Keyword Research for SEO: What It Is & How to Do It

Keyword Research for SEO: What It Is & How to Do It
June 19, 2024

Organic traffic is the only kind that continuously produces long-term traffic. It can become the primary source of income with an extensive, effective organic marketing and SEO strategy. Because of this, conducting keyword research is an essential part of SEO and needs to be an internal company process.

Doing keyword research should be one of the most crucial—and first—steps in deciding on your SEO goals, the type of content you will create, and the optimization of your website.

What Does SEO Keyword Research Entail?

Keyword research is the process of investigating popular search terms that people type into search engines like Google. To increase your content’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs), you should carefully consider how you employ these terms in it. Researching keywords is one of the fundamental strategies of search engine optimization (SEO).

The first step in conducting keyword research for SEO is selecting a theme for your content that is focused on a list of particular keywords that you want your content to rank for.

Keyword Research is Essential to SEO

You may learn a lot about the problems, questions, and solutions that people in your target market are searching for by conducting keyword research. This research should serve as the foundation for your SEO efforts and help direct your organic and content strategies. An effective SEO strategy starts with keyword targeting and thorough research.

Creating content for the right keywords and optimizing your website will bring in organic traffic that looks like your ideal customer. Some of those visitors will be ready to convert because they found your website through their searches and were drawn in by its excellent fit for their wants.

SEO is one of the most important aspects of marketing since it brings the right kind of visitors to your website. Organic traffic may be the only source of steady, long-term traffic, as we’ve said before.

To see the most recent organic traffic benchmarks split down by industry and how your website compares, download the organic website traffic industry benchmarks report.

This is an excellent way to evaluate your organic strategy and estimate the total quantity of organic traffic that your website and content should be producing.

Doing keyword research will increase your exposure in search results.

Enter the mind of your possible client. Do you know why and what they are searching for? Only then can you modify your content to suit their needs and inquiries.

Detailed keyword research gives you tips on how to enhance your website so that search engines will find it more easily and rank it higher. More people will become aware of your brand as you rise in the SERPs.

To beat the competition, use content that is rich in keywords

Let’s say you run a household appliance business that specializes in dishwashers. Someone searches for a dishwasher model that you just so happen to own. If you don’t come up in search results for the term they typed, they’ll probably go to another website that offers the same dishwasher. That website could be your direct competitor.

By employing keyword research to “go after” the terms and topics that are most important to boosting sales for your business, you can raise your rankings. If you don’t make contact with that potential customer before they consider moving to a competitor? That might mean the difference between earning tens of thousands of dollars, especially when it comes to dishwashers.

Investigating the buyer’s journey and keywords

The buyer’s journey varies depending on the industry. B2B and B2C clients may approach a purchase completely differently—perhaps by using more touchpoints, or the opposite.

By using your buyer’s journey framework to examine the content on your website, you can conduct keyword research and produce tailored content that correlates to the appropriate stage of the buyer’s journey that your potential consumers are in.

The best content targets high-value keywords and aims to lead readers through the various steps of the purchasing process until they complete a transaction.

The buyer’s journey defines your keyword journey

By developing buyer personas and describing the consumer’s path to purchase, you may choose which keywords to focus on for the content you wish to produce. Both of these are astute business moves.

The buyer’s journey is something that many other departments in your organization, not simply the marketing department, need to comprehend. Salespeople will find it simpler to figure out how to get in touch with a prospect or potential customer if they can identify where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Creating a content map is essential since each user has a unique journey, and understanding their goals, intent, and demographics can provide you with a wealth of keyword ideas. By outlining your buyer personas and stages, your content map will show you which customer personas or buyer’s journey stages you may need to produce additional content for.

Let’s look at a B2C transaction: A user looking for race car parts will search considerably differently than one looking for racing toys for a youngster. To ensure that the correct racing keywords drive traffic to your website in the search engine results, it’s crucial to understand your customer personas as the keywords in each of their searches will be identical.

Taking the buyer’s journey into account when choosing keywords

How do you use the buyer’s journey to choose the keywords you want to target and rank for?

By searching for particular indicators in the structure of a phrase or query, you can ascertain where a searcher is in the buyer’s journey. For example, a keyword starting with “how to” typically means that the searcher is just starting the purchasing process. They can only be looking for the bare minimum of information and not be ready to buy just yet. They are gaining information.

When a search query begins with “best,” it signifies that the user is still considering their options. That person is looking for mid-stage content. You might be able to persuade them with helpful information since they are in the process of looking for something but aren’t sure which option is best.

Going back to the example of the household item, let’s say you want to boost sales of your dishwashing line. Given what we just reviewed, an early-stage keyword would be “how to wash dishes,” as the searcher is probably not going to be running out buying a dishwasher just yet. An example of a mid-stage keyword might be “best dishwasher with delayed start controls”; the searcher might be prepared to make a purchase and is targeting a certain model of dishwasher.

When choosing which keywords to use and optimize for, keep an eye out for clues that can reveal the searcher’s probable stage in the buyer’s journey. Next, determine whether your content is appropriate for that stage or if fresh material is needed.

The Process of looking up SEO Keywords

After your personas are created, you need to come up with a plan for the keywords you want to rank for as well as the ones you now rank for.

Following the PIE approach is a helpful and straightforward framework. This is something we recommend our clients undertake at the beginning of the onboarding process.

In this case, PIE stands for Protect, Improve, and Expand.

The Protect section is centred around keywords that you currently rank for and want to stay locked in their position. Terms and brand names that are closely related to your offering are a few instant examples of these. Because these keywords are typically late-stage conversions, they are very important.

Opportunity keywords that show up in Google search results between the second and tenth positions are covered in the “Improve” section. You may increase the authority of these great “low-hanging fruit” keywords by making small changes to the pages.

