The Beginners Guide to Keyword Research

3rd March 2021
3rd March 2021 James Cook

SEO can dramatically change your business, but not without keyword research. It is the building block to any successful strategy and simply can’t be overlooked.

Websites; unfortunately, aren’t stumbled upon by accident. They require a performed search for that particular market.

Think of the queries you type in on a daily basis; weather it’s searching for that perfect mothers day gift or even planning your next holiday. What exactly do you search for?

Whenever you search for anything across the web your targeting a specific set of keywords, I.e. “Holiday”, Camping Equipment”, “Cookery lessons”, and these all play a key role in your websites ranking.

google holiday search auto complete

So inevitably you want to rank for those types of keywords.

But, it’s not just your products that you need to perform keyword research for.

90% of people use search engines to look for simple information or queries.

When a search is conducted, the search engine then uses its complex algorithms to sift through the millions of indexed pages finding the most relevant one for your performed search.

This is why its extremely important for you to put this into practice, so that search engines can easily match that query with your sites content.

It’s not quite as easy as it sounds however.

Finding Your Keywords

The first thing you will want to do during keyword research is find the terms your going to be targeting.

This isn’t a quick task, its one that will surely take time to implement into your site, and one that also needs to be looked through on a regular basis.

On the contrary, finding the keywords themselves shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Though you can’t just take a product or a service as your keyword and throw it on your page hoping it sticks.

Keywords should be words or phrases that have a high volume of web traffic but also ones that have a reasonably low difficulty.

You can use tools such as Ubersuggest to decipher this information.

ubersuggest mothers day keyword ideas

Take for example, my industry (Search Engine Optimization). This is an incredibly over saturated market to fight for, and there are millions of results indexed in Google all fighting for that same spot in the SERP’s.

This, no doubt, has a large amount of web traffic which is great if your website is high ranking, but terrible if it’s not.

Competing with keywords that have a high volume of traffic only increases the difficulty due to the much wider range of competition.

ubersuggest mothers day keyword data

So when researching your keywords it’s important to find your niche.

You could increase your potential simply by adding your location to a keyword or phrase.

If your business sells women clothing, try something along these lines – “Women’s Clothing [location]”.

These are known as Long-Tail Keywords.

If you are using a keyword tool for your research (which you should be) the majority of the time these tools have a keywords Suggestion page.

Here you can enter your business’s target and just like magic you have a huge list of keywords to use, completely focused on your brand, just a little more niche.

If you have ever looked at your Google Analytics account you will notice your keywords also appear here.

This is incredibly helpful as you can view your metrics such as organic search traffic for that particular keyword or phrase.

google analytics organic traffic acquisition


We can use this to our advantage to optimize what keywords our site ranks well for, and what needs to be adjusted.

Keywords also show Google and visitors what your business is known for. So you must always keep them 100% relevant.

You can see why keyword research is the brain of your SEO strategy.

Using Specific Keywords For Your Services

If your selling services or products you need to make sure they stay under different categories.

Apposed to performing keyword research for your products as a whole, you should make sure you perform this task for each different product or service to maximize visibility.

This will be increasingly useful for sites that sell products in multiple categories.

For example, a shoe shop that sells, “winter boots”, “sports trainers”, “beach shoes” and so on.

Doing all this will ensure your not missing out on potential customers finding your site from a larger variety of queries.

Long-Tail Keywords

A Long-Tail Keyword is a word or phrase that is much more specific than a normal query.

As I mentioned above, when a search is conducted, Google sifts through millions of websites using its complex algorithms so you need to make yours stand out to a crawl more than the rest.

We do this with longer searches that drive more traffic.

holidays in spain long-tail keywords on ubersuggest

Some markets granted are worse than others, but all businesses in the same line of work tend to compete for the same set of keywords.

And you will always have the problem of informational sites such as blogs in the rankings too.

If you’re using a generic keyword such as “clothing” you are targeting a massive market that will open the search engine up to all kinds of results for this query.

Not to mention the companies dominating the results page with an endless budget for marketing.

Just look at the sheer difficulty of this keyword!

clothing keyword metrics

So this just won’t work, there’s nothing else to it.

Focusing all your marketing on such a broad term means it’s almost impossible for your business to reach its targeted audience.

You need to dig deeper and focus more on your own brand, what do you sell? Where do you sell it?

And if you haven’t worked it out by now, reaching a smaller but more relevant audience only leads to a higher conversion rate.

When a customer is searching for something specific, there’s a higher chance that they are further along the buyers journey.

the buyers journey infographic

Add these to your key phrases and narrow your reach to those who are actually looking for what you’re offering.

Adding Long-Tail Keywords also makes it easier to rank in your niche since most are missing out on this form of optimization.

You can’t just go straight for the giants, you need to establish an authority in the industry and in the SERPs before you can compete for higher competition terms.

Start with a few small ones, even if they have low traffic, as long as it’s high-quality, and once you have ranked for those, you can start cranking up the difficulty bit by bit.

Think of long-tail keywords as a simply concept, where we match exactly what a user is looking for with the product we have to offer. The closer your Long-Tail Keywords match the search query, the higher you will rank for it.

How Do I Implement Keywords?

Now that you have your list of keywords ready to go, the next step is adding them to your site correctly.

It’s all about the content.

You cannot, I repeat cannot, have quality keywords without great content.

If you throw your keywords on your page at random the likelihood is that they will have zero effect.

On the other hand, if you were to need work done on your house, you may search for something like “Plumbing services”, this is where a keyword researched business hits the ground running.

When search engines crawl your page they will automatically determine your targeted keywords (more easily if you have put SEO into practice) but never the less, they will find them.

So blog posts are always a great way to add content to your site and include those targeted keywords.

It is recommended that your keyword density should be around 1% – 3% per article. This is a general rule of the thumb, but don’t get too down about it if you don’t hit the mark.

keyword-density web fxpng

As long as your page is full of solid content and has a clear structure, don’t worry about having the exact number of keyword appearances in your post.

The most important thing is to write natural, a lot of people forget that and try to include keywords where they shouldn’t be.

However, any more than 3% and your risking keyword stuffing, which can lead to a penalty if abused.

Remember, you can target more than one word.

Adding your keywords into your blog body text is a great start, but it isn’t as effective as also adding them to your titles.

You should include your keywords in your headings if possible, but also your pages title to maximize performance.

Sift through your tags and headings to make sure you’ve included what you need to to rank well, and that your meta data is rich with keywords and synonyms.

Conclusion

Whenever you ever mention keyword research people just assume it’s the most basic SEO task you could complete, but they’re wrong.

Keyword research is an essential part to your success, and should be the first step on your SEO Checklist.

It not only boosts your ranking in your niche but opens the path to more traffic and a higher rate of conversion.
Make sure you don’t miss something so important, and implement it as soon as you can.

Remember to research regularly and keep on top of your campaign, you may need to analyse your keywords more than you think to stay on top of your rankings. Especially if they are topical or time sensitive.

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