“Today, it’s not about “get the traffic” – It’s about getting the targeted and relevant traffic. ”Adam Audette
Adam Audette, an author at Searchengineland, rightly says that getting traffic is less important than getting relevant traffic. And getting relevant traffic is dependent upon targeting the right keywords that your targeted audience is searching for.
So here comes the science of keyword research to optimize your website accordingly to help users and search engines display the best relevant results.
In this article, you will learn about the following:
What is Keyword Research and Why It’s Important?
Keyword research sets the base of an effective content marketing strategy. You can’t create great content without incorporating SEO keywords people are searching for in a particular topic.
When the competition is so fierce, there’s no way you can get ranked on Google without using the right SEO keywords. In 2020, there were approximately 81,000 searches conducted per second.
Check out the Google Search Statistics to find out live statistics for today. Moreover, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic searches.
By choosing the right SEO keywords, you can grow in your niche. Unfortunately, some keywords have no chance for newcomers, while some less explored ones are like a gold mine.
With data regarding search volume, difficulty score, and your competitors, you can steer your content marketing strategy in the right direction.
When done right, keyword research can be the difference between two similar sites; one gets 100k visitors per month while the other barely gets a few hundred visitors.
How to Choose the Best Keywords to Create Content?
And now the question is, how can you choose the best SEO keywords to create content? Or in other words, what’s the step-by-step process for keyword research?
That’s what you are going to learn in this article. So without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Step 1: Explore Your Niche
Many people think keyword research is about entering a specific phrase or topic in a tool and getting hundreds of keyword suggestions with their difficulty scores and other data.
In fact, before anything else, you should explore your niche. Find out:
- Who your competitors are.
- How often do they post content?
- Their backlinks.
- What kind of content is suitable for your industry.
- Long-form or short-form content? Which type of content is ranked on Google.
It’s easier to pick any random keyword and churn out a 1000-word article based on it. But if you haven’t explored your niche, you will have vague ideas about content type and form, site structure, the psychology of your visitors, and so forth.
This research will help you when you sit down to analyze each keyword; numbers aren’t enough, but you must understand each keyword’s intent and potential.
Sometimes high-volume keywords bring no business, while the ones with relatively lower volume are more converting. The deeper you dig into this research, the better you can understand your niche.
Step 2: Choose Relevant Topics About Your Business
You can pick the exact topic your competitors have covered and paraphrase it or create a unique article on a new emerging topic. It all comes down to which strategy you feel has a higher chance of beating the competitors.
If you choose the same topics your competitors have covered, you will have to identify the loopholes in their content. Maybe their articles are not optimized or lack citations. Or it could be the case that they haven’t covered some topics in detail.
If that’s the case, you will have to go the extra mile in content research, dig deep, cite authentic resources in your content, and write with clarity. You can also beat your competitors by improving readability, converting plain text into infographics, and delivering more visitors.
On the other hand, creating a unique angle on already written articles that appear 100% complete and authentic requires creativity.
For example, instead of writing on ‘Top 10 golf clubs, you can write on ‘Top 10 golf clubs to play like Tiger Woods.
Create a document and write at least 20-30 blog ideas for your website.
Step 3: Pick A Reliable Keyword Research Tool
Once you have devised enough blog ideas to get started, pick any reliable keyword research tool. Find potential SEO keywords to use in the blog post and create better content in terms of information and readability to beat competitors.
Remember that no keyword research tool is perfect; you will find some difference in the search volume for every keyword in two different keyword research tools. But no need to worry; your best keywords will be at the top irrespective of the tool you are using.
We recommend the following tools for this job:
Related: 15 Free SEO Tools for Running Your Blog
To get a better idea about each Keyword’s potential and ranking difficulty, you need premium tools. Of course, there are dozens of free tools available for keyword research, but thriving in a high-competition niche based on the incomplete, vague data provided by those tools is impossible.
