How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

Keyword Research

Google is the application consistent chosen by inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search discovery. Google keeps us on our toes and well updated with all of the algorithm updates it keeps rollin’ out; For example, in introducing the phrase: keyword research. The need to do keyword research has, however, remained the same and there have been no fundamental changes in how we approach it.

What is Keyword Research?

The meaning of Keyword research is the use of keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines, which helps in informing content or marketing strategies overall. Keyword research also helps us to figure out what to rank and how.

The following steps will help you to come up with a list of terms to target with keyword research. Doing this will enable you to establish and execute the search terms that you care about.

The following steps reflect how we build a Research Keywords strategy for SEO.

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

In starting this process, think about the many topics that you want to rank for regarding generic buckets, come up with -10 topic buckets that are important to your business, and finally, use the topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords for later in the process.

A regular blogger will have frequent topics which they blog about it regularly, which normally emerge in sales conversations. For example, when you put yourself in the shoes of your buyers, you can think about the types of topics that your target audience will search, through which they will potentially find your business. Considering you own a company like HubSpot, for example, which sells marketing, and happens to have some awesome software including SEO tools (but I digress), you might have general topic buckets including “marketing automation.” “marketing analytics,” “social media,” “inbound marketing,” “blogging,” “email marketing,” “lead generation,” and “SEO,”

It has to make sense overall.

Step 2: Fill in your topic buckets with keywords.

The few topic buckets that you want to focus on should be developed as follows; First, you identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases which are important to rank for in the SERPs, for example; search engine results in pages viewed, because your target customer is probably going to be conducting searches for those specific terms.

For instance, if I use an example of a topic bucket for an inbound marketing software company, such as marketing automation, I would need to brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in relation to that topic. These could include,

  1. What is the meaning of marketing automation market?
  2. What are automation tools
  3. The uses of automation software
  4. How can I tell if I need marketing automation software?
  5. How to lead nurturing
  6. Email marketing automation
  7. Select top automation tools

The above step may seem like it will return a long list. The main point is not to get a final list of keyword phrases, but to end up with a brain dump of phrases for potential customers to use when searching for content that is related to that particular topic bucket. To avoid the process being too huge, we will narrow the list later.

(Note: If you’re a Jaaxy customer, you will have a great advantage, because Jaaxy helps you to research and identify topics to approach based on existing content, hence your time used in cutting down the topics will be less.)

Another better way to come up with keyword ideas is to pinpoint which keywords your website is already getting referred from, because keywords are getting encrypted by Google each day. To do this, you will need Google Analytics for website software or Jaaxy’s Sources tool. Sifting through your organic search traffic bucket will direct you to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.

This exercise should be repeated for as many topic buckets as you have. In case there is a problem in coming up with relevant search terms  or if you’re having trouble you can always head on over to your employees on the front lines at Sales or Services and ask them what types of common questions their customer have and their prospects of getting a response.  Those are often important starting points for keyword research.

Jaaxy Keyword Tool Tutorial

Source: Youtube

Step 3: Research related search terms

This is a great way to fill out your keyword lists, and a creative step that is often the first we think of when doing keyword research.

If you’re finding it hard to think of many more keywords, people might be searching about a specific subtopic,  so go to Google.com, take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword, and then type in your phrase. If you scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords could spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration later.

If you want a bonus, type in some of the related search terms and look at their related search terms too.

Jaaxy customers can get suggestions for keywords and topics to consider within the Jaaxy Strategy tool if you want another bonus.

Step 4: Check for a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords in each bucket.

The difference between head terms and long-tail keywords is that head terms are keyword phrases that are generally more generic and shorter at just one to three words in length, depending on who you talk to. Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases which usually containing three or more words which are typically more specific to what you are selling.

It’s important to check that you have both long-tail and head terms because it’ll give you a keyword strategy that’s well balanced with short term wins and long-term goals. This is because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them much more competitive and much harder to rank than the long term tails. Considering optimising for volume or difficulty, one of the choices will be harder to rank. Look at the statements below and think about why this is the case.

⦁  How to write a blog post that is great

⦁  What is blogging?

If you answered number two, you’re right and don’t be discouraged. Head terms mainly boast total search volume, which means they have a greater potential to send you traffic, however the traffic you’ll get from the term “how to write a great blog post” will usually be more desirable.

Why?

If you are in a blogging space and someone is looking for something that is specific, then they are certainly a much more qualified searcher for your services or products than someone who is looking for something generic. It’s usually easier to tell what the people who search for those keywords are looking for because long- tail keywords tend to be more specific. If someone is searching for the head term:” blogging”, then they could be searching for it for a whole host of reasons which will not be related to your business.

If you want to benefit from some quick wins that long-tail keywords will afford you, check your keywords lists to make sure you have a better mix of long-tail terms and head terms keywords. Try to cut away head terms over the long haul.

Step 5: See how competitors are ranking for these keywords.

Whatever your competitor is doing, anything, it doesn’t mean you need to do the same, which also applies to keywords. Just because a keyword is of a benefit to your competitor, doesn’t mean it’s important to you. So, you need to understand what keywords your competitors are trying to rank rather than copying, because this is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another level of evaluation.

Don’t disregard keywords that your competitors don’t seem to care about, because this could be a lovely opportunity for you to build your own market. If your competitor is ranking for the same certain keywords that are on your list, it will make sense, and you will be able to work on improving your ranking in those too.  It gives the best challenge for development, and from it, you can produce the best outputs.

One has to understand the balance of terms that might be a bit tougher due to competition, versus terms that are a little bit more realistic because they will help you to maintain the balance that the mix of head terms and long-tail allows. The main goal is to finish up with a list of keywords that provide some quick wins and will also help you make progress toward bigger, and more challenging SEO goals forever.

How do you find out which are the keywords your competitors are ranking for, you ask? Apart from manually searching for keywords in an incognito browser and seeing what ranks your competitors are in, SEMrush allows you to run some free reports that show you the top keywords for any domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking.

Step 6: Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to cut down your keyword list.

Since you have the right mix of keywords and a lot of tools at your disposal, you can narrow down your lists with some more quantitative data. I will share my favourite methodology with you.

I prefer to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You’ll need to create an AdWords account for this, but that doesn’t mean you have to build in Google Trends.

In Keyword Planner, previously known as the Keyword Tool, you can get traffic estimates and search volume estimates for keywords you’re considering. When Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, unfortunately, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality. However, if you take the information, you’ve learned from Keyword Planner, and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks, you can make up for it a bit.

Use the Keyword Planner to highlight any terms on your list that have way too little or too much search volume and wouldn’t help you maintain a healthy mix, as we talked about above. Before you delete anything, check out their directions in their history on google trends so that you can reap the benefit for later. You can see whether it says some low-volume terms might become something you should invest in now.

Google Trends can help you to govern which terms are trending upward, and are thus worth more of your focus when you are looking at a list of terms that you need to narrow down somehow. It will make your work easier and faster.

And now you’re finished.

Congratulations! You’ve now got a file of keywords that’ll help you to get some short term and long term gains when you focus on the right topics for your business. With these, business will run well once you follow the processes. Google has made our work faster by opening its knowledge and skills to us.

As you gain even more sovereignty in the SERPs, ensure you re-evaluate these key-words every few months or quarterly, since it’s a good benchmark, depending on your business likes. It will help you find more keywords and keyboards that can be added to your files as you work on maintaining your current presence and growing in new areas.  It is also important to maintain your daily outcomes.

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