Finding the right keyword is a crucial part of any search engine optimisation strategy. These are essentially, the search terms your potential target audience uses in their search engine queries in order to find the information they are looking for.
Finding keywords that could allow you to achieve this isn’t difficult, but it does require a good strategy to ensure you’re not betting on the wrong terms. Here’s how you can build your keyword research strategy the right way!
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First, Why Do You Even Need Keywords?
You’ve probably heard that keywords aren’t a ranking factor for search engines, and that’s very much true. Back when search engines first launched, keywords were the only way they could tell if a web page was relevant for the user query by trying to match the search terms.
That led to what’s now known as “keyword stuffing,” a practice through which sites would add all sorts of keywords through their sites, sometimes even hiding them in the background, just to be included in the search results. Today, this practice is not exactly as effective, as search engines will ban any site that takes part in keyword stuffing. Additionally, there’s an entire list of other ranking factors to consider, and ensure that only the best, high-quality sites are ranked at the top of the SERP.
So why focus on the keyword at all? Keyword research isn’t just for the queries, it can also:
- Help search engines understand what the content is about;
- Allow you to discover essential topics to add to your content strategy;
- Help you stay competitive in your industry;
- Allow you to create more effective Google Ads;
- Ensure you effectively match search intent, etc.
So keywords matter a lot, even if search engines don’t rely heavily on them to rank websites. Below, let’s look at some of the different ways to find the right keywords for your business.
How to Do Keyword Research
There are a lot of methods for finding keywords, from manually hitting the web to keyword research tools that can bring about entire lists of keywords you can start using within minutes. First, we should clarify that there are different types of keywords:
- Seed keywords
- Short-tail keywords
- Long-tail keywords
- Location keywords
Seed keywords are the general terms that act as a foundation for the rest. For example, “SEO” is a seed keyword you can build on:
- SEO agency / SEO services for short-tail keyword
- Affordable SEO agency small business for long-tail keyword
- Affordable SEO agency Sydney for location keywords
A winning strategy is to target a diverse set of keywords, not just one type. Seed keywords, for instance, have a high monthly search volume, since the term is included in a lot of queries, but it is also very competitive. A lot of your competition will use it, making it more difficult for you to attract customers with this keyword. And it’s similar with short-tail keywords as well.
Conversely, while long-tail keywords help you match user intent, only using these ones might exclude you from broader searches, even if you create content that tries to match general topics.
To find the right keyword, you have to go through a few different steps that can help you identify those terms people search for:
Make a List of Relevant Topics
The first thing you can do is to simply look at your industry and brainstorm a few different topics that are relevant for your business. Some places where you can find more ideas about this include:
- Social media
- Your reviews (or even your competitors’ reviews)
- Surveying your existing customers
You can start small and just identify a handful of such topics. These will serve as your foundation for keyword research, where you’ll start looking at the search terms that are connected to the topics, and how relevant they are.
Identify Your Seed Keywords
Look at the topics you’ve found and that are most relevant for your business, and try to assign one term that could serve as its broader category.
For instance, let’s assume you’ve found these 3 different topics:
- How to run Facebook ads
- SEO best practices
- Website design tips
From these topics, we can have at least for seed keywords:
- Marketing, advertising, etc.
- Web design
These seeds point to a broad set of potential keywords, and the more research you do, the better the keywords will shape up.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
A keyword research tool is a piece of software that can help you find the search term you should leverage in your content and SEO strategy. It can be a part of a wider SEO tool, or it can be a service exclusively designed for keyword research.
Take your seed keywords and add them to these tools to find suggestions on related keywords that may apply to your business. Check the monthly search volume to get a better idea of roughly how popular that search term is, and if it’s worth the effort to include in your strategy.
You can double check the popularity of that keyword in Google Trends, as it will show you its performance in organic search, and give you additional suggestions, which you can add to your lists.
Double Check for Keyword Difficulty
Keyword difficulty basically refers to how hard it would be to rank for a specific keyword. Essentially, if a keyword is heavily targeted by the top 10 pages of a SERPs, it is generally a highly competitive keyword to target.
Some SEO newbies may confuse keyword difficulty with Competition Keywords from the Keyword Planner, but the later is exclusively for Google Ads, and the former covers organic search.
Leverage the Keywords in Your SEO Strategy
Okay, so you have the perfect set of keywords you want to rank for. What exactly do you do with them? Keywords can be integrated into several ways:
- In your content – a keyword can even serve as a topic for a blog post, or several different articles. Additionally, keywords should be added to all pages of your site.
- In your URL – URL structure helps improve navigation, and adding a keyword to the URL can help reinforce to the user that the page they are about to click on from the search results is relevant to their query.
- In your link building strategy – internal links help search engines and users navigate through the different pages of your website, and links are usually clearly marked with an anchor text. If that anchor text is a keyword, the user knows what sort of information they are about to see if they click on the link, which helps reduce unwanted surprises and bounce rates;
- Social media posts – social media helps support your content strategy, so it’s a good idea to use these platforms to promote your content. But at the end of the day, posts are also unique links, so using keywords within the description could help you rank better for that term.
Over to You
Finding the right keywords to rank for is really an ongoing process, since no business or industry stays the same for long, especially these days. To remain competitive, it’s essential to stay in touch with what consumers are looking for on search engines, and what are the different terms they type to find it.
If you need some help with your keyword research or generally improving your SEO efforts, we at Australian Internet Advertising are happy to be of assistance. As a trusted Google Partner, we can provide Sydney business owners with the right expertise and support to reach their SEO goals. Contact us today for more information, or call our office at 1300 304 640.