User queries with which your target audience finds your website or app is what we call as keywords. The most important and primary step towards marketing your website with the help of SEO is keyword research.

Why keyword research is so important

Unless you do a thorough investigation of your targeted keywords which will bring in the relevant audience to your website, you are missing out the opportunity to be visible in front of your audience when they are looking out for you. Since you did not target the key keywords, your competitors will take the benefit and target for keywords leading to more traffic to website and conversion.

Many times we see websites doing SEO for their site, some see the website appearing for the keyword on the first page but still not much visitors or conversions happening. In some cases, businesses are not able to get their website for the targeted keyword in spite of trying harder. These situations happen when you do not spend considerable time researching your keywords and hence end up targeting wrong keywords.

Type of Keywords

Keywords are broadly classified as short-term keywords and long-term keywords. Short-term keywords are those which include 2 to 3 words and long-term keywords are those which are higher than three words. You can also classify the keywords as high business intent, low business intent and medium business intent. High business intent keywords are those user queries which have higher chances of getting converted considering they are really looking for the service. Medium intent keywords can be a query where the user is looking for a comparison like “which is the best digital marketing agency in Bangalore to consider”. Low business intent keywords are those query where the user is looking for basic information and chances for them getting converts are very low. The example of low business intent keywords can be “what is digital marketing”. Another type of keyword classification can be branded and non branded keywords. User queries which include your brand name are considered as branded keywords and rest all are considered as non branded keywords. If your website is relevantly new, you will notice that you are ranking faster for your branded keywords. Many also classify keywords into product keywords, competing company names, and geo-targeted keyword and money keyword. Money Keywords are those which can give conversion.

How to do Keyword Research for SEO

Although there is no hard and fast rule of doing keyword research, below mentioned points are something to consider while doing keyword research.

1) Prepare a list – List important and relevant topics on your website. Use these topics to generate specific keywords.

2) Target Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords – Basically, keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword are called LSI Keywords. Google keeps updating its algorithm for better user experience. With latest Google Panda update, Google tries to show result not only on the basis of keywords match but also on the topic match.  One of the tools which I use to find out LSI keywords is  LSI graph and Twinword.

LSI Graph - lsi keyword generator

Twinword_Ideas - LSI keyword Generating Tool

3) Target Geographic Keywords – Include keywords with your location name in your target keyword list. “Hotels near Mysore railway station“, “best places to visit near Bangalore”, “Digital marketing training company in Bangalore” are some of the examples for geographic keywords.

4) Competitors Keyword – Make a list of your top competitors and check keywords they are ranking for.

5) Google webmaster – If you have already registered and linked your website with webmaster, it’s a good idea to check out search analytics under search traffic for keywords your website is already ranking for. This will help you understand how much impression your website is getting for the keyword and what’s your current ranking. With this, you can figure out which keywords need some more push to rank your website on top  

6) Long Tail Keywords – Target long tail keywords as they contain hundreds of millions of unique searches which when taken together comes to 70% of the search volume. Also, long tail keywords convert better. A person searching for ”Apple iPhone 7“ is probably browsing and not looking to buy but someone searching for “best price iphone 7” has the wallet to buy and may buy it anytime sooner.

7) Check out the keyword Difficulty – Generally, when it comes to selecting keywords, people end up selecting keywords which have higher search volume only. It is essential to know how much of hard work is needed to rank your website higher for that particular keyword. It’s harder to target keywords for which big brands have already taken up the top 10 position if your website is a new one. In this case, you need to select keywords which have a good number of search volume along with lower keyword difficulty score.

8) Click per searchMany times some of the keywords with more search volume doesn’t get much traffic for your website despite your website is on top of search result. This happens when the click per search is very low because of Google Knowledge card. Check out click per search metrics too while selecting keywords ( Click/search more then 1 is good to go). First, find out your list of keywords, then filter keywords with low and medium keyword difficulty and then check for the click per search metrics. Ignore keywords with less click/search score.

9) Repeat keyword research – Keyword research is not a one time job. With growing competition keyword difficulty score of keywords also changes as more and more competitors are targeting for that. But there is no reason to get scared as everyday search engine sees user query they have not seen before and hence search Engine finds understanding the user intent and shows the relevant results. You can take advantage of these and start adding these keywords in your targeted keyword list. It is suggested that keyword research should be done every 3 months.

Which is the best keyword research tool

1) Google Suggestions – List out keywords suggested by Google.com. When you key in your keyword, Google shows searches related to your keyword.

Google suggest

2) Google keyword Planner – With the help of this tool you will be able to generate keyword ideas by keying in your main keywords. You can also extract keywords by the link of your website or your competitor’s particular product or service page. This tool also helps you get the search volume but only if you have a paid AdWords account.

3) Ahref- One of the best tool which helps your check backlinks and keywords of your and competitors. You can see which are the keywords your competitors are ranking for and what are their rankings for that particular keyword. This tool also helps to check click per search metrics. Currently, SEMrush is providing 15 days free trial. Utilize the tool to the fullest and you will love this tool and might consider buying.

4) SEMRUSH – One of the easy yet great solutions for keyword research. You just need to add your or your competitor keyword and it will show all the keywords that are ranking for the site

5) Answer the public – This tool is especially helpful for getting blog titles or topics. Answer the public helps you know what are the questions being searched on a search engine for the topic. You can download the .csv file and check for the keyword volume with the help of Google keyword planner or SEM rush or Ahref.

Answer the public

6) Uber Suggest – One of the most time-saving tool for keyword research. Just key in your keyword and language. You will be then able to see a list of keywords with their search volume, cpc, and competition. This tool takes the suggestion from Google keyword planner and Google Suggest. So even if you do not have paid Google AdWords campaign, this tool is the savior. Also, do take advantage of Filter result and negative keywords to refine the list of keywords.

Uber Suggest keyword research

What is my way of doing keyword research

I generally use two tools for keyword research. First one is SEM rush and second Uber Suggest.

First Step: With the help of SEM rush, I first find out keywords for which my competitors are ranking. Then in one spreadsheet, I list keywords in 1 to 10 position of SERP for which my competitor’s website is appearing.

Second step: I use Uber suggest tool to find out keywords which are being suggested by Google Suggest and Google keyword planner.

Third step: With the help of SEM Rush tool, I figure out keywords which is fetching most of the traffic to my website and keywords for which my website is appearing in SERP.

Finally, I add all these keywords in one list and remove the duplicate keywords if any. Next, I assign priority to keywords based on their volume and keyword difficulty. Here are the fields of the spreadsheet I consider finally.

Spread sheet for keyword research

I am sure there are many other great ways of doing keyword research. Do let us know your way of doing it in the comment section!

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