Have you been hearing of terms like “Keywords”, “Keyword Research”, and how important they are especially for Search Engine Optimization and don’t fully understand what it is? Welcome! You are at the right place. We would to cover
- The important things you need to know and do
- How to do them the right way
- Keyword research tools you can use for free
- And Many other essential things
So, if you are a beginner, intermediate or expert in digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Blogging, Content Writing and related; then this post is for you, you are bound to learn something on keyword research.
So, let’s get started.
What is keyword research
Given that we have previously explained what keywords are and how important they are, we will fully explain keyword research in simpler terms.
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing what people are searching for and utilizing them for SEO. Keyword research is a very important part of your Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing overall.
For those of you who are already familiar with most social media platforms, think of keywords as hashtags for your social media posts; and keyword research as finding trending hashtags that is right for your content.
Finding and utilizing the right keywords can be a bit daunting and expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be. Let’s continue and see what we mean.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is the blueprint for your online marketing efforts, driving every decision you make.Neil Patel
Keywords can make or mar your SEO efforts and the right keyword research, planning and strategy would do a long way to ensure that your content gets to the right audience and you get the traffic you need.
However, let us look at 5 main reasons why keyword research is very important:
Finds you the right audience and traffic
Effective keyword research would help you see those who are searching for you and would help them see you also. It is a win-win situation. Keyword research gives you the insights you need to reach out to people via SEO.
See and answers your clients/customers questions
With keyword research you get to see the questions that your target audience of prospective customers are searching for the most. It also gives you the chance to be able to provide them with answers that they are looking for.
Allows you rank right in Search Engine
Keywords research gives you the right keyword to optimize your website and contents for Search Engine Optimization. This enable your contents to be indexed right and rank for the keywords which you optimize for.
Helps you make effective contents
You get to develop contents that are actually meeting their goals, campaigns that generate and converts leads. Effective content marketing requires the right keyword research which matches what your audience are searching for.
Planning effective SEO/SEM Campaigns
Doing the right keyword research would ensure that your Search Engine Campaigns are at their top potentials and effective. Poor keyword research can lead to waste of time and money especially if you are involved in Search Engine Marketing.
So now you can see how important keyword research is for all that you do online
How to Research Keywords
Researching keywords doesn’t have to be so complex, expensive or something only your digital marketing agency can handle. We have simplified the steps below to make things easier for you.
Identify and research your niche
This is the first thing you have to identify once you are online. Look closely at the niche or category you or your industry falls into and try to identify what people constantly search for.
How does this help exactly?
For example, if you are a digital marketing agency, you know it’s pretty rare for people who are searching for things related to your niche or industry to search for keywords such as:
Instead you can expect them to search for Keywords or Keyphrase such as:
“Search Engine Optimization”
You get the idea.
This would give you the first insight and overview of what to expect your target audience to be searching or looking for.
You can also make direct research from the following sources to get better idea:
The Web – What people search for and write about
Your clients – What your clients and customers search for
Your competitors – What your competitors write about
Plan your topics
The next thing to do is to actually decide what you want your content to be about.
Don’t let keywords choose your topics but let your topics choose your keywords.
Think about the topics you want to share with your audience and you want to rank for. They could be words or phrase and can be in form of questions, comparison, reviews, reports, interviews etc.
Examples would include:
What are keywords
Introduction to digital marketing
How to start ecommerce business.
As you can see, the examples we gave above are topics we wanted to share with our audience so itemized them and their different variations. This step would open your insights further to what the right keywords would be.
Choose your seed keywords or keyphrase
Now that you have planned the topics you intend to develop contents on and brainstorm for seed keywords. These seed keywords would stand as the foundation for your keywords.
In the examples we used above; if we were to write a topic on “Introduction to digital marketing”, some of our seed keywords would be:
These are some of the keywords we are sure that people would actually search for and are our seed keywords. All that would be left is to find out if they are good enough to be your actual keywords or if you use a good keyword research tool, see other similar keyword suggestion that are actually better than your seed keyword or keyphrase.
