Keyword research is the process of identifying and analysing keywords and phrases that potential customers search for online. These keywords and phrases can then be used to optimise websites and other digital content to attract and engage with those customers. The ultimate goal of keyword research is to find keywords that are both popular and relevant to your business, product or service.

This comprehensive guide explains the step-by-step process of keyword research including identifying your niche and target audience, making a list of seed keywords, using keyword research tools, analysing keyword trends and competition, selecting the best keywords to target, integrating keywords into your website and content, and tracking and analysing your results to refine your keyword strategy.

Identify your niche and target audience

Identify your niche and target audience, illustration.
Identify your niche and target audience, illustration.

A niche is a specific segment of a larger market that you want to focus on. For example, if you sell health supplements, your niche might be “natural remedies for joint pain.” Identifying your niche and target audience is a crucial step in keyword research as it lays the foundation for the entire process.

Understanding who your ideal customer is will help you identify their needs and what type of language they use when searching for products or services. For example, if your target audience is middle-aged individuals suffering from joint pain, you might want to target keywords such as “natural joint pain relief” or “best supplements for joint pain.”

Tips to identify niche and target audience:

  1. Use buyer personas: A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Creating buyer personas can help you get a better understanding of your target audience and their needs.
  2. Utilise demographic data: utilising demographic data such as age, gender, location, income, and education can help you refine your target audience and make informed decisions about the keywords you want to target.
  3. Keep in mind the language of your target audience: Try to use the language that your target audience uses when searching for products or services. This will help your content rank higher in search engines and attract more relevant traffic.
  4. Monitor your competitors: Keeping an eye on your competitors and what keywords they are targeting can give you insights into what keywords are working in your niche and what you may have missed.

By following these tips you can improve your keyword research and ensure that you are targeting the right keywords for your target audience.

Make a list of seed keywords

Making a list of seed keywords is the first step in conducting keyword research. Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research, and they form the basis of the terms you will use to generate a comprehensive list of keywords.

Start by making a list of keywords that are relevant to your business, product or service. These can be single words or phrases, and they should reflect the terms that you think your target audience is using to search for products or services like yours. For example, if you sell running shoes, your seed keywords might include “running shoes,” “best running shoes,” “running shoes for women,” etc.

Use keyword research tools: There are several keyword research tools available online that can help you generate a comprehensive list of keywords based on your seed keywords. These tools use algorithms to analyse search data and suggest keywords that are related to your seed keywords.

Tips for making an effective seed keyword list

  1. Use long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that often have lower competition and can drive more targeted traffic to your website. For example, instead of targeting “running shoes,” you might want to target “best running shoes for flat feet.”
  2. Utilise keyword generators: There are several keyword generator tools available online that can help you find new and related keywords. Some popular keyword generators include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.
  3. Consider the intent behind the keywords: When generating your list of seed keywords, it’s important to consider the intent behind the keywords. Are people using these keywords to research a product, make a purchase, or find information? Understanding the intent behind the keywords will help you prioritise which keywords to target.
  4. Use keywords in your website’s content: Once you have generated your list of seed keywords, it’s important to use them in your website’s content. This will help your website rank higher in search engines and attract more relevant traffic.

By following these tips, you can improve your keyword research and ensure that you have a comprehensive list of keywords that are relevant to your business, product or service.

Keyword research tools, illustrated
Keyword research tools, illustrated

Using keyword research tools is a crucial step in keyword research as it helps you generate a comprehensive list of keywords based on your seed keywords. These tools use algorithms to analyse search data and suggest keywords that are related to your seed keywords. Here’s a more detailed explanation of this step:

  1. Choose a keyword research tool: There are several keyword research tools available online, including Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the right tool for your needs.
  2. Enter your seed keywords: Once you have chosen a keyword research tool, enter your seed keywords into the tool’s search bar. The tool will then generate a list of related keywords that are relevant to your seed keywords.
  3. Analyse the keywords: After you have generated a list of related keywords, it’s important to analyse the keywords to determine which ones are the most relevant to your business, product or service. You should look at factors such as search volume, competition, and keyword relevance to determine which keywords to target.

