Keyword research is one of the fundamental building blocks for any digital marketing strategy. You can get a better idea of what your competition is being found for when people search for their businesses online. It can be used for SEO, PPC, social media advertising, and for content ideas too. How do you go about conducting keyword research? In this article, we’ll show you the basics and give you some other methodologies you can implement so you can find keywords which are not only relevant but profitable for your business.
The Tools You’ll Need
Before you do keyword research, you must have the right equipment and programs to find what you need successfully. If you run a larger business, having these tools will be critical to help you save massive amounts of time. Some of the tools we use at Viridian Geeks for keyword research are:
SEMRush is heralded as one of the top search engine marketing tools used by digital marketers. It allows you to add multiple projects and for a monthly fee, you can add hundreds of keywords and guage the progress of the SEO on your website. SEMRush isn’t just for SEO either. You can also take advantage of certain features on the platform which allow you to look at the ad copy your competitors use for Google Adwords.
Signing up for SEMRush is easy! Go to the SEMRush website and click on the login button. There, you will find the Register tab in the window.
Click on it and enter in your email and password. You will receive confirmation that you signed up. You also have the option of signing up for the Pro, Guru, and Business plans which start from $99.95. It may seem a bit pricy upfront, but the powerful features you get with the tool more than make up for the costs.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Don’t have much money to afford an SEM keyword research tool? You can use Google Keyword Planner instead, which is completely free. If you have a Google Adwords account, you can access the Keyword Research tool via the menu at the top. You will be taken to a screen where you can search for keywords by product or service. You can also enter your website landing page, product category and set up targeting according to the area you’re planning to target for keywords. Here’s what happens when we type “digital marketing” and use our home page as the landing page for this demonstration.
In the screenshot, you will see the each keyword organized by relevance, followed by the average monthly searches in your area. You will also see how competitive the keyword is and see a suggested bid for the keyword if you were to build your own Adwords campaigns using them.
3. Keywords Everywhere
Are you a Google Chrome user? There’s a great Chrome extension out there which will make conducting keyword research even easier without the need to have to log into a keyword research tool on a site. All you need to do is add this extension via the Chrome Web Store, and as soon as you type in a keyword in Google’s search engine, you will be able to see pertinent information about the keyword and its profitability through the cost-per-click and keyword search volume. This goes for every keyword that Google suggests.
Other Recommended Keyword Research Tools
You don’t have to use these exact keyword research tools if you don’t want to. That’s why we’ve provided some worthy alternatives in this post you can check out for yourself. Some other great keyword research tools you can try on your own are:
• Long Tail Pro
• Moz Open Site Explorer
• Keyword Tool (yes, that’s the name of this one, and it’s pretty awesome)
• Keyword Finder
With any of these tools, you should have enough there to be able to get started on keyword research for your business. Now let’s move on and dive right into trying out some keyword research now that you know about some of the best tools of the trade.
Time to Get Researching!
These are insights on keyword research direct from our team of digital marketing professionals. They are experts at all things SEO, PPC, social media, and content and have first-hand experience with doing the best keyword research for clients. If you follow the advice and steps given here, you will have a great time finding keywords which are going to attract the right people onto your site.
To get started with keyword research, you should follow these steps:
1. Figure Your Niche and Industry
What industry or niche is your business in. Do you sell auto parts online or are you a small local flower shop? Take a look at what your business does and make a list of the products and services you offer. Use those as a starting point to begin finding the keywords people are using to find businesses like yours.
Then you can position yourself as an expert in the services you sell by making landing pages and blog posts about them and sharing the posts on your social media accounts.
2. Formulate a Small Keyword List
Based on what you found out in the previous step, jot down some possible keywords you want to research. Here’s what a list would look like if your business sold pet food online:
• Best pet food
• Pet food for dogs
• Pet food for cats
• Low fat pet food
• Pet food store
• Pet food experts
This is not going to be your final list. You can always keep adding more as you go along in your keyword researching process. You should also think about targeting long-tail keywords when you’re creating blog content that’s going to help your customers. Long-tail keywords are keywords that have three to four words at least and relate to what your business is about. A good example would be these long-tail keywords for a retail clothing outlet. Some of the keywords for this business would include:
• What Clothes Should I Buy for the Summer Season
• Where Can I Find the Best Clothing Discounts on T-Shirts
• Cheapest Men’s Shoes
• High Quality High Heels for Women
3. Find Other Related Keywords
Once you have your long-tail keywords and your broader keywords gathered in your list, which you can also use Microsoft Excel to organize them, you should search for more keywords closely related to the ones you already have. One trick is to use Google’s search bar, and for any keyword you type in, Google will suggest additional keywords for you. You can also type in these keywords in SEMRush and find a list of related keyword phrases you can download as a CSV file.
4. Check Your Competitors
You can go through your competitors and see which keywords they are using to get traffic onto their site. Pay attention to the relevance, cost-per-click, and traffic percentage which is also available through SEMRush. Use the keywords your competitors are ranking well for, but also see if there’s a gap in the market. There are bound to be keywords you can rank for that your competitors have not put as much time into creating content for.
5. Use Google Trends
Another tool you can use for keyword research is Google Trends. You can gain a better understanding of the trends which are most popular right now and come up with content most relevant to what people want to find on the website. You can also find related keywords via the Related Queries section and see which states have the most interest in the keyword and topics you want to talk about on your website.
6. Include Local Areas
It’s generally much easier to target keywords pertinent to the areas your business. You will be able to stand out much more by including the name of your city or town in the keywords you select. For example, one of the keywords we use to help the Viridian Geeks stand apart from competitors is “Atlanta digital marketing agency.” While there’s still a lot competition for that keyword, there’s still not as much competition if the keyword did not have the word Atlanta in it.
7. Pick Your Keywords
After you’ve completed the first six steps, you can prepare an even better keyword list. This list will have all the keywords you will be spending time ranking for. You’ve done the work with regards to finding the keywords which would help you get the right traffic for your site. You should also look at what your competitors have in the meta description and title tags and make sure when you’re optimizing your website for SEO that you go back and first optimize any existing content and pages for your selected keywords. When running a PPC campaign, you should have your keywords in the headline and ad copy with a call-to-action at the end.
8. Monitor Your Progress
Keyword research is an ongoing process, and you’re never quite done with it completely. Make the necessary optimizations on your site and then see what happens. You will be able to see how you’re performing for the keywords you picked and then be able to see what adjustments you can make to improve your SEO or SEM campaigns further.
Keyword research will take time, but you will see results if you follow these steps. They have worked wonders for our SEM professionals at Viridian Geeks. If you need help with keyword research or any other digital marketing topic, give our digital marketing experts a call at (470) 440-3434 today! You can also send our sales team an email at [email protected] to request more information about our company and services.