Keyword research is, without hesitation, the single most crucial aspect of any SEO campaign. Picking a good keyword phrase can mean the difference between generating hundreds of interested visitors per month and a wasted effort. In the years of the yellow pages, which are fading out due to the Internet, a business would list their company under a certain title for a potential customer to find them.
If you had an office cleaning business, you wouldn’t get many people to find you if you listed your business under banks. That makes sense, doesn’t it? It is pretty much the same way for the Internet world. Keyword research is the first & most important stage of every marketing plan. It’s one of those activities where the choice of tools & quality of research determines success.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is a term used often by search engine optimizers. It’s a process where analysis and research are done to find out possible search engine keywords that you’d like your website/platform to rank well for. What is essential & crucial to understand is that some keywords just don’t get searched very often in search engines and therefore are not the best choice to target your site for.
That’s why research and analysis should be done on a website. As well, you have to take into consideration what the competition for that keyword is. If it’s too tough, then your site might not have a chance at getting ranked in there right away, and you might be better off starting out on a term with less competition.
History of Keyword Research?
People’s approaches to keyword analysis have changed over time. Keyword analysis in the 2000s was often restricted to visiting Google Keyword Planner, identifying keywords with the largest search volume, and stuffing them into the website text. Google reacted with many algorithm changes over the years because this could be readily exploited to rank with low-quality material. The aim of these updates was to better understand what users wanted and to provide them with the best results possible.
The following are the most significant algorithm changes that have affected how we conduct keyword research:
- Google Panda:- It has penalized thin, low-quality content and duplicate text
- Google Penguin:- It has penalized unnatural usage of keywords
- Google Hummingbird:– It has improved semantic search & focus on search intent
Today, keyword analysis entails far more than simply locating the “best” keywords and placing them in the “right” locations. Google is getting better at knowing what people are looking for. Its primary aim is to provide the content that best meets their needs.
In other words, keyword research is becoming increasingly important. It is no longer possible to find a single perfect keyword. It is about comprehending the audience and covering the subject in a nuanced manner. Simply put, if the subject is well-covered, you can rank for keywords that you did not even include in the text! This is not to say that keyword research is no longer important. On the contrary – It just looks a bit different than it did before.
How to Do Keyword Research For SEO?
Targeting the right term is a vitally important part of SEO. This is more than just measuring the level of searches a keyword gets & going for the one with the most. Proper keyword analysis will look at the keywords and phrases that are likely to convert (whatever your conversion is – be it a sale or the completion of a Contact Us form).
Also, the predicted traffic levels for various relevant terms, how much value the conversion on one keyword is worth compared to the conversion of other keywords. Finally, the analysis should look at the competition levels of each term – is it worth competing on a term that is extremely popular, or is it better to compete on a term that has a lower volume of searches but is less competitive?
It’s important to take into consideration all the above elements. Unless you know the information surrounding a chosen keyword, how can you tell if it’s likely to be profitable for you? A big mistake in SEO is to go straight in, optimizing your site and your link-building strategy for a keyword that either won’t convert or is so competitive you don’t have a chance of doing well in the search engine result pages. A small independent bookshop shouldn’t try competing on a term like ‘books’ because Amazon and Waterstones, and WH Smith have that market pretty closed!
Here’s How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Research?
When designing a website, you should optimize the site for your chosen keywords. This is crucial in order to do battle in the search engine field. But which are the best words to choose? Don’t go into battle un-armed! Do your research first – it’s no use thinking you have a niche market and base your web page on a keyword or key phrase, which no one searches for!
Google has made available an interesting free tool called “Google Trends,” where you can compare interest in keywords in different countries and regions. It makes very interesting comparisons which you should consider when choosing keywords. You may compare different keywords or phrases separated by a comma and see how often they have been searched for.
The results are shown in a graph with a different color for each keyword phrase. This is the overview – you should then view the bar graphs for individual countries/regions. You will see that what may be a popular keyword in one country is far less popular in another region. You can choose to see the results from all countries or one specific country by using the – drop-down boxes in the upper right corner of the Google Trends results page.
You can also choose to view results for a specific month or year by using the other drop-down box. The results graph enables you to view the search trends for your keywords, i.e., is the trend increasing or decreasing? If it is decreasing significantly, do you really want to choose that keyword? You can also discover at a glance any seasonal changes to the popularity of keywords, such as those increasing over the Christmas period.