Use good keyword research tools
Using good keyword research tools would give you far better results than if you don’t. Keywords. Good keyword research tools would you quantitative data on metrics such as Search Volumes, SEO Difficulty, Competition Level, Other related keywords, short tail and long tail variations.
Read more about keyword research tools below.
Research your competition
Researching your competition on keywords is very crucial as it gives you great insights on evaluating your keyword research and SEO strategy to further see which keywords are trending and more competitive. However, while you should not directly copy keywords from your competitors, your research on them would really guide your efforts.
Check out articles that would help your website:
Choose your keywords types and variation
In our previous article about keywords, we mentioned keyword types such as short tail and long tail keyword and even LSI keywords. These are keywords variations that you should always try and add to your mix of keyword choosing as it helps you attracts a wide range of traffic from closely related keywords.
Short tail keywords such as “Digital Marketing”, “Inbound Marketing” usually have high search volumes but more competitive; while long tail keywords such as “Digital Marketing Agency In Nigeria” or “Best Inbound Marketing Strategy for Web Designers” tend to have lower search volumes but are less competitive.
Choosing the right blends of these types of keywords would prove to give you better results.
Best Keyword Research Tools For Free
We would show you the best keyword research tools, which you can also use for free. Let’s get started
The first keyword research tool we will introduce to you is KeywordTool.io. One of the reasons we love it is because you can choose which search engine/platform you want to get keyword data from such as:
You can see that it can be useful in cases like Social Media Marketing or optimizing for ecommerce business.
However, while the free account doesn’t show any data on search volume and trend; it shows you keywords suggestions, questions, prepositions. It is definitely a great way to get started. You can also decide to get started with their pro plan at $69/month.
Semrush has a keyword magic tool that you can utilize. It gives you a very powerful research entire market, niche, groups or topics. It includes features such as setting match modifiers, filtering for question keywords, explore keyword groups, total volume, average difficulty, finding SERP features opportunities, related keywords and many more. SemRush also makes it very easy to research your competitors and get data on their keywords, traffic and many more.
The limit for free account is 10 research per day but you can get a lot done if you really know what you are doing. Semrush plans starts from $99/month but it truly is worth it.
Moz is a company that specializes in creating and selling analytics and research software. They have a Free SEO tools version online which you can utilize for your keyword research and more.
Some the features of their keyword explorer includes: Analyzing keywords by search volume, generating and saving keywords lists, exporting keywords data, find keywords in various formats and many more.
Their Free tools can be upgraded by choosing any of their plans which starts from $99/month which has tons of features and data you can utilize.
This is a truly amazing tool by Neil Patel which gives you ability to do keyword research for free on the fly. It includes most of the features mentioned earlier and more. You can even see keyword suggestions with data on their volumes, cost per click (CPC) etc., not to mention content ideas and other amazing features. You can upgrade to get access to more resources for just $13.63 per month
Google Keyword Planner is one keyword research tool that we can’t do without while researching keyword; some of the reasons includes:
It has amazing features
The data is directly from Google
It is free
Though it is intended to be used for researching for keyword for Google Ads but it has been one of the tools used a lot for SEO keyword research; it’s just that good. You however need to have a google ads account to use it, which shouldn’t stop you from utilizing the merits of this great tool.
Other keyword tools that we can recommend for you are full blown SEO tools for experts and gives you access to wide range of specific data. Some of the free tools you might see out there might not give specific and exact data you need but only give you a range or an estimate.
However, these SEO tools are quite expensive if you are just starting out and don’t offer or have free versions. The best ones we have found so far are:
Now there you have it!
Your research is now complete and we hope you keep in mind the various keyword tools you have in your arsenal, study the pros and cons of each and determine the best ones to use.
Also don’t forget to revisit and always make your research from time to time because of there could be changes in internet trends and search volumes so you don’t keep feeding your SEO and digital marketing strategy on outdated information.
If you run into any trouble, let us know how we can help you out.