Keyword research tooltips for better results

  1. Utilise keyword filters: Most keyword research tools offer filters that allow you to refine your search results based on factors such as search volume, competition, and keyword relevance. utilising these filters can help you find the most relevant keywords for your business.
  2. Focus on long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that often have lower competition and can drive more targeted traffic to your website. utilising long-tail keywords in your keyword research can help you find keywords that are more relevant to your target audience.
  3. Look beyond Google: While Google is the most popular search engine, it’s not the only one. utilising keyword research tools that analyse search data from other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu can give you a more comprehensive view of the keywords people are using to search for products and services like yours.
  4. Keep an eye on keyword trends: Keyword trends can change over time, so it’s important to continually monitor and analyse your keywords to ensure that you are targeting the right keywords for your target audience.

By following these tips and tricks, you can improve your keyword research and ensure that you are targeting the right keywords for your target audience.

Analysing keyword trends and competition is an important step in keyword research as it helps you determine which keywords to target. By analysing keyword trends, you can see how popular a keyword is, and by analysing competition, you can see how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword.

To analyse keyword trends, you can use keyword research tools such as Google Trends, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. These tools show you the historical search volume for a particular keyword and how it has changed over time. This information can help you determine which keywords are becoming more popular and which ones are on the decline.

To analyse competition, you can use keyword research tools that show you the competition level for each keyword. The competition level is determined by the number of websites ranking for a particular keyword and how well they are ranking. A high competition level means that it will be more difficult to rank for that keyword, while a low competition level means that it will be easier to rank.

Ahrefs keyword volume graph
Ahrefs keyword volume graph
  1. Look at the top-ranking websites: To get a better understanding of the competition for a particular keyword, it’s important to look at the top-ranking websites for that keyword. analyse their content, keywords, and backlinks to see what they are doing well and what you can do better.
  2. Utilise keyword filters: Most keyword research tools offer filters that allow you to refine your search results based on factors such as search volume, competition, and keyword relevance. utilising these filters can help you find keywords that have a high search volume and low competition.
  3. Keep an eye on keyword trends: Keyword trends can change over time, so it’s important to continually monitor and analyse your keywords to ensure that you are targeting the right keywords for your target audience.

By following these tips and tricks, you can improve your keyword research and ensure that you are targeting keywords that have a high search volume, low competition, and are relevant to your target audience.

Select the best keywords to target

Selecting the best keywords to target is an important step in keyword research as it will determine the success of your online marketing efforts. Here’s a more detailed explanation of this step:

When selecting keywords, it’s important to consider relevancy. You want to select keywords that are relevant to your niche and target audience. This will ensure that the traffic you attract is interested in what you have to offer.

You also want to consider the search volume of each keyword. Keywords with a high search volume can bring more traffic to your website, but they also have higher competition. Keywords with a lower search volume may have less competition, but they will also bring less traffic to your website.

In addition, consider the competition level for each keyword. A high competition level means that it will be more difficult to rank for that keyword, while a low competition level means that it will be easier to rank.

A typical example of selecting the best keywords to target could be a clothing company that specialises in sustainable fashion targeting keywords such as “sustainable fashion,” “eco-friendly clothing,” and “organic cotton clothing.” These keywords are relevant to the company’s niche, have a high search volume, and have a low competition level.

Tips for targeting the best keywords

targeting the best keywords
targeting the best keywords
  1. Prioritise keywords: When selecting keywords, it’s important to prioritise them. Start by targeting the keywords that are most relevant to your niche and target audience and have a high search volume and low competition.
  2. Target both broad and long-tail keywords: By targeting both broad and long-tail keywords, you can reach a wider audience and drive more targeted traffic to your website.
  3. Use keyword grouping: Keyword grouping is the process of grouping similar keywords together. This makes it easier to target multiple keywords with a single piece of content and can help you rank for multiple keywords with one optimised page.
  4. Use a keyword tracking tool: A keyword tracking tool can help you monitor your keyword rankings and see how your website is performing for each keyword. This information can help you adjust your keyword strategy and target the keywords that are bringing the most traffic to your website.

