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How to Perform Keyword Research for SEO: A Detailed 3 Step Guide:

What Is Keyword Research? Keyword research involves finding and studying the words or phrases that people type into search engines to gather information or find products

SEO Website Traffic

By understanding these keywords, you can optimize your website's content to attract the right audience and increase organic traffic

Why Is Keyword Research Important? Proper keyword research helps you gain a better understanding of your niche and target audience. It allows you to tailor your content strategy to their needs, ensuring that you’re targeting relevant keywords. This, in turn, can drive more organic traffic to your website.

Finding Keywords:

To discover keywords effectively, you can use a keyword research tool. One recommended tool is Semrush, which offers a free account option for daily searches. Here are some tips for using keyword research tools:

Start with a Seed Keyword:

Choose a broad keyword related to your niche as a starting point. For example, if you’re researching keywords for a dog food company, you can use the keyword “dog food.”

Enter the Seed Keyword:

Input your seed keyword into the keyword research tool, such as Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Select your target location and click “Search.”

Explore Keyword Suggestions:

The tool will provide a list of keyword suggestions based on your seed keyword. It may present thousands of ideas. You can use the left column to navigate topical groups and subgroups to refine your search.

Refine Your Results:

Exclude irrelevant keywords by using the group filters. For example, you can exclude keywords related to reviews or competitors’ products. This helps you focus on the keywords that matter most to your content strategy.

Collect Keyword Ideas:

As you explore the topical groups, select relevant keywords and add them to your list of ideas. These keywords will form the basis for your content optimization.

Using these steps, you can gather a variety of keyword ideas related to your niche.

SEO Keyword Search Analysis

Step 2: Analyzing Keywords

Consider Key Metrics

Two basic keyword metrics will help you prioritize your keywords:

Once you have a list of keywords, it’s important to analyze them to determine their potential value. Here are two key metrics to consider:

    1. Search Volume: This metric indicates how frequently people search for a particular keyword on average. Higher search volumes suggest more potential traffic if you rank well for that keyword.
    2. Keyword Difficulty: This metric measures how challenging it is to rank for a keyword. It considers factors such as the competitiveness of existing pages ranking in search results. A higher difficulty score indicates a greater challenge.

When analyzing keywords, it’s helpful to prioritize those with a good balance of search volume and lower keyword difficulty.

These are often referred to as “low-hanging fruit” keywords. They offer a better chance of ranking well and attracting relevant traffic.

Analyze then Target

Targeting Keywords After analyzing your keywords, it’s time to identify the primary keywords that align with your content goals. Here are some strategies:

Consider Search Intent:

Search intent refers to the purpose behind a search query. Keywords can have informational, commercial, or transactional intent. Identify the search intent behind your keywords to align your content with what users are looking for.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords:

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that tend to have lower search volume but higher conversion rates. They are easier to rank for and often lead to more targeted traffic. Look for long-tail keyword opportunities within your niche.

1 Competitor Analysis:

Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can provide valuable insights and uncover keyword opportunities you may have overlooked. Tools like Semrush’s Organic Research can help you identify keywords your competitors are ranking for.

By targeting the right keywords, considering search intent, and leveraging long-tail opportunities.

You can then optimize your content to attract relevant organic traffic.

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The Long Tail Keyword

A very popular keyword strategy that is closely connected to keyword difficulty is targeting so-called long-tail keywords—longer keywords with lower search volume. 

This strategy has its advantages:

It’s usually much easier to rank for long-tail keywords because the competition is less.

Long-tail keywords tend to have better conversion rates. They are more specific, which usually means people know exactly what they’re looking for (and they are closer to the bottom of the marketing funnel).

Look at these three keywords:

Notice that the longer the keyword is, the fewer searches it has. And the less difficult it becomes to rank for.

The long-tail keyword“best dry dog food for small dogs” only has 2,400 searches per month (as opposed to 135,000 searches for “dog food”).

Another advantage of long-tail keywords is their scalability. 

While there’s only a limited number of head terms like “dog food” within one niche, there are usually hundreds of long-tail phrases you can target (or more).

So although they usually have a lower search volume, the search volume adds up as you target more and more long-tail keywords.

Technical SEO Strategies

Step 3: Targeting Keywords

Keyword targeting is a crucial aspect of effective SEO, allowing you to rank for specific keywords and improve your website’s visibility. In this step, we will explore how to identify and target the right keywords for your content.

**Identify the Primary Keyword**

When conducting keyword research, it’s important to determine the primary keyword that best represents your topic. This keyword should have a high search volume and be strategically used in key elements of your page, such as the URL, title tag, and headings. For instance, in this guide, our primary keyword is “keyword research.”

Additionally, within your chosen topic, there may be secondary keywords with lower search volumes that you also want to rank for. These secondary keywords provide additional opportunities to optimize your content. For example, within the topic of keyword research, secondary keywords could include “what is keyword research,” “how to do keyword research,” and “how to find keywords.”

To identify whether a keyword should be considered a primary or secondary keyword, we can rely on Google’s decision. By analyzing the search results, we can determine the most appropriate keyword to target.

Let’s take the keyword “how to soften dry dog food” as an example.

First, open the keyword in the Keyword Overview tool:

Then, scroll down to the “SERP Analysis” section and examine the results. One indication that “how to soften dry dog food” may not be the ideal target keyword is its absence in the URL slugs of the results. None of the URLs include the word “dry.”

