In order to improve your online presence and be "available" to Internet users, your website must be among the first results on search engines. Users often browse only the first page or two, so if you're not there, your business may be in jeopardy. That's why researching keywords, or terms users use to find your blog, e-commerce site, product, or service, is an important part of any successful marketing strategy, especially when it comes to digital marketing.
Identifying keywords is an integral part of SEO optimization (here’s why it matters for your online business), that is, "arranging" your content for inquiries so that targeted users can reach your website more easily. This research helps you understand what your audience is looking for and what terms they use while looking for more information about your products or services.
With the right KWs, you can create content that meets your customers' needs and improves your website's visibility. That can be quite a difficult task, considering that the desired words, phrases, and terms should be "known" enough for users to use them and still specific so that you appear in the first search results. But how to do that?
Topics Relevant to Your Business
To know how to start, you should put yourself in the shoes of an average Internet user who wants to buy your product or service or read your blog. Which topics they're interested in, and which best describe what you do? The more there are, the greater the chance of finding adequate terms for relevant keywords.
So for starters, determine up to 10 topics that might describe your business. Moving on, that'll give you the best direction toward keywords that will bring organic traffic to you. Once you select these topics, check their monthly search volume to determine their relevance. The higher the number, the better, but always have the users' intent in mind, which isn't always equal to the number of searches.
Once you gather those general topics, you have to dig in for more specific phrases related to them. These will mostly be terms that users type in their searches. For example, it's a good idea to focus on localized keywords. That can benefit your business a lot if you target local audience to go to your physical stores, which is a desirable action after they visit your website and find what they want on it.
Know Your Audience and Their Intent
The first two steps allowed you to come up with a list of phrases your target audience uses to reach you. But is this what they really want? Some terms can have multiple meanings, so what you need to do in this step is to understand users' intents.
It means you should check the results of the search for selected phrases. Start with the longest keyword you have, which should best "describe" your business. Search engines show what it means for that search, that is, what the algorithm thinks is the best fit for users.
For effective keyword research, in this step also matters a competition check. It’s necessary to know who/what you will be competing with for customers. You can do this check for every page of the competitors' websites. For these purposes, you can use some of the SEO toolkits to check your and your competitor's visibility and metrics showing websites' traffic.
Get KW's Variations
Phrases used as KWs can be interpreted differently, and you should use this to your advantage. It means you can leverage your content by adding variations to your keywords and thus increase their scope. For example, if someone wants to start a blog with a domain website, you can put that intent into "how to start a blog," "starting a blog for beginners," "best tips to start a blog," etc.
Research shows that queries (in our case, "how to start a blog") have the most success because users think they'll get a factual answer with such phrases and avoid unwanted results. If you use this method, there's a great chance that your website, i.e., its specific pages, will pop up more times in the search results, for example, in the "People Also Ask" section.
Once you identify the questions users most often ask about your topics, you have to shape your content around these queries. One of the ways to do that is by doing a survey among potential customers, where you can find out directly what they are really interested in and how they would describe it in a single query. Another method is to check the "People Also Ask" section and use specialized tools to detect the KW's frequency and how your competitors use them.
Tips on identifying users’ intent are on the source below:
Accept the Algorithm's Suggestions
Another way to come up with variations of keywords that'll be useful for your website's visibility is to check the suggestions of search engines. If you start typing a specific phrase in a search bar, the algorithm automatically makes suggestions as an auto-fill. Also, most often, at the very bottom of the page, under search results, you'll find related phrases the algorithm gathers along with learning users' behaviors.
Keep in mind that search engines update these suggestions from time to time. So you should also frequently check and update your keywords to remain relevant and up-to-date with users' needs and preferences.
Don't Stop Now
Once you've found relevant long-tail keywords that launch you to the top of search results, that's not the end. Users' habits often change, and therefore their searches and KWs they use. So it's good to reevaluate your keywords every once in a while. Depending on the niche in which you operate, it can be every few months, and if we are talking about those with fierce competition, even more often. More tips on creating a strong SEO are on this page.
Researching relevant keywords seems lik a never-ending process, but it's necessary to keep your business relevant and alive. Users won't chase you, so you have to find the best ways to "guide" them to you, which is what keywords serve for.