The Ultimate Guide To Keyword Research (SEO)
Keyword research is at the heart of any successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. At it’s core it’s the process of identifying keywords that your target audience is searching for and optimizing your website to rank for those keywords.
Why do this? By understanding what keywords people are using you can create content that is more likely to rank well in search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to your website.
Keywords come in different forms, most broadly speaking, short-tail, which are one or two words long, more general, and highly competitive, and long-tail, which are longer, more specific and less competitive.
For example, “suit” is a short-tail keyword, while “men’s slim fit navy suit” is a long-tail keyword.
Keyword Research Tools
There are a variety of keyword research tools available to help you identify the most relevant and profitable keywords for your website. Some popular tools include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
These tools allow you to research keywords, track keyword rankings, analyze your competitor’s keyword strategies and offer a whole host of other benefits geared towards bolstering your SEO strategy.
Some of these are free to use whilst others require a paid subscription. Just to be clear – there is no “good” or “bad one”. Each one has its own unique features and the one you select will depend on your needs and budget. For more information, check out our blog post on choosing the keyword research tool right for you.
Keyword Research Process
The process of researching keywords involves identifying seed keywords, expanding upon them, analysing search volume, and checking competition.
A seed keyword is your starting point. It is a word or phrase that represents the core topic or theme of your website or business. It is used to generate a list of related keywords or phrases that you can then analyse for your optimization.
For example, if you are a clothing retailer, a seed keyword could be “clothing” or “fashion”, and from there you can use tools to generate a list of related shot-tail keywords like ‘men’s clothing”, “woman’s clothing”, “summer fashion” and “casual wear”. These short-tail keywords can then be expanded on with the addition of long-tail keywords such as ‘men’s navy jeans’ or “women’s short sleeve blouses”.
Once you have a list of all your desired keywords, use any one of the keyword research tools to analyse their volume and check for competition. The high search volume-low competition keywords are the ones that will most efficiently optimize your content for search engines.
Optimising Your Website For Target Keywords
Once you have identified a list of keywords your next step is to optimize your blog post. This includes incorporating your keywords into website content, adding meta tags and meta descriptions, optimizing images and videos and utilizing internal linking to boost keyword relevance. It’s also important to ensure that your website is technically sound and follows best practices for on-page SEO.
By following this checklist you will increase the likelihood of your website ranking well in search engines and attract higher levels of internet traffic.
Ongoing Keyword Optimisation
The process of researching keywords and optimizing content is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring. Search algorithms and user search behaviour are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices in order to maintain and improve your search engine rankings.
Regularly conducting keyword research and optimizing your website is a good way to do this. As you develop your SEO practice you will uncover more ways by which to optimize your website. Common methods involve tracking keywords, identifying new ones and adapting to algorithm changes.
Keyword research is an essential part of and SEO strategy. It allows you to understand what keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for whilst also enabling you to optimize your website for those terms.
The steps outlined in this article are aimed at helping you with your journey. By following them you will ensure that your website remains highly visible and relevant in search engines. You will attract the right kind of traffic and ultimate drive more sales and conversions.