Step 4: Check Out the Intent Behind Each Keyword
Your next step is to find the search intent behind each Keyword. There are four types of keywords:
1. Commercial Keywords
Also referred to as “buy now” intent keywords, these signify a firm intention on the part of the searcher to act. For example, someone searching for “taxi near me urgent” or “best snooker cues under $40” is probably looking to make a purchase online or book a taxi urgently.
These keywords contain modifiers like:
- Buy (online)
- Coupon (code)
- Free shipping, etc.
2. Informational Keywords
An informational keyword suggests the searcher is willing to find out more about the concept. The worst mistake you can make in content marketing is selling to someone who has no intention of buying. These are generally long-tail keywords and phrases that contain modifiers like:
- How to . . .
- Why . . .
- What . . . means.
3. Transactional Keywords
These keywords are neither pure informational nor commercial but somewhere in between. Therefore, the best practice to create content for these keywords is to provide helpful information and sell without directly selling.
These queries can contain words like:
- . . . Reviews
- . . . vs . . .
- Best . . .
- Top 10 . . .
4. Navigational keywords
These are the keywords that contain the brand name. In this case, the person is not interested in getting directed to a particular brand’s website or the product page.
You will be creating content for these keywords if you are already an established brand. Or maybe promoting a particular brand’s products is part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
Step 5: Check the Search Volume of Each Keyword
Though one should never pick a keyword based on its search volume, it’s essential to consider the search volume of a particular keyword before targeting it.
The SEO keywords with higher search volume in your niche will serve as the primary ones, while those with lower search volume and relatively low difficulty scores will be secondary.
Create a list of primary and secondary keywords. Then compare primary keywords with each other in terms of difficulty.
You can’t target hundreds of primary keywords at a time. However, as far as secondary keywords are concerned, you can include as many as you want to in your content plan.
Step 6: Check Similar Topics & Keywords on Other Platforms
Don’t just rely on the SEO tools and learn directly from your prospects what phrases and words they use while searching for content related to your industry.
For example, if you sell hockey sticks on your website, join Facebook groups of hockey lovers, follow profiles of famous hockey players, explore Reddit communities, and observe how they talk about the game.
Learning the psychology of hockey followers will automatically generate phrases in your mind.
With slight modification in those phrases, you’d be able to create long-tail keywords and experiment with high-volume SEO keywords to create helpful content for humans and search engines.
Google Trends is another free platform to learn about trending topics. It is particularly useful for niches, such as news and sports, where new trends keep emerging, and you get fresh content ideas to rank your website on Google.
Step 7:Checkout Google FAQs
If your niche is too competitive, and there’s barely any room left to grab the first spot instantly, let’s dig a bit deeper.
Another way to find out potential common phrases and long-tail keywords is Google FAQS. These contain the specific queries searched by your prospects.
Alongside targeting high-volume keywords, you can include answers to these FAQs in your content.
Pick 20-30 FAQs from these, and figure out which FAQ would fit with which Keyword. You will have to be clever with this strategy. Include primary keywords to boost their ranking by leveraging the traffic coming against the FAQs your website answers.
Step 8: Separate Informational & High-Intent Keywords
Your next step is to separate high intent and informational keywords. Never create a blog post or a web page without any purpose.
You will either educate your visitors or sell them. And on each page, the keywords you will target will be different. Figure out which Keyword you will target on a specific page.
Of course, the informational keywords will be part of the blog section, while the ones with sales intent will go in the services section, where you are directly selling.
Step 9: Pick the Keywords Having Some Vacuum
Now then, you have SEO keywords, FAQs, and phrases in a separate document. So the next step is to research your competitors for every keyword part of the lost or the ones you feel have great potential.
This research will help you to decide against which keyword you can beat your competitor in terms of content quality, or maybe by investing in quality backlinks.
If you want to get more leads to your website, you should research SEO keywords in your niche. Otherwise, you will get nothing even if you get the traffic.
The use of keyword research tools is complementary to the research of topics in the discussion of your targeted audience.
If you want to add any tool you have in mind for keyword research or any other strategy, share in the comments below.
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