Why is keyword research so important?
In order to rank on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo — you need keywords. As well, these keywords can’t be too overcrowded or it becomes nearly impossible to rank well with them.
According to Wikipedia, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
We use keyword research to find lower competition keywords to increase our rankings on search engines.
There are two types of content that your keywords will be important for:
1. Website Copy
This is the primary text of your website. It consists of the home, about, and other foundational pages.
Typically, content is created for a blog. For example, a weight-loss company would create an article called “How to Get Abs in 2 months” in order to teach consumers about exercise.
To find keywords for your website, we must first understand competition indicators.
Competition indicators let us examine how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword. This is important because SEO takes a ton over effort overtime to get results. We do not want to waste time on keywords we have no chance ranking for.
The first tool we are going to use is Google’s Keyword Planner (GKP).
In the example above, we search for keywords related to hair salon services. The keyword “hair colors” averages 74,000 monthly searches (which is pretty high) but has high competition.
What does high competition mean?
The competition level indicates how many people are bidding on ads for this keyword. Although not relational to how hard it is to organically rank on a search engine (meaning without paying for an ad), the competition level can be taken as an indicator of how challenging it is to rank for this keyword.
The suggested bid is the bid rate GKP recommends in order to get your ads in the Search Engine Page Results (SERPs).
To dive deeper, we are going to use the MozBar tool to accurately gauge competition levels for the keyword “hair colors.”
When we type “hair colors” into Google, this is what we come up with when using MozBar:
The acronym “PA” stands for Page Authority and “DA” stands for Domain Authority.
Page authority only takes into account the one page. Domain authority counts the website as a whole.
We see that these pages have a page authority of 20, 65, and 54 — which is relatively challenging.
As well, the domain authorities are pretty high. Now we know this keyword is hard to rank for, and that we should find better keywords.
When we are finding keywords, we are essentially finding subjects to base our content around. But there is a misunderstanding of niche targeting when it comes to marketing businesses.
A business that wants to sell protein powder doesn’t necessarily have to target only the “body building” market. There are related markets you can target and still obtain results. As well, body building is a flooded space, and targeting related markets is more likely optimal for your business.
The first tool we are going to use to generate more niches is hastagify. This tool allows for us to view hashtags that are being used in relation to other hashtags. This let’s us identify related niches.
When using this tool, I type in “body building” and find that people are also talking about “diet.”
I delve into this niche and find several sub-niches that I can target:
What stands out to me is Fat loss, nutrition, and health. These are some decent sized niches, upon further research, that can produce great keywords.
I continue my research by finding a bodybuilding forum to find more keyword ideas and find the term “calorie counting.”
Because this is the most specific keyword idea that I have found, I enter it into GKP and find a new set of low competition keywords that I can target.
Go through forums, type keywords into Google’s search bar, and use hashtagify to generate more related niches to target.
Now that you have an idea of general keyword research, we will touch on what long-tail keywords are and how they can be incorporated into your strategy.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are images that are 3-4 words or longer.
Below, the image illustrates how long-tail keywords makeup over 70% of total keyword searches:
There are two major reasons to target long-tail keywords:
1. There is less competition.
2. The people who use longer phrases convert more.
How do we target long-tail keywords? You can create longer form articles that are 1000+ words in length, which will naturally create long-form searches depending on the content’s quality. As well, we can manually target long-tail keywords, but that is out of the scope of this article.
In the next article, we talk about how to target long-tail keywords and incorporate them into your content.
We talked about SEO, why keywords are important, how to incorporate keywords, and how to judge a keyword’s usefulness.
This is just the beginning when understanding on-page SEO factors and how to improve your search engine rankings. The major take away here is this: you are creating useful content that users find useful or entertaining. Keyword research lets you find the readers who actually want to read your content.
By conducting keyword research, we are improving the user experience. You will find, with more experience, that many on-page factors are based on improving the user experience.
Furthermore, think about content in terms of the user. By creating content based on particular keywords, you are creating a vehicle that promotes your site, finds the right customers, and creates a relationship with them. It’s kind of like fishing, and your Search Engine Optimization strategy is the net.
In the next article we talk about long-tail keywords, how to implement them into your content, and why it helps build your customer base.
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