How to do Keyword Research for SEO: Beginner’s Guide 2020
In this article, I am going to discuss how to do keyword research for SEO.
While Google keeps us updated with all the algorithm updates they keep rolling out. But one thing has stayed pretty constant for marketers looking to optimize their websites for search: Keyword Research
Indeed, the need to do Keyword Research has remained the equivalent. How you really do it hasn’t.
Let’s get started….
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is a process or method of finding actual search terms that people enter in their search engines.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Day by Day, we saw how much SEO has evolved over a decade, and how unimportant keywords themselves have become to the ability to rank well for the searches people make daily.
How do Intent and Interest affect Keyword Research?
As we know that keywords have different meanings under the surface. Though it became very difficult to understand searcher’s intent because the intent behind the search is so important that you have to be extra careful about the keywords you target. User intent is one of the major factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like google.
For example, the user is searching the keyword “How to install WordPress”. Now here, WordPress means ‘Wordpress Definition’ or ‘Wordpress Tutorial’, etc. Here the user intent is to ‘How to install WordPress’ instead of definition or something else. This is how you should observe the user’s intent and according to this, you have to be sure that you should target the right keyword according to searcher’s intent.
How to Research Keywords for SEO
Step 1: Make a sheet or list of important topics based on what you know about your Niche
To start this process, think about the topics you want to rank in terms o generic keywords.
After selecting topics, you will use that topic to come up with some specific keywords later. You can select 5 to 6 topics you think you know about your niche.
Let’s say, for example, I like Digital Marketing so I will pick 5 topics:
- Keyword Research (27K)
- SEO (823K)
- Social Media Marketing (135K)
- Affiliate Marketing (201K)
- Blogging (4090K)
Can you see those numbers to the right of each keyword? That’s their Monthly search volume. How can you check it? Basic tool is Keywords Everywhere, Install this plugin in your chrome. This search volume tells you how important these topics are to your audience, and how many different sub-topics(Keyword Family) you might need to create content on to be successful with that keyword
Step 2: Fill those topics with your Focused Keywords
Now you have a topic, so its time to focus on a keyword that falls into these topics. These are focused keywords you think are important to rank for in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) because your target audience is probably searching for those specific terms.
For Example, I chose the topics from my list “SEO”. Now I will identify some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to those topics.
- What is SEO?
- How to learn SEO?
- What are free SEO tools?
- SEO companies in the United States?
- What are the types of SEO?
And the list goes on. Did you understand, what I am trying to explain here? The point of this step is to come up with the final list of your focused keyword and their keyword family. We will narrow the list down later in the process so you don’t have something too unwidely.
Once you’ve your final list, there are several data-driven tools available to you for finding out which keywords you are most likely to rank well for.
Perfection comes with practice. Right?
Repeat this exercise with as many topics you have. Choose topics that you like and those topics should have a good monthly search volume.
Step 3: Research Related Search Terms
This is a creative step you have already thought of when doing Keyword Research. This is the best way to fill out those lists.
Have you ever seen that when you type the specific topic in the search box then after bottoming of the page it shows related searches also? If not, then go to google.com and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. The keywords can spark ideas for other keywords and it can help you fill out that list.
Step 4: Mix of Head Term and Long Tail Keyword
Head terms are keywords phrases that are generally shorter say 1 or 2 words.
Long Tail Keywords are longer keyword phrases containing 4 or more words.
It is important to check that you have both head term and long-tail keywords because it will give you a keyword strategy well balanced with long term goals and short-term wins.
The main objective is to make a specific title for the audience with a combination of keywords.
So check your keyword list to make sure you have both head term and long-tail keywords.
Focused Keyword: Shopify
Head term+ Long Tail Keyword: How does Shopify work?
Check the difference. This is how you have been keyword specific when it comes to the combination of head term and long-tail keywords.
Step 5: Observe your competitors Strategy
Just because your competitor is doing something doesn’t mean you need to. The same goes for keywords. Just because a keyword is important to your competitor, doesn’t mean it’s important to you. However, understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you give your list of keywords another evaluation.
If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list, too, it definitely makes sense to work on improving your ranking for those. However, don’t ignore the ones your competitors don’t seem to care about. This could be a great opportunity for you to own market share on important terms, too.
Remember, the goal is to end up with a list of keywords that provide some quick wins but also helps you make progress toward bigger, more challenging SEO goals.
How do you figure out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, you ask? Aside from manually searching for keywords in an incognito browser and seeing what positions your competitors are in, SEMrush allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for.
Step 6: Use Google Adwords Planner to narrow down your Keyword List
Now you’ve got the right mix of Keywords, it’s time to narrow down your lists with some more quantitative data. We have a lot of tools to do this, but let me share my favorite methodology.
I like to use a mix of Google Adwords Planner and Google Trends. In Keyword Planner, formerly known as the Keyword Tool, you can get search volume and traffic estimates for keywords you’re considering. Unfortunately, when Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality. But you can make up for it a bit if you take the information you learn from Keyword Planner and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks.
Use the Keyword Planner to flag any terms on your list that have way too little (or way too much) search volume, and don’t help you maintain a healthy mix as we talked about above. But before you delete something, check out their trend history and projections in Google Trends. You can see whether or not, say, some low-volume terms might actually be something you should invest in now — and reap the benefits for later.
Or perhaps you’re just looking at a list of terms that is way too unwieldy, and you have to narrow it down somehow … Google Trends can help you determine which terms are trending upward, and are thus worth more of your focus.
Congratulations! Now you’ve got the perfect list of keywords that will help you focus on the right topics for your Niche, and get you some short-term and long-term benefits. Be sure to re-evaluate these Keywords every month in order to maintain the results.