Is keyword research – to find the right keywords for SEO – search engine optimization still relevant today? This question is asked over and over again.
Yes! Keyword research is still relevant and very importance to your SEO strategy and search engine ranking. It helps you find the right keywords for content optimization that’ll help you rank high on Google. But, what you should understand is that the way we do SEO today is no longer the way it was years back.
Keyword research enables you find the right keywords for content optimization that'll help you rank high on Google. Click To Tweet
Back in the days, neither quality content nor keyword density was a cause for search rankings and was given less priority.
The main purpose of keyword research back then was to get as many keywords as possible and stuff your blog content with those keyword terms to boost your chances of ranking high on Google.
It does not work that way anymore. Google’s search algorithms continue to change – making it possible for Google to present search results in ways that are more relevant to search terms.
Even with the rise of voice search, many people are still using traditional searches to conduct search queries.
The point here is that keyword research is still relevant for SEO and will help you optimize your content to boost your search engine ranking.
But before we go further down this article, it is important that you understand the different types of keywords, how they’re grouped, and their search volume.
However, I’m assuming you already know what keyword research is all about.
There are three types of keywords or three categories of keywords:
But some bloggers and content marketers simply call them, head, body, and long-tail. Still, for others, the short or head is referred to as seed keyword.
So, we will use the “seed” instead of short or head as we go down this article.
- Seed: Seed keywords usually are one word, but in some cases, you’ll notice that a seed keyword is up to two words. This type of keyword(s) has incredible high search volumes, which makes it very difficult to rank on Google search result, especially with a brand new blog or website.
- Body: Just as a seed keyword is one or two words, a body keyword can contain from 2~3 words. The good thing about body keywords is that they’re lower in search volume than their seed counterparts, which is great for SEO.
- Long-tail: These are keyword types with a length of from 4~ words and over. Long-tail keywords are the lowest in search volume compared to both seed and body keywords. This is good ? news because the low search volume makes it less competitive with high conversion possibilities because long-tail search terms are more specific. Now you can see why experts like Neil Patel are using long-tail keywords to drive massive website traffic.
For example, the graphic by Traffic Masters below shows how keywords are grouped and their conversion possibilities.
A closer look at the visual image above indicates that long-tail keywords have high conversion possibilities as they’re more specific.
This simply means that when your target audience performs a search query, it is likely that your website or blog content will appear on SERP one, because the search result will be less, compared to seed and body search results respectively.
Here’s my point…
For instance, if your buyer persona searches for “smartphone,” a seed keyword, the search engine will present him with millions of results to analyze.
But if he searches for “Motorola smartphone,” which is a body keyword, the result will be hundreds of thousands of Motorola smartphones to choose from.
On the other hand, if he searches for “2018 Motorola Moto 4G smartphone,” which is long-tail keywords, his search result will rather be a few hundred, as the query is ? specific to what he is searching for.
This keyword types overview is great as it will help you know what keyword types to target when doing keyword research.
Hence, let us dive into…
How to find the right keywords that will improve your SEO campaign and Google ranking
Please, make sure to read this entire post as it will help you learn the best tips to find the right keywords, and where to use them in your blog content to improve your chances of ranking on Google’s page one.
1• Find a list of keywords your website is ranking for
The first step for me is to analyze your blog or website to find keywords and keyword phrases you’re already ranking for.
As a blogger and content marketer, there are some keywords on your blog that you’re ranking for, find these keywords and create a bank to store your them for use in your SEO and search ranking strategy.
The easiest way to do it is to use SEO tools such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console.
How to use Google Analytics
To Google Analytics to find keywords on your site, log in to your Google Analytics account and go to Acquisition > scroll down and click All Traffic > next click Channels > and lastly, click the Organic Search tab.
If you are using the Google analytics mobile app, simply open the app, click on the Menu button > scroll to Acquisition > then click the Organic Search tab.
Google analytics will analyze your site and present you with keywords to use for your content optimization campaign.
But, if you’re going to use Google Search Console to do your research, simply open your Google analytics software and login.
Please note, make sure that you have already connected the Google search console to your Google analytics, or it would not work.
So then, scroll down to Acquisition > from Google Analytics and click the Search Console > next click the Queries tab and you’re done.
Google search console result will offer you more information about each keyword you’re ranking for. This information will enable you to choose the right keywords for your marketing campaign.
Some keyword data search console will show you are:
- Clicks for your keywords.
- The number of impressions.
- Average position.
These amazing tools will offer you a list of the keywords you’re ranking for to add to your keyword bank.
How to create a keyword bank?
It is very simple to create a keyword bank. Others call it “keyword list,” but I call it a bank because it is where you store all your keyword information.
You can use an app like Evernote to create and organize your keywords.
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2• Find your competitor’s keywords
What exactly am I saying?…
Your competitors are experts who have been in the game long before you, probably. As a result, they have ranked for your target keywords for some time.
So, to help you improve your content optimization strategy and boost your search ranking, you no doubt agree that it will be worthwhile to find the keywords they’re ranking for and make a list to add to your keyword bank.Your competitors are experts who have been in the game long before you. As a result, they are already ranking for your target keywords. Find those keywords and add to your list. Click To Tweet
There’s nothing to lose here, rather you’ll gain much from their experience… as you’ll be able to find the right keywords that put them on Google’s page one.
