Keyword Research 101
How Important is this Keyword Research Stuff?
It’s a simple answer – Keyword Research is the most important part of your search engine optimisation campaign. By initially creating a comprehensive keyword report, you will develop a blueprint for your upcoming SEO campaign. In my opinion, many SEO agencies rush this invaluable process. In doing so, they miss out on several niche keyword opportunities.
Where Do I Start?
Before you start to consider what keywords to target, it is important to define your ideal customer. Forget about those customers that are high maintenance and serial time wasters. Focus on your “perfect customer” and ask yourself –
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- What are they trying to achieve?
- Do they run into problems?
- What questions do they have?
- What do they search for online?
By asking these questions, you will put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and start to think the way they do…
Upon identifying your ideal customer, you can start to brainstorm what keywords you may want to target. Do not rush this phase! Think creatively, involve other people where possible and keep in mind that if you do this correctly the first time, you will not have to do it again for some time…
Start with your obvious direct keywords. For example, if you are a hotel located in Sydney start with ‘Sydney Hotel’.
Once you have a comprehensive list of high value / competitive keywords, you can start to look at possible variations and derivatives of each keyword. For example, there are many derivatives of ‘Sydney Hotel’ including – Best Sydney Hotel, Sydney Hotel Reviews, Sydney Hotel CBD etc.
Indirect keywords are typically from potential customers that are within the ‘research phase’ or early in the buying cycle. If you can identify the buying cycle of a typical customer, you can potentially target them during this phase before they start to actively search for suppliers.
Here is an example of the buying cycle of someone looking for Search Engine Optimisation services –
- I need more traffic
- Maybe I can use SEO
- How does SEO work?
- How can I stay safe?
- What is white hat?
- How do I get white hat links?
- How to guest post?
- Are these the best option?
Furthermore, you can also identify indirect keywords by asking yourself –
- What questions do we answer over and over again?
- What steps does someone need to go through to achieve success my products or services?
- Are there other products / services they may be interested in?
- What is the end goal they are trying to achieve?
Keyword Research Tools
Following your brainstorm, you can start the keyword research phase. Firstly, develop a report to track your data and then you can look at tools to assist your research. There are several Keyword Research Tools to choose from including –
Google Keyword Planner
Powered by Google, this tool is essential and the starting point for most campaigns. It provides data on the search volume (Avg. monthly searches) of particular keywords on Google.
“Average monthly searches” are defined as the average number of searches for a keyword and its close variants based on the month range as well as the location and Search Network settings you selected. You can use this information to see how popular your keywords are during different times of the year.
The Keyword Planner allows you to filter your results by location, language and search networks. Furthermore, it will provide data on typically 100’s of similar or related keywords.
In order to access the Keyword Planner you must have an active Google AdWords campaign.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Take your Keyword Research to the next level with this comprehensive new tool from the world renowned Moz. Report on the opportunity, importance and potential of each keyword to identify the keywords that will convert best for your business.
With a modern and user friendly interface, this tool focuses on long tailed keywords and shows data on trends, search volume, cost per click, and difficulty level.
This unique tool is an ideal starting point for keyword data mining. It makes use of the data from Google Autocomplete to develop a database of long tailed keywords.
This tool is keyword research on steroids. With an impressive range of features, you can now analyse your competitors to stay one step ahead of them.
Once you have created a comprehensive Keyword Report, you can develop a plan detailing what page will be optimised for each keyword. I will elaborate on this further in an upcoming post, however here are some simple tips to remember –
- Two separate pages should not be optimised for the same keyword.
- Do not optimise a page for an un-related keyword. This can cause your user and Google to become confused. If you cannot locate an appropriate page for a keyword, consider setting up a new page or writing a Blog post.
- Consider how ‘competitive’ each keyword is. Ie how likely is it that we will achieve page one rankings for this keyword within the next 3-6 months. If a keyword is too competitive try a derivative or variation of that keyword.
Want to Know More?
Contact Brad today for free expert advice on Keyword Research.