By following these tips and tricks, you can improve your keyword research and ensure that you are targeting the best keywords for your target audience.

Integrate keywords into your website and content

Integrating keywords into your website and content is the final step in keyword research and is crucial for optimising your website for search engines.

  1. Use keywords in the URL: Including your target keyword in the URL of your website’s pages and blog posts can help search engines understand what your content is about.
  2. Use keywords in the title tag and meta description: The title tag and meta description are important elements of on-page optimisation and can help search engines understand what your content is about. Make sure to include your target keyword in these elements.
  3. Use keywords in the body of your content: Including your target keyword in the body of your content can help search engines understand what your content is about. However, it’s important to use keywords naturally and not stuff them into your content unnaturally.

Example

A typical example of integrating keywords into your website and content could be a blog post about “best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.” The URL of the blog post could be “www.vegandiningguide.com/best-vegan-restaurants-in-los-angeles”, the title tag could be “The Best Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles | Vegan Dining Guide”, and the meta description could be “Discover the best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles for delicious plant-based dining options. Find your next favourite vegan spot today!” The body of the content would include the target keywords “vegan restaurants,” “Los Angeles,” and “best” in a natural and engaging way.

Tips to integrate keywords successfully

  1. Use header tags: Using header tags, such as H1, H2, and H3, can help structure your content and make it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about.
  2. Use internal linking: Internal linking is the process of linking to other pages on your website from within your content. This can help search engines understand the structure of your website and improve the ranking of your pages.
  3. Use images and videos: Including images and videos in your content can help make it more engaging and can help search engines understand what your content is about. Make sure to include alt tags with keywords to describe the images and videos.
  4. Optimise for user experience: optimising your website for user experience, such as having a fast loading time and being easy to navigate, can help improve your search engine rankings.

Track and analyse your results to refine your keyword strategy

Track and analyse search results
Track and analyse search results

Tracking and analysing your results is an ongoing process in keyword research. It’s important to regularly monitor your website’s performance and make adjustments to your keyword strategy as needed.

Tools such as Google Analytics can help you track important metrics such as website traffic, bounce rate, and average time on site. These metrics can give you an idea of how your website is performing and help you make informed decisions about your keyword strategy.

Tracking your search engine rankings can give you an idea of how well your website is ranking for your target keywords. There are many tools available that can help you track your rankings, such as Ahrefs or SEMrush.

Monitor your backlink profile: Your backlink profile is the number and quality of links pointing to your website. Monitoring your backlink profile can help you identify opportunities to improve your search engine rankings.

Tips for tracking and analysing results

  1. Focus on long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific, longer keywords that tend to have less competition and can be easier to rank for. Monitoring the performance of long-tail keywords can help you identify opportunities to improve your search engine rankings.
  2. Use Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that can help you monitor your website’s performance and make informed decisions about your keyword strategy.
  3. Monitor your competitors: Monitoring your competitors can give you an idea of what keywords they are targeting and help you identify opportunities to differentiate yourself.

A typical example of tracking and analysing your results could be monitoring the performance of a blog post about “best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.” Using Google Analytics, you would track metrics such as website traffic, bounce rate, and average time on site. You would also monitor your search engine rankings for the target keyword “best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.” If you see that your website is not ranking well for this keyword, you may adjust your keyword strategy to include additional long-tail keywords, such as “best vegan brunch in Los Angeles” or “best vegan fine dining in Los Angeles.”

Concluding Keyword Research

Note that keyword research is an ongoing process and it's important to continually update and refine your strategy based on new data and insights. 

In conclusion, keyword research is a vital aspect of SEO and can help you understand which keywords will drive traffic to your website. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can develop a keyword research strategy that will help you improve your website’s visibility and rankings in the SERPs.

If you like this, try our blog for more great SEO content to help you master the art of ranking highly on the world’s favourite search engines.

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