How to find your competitor’s keywords
Although some bloggers and content marketers are still struggling with the process of finding competitors keywords, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here’s the deal…
If you put in a search query with your seed keyword in the Google search box, the result page will show you all the results for your search query.
Remember, your search is based on your seed or niche keyword. This means that all those on the search engine results page are your competitors.
These are people who are using the same keywords or related keywords your are targeting. So what you have to do at this point is to create a list of as many websites as you can handle that is on your search results page one.
Next, head over to Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz and type in a website from the list of competitors you just created into the search box and click the search button.
For example, if you use Ahrefs for your research, this tool will present you a list of all the keywords that, that very website or competitor is ranking for.
You also get to see the volume for each keyword and its position.
Like I said earlier, it is not difficult. Just follow and repeat the process, and your result will be incredible.
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3• Add LSI keywords to your keyword bank
LSI is short for Latent semantic indexing, These are keywords types that are very similar in meaning to your target keyword.
They play an important part in your search ranking position because they have a lower search volume, as against seed keywords.
This makes them rank better because they enable Google to understand your content.
So, make a list of LSI keywords and add them to your keyword bank.
How can you find LSI keywords?
As with all keyword research processes, it is equally easy to find LSI keywords.
Here is how it goes…
Although you might want to start your search with Google Suggest, which will suggest or provide related keywords to your search terms as you type words into the search box field, I decided to use the best alternative to Google search – KeyWord Tool.
In my search, I used content optimization as my target keywords.
And my search result is…
However, the good thing about technology is that it has made life very easy for many of us in the digital marketing space – bloggers, content marketers, social media marketers, etc.
As a result of modern technology, LSIGraph was born.
LSIGraph is an SEO tool that will also help you find latent semantic indexing (LSI) or related keywords and keyword phrases that will enhance your SEO game and improve your search ranking.
Many prefer to use LSIGraph than Google or any other SEO tools in the marketplace. It all depends on what works well for you.
To use LSIGraph, simply open the software, enter your keyword in the search box, solve the captcha and click the Generate button. That’s it!
Below is a screenshot of the result I got for my search of “freelance writing.”
4• Make a list of location-based keywords
As the name denotes, location-based keywords are word phrases that are targeting a specific geological audience. So, when brainstorming location keyword, the following must be considered:
- State or region
- Your city.
How does it work? When conducting a search, add your region or city to your target keyword before you hit the search button.
In this way, your search result is cut down to your city, making it possible for your local audience to easily find you on search.
And the result will be… more traffic, engagement, and sales.
With that said, it is a great idea to register your business on Google My Business. This platform will boost your search ranking remarkably because once registered, your business will appear on Google map.
That way, when your ideal buyer searches for your keyword and narrows down by a city, you’ll have a higher chance of appearing in research result.
So find location-based keywords to add your keyword bank.
5• Leverage keyword research tools
Can you execute a successful content marketing campaign without keyword research, content optimization, and so forth? Actually, it is not an easy task.
Therefore, to make life easy for you, you must use the best SEO tools to carry out your keyword research and find the right keywords for your blogging and content marketing strategies.
For example, your target market is constantly searching for a number of keywords that can help improve your search ranking.
How can you find those keywords to use for both content and website optimization if you do not have the best SEO tools?
Thus, it makes sense to take advantage of the best tools in the marketplace to help you upgrade your game.
Interestingly, there is an abundance of tools you can take advantage of. Some of the best keyword research tools are:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
Among these tools are both free and paid versions, meaning that you can use some free but will pay to use others.
They all work in a similar way and will offer you a list of keywords including LSI and long-tail keywords to add to your bank.
For example, here’s how to use the SEMrush keyword tool…
How to use SEMrush keyword research tool
I have used the SEMrush keyword tool for a while now, so I used it to search for “find influencers.” The screenshots below shows the result I got.
If you want to use this tool, all you have to do is open the software, login or register if you’re not registered already.
Next, enter your keyword into the search box and click the “Try It” button.
Next it present you an overview of your search result with volume for analysis – trending data for your keyword, including:
- Phrase match keywords
- Related keywords
- Organic and paid search volumes, etc.
From your search results overview, you can head over to the phrase match keywords and related keywords data section to find relevant keywords with great search volumes to add to your list.
Further, you may want to check the organic search result for more keywords to make your list.
Please, note that your search result will be limited if you are a free user. So for an ideal result, I urge you to upgrade to premium.
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Where to use keywords in your blog content to improve your SEO strategy
Armed with a great list of keywords, there is no better time to start your content optimization campaign than now!
But the question is…Armed with a great list of keywords, there is no better time to start your content optimization campaign than now! Click To Tweet
Where can you place those keywords in your blog content for optimal visibility and higher search ranking?
The following areas are crucial, so start placing keywords in these areas:
- Post titles (both your main title and SEO title). Interestingly, the latest version of WordPress automatically uses your main title for your SEO title.
- Body of content
- Meta description
- Image title and Alt text
Wrapping up this post
Many marketers are confused with the rigors of SEO and how to do keyword research to find the right keywords to outrank their competitors.
And as Google search algorithm keeps changing, it is even more difficult to keep up with your SEO campaign, which is why keyword research is ever more important
But with a clear-cut keyword research strategy in your arsenal, you can easily find keyword terms that will upgrade your content optimization and improve your Google ranking.
Consequently, apply the tips above and see your SEO and search ranking will skyrocket!
Please, tell us the best tips you are using to carry out keyword research and rank high on Google, in the comments section.