How To Start Keyword Research?
In order to begin the keyword research, you have to think from the perspective of your customers. What would they type when they are looking for your services, products or information.
For example, imagine you are offering resume editing services for professionals. Now if someone is looking for such services, what would they search for? Maybe they will search for “resume editing services”, “resume editing”, “How to make a great resume”, “How to make an attractive resume for jobs” etc.
The keywords you will come up with will be your seed keywords. Seed keywords are phrases that define your business’s services or products. Coming with seed keywords is only the first step.
Your next job is to find the best and maximum possible variants of your seed keywords that are actually being used by the users out there. It is interesting how we use the word “seed” for these keywords as we want them to grow and expand into a big list of other keywords just like a tree.
Now, how do you find the variants of your seed keywords? Well, we use online keyword research tools for that. The first and most famous tool that we use is Google’s Keyword Planner and this will be our formal introduction to it. Let’s jump right into it.
Google’s Keyword Planner
Google keyword planner is a part of the Google Ads platform. Although we won’t be running ads we will only be using its Keyword Planner for our keyword research. Go to https://ads.google.com/ and sign up for your account. After signing up, head straight over to the keyword planner which you will find under tools and settings.
You will find two options, Discover new keywords lets you research new keywords given you already have some seed keywords.
We are going to use this option only. The other option lets us check the future performance of keywords if we were to run some Ads. So go ahead and click on Discover new keywords.
Start with the keywords (Box 1), enter your seed keywords (Box 2) and finally select your location (Box 3)
After searching, this is how the results page looks like. Column one shows us the average monthly search volume against each keyword and column two shows the competition.
There are three levels of competition indicating how difficult it is to rank on each keyword viz; Low, Medium, and High. Our goal here would be to find the keywords which are with good monthly search volume (how many people search for that particular keyword monthly) and with low or medium competition.
Initially, you do not want to go after high competitive keywords as these are difficult to rank.
Also, while selecting keywords, keep informational, transactional, commercial and navigational under consideration as you want to find keywords that suit your business offering and goal.
Again, you can use different seed keywords to get another set of keywords. Keep doing this research until compiling your final list of keywords.
Other Keyword Research Tools.
Google Keyword Planner is not the only tool you can use, there are others as well. Some of them are paid and others are free. But the process of finding the keywords is the same.
You first start with some seed keywords, put them into the tool and get some keywords. All tools will show you the monthly volume and the competition for each keyword.
The principle stays the same, however. Select the ones with good search volume and lower competition. Some of the other tools you can use are Semrush, Moz and Aherfs. Using those tools is pretty much straightforward.
Some Basics About Keywords
Stop words are words that are used to connect sentences, phrases or just even words. Mostly these are preposition words like in, on, before etc.
Stop words are ignored by search engines when looking for a relevant website against some keyword.
So “resume editing in the USA” and “resume editing USA” are treated just the same. We cannot call these words variants. They can be treated just as one.
Variants are keywords formed by using synonyms. For example, “resume editing” and “CV editing” can be called as variants.
When you use keywords in your content, don’t use the same and exact match many times, instead use variants. Incorporating the keyword variants into the content is the key for SEO. And remember, always write for humans, don’t stuff keywords without making any sense. Things like these don’t work anymore.
You can use some online tools to find some variants. We are not going to put any specific link here but you can search for them and figure out the best for you.
Another helpful tip is to research keywords around questions, information and all other sorts of things in order to cover more ground.
One brilliant website that you can use is https://answerthepublic.com, it helps you find all sorts of keywords on any given topic. It gives you keywords around how, why, what and more like these kinds of questions. It also gives you keywords around prepositions.
Ideally, you should target each keyword and its variants on a single unique page. Each page of your website should be reserved for a different set of keywords (set of keywords = keyword and its variants.).
Let’s say you have two pages on your website, one to offer resume editing services and the other to offer interview tips services. Then, you should target the keywords “resume editing services” and “CV editing services” on the resume editing page and the keywords “interview tips”, “interview hacks” on the interview tips page.
Don’t target multiple keywords of different services on the same page or don’t create multiple pages for the same set of keywords.
Before you begin optimising your website for the keywords, you need to make a list of all of your website URLs in Excel or Google Sheet in one column and write the associated keywords against each URL in a different column.
We call such a file a Keyword Map file as it maps each URL to a specific set of keywords.
Alright, now that you know how to do the keyword research, grab the list of final selected keywords, it is time to use them on the website. In the next guide, we will see how we can take these keywords and optimise our website on them. Let’s go!
Search Engine Code Team is comprised of SEO experts and strategists having more than 20 years of combined experience. We keep testing and delivering knowledge of SEO for the community of SEO.
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