In choosing keywords, you should also consider how many other websites are already using your preferred keywords. If you search on Google for a – popular keyword, you may find too many other websites already focusing their site around that keyword, and of course, it will be much more difficult to get good search engine results.
So take all factors into account. For example, if you compare “handbags” and “designer handbags” on Google Trends, you will see that many more searches are undertaken for the keyword “handbag.” Now do a Google search for “handbags,” and you will find millions of results. So while the Google Trends results show more searches for “handbags,” you will probably prefer to use a set of keywords as a phrase with less competition from other websites, which will help increase your search engine results.
Why is Keyword Research Important For SEO?
One part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more critical than the others, just like the foundation of a structure. You could be wasting all of your time and money if you don’t have this foundation. The foundation of your optimization should be proper keyword research. Here are some of the reasons why keyword research is critical for the success of SEO campaign:
- Helps Identify Competition:- A popular saying in the business circuit is that if you do not know your competition like the back of your hand, you are not going up. Thorough keyword research helps identify the direct competition and thus the pros and cons of their SEO campaigns as well.
- Get Quality Targeted Traffic Inflow:- Quality targeted traffic is only achievable when you have got the right niche consumer base’s attention. This is only possible when you are visible on the SERPs for the right keywords – to the right people!
- Better, Faster Results:- SERP rankings and other search engine optimization goals can be attained in a faster and much more flawless manner when supplemented by proper keyword research. In fact, with the right keywords targeted, you can actually survey the competition and defeat even the strongest of rivals.
- Tracking Progress – If you have not bothered with keyword research at all, tracking the progress of your Organic SEO campaign will not only be difficult; it will be downright impossible. In fact, you need to have the right amount of keyword research put in as an effort to help track the progress of the search engine optimization campaign.
What are the Best Keyword Research Practices?
Keyword research is the first & most important stage of every marketing plan. It’s one of those activities where the choice of tools and quality of research determines success.
Study Your Niche
The initial task in the keyword research process is to learn as much as you can about your niche or segment. Knowing who you’re up against will help you develop a practical keyword list and an SEO plan that will get you results.
COMPETITOR Content Analysis
Knowing who you’re up against will help you develop a practical keyword list and an SEO plan that will get you results. Simply type search terms relevant to your niche into Google. Take note of all websites that appear on Google’s first list, and analyze your findings. You will discover rich data that should help you attain success.
Use Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is the first & most important stage of every marketing plan. It’s one of those activities where the choice of tools determines success. The data you can get from each of them gives you unlimited marketing potential. When used right, this insight will bring you massive exposure for your website and roof-breaking profits. When combined together, the effect from these keyword research SEO tools magnifies ten-fold.
Long Tails Are Less Competitive
When it comes to getting your site to rank well on search engines, many focus on trying to rank for the most popular keywords, the ones with high volumes of traffic with the hope that hundreds of – thousands of people visit their site every day. The reality is that chasing after the most popular keywords will be almost impossible to rank for. If your website or blog is brand new, this will be a fight you can’t win. The large companies that rank number one for these types of keywords spend fortunes to dominate those positions.
However, there are keywords that you can use and rank well on and build a lot of targeted traffic from. These are long-tail keywords. Instead of the generic one or two keyword phrases, a long tail keyword uses a very specific set of words that describe your site or what you’re trying to sell. This is geared at targeting a much smaller group, but a group that is interested in what you are providing. Here’s why they are good.
They are easier to rank on the top page of Google for that search term. Because there is an almost unlimited number of long-tail keyword combinations you can use, and above all, the competition for these sites will be much lower. Most of the big players concentrate their time on more generic keywords leaving these ones alone.
While this means that keywords might not generate nearly as much traffic as the more generic keywords, those that it does bring in will be targeted traffic rather than someone who stops to look at your site for a couple of seconds and leaves. When targeting long-tail keywords, remember to include them in your page title, h1 and meta tags, description, and your page content like you would with any other keyword.
Since you’re now focusing on each page targeting a specific long-tail keyword, you’ll want to create more pages for your site. While this means some extra work for you, it’ll pay off. Google and the other big search engines like sites that have lots of pages and content, that are changed or updated on a regular and frequent basis. In their sights, your site should look more substantial, more natural, and more real.
