The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Research: Tips & Tools
You know the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to your company's marketing efforts, but you can't implement your strategy if you don't know what your customers are searching for. Keyword research starts with identifying the words and phrases that will help your site rank and draw more visitors and eventually create new leads and customers.
What Is Keyword Research? How Does It Help Me?
Keyword research is critical to developing a successful content marketing strategy. Strong keywords allow marketers to understand better the phrases, expressions, and questions that resonate with potential customers.
In-depth research into customer behavior and intent is instrumental in improving search engine optimization and achieving marketing goals.
Keyword research also helps to improve return on investment (ROI) by ensuring that data back marketing messages. By understanding what keywords potential customers use to find products or services like yours, you can create content that is more likely to be found by those customers, ultimately driving more sales or leads.
Keyword research is also integral to topical SEO and content marketing, from planning and creation to optimization and distribution. By performing keyword research at each stage of the content marketing process, marketers can ensure their content is tailored to their target audience's specific needs and interests, increasing the chances of success.
Keyword Research: A Video Introduction
Keyword Research: The Basics
Keyword research is fundamental to search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. It involves finding and vetting relevant keywords for a business or website and using them to guide a strategy. The goal of keyword research is to identify the words and phrases that potential customers use when searching for products or services a business offers. By performing an SEO audit for your website, understanding what keywords people use, a business can optimize its website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for those keywords.
Keyword research can use tools to analyze competitors' websites to identify keywords they rank for but that a business does not. This is known as content gap analysis, and it can help a business identify opportunities to improve its SEO.
Keyword research uses various free and paid tools that show what people search for on search engines like Google and Bing. Guides such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools can provide in-depth information on keyword research.
Without keyword research, a business may use internal lingo that does not align with the keywords its target audience is using. This can lead to missing out on popular keywords and potential customers.
In summary, keyword research is essential for understanding potential customers' words and phrases when searching for products or services a business offers. By identifying these keywords, a business can optimize its website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and reach a wider audience. Keyword research can be done using various free and paid tools and can involve analyzing competitors' websites to identify opportunities for improvement.
Understanding How Keywords Work
Understanding keywords helps identify potential customers' words and phrases when searching for a business's products or services. A keyword is a word or phrase that describes a website, web page, or document. It is the term that someone would type in a search box when looking for specific content.
One way to understand keywords is to use tools that provide long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific, longer phrases that are less common than short-tail keywords. Using a tool like the "Answer the Public" tool can get more ideas for search queries, as it can provide dozens of search terms, queries, and comparisons that give more insight into what customers are thinking.
Another critical aspect of understanding keywords is to comprehend what the facts mean. Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues proposed six levels of cognition; one of them is comprehension: understanding what the facts mean. Understanding the meaning of the keywords makes it possible to tailor the content, products, and services to the right audience.
Conducting Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is a process that doesn't always yield quick results. As part of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, there are several steps involved in conducting keyword research, which include:
Brainstorming: The first step in keyword research is to identify your personas by brainstorming with your team and listing all possible personas.
Build: Once you have a list of possible personas and keywords, you must build a list of keywords and phrases relevant to your business or product.
Organize: Once you have a list of relevant keywords and phrases, you must organize them into categories or groups.
Prioritize: The final step is prioritizing the keywords and phrases based on relevance, popularity, and ranking difficulty.
Also, it's essential to dig into the desired audience and search engines when conducting keyword research. This will help you find the keywords your audience is searching for and help you optimize your website for those keywords.
In summary, keyword research is one of the most critical SEO tools. It involves identifying and analyzing search terms, brainstorming and building a list of keywords, organizing keywords into relevant categories, and prioritizing them based on their relevance and popularity.
Keyword Research tools
Google Keyword Planner: This free tool helps you find relevant keywords for your website. It shows search volume, competition, and related keywords.
Strength: Provides keyword suggestions based on the actual data of what people search for on Google.
Google Search Console: Another free tool that can help you identify opportunity keywords for your website. It shows what queries drive traffic to your site and the position of your site for those queries.
Strength: Provides actual data on how your website is performing in search engines.
Semrush: Provides keyword suggestions, keyword difficulty scores, search volume, and competitor analysis. (Note, Aspiration Marketing is a Semrush partner, we love it and use it internally)
Strength: Comprehensive feature set, including domain analytics, backlink analysis, and site audit.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: This tool provides keyword suggestions, keyword difficulty scores, search volume, and more. It also has a feature that allows you to see the ranking history of a particular keyword.
Strength: Provides in-depth analysis of keywords and competitor research.
Moz Keyword Explorer: This tool provides keyword suggestions, search volume, difficulty, and SERP analysis.
Strength: Provide reliable keyword difficulty scores and SERP analysis.
Optimizing Your Site for Keywords
Optimizing a website for keywords is the process of making changes to the content and structure of a website to increase its relevance for specific keywords to improve search engine rankings. There are several steps involved in optimizing a website for keywords:
On-page optimization: On-page optimization is optimizing the content on your website for a set of keywords. This can be done by including keywords in certain page areas, such as titles, descriptions, headings, and content.
HTML code: You can also optimize your website by including keywords in the HTML code, such as the alt text for images and the URLs of pages.
Titles, descriptions, headings, content, images, alt text, URLs: These are some of the essential places to optimize for your chosen keywords on your site, according to HubSpot.
Analyzing data: For advanced users, analyzing data provided by analytics packages and server log files can provide even more comprehensive information about how visitors interact with your documents. This can help you to identify additional keywords that searchers might use to find your site.
Optimizing a website for keywords involves changing its content and structure to increase its relevance for specific keywords and improve its search engine rankings. This can be done by including keywords in certain page areas, such as titles, descriptions, headings, and content, and by including keywords in the HTML code, such as the alt text for images and the URLs of pages. Advanced users can also analyze data to identify additional keywords that searchers might use to find your site.
Keyword research is a vitally important part of your marketing strategy. Without the relevant keywords you need, you will not get your business found or meet your marketing goals. But with a substantial list of well-researched keywords, you can build an SEO strategy to increase traffic and lead conversions, win new customers, increase sales, and increase your business's profitability.