What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is a process in which a list of keywords is created to be used for search engine ranking purposes. Keyword research determines what words real people are typing into search engines that match the product, service, or idea that you are trying to promote on a website. The specific keywords and keyword phrases are integrated into websites and in turn should correlate to search engine result rankings if used properly.
Why is Keyword Research Important For Your Business?
A SEO Campaign is the single most effective way to get your site found by your customers for particular keyword phrases. Ranking highly for keyword phrases is very important to get potential customers to find your website.
After someone searches for a particular keyword phrase in Google, they are 42% likely to choose the first result, 12% likely to choose the second result, 8% likely to choose the third result, 6% likely to choose the 4th result, 5% likely to choose the fifth result, etc. You can see that attaining a higher ranking can exponentially increase the number of visitors to your website.
The 3 Key Ideas of Keyword Research & Beating Competitors
There are three factors that help us determine which keyword phrases to recommend for your website:
- High Relevancy
The keyword phrases must be highly related to your product or service. We could target keyword phrases that are somewhat related to increase website traffic, however this is likely to result in a high ‘bounce rate’ meaning that visitors will leave your site quickly because they are not finding what they are looking for. One way we determine this is based on our evaluation of the keyword phrase in regard to how likely it is for a person to use that phrase to purchase your goods or services. The other factor we use is the Phrase to Broad ratio. This is the exact phrase usage compared to the words in the phrase appearing in that order with other words in between. Keyword phrases with a higher the phrase to broad ratio can be very relevant.
- High Traffic
We determine which relevant keyword phrases have the highest amount of traffic as we want to provide you with the most relevant traffic for your investment in our services. Should you wish to continue to ‘dominate’ your market online, we can move forward with lower traffic keyword phrases after the higher traffic keyword phrases have been ‘secured’. The click-through traffic numbers we present in our report assumes the amount of click-throughs if that particular keyword were ranked number one.
- High Commerciality
This refers to the going rate in Google Adwords for a keyword phrase. Google Adwords show above and the right the organic or natural search results (the organic area is where we are going to target because there is longevity and more people click in this area than on the Adwords).Think of the Google Adwords rate as a stock market for keyword phrases, the higher the cost per click, the more valuable the phrase is to businesses. We could go after keyword phrases that have zero or low value, however, it is likely that these phrases have no value to other businesses and are therefore ineffective in producing ‘conversions’. A conversion is when a website visitor gets to your website and does what you want them to do after they’ve arrived. We then take the Adwords value multiplied times the click-through traffic to identify the SEO value of a keyword phrase. The highest figures in this column help us easily identify which keyword phrases we should go after.
5 Measurements of Keyword Research That Kill Your Competition
- Relevancy Ranking
- SEO Value (Traffic*Adwords)
- Adwords CPC (Cost Per Click)
In general, to beat your competition you need a handful of diversified keyword phrases that demonstrate your product or service accurately and have interesting and compelling content. The words need to have high traffic and low competition so you can rank well online. You can go for more competitive keywords but chances are you are behind the game and it could take years to rank for that keyword.
Would you rather have 100% of 40 new customers trying to reach you or 0% of 1,240,405 customers trying to reach you? Even though only 40 people per month are searching for a word, you're more likely to have your phone ring or contact page filled out by going after low hanging keyword fruit.
The words have to be relevant to your product or service, have high traffic, low competition, high adwords value because it demonstrates other people are willing to pay for that keyword, and high SEO value.
The most important are low competition and high traffic with relevant words only. For example, if I am trying to sell forklifts then "wholesale forklifts" would be a good keyword phrase but "how to operate forklifts" and "forklift jobs" and "diy forklift" would not be relevant.
2 Different Keyword Research Methods Examples
How To Do Keyword Research #1
- Gather an initial list of keywords: look at your website, look at competitors websites, look at Google suggestions, ask customers, ask friends and family, use your industry knowledge
- Narrow down to 5-10 words and run through keyword research tools such as Market Samurai or Google Keyword Planner
- Get real numbers on traffic, competition, Adwords CPC (cost per click), and SEO Value
- Narrow down the list and start integrating the keywords throughout your website’s main service or product pages and blog – much more complicated than adding a few more words to some paragraphs on your site
- Rank higher on Google for those keywords
How To Do Keyword Research #2
- Make list of important relevant topics based on business owner, bottom of Google search (Google Suggest) results, and client website, use the vocabulary of your target audience
- Use Google Analytics like this: https://moz.com/blog/keyword-research-in-90-minutes
- Narrow down to top 5-10 words
- Run these words in Market Samurai first to generate ideas for more accurate words
- Use head terms and long tail keywords
- Look at competitor rankings for these keywords (although not necessarily important for your business & don’t ignore ones that have none of your competition ranking)
- Run this list through Google Keyword Planner to cut down keyword list
- Present to client
- Repeat every 6 months-1 year
Narrowing Down Keyword Phrases from thousands to just a few:
Step 1. Remove any keywords that are not relevant. Think about the intent of the searcher and what action they are trying to accomplish.
Step 2. Try ranking for low hanging fruit - low competition is the most important followed by traffic. Adwords/Cost per click is interesting to look at and just shows how many people are willing to pay for advertising on that keyword. SEO Value is just traffic multiplied by Adwords/CPC to give you a rough estimate. Competition and traffic are the most important.
Step 3. Choose 1 keyword for each page on your site that you want to rank on Google
Keyword Research: Art vs. Science
Keyword research is most often performed by professional SEOs (search engine optimization). There are limitless methods that keyword research can be created and interpreted. Because of this fact, no 2 SEOs would come up with the same exact list of keywords even when using the same research tools. That is because of the combination and variation of these 5 factors which will be explained:
Keyword Research Pro Tips That Boost Your Site
Pro Tip: Redo keyword research each year. If you’re in a very competitive space, you can redo keyword research as often as every month. Most businesses should be fine renewing keyword research every 1-2 years.
Pro Tip: Get keyword research ideas from Googling a potential keyword that you want to rank for and take a look at the search suggestion blue links at the bottom of the results page.
Pro Tip: Think about who you’re trying to reach when choosing keywords throughout the process
Pro Tip: Don’t start making major website improvements and decisions without a solid keyword research foundation
Pro Tip: To do an entire spreadsheet with quotes use this Concatanol formula: =char(34)&A2&char(34)
Pro Tip: Create and save a custom filter on your keyword research tool for the next time you run keyword research
Pro Tip: Choose a wider time amount when performing keyword research to get a more accurate average. Better to run an average month than just a week or a day.
Pro Tip: To get competition on Google: Type in keywords to Google with quotes. That will give you a number under the search bar explaining how many websites on Google have that exact match keyword phrase written somewhere on their website.
More Keyword Research Resources:
Google Trends - seasonal, geographical, and more comparison information
Ubersuggest - Alternative to Google Keyword Planner and has words not found on Google Keyword Planner, Good for idea generation
Keyword Tool - Generates long tail keywords, multiple languages, keyword lists are exportable, Good for content creation ideas as well