Effective Keyword Research Strategies for Your Business
Google crawls 1.8 million new web pages each day. Of those pages 9.37% will receive visitors. The other 90.63% receive no organic traffic whatsoever. It’s a scary statistic, and one that should haunt every business setting out to create a new website. So, what differentiates the 5.7% from the 94.3%? It’s keyword research that is the determining factor when it comes to attracting organic traffic to your site.
In this article we’ll walk you through the process of pinpointing the most strategic keywords for your business, employing a range of proven methods and specialised tools. We’ll also offer insights on hand-picking the keywords of greatest value to your business.
This article is written by a member of the SEO team at Outsource Your Marketing. The information provided is based on their Keyword Research skills, and their many years of experience managing SEO for a range of businesses.
What is Keyword Research?
‘Local Plumbers’, ‘best underfloor heating’, ‘LEDS Birmingham’ – these are all keywords. They’re the terms online searchers type or say to find what they’re looking for. One product may have hundreds of keywords, some of which are used often, others which are used specifically for a niche product.
Google matches up keyword searches with the most relevant websites. How does it do it? Google matches your keywords to websites by sending out its bots to crawl every website, it creates an index of what’s on websites, and then finds and ranks the best matches for your search. It’s like having a super-smart librarian who can find the right books in a gigantic library of information on the internet!
A website that uses carefully researched keywords which accurately describe each of its products, is more likely to be matched to relevant online searches. The more you’re matched, the higher your ranking in the search engine.
1. Identifying Keywords For Your Business
The creation of a unique set of keywords is a precision skill, and it’s one which requires ongoing adaptation throughout the lifetime of a product. Here’s the way it works. Suppose you sell ‘flowers’ online. Online buyers tend to start out using general keywords, which then become more specific as they develop a clear idea of what it is they’re looking for. Here’s what this process looks like:
Finding General Keywords For Your Business
These are the words that searchers are most likely to type in when starting a search for your products or services:
- Start out by listing the words you would use to search for each of your products or services.
- Keep the words general. Imagine you don’t have a detailed idea of what you’re looking for.
- Once you have around 5 keywords for each product or service, stop and go on to the next stage.
Finding ‘Interest’ and ‘Awareness’ Keywords
General keywords belong to the initial stages of an online search. Before long the searcher will learn more about what they’re looking for and move into the ‘interest’ and ‘awareness’ stage of customer intent. At this stage, they are looking for more detailed information about products or services.
Here’s how research keywords that are more detailed:
- Take each of your general keywords and drill down into information that would be useful for a searcher to know.
- If one of your products is ‘bouquet of roses’, your searcher may want more information on red roses, additional information may include the length of the stems, the number of roses, or the colour range.
- Once you have 3 or 4 further keywords for each product or service, get some extra help from a keyword research tool such as SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
- Check out the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Type in the keywords you have and check out the results that come up first. Take a look at the ‘People Also Ask’ box for inspiration, and don’t forget the ‘related searches’ at the bottom of the page.
2. Discover What You Are Already Ranking For
Google Search Console will give you a list of keywords that you are already ranking for. This is information that comes directly from Google.
Step 1: Set Up Google Search Console
Step 2: Access Your Search Console Dashboard
Step 3: Navigate to the ``Performance`` Report
Step 4: View Search Analytics Data
Step 5: Explore Queries
Step 6: Analyse Your Keywords
3. Refine Your Keyword Research
Congratulations! You should now have a huge number of keywords to choose from. The next task is to refine your search in order to select the qualified keywords that will deliver a good return for you in the rankings. Here’s what you are looking for at this stage in your keyword research:
- Accurate Keywords. You need to be sure that the keywords you use align accurately with the products or services you connect them to.
- Keywords You Can Rank For. It’s really difficult to rank for the most popular keywords. IT’s best to focus on keywords you have a chance of ranking for.
- The Right Keyword Volume. Keyword volume is the number of searches a keyword attracts month by month. You need to be able to assess what kind of volume you should target.
How Accurate is a Keyword?
The best way to check this is by entering it into the Search Engine and seeing what comes up. Google wants an accurate match which means that the content is relevant, it aligns with user intent, it provides a positive experience for users, and offers a clear response to the query. If, when you check the keyword in Google you find the results don’t match with your product, strike the keyword from your list.
How Difficult is it to Rank For Your Keyword?
You’ll need some help with this, as checking keyword difficulty is complex. Luckily the MOZ Keyword Explorer offers an easy to use, and accessible way to do this. You simply enter your keyword and MOZ produces a Keyword Difficulty score, which is based on the competitiveness of the top-ranking pages for a keyword.
What is the Monthly Search Volume For my Keyword?
When choosing keywords for your website or content, assessing monthly search volumes is crucial. To do this, you can rely on keyword research tools like MOZ Keyword Explorer, or Google Keyword Planner, for example. These tools provide data on how often people search for specific keywords each month.
Start by entering your target keywords into the tool, and it will show you the average monthly search volume for each keyword. This information helps you gauge the popularity and potential traffic for those keywords.
Remember that while high search volume keywords may seem appealing, they can also be more competitive. Therefore, it’s essential to strike a balance between search volume and keyword difficulty. Opting for a mix of high, medium, and low search volume keywords that align with your content and audience can be an effective strategy for maximising your website’s visibility and attracting the right visitors.
Outsourcing Keyword Research
This is one of our most popular outsourced tasks because it’s incredibly time consuming to do well, and it requires constant monitoring and adjustment as keyword trends change. You may decide that you need a keyword research expert to work alongside your content marketing team, on a specific campaign. Or you may want someone in a permanent capacity, devoting just a few hours each month to the ongoing task.
About Outsource Your Marketing
We’re a close-knit network of specialists that has grown organically over the years. We are now able to offer clients support for every aspect of their marketing requirements, when they need it. This includes web design, marketing services, graphic design, content creation and SEO.