Now, let’s click on the first URL to open it in the Organic Research tool. A quick look at the top keywords for that page confirms that the primary keyword within this topic is “how to soften dog food.” It has a higher search volume and generates more traffic for the page.

Based on this analysis, we can conclude that “how to soften dog food” would be a better primary keyword choice than “how to soften dry dog food” in this case.

However, we can still incorporate the latter as a secondary keyword.

**Identify and Nail the Search Intent**

To effectively compete for a keyword, it is essential to understand the search intent behind it. Search intent refers to the purpose or goal a user has when conducting a particular search. By analyzing and aligning with search intent, you can create content that meets users’ expectations.

Traditionally, we can categorize search intent into four types:

      1. Navigational: Users search for a specific page or website.
      2. Informational: Users seek general information on a topic.
      3. Commercial: Users research options before making a purchase decision.
      4. Transactional: Users search for a specific product or brand with the intention to buy.

Nailing the search intent involves tailoring your content to match the keyword’s intent. To simplify this process, Semrush’s keyword-related tools provide an “Intent” metric. This feature enables you to filter keywords based on the four categories of search intent directly within the keyword tool.

Returning to our dog food company example, since we are conducting keyword research for a blog, we will likely have the best chance to rank for keywords with informational search intent.

By applying the “Intent” filter and selecting the desired search intent category, we can focus on keywords that align with our content goals.

Combining the intent filter with other metric filters like search volume and keyword difficulty, you can identify the most suitable keywords for your content.

Google SEO To Drive Website Traffic

Analyzing the SERP's

Another crucial step in understanding and nailing search intent is performing a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) analysis. While Semrush tools provide insights into a keyword’s intent, examining the SERP before deciding on a specific keyword target remains valuable.

This analysis helps us identify the types of pages that rank for the keyword and gain inspiration from them.

You can utilize the “SERP Analysis” section in the Keyword Overview tool or click the icon under the “Results” column in the Keyword Magic Tool.

Examine the top results closely to achieve the following:

Look at the actual pages ranking for the keyword.

Determine the search intent associated with the keyword as perceived by Google.

Create content that aligns with the identified search intent.

For example, if all the results ranking for a keyword are product landing pages, targeting that keyword with a blog post may not be the best strategy.

Conversely, if the top results consist of review posts, attempting to rank a landing page might prove challenging.

Moreover, the top-ranking pages can serve as inspiration. Analyze why they are performing well and how comprehensively they cover the topic.

Then, consider ways to provide added value and stand out from the competition. This can be achieved by:

– Delving deeper into the topic.
– Approaching it from a unique angle.
– Offering helpful examples.
– Incorporating original data.
– Delivering an exceptional user experience.
– Creating original media.

**Useful Keyword Tools**

Here are some of the best keyword research tools to support your efforts:

Semrush Keyword Tools:

The Semrush suite offers five essential keyword research tools:

1 Keyword Magic Tool:

Generates keyword ideas based on seed keywords.

2 Organic Research:

Uncovers your competitors’ best keywords.

3 Keyword Gap Tool:

Identifies keywords you may be missing out on.

4 Keyword Overview:

Provides a detailed analysis of a single keyword and its search results.

5 Keyword Manager:

Enables the organization and management of keywords in lists.

Creating a free Semrush account allows you to access and utilize these tools instantly, without requiring a credit card.


Our Friend Google

**Google Search Console**

Google Search Console is a valuable tool for monitoring the keywords you rank for, as well as tracking click-through rates and impressions in Google search.

By integrating it with your Semrush account and connecting it to Google Analytics, you can obtain comprehensive website insights in a unified platform.

**Google Keyword Planner**

Although Google Keyword Planner’s exact search volume data has become less accessible over time, it remains a popular free keyword research tool. It can still provide value, particularly if you are on a limited budget.

Keep in mind that Google Keyword Planner primarily caters to paid advertising (PPC) keyword research and does not offer insights into organic difficulty or search intent.

**Google Trends**

While not a dedicated keyword research tool, Google Trends offers valuable functionalities such as:

– Finding currently trending topics.

– Comparing the popularity of multiple products.

– Estimating long-term keyword or topic popularity.

Final Thoughts

Keyword research is an indispensable component of any successful online business strategy. Now that you have learned the theory, it’s time to put it into practice and embark on your own website’s keyword research journey. Happy researching!

How to Perform Keyword Research for SEO

FAQs Is List Building Important
Why is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research plays a vital role in your SEO strategy. When executed effectively, it helps you identify the best keywords to target, enabling you to create highly relevant and engaging content. This, in turn, drives more traffic to your website and increases conversions.

When Should I Conduct Keyword Research?

Keyword research should be performed at the early stages of content strategy creation, or even before if you are selecting a niche as an affiliate blogger. Additionally, it is advisable to periodically re-evaluate your keywords every few months to stay up to date and discover new keyword opportunities.

How Long Does It Take to Do Keyword Research?

The duration of keyword research varies depending on factors such as the size of your niche and the scope of your business. Basic keyword research typically takes a couple of hours. However, for small, locally focused businesses, the process will generally be quicker compared to comprehensive keyword research for an extensive e-commerce website with numerous products.

Mastering this AI app will take Any Business to the Next Level.

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