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Traffic doesn’t arrive in large numbers to your website because of the traffic fairy.
Rather traffic is far more likely to come to you as the result of a series of actions that you take to make your website or blog more visible.
With more than two million new blog posts published daily, the competition is a little heavy.
To make your site or blog more relevant to search engines, you need to become skilled at effective keyword research.
How important is keyword research exactly? In a word - very!
How To Do Keyword Research 2021 Guide 🇬🇧
Some have discounted keyword research to a degree because Google has made no secret that it takes many other SEO factors into account as well, such as domain authority and creating high-quality content.
When creating a blog, there are a million factors to worry about. Keyword research is one you can control in its entirety and makes a big impact.
Common sense tells us that keyword research will never go out of fashion for one simple reason. Every single Google search begins with someone typing in a keyword. It seems rather important, doesn’t it?
So, even though keyword research and placement is no longer the only SEO factor, it still is a major factor and one that can help you attain a higher ranking, especially when it comes to local based searches.
Here is a six-step process for researching and selecting powerful keywords for your website or blog:
Step #1 - Begin With Topics Before Keywords
Before you even get into thinking about which specific keywords you want for your blog, you first need to focus on the related basic topics and sub-topics.
This helps to then more efficiently narrow down to the topics that will perform best for SEO and in concert with other marketing.
Be as Specific as Possible
For example, let’s say that you’re running a blog that covers everything to do with digital marketing. Ask yourself, what are specific topics related to website marketing?
More specifically, what are the topics that you could base keywords off of?
Perhaps top email marketing services, blogging, inbound marketing, search engine optimization, marketing analytics, and marketing for beginners are some topics that you could include in your list in that hypothetical example.
If you do have one specific keyword on the mind. At this point, try to back up your thoughts to the category the keyword you have in mind would belong to. This will help you discover more keywords that are relevant.
Step #2 - Brainstorm Your Own Keywords Before You Research
Now that you have your list of topics, you can begin to research keywords that fall into those categories.
Let’s take one of the topics from the above example, marketing analytics, to illustrate this. While marketing analytics is already technically a keyword, it’s also a keyword that’s very broad and likely saturated already.
Therefore, what you need to do is brainstorm keywords and phrases that are related to it. Here is a list of possible examples:
- Marketing analytics tools
- How to use marketing analytic software
- How to use analytics for marketing?
- How do I use analytics for marketing?
- What is marketing analytics?
- Understanding marketing analytics
- Analyzing marketing analytics
- What does a marketing analytics manager do?
- Must have marketing analytics skills
Brainstorming Is Key
No, these aren’t necessarily going to be the final keywords that you end up using. The point here is just to brainstorm a list of keywords that you *might* use and that you can research in more depth later.
And remember, when researching keywords, the search volume (or the number of searches) is not the only thing to focus on. Yes, it matters that people are searching for the keyword, to begin with, but you also want the keywords you ultimately select to have limited competition.
Unless you’re prepared to cough up several dollars per click in an advertising campaign, you won’t have much use for it. Speaking of competition…
Step #3 - Don’t Choose Keywords Just Because Your Competitors Do
Researching the keywords your competitors are using is easily one of the most overlooked keyword researching steps in general.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to use the same keywords and phrases as your competitors.
But you do want to at least find out which keywords they are using.
Don't Make This Mistake
A major mistake people make is to find a keyword with high search volume and limited competition only to not use it because they see that none or few of their competitors are using it. The likely wrong assumption is that these keywords are not important when in reality, just the reverse could be true (and likely is).
If you can get a head start on a keyword with high volume and low competition, you’ll be able to outrank your competitors for that keyword. It’s a far better tactic than using the same keywords they are because they’ve already outranked you on them.
Also, how do you find out which keywords your competitors are using? The simplest way is to use a keyword searching tool, such as SEMrush (there are plenty of others and they aren’t necessarily cheap), which can show you the highest ranking keywords for any domain that you enter with a few clicks
Step #4 - Study Your Search Queries
Think about this as watching tape on yourself as a professional athlete would. To get better you need to know what you’re doing right or wrong so you can take the necessary steps to improve.
Your search queries reveal a lot about what your visitors and customers are looking for.
In fact, close to a third of your visitors are likely to use your search function for research or to find answers and are far more likely to convert than the visitors who don’t use the search function.
Find Out What Are You Doing Wrong
In other words, your search function is easily one of the best keyword research tools at your disposal, because it’s screaming at you exactly what keywords people close to buying from you are looking for.
All you’ll need to do to look at this data as well as enable ‘on-site search tracking’ on your Google Analytics page. If you’re noticing any patterns with the keywords these on-site search function visitors are using, then those keywords will be among the most valuable for you to use.
Step #5 - Use Google’s Free Tools To Receive Quantitative Data
If you’re short on money, this is where the bulk of your research will have to take place. It won’t cover all the bases but will give you a head start.
Two examples of free keyword data tools to narrow down your list you can use include Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner. Use the latter to search for literally any keyword that you want. This gives you an idea of which keywords are popular (and which ones are not).
From there, use Google Trends to uncover the trend history of the keyword as well as future projections.
Google Trends is actually one of the best tools to discover which current low volume keywords may have the potential for the future.
Based on all of these steps, you should now have a very narrow list of keywords to include in your content for ranking.
SEO can be expensive to do right which is why it’s a good idea to take advantage of free options related to your online business ideas when you can. Google offers analytics tools at no charge.
While the best competitive web hosting isn’t free, it’s inexpensive at only a few bucks per month. Free WordPress themes and stock images will also save some money.
Step #6 - Crowdsource Your Keyword Research
Last but not least, you can try crowdsourcing your keyword research as well via online tools such as Seed Keywords.
What this enables you to do is to pose questions to your friends, family, colleagues, or members of your email list, and then use this as a base of searches to pull data from.
Start by creating a scenario in a search query that poses a question. In our marketing analytics example from before, you may ask something like, “would you use analytics to help you market your website?”
Then, you’ll give a URL to your contacts or to people on your email list before sitting back and watching a list of keywords that those people actually type into their search engine to answer that question.
Even though you won’t receive the wide-ranging quantitative data using Google’s tools like we just covered, you will receive a list of actionable keywords that you know people will be typing into their search engines to answer the question you posed.
The Bottom Line
You’ve always known the top spot in Google’s search results for any particular keyword is important but do you know how important? The top result gets clicked 30% of the time, which is huge.
Throw in around 15% for the second position and 10% for the third and you leave the other seven first page results fighting for scraps. These numbers are a stark illustration of why you don’t want to leave your SEO to chance. Get in there and fight for it! Be ruthless!
If you forget everything else - please don’t - remember not to fall for the hype that keyword research is old-fashioned. It’s not. It’s still a big deal and finding the right keywords to use for your blog or website using the steps covered in this article will go along way towards making your site more visible.