The fundamental elements of search engine optimization (SEO) campaign are keyword identification and analysis. Strategies are extensively driven by keywords, whereas content and structure are designed to land users on your website by targeting the relevant and viable words or phrases that most likely to be entered by them to find information.
Undoubtedly, keyword research is the vital part of SEO. This is an indispensable undertaking for the execution of your SEO campaign. Thus, as a website owner, you have to safeguard the whole course of keyword research in pursuit of positive outcomes.
Here are 4 steps to a better keyword research:
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE TOPICS YOU INTENT TO FOCUS ON
Prior to preparing a list of possible target keywords, you need to determine what topics you aim to discuss in your articles. These targeted topics should be related to the business, particular niche or category to which your website belongs.
For instance, if you are in the retail industry that sells children’s apparel, you might come across some broad topics such as, “clothes for toddlers,” “infant clothing,” “children’s shoes” and similar terms. These broad topics are indeed helpful to induce some possible keywords.
STEP 2: MAKE AN INITIAL LIST OF KEYWORDS
The following step is to identify and segment your target audiences. Then, place yourself in their shoes as if you are the audience. By doing so, you are able to find out what are the probable keywords or phrases that you think your target audiences may type into the search box. Referring to the example above, some of the keywords may be “winter clothes for toddlers,” “dresses for newborns,” “sports shoes for kids” and so on.
Bear in mind that this is not the final list because these phrases still appear too broad and are likely to be highly competitive. You will still have to narrow down to more specific phrases.
STEP 3: RESEARCH RELATED TERMS
If the keywords that come to mind appear repetitive and general or even you’re struggling to come up with terms for your broad topics, related terms are the alternative solutions. To do this, enter your listed keywords in Google search engine. You will find a list of “related searches” at the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERP). The list indicates the most identical terms used by searchers to find the similar information. Study those keywords and consider them in expanding your keyword list.
Google’s Keyword Planner is another way to find related terms from your keywords list. It will not only reveal the additional related terms, but it will also show you the monthly estimated traffic volume for each keyword or phrase. This will help you refine your list of targeted terms.
STEP 4: INCLUDE BOTH HEAD TERMS AND LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
Head terms or otherwise known as fat head keywords refer to keywords that are shorter and more generic. They will have the high search volume and competition in general. Understandably, you’ll want to target high-volume keywords with your content. However, you won’t be ranked or able to drive traffic if your content doesn’t align with the search intent of the person typing the keyword into Google. Besides, head terms always drive quantity traffic over quality traffic. For instance, there are plenty of searchers who are searching for the iconic pop star “Bruno Mars”, but probably only a dozen searches a month for something like “Bruno Mars XXIVk Magic Tour Finale Ticket.”
Long-tail keywords on the other hand tent to be significantly longer and much more specific in nature. Hence, they are relatively more beneficial in attracting quality traffic. Their further refining from head-terms are expected to drive lower traffic volumes to a site but from people who are more interested in the products or services being sold by the website. Thus, they are more likely to convert.
It is good to include both types of terms because people search differently. At times, a user will first enter a generic term and will later refine his search by typing a phrase with different keyword combinations. Thus, it is a good practice to have a balanced strategy.
Needless to say, keyword trends are constantly shifting in the SEO world. Users get smarter with their choices of keyword combinations because they want their desired information appears in a matter of second.
It is important to review your keywords’ monthly traffic volume so that you can refine your list regularly and revise your content accordingly. Make keyword research a part of your SEO routine tasks to keep your website current and optimized.