People use certain keyphrases (keywords) when looking for information online. Researching what keywords people looking for your products or services use can help you gain more traffic.
Furthermore, you should create content that meets your user intent rather than what you want them to know. Simply put, you need to deliver content that your readers resonate with and enjoy.
A successful content creation strategy starts with keyword research. But what is keyword research, and is it important anyway?
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying the key phrases and words that people are typing on search engines to find information. When users type certain keywords, Google is smart enough to decode the search intent.
Search intent refers to reasons why a user searches for certain information. The reasons could be to learn, buy something, and so on.
Why Is It Important?
• Discover what people are searching for online
Essentially, you don’t want to waste time and resources on content topics your target users are not interested in. Keyword research will help you understand what people are looking for so that you can create content around those keywords.
• Understand what your competitors are doing differently
When performing keyword research, you will understand who your competitors are and what keywords they are ranking for. Once you know what domains you are competing with for the exact keywords, you’ll determine the chances of outdoing them.
Some keywords are pretty competitive, and you’ll find that only high authority sites are ranking for this. Thus, you need to identify low-difficulty keywords that you can easily rank for and which brings us to our next point.
• Identify low-competition opportunities
You’ve got to identify the ‘low hanging fruits’ if you’re to get a market share in the highly competitive online market.
Most website owners will target keywords with the highest search volume. While this may seem smart, it is not always fruitful. First, keywords with high search volumes may not always align with your website goals, and it is not wise to go ahead and create content around them.
The best way to gain organic traffic, especially for new websites, is by identifying low-difficulty keywords. These are keywords with a significant amount of traffic, and where domains with a lower DA are achieving top positions. Often, long-tail keywords are better than short-tail ones for identifying low-competition opportunities.
• Generate new content ideas
Essentially, you don’t want to create content around topics you feel or think are the best. You want to generate content ideas from what your target audiences are actually looking for. Some keyword tools like Semrush or Ahrefs will give you a content gap analysis.
By looking at what your competitors are writing about and any gaps they have not filled, you will generate unique content based on what your users are looking for.
• Traffic Growth
Proper keyword research will send significant traffic your way. The more traffic you have on your site, the higher your rankings on the SERPs. Consequently, when your website has organic traffic, you will earn more revenue through ads and affiliate programs.
• Improve Lead Generation
Using the right keywords that target the search intent and search volumes, you can answer the questions that your target users have. When you meet the needs of your users, you want to ensure that you direct them to the next course of action.
Call to actions are the best ways to lead your website visitors through the buyer journey. You just don’t want them to read your content. You also want them to convert and subscribe to your newsletter, purchase products/services, etc.
How to Perform Keyword Research?
Step 1: Determine topics that are relevant to your business
You need to think about topics that you’d like your potential customers to find you for. Here you’ll need to explore topics that come up when you have calls or meetings with your customers. You can also think of the topics or blog posts you write about.
Identifying these topics will help you narrow down to specific keywords when you get to the good stuff of finding keywords.
Step 2: Brainstorm keywords manually
The next step involves figuring out what keyword phrases your audiences will likely use to find your content. Don’t think too hard; just develop phrases you want customers to discover you for. They don’t have to be accurate at this point. If you cannot do it off-head, head to your Google Analytics tool. Track the sources of your organic traffic and what phrases visitors use to find your content.
Step 3: Analyse user intent from your keyword list
Having a keyword is one thing, and it is another to decode the user intent. Some keywords are vague, and it could be hard to determine what the searcher wants to achieve.
For instance, if a user types in “kidney failure,” how do you know what the user wants? Let’s demonstrate what Google decodes with such a keyword.
Step 4: Look for related keywords
You want to fill every gap with your keyword research strategy and content creation. Looking for search terms related to your main keywords can be a great way to optimise your content for more organic reach.
The best way to find related keywords is by scrolling down to the bottom of the search results. Google has a section called related searches showing you what people looking for such information also look for.
For instance, in our above example of the keyword phrase “kidney failure,” here is what Google suggests as related keywords.
Step 5: Take advantage of keyword research tools
While manual keyword research can be sufficient, you want to cover all the keywords to outrank your competitors. Keyword research tools can help you discover more keywords to base your content around.
Find the Best Keywords for your Website
Now that you know what keyword research is and its benefits for SEO, you need to apply the above techniques to your website.
Remember that even after you’ve done the initial keyword research and created content around the keywords, you still need to keep updating the content. It’s suggested to do another search every three months. By doing so, you’ll find other potential keywords you can add to your existing content to maintain your position on the SERPs.