Having more pages gives your readers a reason to keep coming back, as well as creating more ways for visitors to find and go to your site. However, a good strategy is to mix it up a little. Have a few pages that can send you large amounts of less targeted traffic and many pages that send you small numbers of targeted traffic.
At the end of the day – Those who use long-tail keywords to find your site will be more interested in what your site has to offer. If it’s a business, they’ll be more interested in buying your product, or a personnel site where they’ll be more interested in reading your content.
What Is LSI Keyword & Why is Important for SEO?
Many bloggers and webmasters don’t know what LSI keywords are and why they are important for SEO. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, an algorithm used by search engines to find words and terms that are related in the context of any document or group of documents. For example, if you search for the word “plates” using a keyword tool, you will get all sorts of unrelated phrases. Your article or post could be indexed for license plates, plate boundaries, collector plates, and other unrelated meanings for the word chosen without LSI.
Some experts believe that LSI is the most overlooked aspect in on-page SEO. This algorithm ignores the unimportant words like and, an, a, or, etc., and focuses on the terms that bear real meaning to your content. Using your main keyword too many times could affect your rankings. However, you can always mix various LSI keywords into your posts. This assists search engines in understanding what your pages are about and rank them for the right keywords.
Through the concept of LSI, search engine spiders can scan your post, find terms that are related, and classify that post accordingly. You don’t need any fancy tools to find the best LSI keywords. Just think about your topic and write down a few keywords and key phrases related to it. For example, if you are planning to write a post that offers beauty tips, some good LSI keywords would be “makeup,” “lipstick,” and “foundation.” You can also use Google’s own keyword tool to find such keywords. Use these terms throughout your content to increase the relevance of your page for the chosen keyword.
If you are writing quality content, these LSI keywords should come naturally. With proper research, you can find a significant number of LSI keywords related to your site that may not be overly saturated in the search engines. Of course, these terms are not the only factors that matter in search engine options, but they are a huge part of the process.
Ensure the terms you are targeting are in your content but don’t go overboard. If you want your articles and web pages to rank high in search results, then you should use LSI keywords within your content. This strategy can generate qualified traffic to your site and boost your position in search engines. Statistics show that LSI keyword research can increase your rankings by up to 200 percent.
Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is the first & most vital stage of every marketing plan. It’s one of those activities where the choice of tools determines success. So here are a few most powerful and effective SEO tools for keyword research you should certainly be using:
You enter some of your keywords, and the tool gives you a list of keyword suggestions accompanied by traffic and competition stats for each search phrase. The tool is originally designed for Pay-Per-Click advertisers, but it works just as well for SEO research.
Google Search-Based Keyword Tool
An SEO tool from Google that suggests keywords on the basis of what users are actually searching for on Google. There are 2ways you can use this tool: you can feed in seed keywords just like with the AdWords Keyword tool and get keyword ideas derived from them. You can also specify your website URL, and the tool will locate the keywords in your texts and make keyword suggestions that it thinks are relevant to your niche.
Aggregates search traffic statistics for all major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, etc., and generates new keywords based on this data. The tool offers advanced keyword research features such as a keyword effectiveness calculator, competition research, and Pay-Per-Click bids evaluation.
Another popular SEO keyword tool that works similar to Keyword Discovery and AdWords Keyword Tool, the difference being that Wordtracker uses metasearch engines, such as Dogpile, to evaluate the number of searches for the keywords and keyword suggestions. Metasearch engines are special search portals where each user query is rendered in several search engines, e.g., Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, and others, and the search results from all these search engines are compiled into one list.
Yahoo! Search Assist
A keyword tool from Yahoo! that functions just the way Google suggests does. If you target Yahoo! search traffic, this tool should certainly be in your arsenal because the search trends differ on the two search engines.
Ask TypeAhead Search Suggestions
Same as Yahoo! Search Assist and Google Suggest only by Ask.
Apart from these popular and most effective SEO tools out there, there are many other tools for keyword research. The data you can get from each of them gives you unlimited marketing potential. When used right, this insight will bring you massive exposure for your website and roof-breaking sales. When combined together, the effect from these keyword research SEO tools magnifies ten-fold. So go get them, make them work towards your bottom line. For more information, contact the experts at NYC SEO PRO!