin the keyword or phrases I want to use. As you can see in the image, I searched for “how to do keyword research” and “keyword research”. The former only have 10-100 average monthly volume while the latter have 100-1k average monthly search volume. What I can recommend for the minimum monthly average search volume is at least 100. The higher the better. If it’s less than 100, you can probably still use it but it’s not going to be your main focus keyword.
You also need to consider your Competition. It shows how competitive ad placement is for a keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options that you’ve selected. The level of competition—low, medium, or high— is determined by the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. I’d recommend to use keywords with medium to low competition. Don’t mind the bid range as that is for running a Google Ads campaign.
Google Keyword Planner also shows you a lot more keyword ideas which you can also incorporate in your website. Look for the relevant keyword in your target market, look for the average number of monthly search volume and the difficulty level of competitions.
How To Use Ubersuggest
Another keyword research tool that I am usually using is Ubersuggest. It is almost the same as Google Keyword Planner. What I like most about Ubersuggest is that, it provides you some information regarding your competitors. So just to go Ubersuggest Keyword Overview and typed in your desired keyword. It will then give you the average monthly search volume as well as the difficulty level of that keyword.
Ubersuggest also gives you a breakdown of search result volume for mobile and desktop searches. I find this useful because if your target keyword has a high mobile search volume, you have to make sure that your website or the page that you are posting is mobile optimized. In SEO optimization, the speed on how fast or slow your website loads play a huge factor. It will also give you an idea on how many people in your target keyword clicks the result in search engines organically, paid or not clicking it at all.
Finally! Congratulations! You are done with your keyword research which you can now use to optimize your website for seo. Always remember to focus on the right topics when doing a keyword research. Your page or post must contain answers to common searches in order for your website to have a high chance of ranking in SERPs. Just keep these three simple steps in mind when doing a keyword research for SEO:
- Identify your Target Market
- Put Yourself in your Customer’s Shoe
- Look for the Search Volume
I hope that this article has helped you in conducting a keyword research. As always if you need an SEO specialist to perform SEO audits, keyword research, on page and off page optimization, feel free to contact me. I’d love to discuss further details with you and help you outrank your competitors and convert traffic into sales! Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.