Expand is for opportunity terms that show up in organic search results but do not show up in PPC search results. These are search keywords that are not listed in the top 10 results on Google. By adding them, you should increase the number of campaign keywords in your toolbox.

Sorting your work into categories based on the gaps our research finds can help you prioritize it. From there, you can begin coming up with keyword ideas.

The Best Methods for Keyword Research

Most marketers adhere to SEO best practices and technical improvements while doing keyword research. Using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, you may obtain the monthly search volumes (MSV) for keywords, which are the average number of times a keyword is searched for in a given month. To get the right people to your website, you need to decide which keywords are relevant to your audience and your content.

1. Associated Lookups & AlsoAsked

In addition to teaching us how to do research using Google Keyword Planner, Google also offers us extra tips for SEO keyword analysis.

First is the search box itself. This gives you suggestions for well-liked terms that are strongly related to your search. They are also time-sensitive because Google only modifies them in reaction to recent trends and search volume.

The “Searches related to…” section goes into further depth about these keywords. You can obtain additional related terms by clicking on them, and doing so will assist you in creating a keyword matrix—a topic we’ll cover later.

2. Wikipedia’s contents table

Wikipedia has a wealth of information on a wide range of topics. Its moderators do a great job of updating the postings with relevant links and new stuff. The table of contents on the side provides excellent information on categories that have been written about and have close keyword relation to the subject matter.

By going through these, you can uncover additional themes to include in your keyword tracking.

3. Examination of the disparity in rival material

Adding a landing page and getting all relevant keywords for it is one amazing feature of Google Keyword Planner. If you have a certain topic in mind, you can enter the top competitors for a phrase and see what other keywords they mapped that page with.

Using Keyword Planner, we found the keywords for the racecar components example below by entering the highest-ranking URL.

Effective Keyword Research for Content Creation

When you are doing your keyword research, think about the topics you want to write about. Finding and choosing keywords that your target audience might utilize is essential. Choose the ideal keyword to serve as the topic’s primary focus next. We recommend the following initial research protocol:

Step 1: Determine the keyword’s level of popularity

How often do people look for keywords each month? Concentrating on high volume keywords makes sense because there are more chances to boost your organic traffic with them. Nevertheless, attempting to rank for highly volumetric concerns isn’t always successful. Due to the large number of other websites doing the same thing, it becomes competitive.

When you look at keywords, you’ll discover that some of them those with a lot of volume are not very popular, but they are highly relevant to your content ideas. Choose a keyword only after you have determined how popular it is. More details must be considered.

Step 2: Assess the SERP for the term

After typing the question into a search engine, go through the search results. Are you up against well-known websites that most likely possess a great deal of online authority? Or do you mostly see local companies that you may not be familiar with? The latter greatly increases your chances of showing up on the first page of search results.

Is there a sponsored element among the page’s top ads? Does it seem like there are a lot of various types of results in the SERP? Or are these merely organic listings that lack news, images, videos, and other types of content? If the former, getting to the top will undoubtedly be difficult for you.

Unfortunately, it’s likely that the most competitive keywords you’re considering targeting with your content are too costly. Look over the search results and be honest with yourself about how likely it is that your speculative content will rank.

Step 3: Consider the intended meaning of the keyword

After you’ve typed in the keyword and looked for your brand or company listing, check to see whether the results line up with your idea of what an average person would search for. It’s possible that the two circumstances are different, in which case you ought to think twice.

Since not everyone is an expert researcher, do your best to determine what information people are looking for when they use that keyword. What would their investigation’s goal be? This is known as “search intent.”

What material is presently ranking for the keyword? Are the pages educational or instructive? Do the pages mention any goods? One more thing?

Keep in mind that search engines display the most valuable content on their results pages (SERPs) because they believe it to be more relevant. Take note of any requests the searcher could make based on the results that are shown.

How do I make a Keyword Matrix with LSI?

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) holds great interest in the field of SEO. A normal keyword research plan normally includes a list of keywords, and an SEO may choose keywords based on factors like volume and competitiveness.

LSI provides a new level of information by supplying extra relevance from phrases that are thematically relevant. The Wikipedia and Google examples provide easy ways to create a top-notch keyword matrix.

Take into consideration the following when creating a keyword matrix:

1. Give quality precedence over quantity

Having achieved a great keyword matrix, the next step is to determine the optimal ratio of search volume to keyword competitiveness. If the word is too wide, the findings will most likely be unduly diluted. Furthermore, even if you rank for the keyword, the searcher may not convert due to its generality, making it more probable that they are looking for something unrelated to you.

Panda and other algorithm updates have penalized a website that generates hundreds of pages using low-volume keywords. It is better to create ten well-optimized pages than 100, as the latter may sacrifice quality.

2. Avoid using generic one-word terms

When was the last time you conducted a Google search using only one word? Did you achieve the desired result? Single-word keywords are typically quite competitive and broad. Even if you rank for some keywords, your traffic won’t convert.

3. Sporadically concentrate on longer tail keywords

A visitor who finds your website by searching for a long-tail keyword converts at a rate that is more than 2.5 times greater than that of a visitor who uses head terms.

The longer your term, the more specific the niche you are trying to target. Four-word or longer phrases can help you truly specialize your content, but popularity doesn’t always follow low search volume. On the other hand, one- or two-word statements tend to be louder and can attract more attention.

4. Find the sweet spot

All that’s left is the in-between, which consists of sentences that are two to three words long. If you incorporate your LSI keywords into the page’s design while adhering to SEO best practices, you should see fantastic results.

Make Use of our SEO Services to Progress

Investing in new technology for your business may not always be easy, but the advantages of having a professional SEO Agency like Thanksweb make the effort worthwhile. Contact us to manage the SEO of your business website.