What is keyword research for beginners?
Well, let’s imagine the process of keyword research is like a treasure hunt, but instead of searching for hidden treasures on a map, you’re searching for the best words or phrases that people type into Google (or other search engines). These words are your “treasure,” and they help your website or article show up when people search for those terms.
Why is it important?
Well, keyword research is a small part of SEO. It helps users and engines understand what your content is all about. We wrote an in-depth article explaining every aspect of SEO for small and large businesses, and why each step is very important.
Tips to make this a better & smoother process:
You’re going to be looking at a lot of different things at the same time, and you won’t remember everything. We recommend you have an Excel or Google Sheet open to organize that data.
Something similar to this that displays the most important metrics that we will be looking at.
Metrics that will keep an eye on:
- The keywords
- Search Volume
- Keyword Difficulty
Keep in mind that not every term is actually relevant to you. Some might be transactional, some informational.
Step #1: Seed Keyword:
Whether you’re an expert or a beginner in keyword research – we all start with this step. Make a list of general keywords and terms that you think people might use when searching for what you want to rank for. For example:
- Dental implants
- Tooth implants
Pro tip: Ask people around you for what they might search. You’d be surprised!
Step #2: Search these keywords on Google:
Take each one of these keywords that you had in your list on step #1, and input them into Google’s search bar. Take a good look at what Google suggests, and take all the keywords and different versions that it might populate.
Pro tip: Add an underscore “_” to your keyword in the search bar, and see what different words people put before or after your keyword.
Still don’t believe me??? try it yourself!
Step #3: Checkout the (SERP) Search Engine Results Page “related searches”
Search the keywords that you now have on your list, and see what you can find in the related searches section. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the “related searches” section.
Take a look at these keywords and take the ones that might be a good fit for your content and add them to the sheet you created.
Up to this step, you might have a punch of keywords that you collected but are missing search volume and keyword difficulty on your sheet. No worries, will get to it in step #5.
Step #4: Check on Competitors Keywords:
When searching your keywords in step #3, you will see pages that rank for your seed or newly found keywords. This tells us that there are probably more relative keywords that these pages rank for, that we might not have yet.
These are my results, I will go into each page, copy the URL, and look it up using SpyFu – a free keyword research tool that will show us what keywords these pages rank for.
To do this, open each page, copy its URL at the top, and paste it into the tool.
This is what I got from the first URL, I will only take the keywords that matter to me.
Take the keywords that best match the content that you will be publishing, and do this for as many pages as you feel like.
Step #5: Use Free Keyword Research Tools:
Keyword research tools essentially go out and find as many keywords that are relevant to your seed keyword as possible. Yes, there will be an overlap between them, but you never know where you’ll find that golden nugget. (keyword that your competitor did not find) (Average effort gets you average results)
In our guide, we’re going to be using completely free tools: (Some tools won’t even ask you to sign up)
List of free keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Bing Webmaster Keyword Research
- Answer the Public
- People Also Ask
- Ahrefs (Free Version)
- Topic Mojo
For all the keywords that you have collected already, we recommend using Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume for these keywords as it’s the most accurate when it comes to the search volume number. This is a detailed article written by Dealers League, on how to use Google Keyword Planner.
To find new keywords, we’re going to input the keywords that we collected from step #1 to step #4 into each of these tools and take the keywords that they output. Remember to only take keywords that are relevant/important to the content that you’re writing.
Using our example, if you’re a dental clinic that offers dental implants, we do not want to rank for keywords like “what is dental implant” as this keyword is informational, and not transactional indicating that users are still learning about the topic, and not ready to convert yet.
Pro tip: Take notes of the questions that you come across from the different keyword research tools. Google wants people to have convenient access to answers.
Step #6: Analyzing the Keywords List
Again, some metrics to keep an eye on are search volume, and keyword difficulty (not so much) The problem with keyword difficulty is each tool has its own metics/variables of testing if a keyword is actually difficult to go after or not.
After you have all the keywords in an Excel or Google Sheet, take a hard look at the keyword search volume that you had copied from all the keyword research tools. Take some time to look into each keyword and see if they align with the content that you’re writing about.
Remember not to let these numbers fool you. If you see keywords that are grammatically incorrect or simply don’t make sense for your content, don’t use them for their numbers.
Please don’t use this on your page 🙁
Step #7: Choosing the Right Keywords
Now that we have a list of relevant keywords that align with your content. Select your primary keywords and your secondary keywords. Your primary keyword is the one and only keyword that you’ll be targeting in your meta title, H1, as well as mentioning it in the other headlines from h2 – h6.
Some argue that you should only put emphasis on the H1, meta title as well as some other stuff, like URL..etc
Well, if we’re writing about “Plaque”, and your primary keyword is “Plaque prevention”. Do you think one of your h2 should look something like this “Plaque prevention” OR just “Prevention”
Yeah, it takes time, it’s a whole process. Use some help from different tools like ChatGPT. Prime it with good prompts and explain the content that you’ll be writing and have it filter through your keyword list. It will shorten the time you spend filltiring your keywords.
What is keyword research in digital marketing?
Keyword research is the backbone of digital marketing. It’s the process of finding the right words or phrases that people are typing into search engines. By understanding these terms, you can optimize your website to rank higher and attract more relevant traffic.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is crucial because it helps you understand what your target audience is searching for online. This knowledge enables you to create content that meets their needs, ultimately driving more traffic and conversions.
Is Google Keyword Planner a reliable tool for organic keyword research?
Absolutely, Google Keyword Planner is the most reliable tool for organic keyword research. It provides data directly from Google, which is invaluable for understanding what people are searching for.
Are low competition keywords good to go after?
Low competition keywords can be a goldmine! They are easier to rank for and can drive targeted traffic to your site. However, make sure they are relevant to your content and have a decent search volume.
Is bigger search volume always better for keyword research?
Not necessarily. While a high search volume indicates that a keyword is popular, it often comes with high competition. Sometimes, targeting long-tail keywords with lower search volume but less competition can be more beneficial.
Is keyword research still important in SEO?
Absolutely! Keyword research is the cornerstone of SEO. It helps you understand what your audience is searching for, allowing you to create content that meets their needs and ranks well in search engines.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that people use in search. They may have lower search volume but often have higher conversion rates because they target users who are further along in the buying cycle. For example, instead of “dentist”, a long tail would be something like “Dental Office in [location]”
What is semantic keyword research?
Semantic keyword research involves finding keywords that are contextually related to your primary keyword. This helps in understanding the user intent and creating content that solves the user’s query comprehensively.
How can I improve my keyword research skills?
Practice makes perfect! Use various tools, stay updated with SEO trends, and don’t hesitate to experiment.
How is keyword research different for SEO and PPC?
For SEO, you focus on long-term strategies and organic rankings, while PPC is about immediate results. The metrics may differ, but the core principle of understanding user intent remains the same.
How do I know which keyword research tool is the best?
The “best” tool depends on your needs. Consider factors like ease of use, data accuracy, and additional features. Most tools offer free trials, so take advantage of that to find what suits you best.