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How to do keyword research for SEO

  The ecosystem of search engine optimization is based on the act of optimizing for keywords (i.e strings of characters users, buyers or customers are using to find your business or webpage in search engines). There is no doubt that one of the single most important aspects of search engine optimization is keyword research.

what is a keyword

A keyword is a search that is made either by typing strings of characters in the search bar or a voice search in a search engine like google, yahoo, bing, and other available search engines like Baidu, duckduckgo, etc.

what is keyword research?

In its simplest form, keyword research is the activity of analyzing, comparing, and prioritizing keywords and keyphrases that people, users, or customers are using to find your business, product, or services in search engines. For you to have an in-depth understanding of what keyword research is, you need to know what SEO is and how search engines work. Basically, search engine optimization or SEO as it’s generally called is the practice of making a website get found, indexed, and rank in search engines like google whenever a searcher enters a query in the search bar of the search engine. For a webpage or website to get shown in SERPS (search engine result pages), it needs to match the searcher’s query. though there are a lot of factors that go into the results that are shown by Google in the SERPS we won’t be discussing that. our focus in this article will be HOW TO DO KEYWORD RESEARCH FOR SEO.

why is keyword research important for SEO?

Keyword research is important because it can reveal essential data to develop and grow your business on the web. Keyword research can help determine terms individuals are effectively looking for, the competitiveness, and their monthly search volume. These data will help, assist and direct your content marketing strategy to increment your website visibility, rankings, and traffic. Here is some more reasons why you need keyword research for SEO
  • content idea – doing keyword research will get you exposed to the kind, patterns, and forms of queries your audience or customers are typing (looking for) in search engines. having the idea of what your customers are looking for will help you decide what topic to create content on.
  • Ranking and traffic – Ranking in search engines for relevant keywords to your niche results in winning traffic and the fuel of every internet activity is traffic (people visiting your website). with free traffic flowing to your website, it is easy to sell your product, service or collect leads. knowing, determining, and creating content that your customers are already searching for in search engines will increase your opportunity of getting traffic if done properly to meet the intention of the search.
  • Brand awareness and visibility – doing keyword research and optimizing for relevant keywords in your niche gives your business brand awareness, exposure, and visibility.
  • Finding trends – Nothing is as annoying as writing and optimizing for keywords that people aren’t searching for. the essence of doing keyword research and SEO generally is to find keywords people are searching for and rank for it respectively. one of the major importance of doing that is, that it exposes you to the trends of the targetted keyword. a keyword on the upward trend indicates that you can acquire more traffic in the future by raking for the keyword. But if it is on a downward trend it indicates that the popularity of the keyword is gradually reducing so is the number of traffic you would be getting if you target that keyword.

Types of keywords 

If you are interested in growing your business through search engine optimization, you need to understand the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are the most common search terms while long-tail keywords are more specific and less common search terms. There are three major types of keywords
  • short-tail keyword
  • medium-tail keyword
  • long-tail keyword
And according to SEOPressor, “Which type of keyword you want to use for your marketing is going to depend very much on the type of traffic that you want to drive to your site. As keywords get longer, search volume becomes lower. However, all other metrics such as conversion rates go in favor of long-tail keywords.” the image below by SEOpressor explains better types of keywords by SEOpressor
  • Short-tail keyword – A short-tail keyword is a term that users enter into a search engine that has three or fewer words. These terms are generally very broad or popular topics, examples include: “shoes,” “cars,” “television,” etc.
Short-tail keywords have three major issues: They are usually very competitive. Because these terms are so popular, it can be difficult for a website to rank well for them. Generally, only large brands or websites with large marketing budgets will show up on the first page of results for these terms. They have high bounce rates. Because these terms are so broad and non-specific, the pages that show up when someone searches for one of these terms may not be exactly what they want to see. Thus, people who click on one of those pages will often go right back to Google and perform another search (this is called a “bounce”). The increased bounce rate hurts the website’s rankings. They don’t drive sales. The third issue with short
  • Medium-tail keyword – Medium-tail keywords are search queries that consist of three to four words. For example, “men’s navy blue suit.”Why is it important?Medium-tail keywords are more specific (and usually longer) than short-tail keywords, but not as competitive as long-tail keywords. They are a happy medium, so to speak — they have less competition and can still drive plenty of organic search traffic.
  • Long-tail keyword – It’s a keyword phrase that’s typically three to five words in length. Long-tail keywords are used by niche audiences and are less competitive than more common keywords.In SEO, the goal is to drive organic traffic to your site. The more specific someone is about what they’re looking for, the better chance you have of getting them to your site. Long-tail keyword phrases “are a great way to get people who are specifically looking for something you offer,” said Alex Melen of eWebResults.Long-tail keywords can also help your company rank faster. Short-tail keywords — one or two-word phrases — are highly competitive because they are searched so often, but they are also very broad and don’t necessarily convert well.For example, say you sell makeup. If your short tail keyword is simply “makeup,” it will be hard to get your website noticed among the millions of other websites with the same keyword. But if you use a long-tail keyword like “where can I buy red lipstick in New York City,” it will be much easier for you to stand out and attract an audience who is specifically looking.

