Keyword research is the single most important part of digital marketing. Keyword research is a great way to keep your ear to the ground and keep up with the latest trends.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding popular search terms that are input into search engines like Google to develop a content strategy so that your content appears higher on search engine results pages. Keyword research is fundamental to SEO and brings more visitors to your website.
What factors do we look at in keyword research?
When researching a keyword, we look at numerous factors. Search volume, domain authority, trust flow, keyword competition, seasonal trends, location, auto competes and FAQ’s are all things we look at when deciding whether or not you are in a position to compete for a keyword. You may have some generic keywords that you already use but these pages are being visited – keyword research can help you understand how to get visitors to these pages.
Understanding search volume
Search volume is a good indicator as to whether or not you should be competing for that keyword.
Would a keyword yielding 30,000 searches a month be worth pursuing? Yes.
Is it likely you will get on to the first page of search engines without keyword research and strategy? No.
The point is keyword research can identify they keywords and long-tail keywords that are achievable in the short term, medium term & long term. It also will help you target more specific search terms that will help you find more conversion-ready customers.
For example, a person searching for “shoes” is probably just browsing. On the other hand, someone searching for “womens black shoes” are a bit closer to what they actually want.
The monthly search volume for “shoes” in the UK is 197,000. The competition on the first page is fierce with a keyword difficulty of 58 – brands such as Asos and Debenhams occupy the top spots.
The monthly search volume for “womens black shoes” is 2,600. The search volume is lower but the keyword difficulty is lower at 34 and you are further down the ‘funnel’ the consumer is trying to get to. You could also go further into a long-tail keyword with searches such as “womens black shoes for work” (SV:4,300 KD:36) or “womens black running shoes” (SV:930 KD:30).
How to use keyword research to your advantage
Keyword research can be used in a number of ways to gain an advantage on your competition.
You can use it to check out your competition and which keywords the rank for & the positions they occupy. This is always a good place to start you planning and is seen as easy wins when the information is used correctly.
You can use the data from your research to identify seasonal search trends.
Keyword research will also throw up related keywords that hadn’t crossed your mind when looking creating your sitemap.
You can identify FAQ’s that appear in Google’s ‘People also ask’ section.
Have you ever spent hours writing a blog post and wondered why site visits don’t rise? It isn’t because the blog post is badly written or people aren’t interested, it is probably because the keywords it ranks for either don’t have any search volume or are too competitive that your post is in the depths of Google somewhere past the first page. A bit of research, time and dedication can give these blog posts a new lease of life.
What are long-tail keywords?
It’s wonderful to deal with keywords that have 50,000 searches a month, or even 5,000 searches a month, but in reality, these popular search terms only make up a fraction of all searches performed on the web. In fact, keywords with very high search volumes may even indicate ambiguous intent, which, if you target these terms, it could put you at risk for drawing visitors to your site whose goals don’t match the content your page provides.
Long-tail keywords with lower search volume often convert better, because searchers are more specific and intentional in their searches. For example, a person searching for “shoes” is probably just browsing. On the other hand, someone searching for “best price red womens size 7 running shoe” are further down the ‘funnel’ and practically has their wallet out!