So, in this post, we will understand how you can conduct keyword research for content marketing more effectively and improve your rankings on Google and other search engines.
Understanding the Value of Keywords
Keywords hold the key to your presence and recognition on search engines. When users search for words or terms, the search engines look up websites that contain the search terms. After all, that’s how they can provide relevant results to the users. Therefore, having such words in your content with an appropriate density and strategic placement is critical in getting a better search engine rank and attracting more customers to your website.
The keywords are differentiated into many categories and types based on how the users search for specific services or products. But this is where it becomes complicated. Typically, content creators face two significant challenges with keywords, i.e.
- Every website prefers high-value keywords to have a better chance of higher rankings.
- Top search engines like Google consider many more aspects other than keywords. So, the process becomes more complicated, and adding a high-value keyword won’t simply get you a better ranking.
Content quality is the primary need for a website to rank better on Google. Combining smartly used keywords with well-crafted content is critical to your success in search engine results.
That’s why higher-ranking websites are keen on researching how the users reach their website and what keywords will work well for their ranking.
Is Keyword Research Necessary?
One critical question to address at this stage is whether you need thorough keyword research for your website. The answer is quite simple, but it’s essential to understand why you should research keywords before crafting your content.
Intuitively, it’s possible to add ‘keywords’ based on the standard search terms related to your business. For instance, if you’re an online shoe store, people might search for terms like ‘affordable shoes,’ ‘best flip flops near me,’ ‘Nike shoe price,’ etc. So, you can imagine the range and variations in search terms depending on your potential audience.
Of course, throwing in every possible keyword in your content is not feasible because Google’s algorithms are smart enough to figure out what’s going on.
Therefore, keyword research will help you understand the most relevant and highly searched keywords related to your content. So, when users type those search terms in the search box, they can access your page through the search results.
That’s how you can optimize your content for search engines and improve your ranking on SERPs. Understandably, higher-ranking content means more leads, traffic, conversions, and sales.
However, if you work without the keywords, getting visitors can take a while because Google won’t recognize your page regardless of how good your content might be.
How to Conduct Keyword Research for Content Marketing
Here are some basic steps to start your keyword research.
Brainstorm Possible Keyword Ideas
Keyword research is a sophisticated process that starts with brainstorming. Initially, it’s important to understand the audience and buyer personas and develop keywords they will likely search for. Think about the word that can connect you to your potential customers.
Ensure Business-related Keyword Research
During your research, it’s important to incorporate the most relevant keywords for your business. It’s easy to get carried away and include as many keywords as possible, but that doesn’t work in your favor because of how Google analyzes your content for ranking.
Think about what your business sells and how you can sell them online. Once you have brainstormed various ideas, start filtering out the keywords and map the most relevant ones. Here, it’s a good idea to think like a customer. For instance, if you sell clothes online, think about how you buy clothes and what search terms you use for them.
Research Competitor Keywords
Keeping an eye on the competitor is a must-do for keyword research, and it’s easier than you think. So, search your prospective keywords on Google and check the initial few results to understand the keywords that your competitors are focusing on.
As a rule of thumb, you can analyze the top three search results. Check seller websites and avoid review sites because they don’t contribute much from a keyword research perspective.
Generally, keywords must appear in headings, i.e., H1, H2, or H3, so analyzing your competitor’s content gives you an idea of the possible words you can include.
Plugin Your Keywords to a Keyword Research Tool
Next, you need to know which keywords will perform better. Thankfully, there are many keyword research tools like Moz, Ahrefs, SEOlyze, and SEMRush to help you understand the potential value of each keyword. The research tools elaborate on different parameters associated with keywords, such as traffic stats, frequency, etc.
Focus on Long-tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases as opposed to one-word search terms. For instance, search terms like “how to apply for driver’s license Houston” are long-tail keywords, while ‘license’ is a seed or head keyword.
Long-tail keywords are easier to rank than seed or head keywords. Head keywords have high competition, so long-tail keywords are a good way to surpass your competitors on Google search engines.
To mold your keywords to your business, consider how people search for products related to your niche. Then, choose your words wisely and proceed with keyword research tools.
Build Content Around Keywords
For a start, you should look for high-ranking keywords and build your content around them. However, you can also create quality content with low-ranking keywords. The trick is to pick the right low-ranking keywords, and since the competition is relatively less, it gives you a chance to stand out from your competitors.
While adding keywords is important, the primary focus must be to solve customer queries. For instance, even if you get a good website rank and the visitor reaches your website, they will only proceed to buy if there is helpful content.
Otherwise, it would decrease traffic, eventually backfiring on your Google rankings.
Search Keywords on Google
While keyword research tools are important, you cannot overlook the value of Google as a keyword research tool. After finding out the essential keywords, search them on Google.
Here, you will understand how other websites have created content around your selected keyword and what type of content is winning. It can help you create target content according to your audience.
Track Monthly Search Volume and Competition Metrics
Monthly search volume (MSV) is a critical SEO component that allows content creators to track the search frequency of specific keywords and search terms. The higher the searches, the more valuable the keyword becomes.
Likewise, analyzing the competition metrics helps you understand the competitiveness of your keywords. Hence, you can understand the difficulty level of a specific keyword ranking.
Keyword density is the frequency of keywords appearing on a webpage compared to the number of words on the page. Previously, higher keyword density meant better rankings, which led to content creators stuffing the page with keywords. Hence, lower keyword density is the way forward.
You can use the same keywords on multiple pages, but they must be relevant and value-adding for the website. Adding relevant keywords also helps maintain a general theme for your website.
Keywords are essential for better web rankings, but it requires smart and relevant inclusion of keywords to give yourself a better chance of appearing in search results. By maintaining step-by-step procedures for keyword research, you can improve your website rankings and generate more traffic and conversions for your business.