How to do keywords research

Here are proven steps that are guaranteed to always provide you with the best possible keyword for your business or content marketing. 1. Do keyword research – this is the next stage of the process. to do this effectively, you will be needing some online tools for effective data gathering. There are a hand full of online tools that can effectively give good reports
  1. Google keyword planner. you can access this tool by visiting ads.google.com  . You have to create an account if you don’t already have one. The tool is absolutely free.
  2. KWfinder by Mangoos  (cheap with free trial)
  3. SEMRush (try the free trial),
  4. Ahrefs (paid),
  5. Keysearch (paid),
  6. Ubersuggest (free but with a free trial)
These are just a few of the tools available online. also, they are my favorite and most frequently used ones. 2. identify searcher’s intention – This is where the real action needs to be taken. one important thing to consider before choosing keywords is the intention behind the search and one easy and fast way to do this is to put yourself in the position of your customer searching for your business. what would you type in the search bar?. knowing the intention behind a search is important because it will determine the kind of content you will create to meet the need of the searcher. another reason why it’s important is that – matching page content with the searcher’s intention increases dwell time (amount of time spent on the page) and a high dwell time on a page sends a positive signal to google indicating the content on the page matches the search phrase. This in turn increases your ranking. As Hubspot explains it, the journey of a buyer consists of a three-step process:
  1. Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem.
  2. Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
  3. Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.
A decent website will have content that meets every one of the three phases of the customer’s journey. With that, you can catch customers’ or searchers’ intentions and traffic regardless of the stage they are in. So spend some time thinking about ideas that meet the stage of the buyer’s journey. you want to focus new content on. Then write down the short-tail and middle-tail keyword ideas. In the next step, you’ll do keyword research to discover what the good options are for long-tail keywords. 3. Analyse competitors – while researching keywords to rank for, it is a common and good practice to spy on your competitors to have ideas of the keywords they are ranking for and targeting. this can also give you ideas of keywords you should also target. if your competitors are targeting a keyword, it shows that the keyword is important. in addition to researching your competitors, you may want to visit their top ranking pages for the keywords you want to rank for and see how it’s structured and composed. Also to see if the content on the page matches the query. Gathering these pieces of information can help you structure the content on your website better to match the query you aim to target. 4. Choose keywords – the next step in the process of your research journey is now choosing your keywords. I’ll reiterate the importance of putting into consideration the volume of the keywords, keyword difficulty, and the trend. the combination of all these will give you a deep insight into how important the keyword is, how easy or difficult it is to rank, and the possibility of getting more traffic in the future if the trend is high. 5. Map keyword cluster in one page – One thing you will notice while gathering your keyword is that you will find keywords that are closely related or similar in not just phrase structure but intent. got instance
  • why is keyword research important
  • why is keyword research important for SEO
  • why is keyword research important for digital marketing
it will be unwise for me to write content on all these keywords. what I will do instead is combine all these keywords on a page. this is what you want to do for your business too.
6. Determine the Right Format for Your Keywords
Once you have your keyword clusters figured out, the final step in this process for how to choose keywords is to determine the right format for the content. This can easily be done by searching for a few of your keywords in Google and taking note of the type of content that’s ranking on the first page of the search results. Your research will quickly tell you if the content will be best expressed with text, lists, graphs, tables, images, etc. Google is literally giving you the answer here. So be sure to match the right format for your content to make it easier to rank for your target keywords.

Categories of keywords

every keyword, either long-tail, medium-tail, or short-tail keywords fall under four main categories of keyword these are:
  • informational
  • navigational
  • commercial
  • transactional
informational – there are a lot of keywords with high volume that don’t drive conversion for a business or a website. why? this is because they are simply keyword with the intention of getting information. The users of these kinds of keywords are generally believed to be at the beginning of the customer’s journey which is the discovery stage. These keywords can easily be noticed by the characters they carry. examples of information intent keywords include searches that contain words like “what is”, “how-to” etc. These keywords have less conversion intent for a business but they can be very useful in positioning your business or brand as an authority. For instance, I have blog posts on what is marketing, what is content marketing, and how to do keyword research for SEO. I’m targeting these keywords because I want my brand to be seen and perceived as an authority in my niche.
Navigational keyword – Another type of keyword to be aware of is navigational.
When someone types in a company or brand name into a search engine, they perform a navigational search. Navigational keyword examples:
    • Correct Marketer NG
    • Kimsheedah blog
    • Where is Hems world home accessories located
People typing these searches already know the company or product and want to find the correct website or physical location to get to their products. Such keywords can be helpful sources of organic traffic when the brand or the site is well-known, popular, or good online presence.
Commercial – Commercial keywords are keywords that show or indicate a searcher’s interest in specific products or services.
These kinds of searches can occur when a person wants to know more about a particular product or service. They may want to support their idea by buying, comparing the product to similar products, or looking for free offers, tests, and discounts. You can target these keywords with comparison articles, listicles, reviews or how-to articles depending on the specific keyword. Commercial keyword examples:
  • Free organic creams
  • Dunkin iced coffee flavors
  • Samsung vs iPhone
  • kamrash metropolis reviews
SEMRUSH further explains that
Because these keywords reveal a person’s intention to buy or take some form of commercial activity in the future, these keywords can be valuable opportunities to reach an audience that could be converted into future customers.
Transactional – The keywords with the strongest intent to buy or take imminent action are transactional keywords.
These keywords can be targeted with paid ads and highly optimized purchase pages or pages where users can make an immediate buying decision or purchase Transactional keyword examples:
  • Buy bed sheets online
  • Hairdressing saloon places near me
  • laptop for sale
Conclusion
The most important things to look for when doing keyword research is the monthly traffic volume and competitiveness for a target keyword.  Not all keywords are worth optimizing for, so you should be looking for the important keywords that are easy to rank for your site. The keyword volume gives you an idea of how popular the keyword is and the rank difficulty shows how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. but, it is important to note that a keyword ranking difficulty for your website depends on some facts. for instance, if your webpage is already ranking for similar and relevant search keywords, it may not be difficult for you to rank for other relevant keywords in your niche because you probably already have some domain authority and general authority in your niche as a result of the quality of incoming links from another website. But, if you have a new website with no authority at all, it is advisable to start your SEO journey by targeting keywords with high volume but with low ranking difficulty. this strategy for starters will help you rank and build authority gradually. then, it will become easy to rank keywords with high ranking difficulty. As Yoast explains it, “If you use the wrong keywords, you’ll never get the visitors you want or need because your text doesn’t match what your potential audience is searching for. But if you do use the words people are searching for, your business can thrive. So if you see it like that, your keywords should reflect what your audience is searching for. With the wrong keywords, you’ll end up with the wrong audience, or none at all. That’s why having the right keywords is really important.” if you find this content helpful in any way kindly share it with interested parties. if you need help with doing your keyword research for your business, website or your content marketing strategy, feel free to CONTACT US. We are always glad to help. fill up to form on this page to get started.