Establishing a strong foothold online can feel overwhelming, especially when trying to stand out among millions of websites. One key to rising above the noise? Effective keyword research.

This foundational skill allows you to understand what your audience is searching for, helping to shape your content and ensure it resonates. Beyond identifying popular terms, a well-crafted keyword research strategy deepens understanding into user intent and the competitive landscape.

This blog will introduce you to the essential elements of keyword research, providing a roadmap to enhance your online visibility. Without further ado- let’s master this essential digital tool together!

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research identifies and analyses search terms and queries people enter into search engines for a specific purpose. With the help of keyword research, a digital marketer can determine the popularity of search terms, the target market, ranking difficulty, and much more.

Is Keyword Research Important For Your Business’ Online Growth?

Keyword research is integral to digital marketing, bridging users’ queries and online content. It plays a pivotal role in both search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid media, ensuring that your content and ads align with the needs and interests of your target audience.

In practice, advanced keyword research strategies allow you to identify relevant terms that align with your services and products. By targeting these keywords, you can attract an ideal demographic to your website, increase conversion rates, and drive more qualified leads to your business.

How To Conduct A Keyword Analysis For Your Content Strategy

Does keyword research and analysis seem like a daunting process? Have no fear! Whether you’re beginning, need a refresher, or want to add some more insight into your process, we’ve got the guide for you.

1.Assess Your Website’s Current Search Queries: Visibility, Traffic & Conversion Rates

First things first! You will want to know how well your website is doing, and how effective the keywords you have in place are. You may already have a Google Search Console and Google Analytics account affiliated with your website. This will be a handy toolese will be handy tools. Google Console and Google Analytics will provide you with detailed intel on how well your website is performing.

When looking at its data, observe and note:

    • Visibility: How often does your website appear in search results for various keywords? Is your click through rate strong? This will tell you if your current keyword plan is sufficient. 
    • Traffic: You will be able to see how many visitors your website receives, and what pages they are viewing.  This will be important so you can hone in the content in these pages even more. 
    • Conversion Rates: Look at the conversion rates on your website. Are a high amount of visitors taking an action on your website, such as purchasing a product, or signing up to be a member?

This data will be important as a starting point to understand your website’s strengths and weaknesses. Equipped with this knowledge, let’s move onto the next step!

2.  List Keyword Ideas By Reviewing Your Website Navigation, Page Types & Marketing Calendar

You have your existing keywords, but now it’s time to assess and expand on them. Which ones are working for you, and which ones aren’t? If you want to know the most popular keywords research tools Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and Ahrefs can show you the latest trends in keywords that are booming in your industry. It is also good to make notes on where certain keywords would work in the various websites pages you have and your marketing calendar, which we will expand later on.

3. Incorporate Both Evergreen & Seasonal Keywords

Keywords are not created equal , which is why we have names to describe types of keywords in SEO, such as evergreen and seasonal.

Evergreen Keywords

Evergreen keywords refer to search terms that have a consistent demand throughout the year. These may include non-seasonal services, products, and terms such as ‘review’ or ‘guide.’

Seasonal Keywords

Seasonal keywords are terms that come in high demand during a certain time of the year, such as the holidays or as the name suggests, different seasons. Think ‘Christmas’ , ‘Summer’ or ‘Snow.’

Due to their more inconsistent nature, you don’t want to lean into using too many seasonal keywords. At the same time, neglecting them completely means you won’t be making the most out of their potency during their most popular seasons. A good approach is to use a mix of both to ensure your content is timeless. Keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, will allow you to evaluate search volume and competition to see which evergreen and seasonal keywords will maximise your content.

Map Out These Keyword Ideas For Your Homepage, Categories/Services, Product & Blog Pages

Keywords should be present throughout your website, not just in certain pages. With this in mind, it is important to map out where potential keywords can be weaved into your website. For example, your homepage will likely feature the more common, popular keywords pertaining to your business (i.e. evergreen keywords). Whereas, more specific, seasonal keywords will be better placed in blog pages, where there is more space to be creative with your writing. 

It is important to also be aware of potential cannibalisation. Don’t fret, not that kind of cannibalisation! The word in the SEO world refers to keyword cannibalisation, wherein one specific keyword is targeted across multiple pages of your  website. While you might think  using  the most popular keywords and topics multiple times across your site website is a good move, it can be the opposite. Multiple pages ranking for the same keyword (and usually close to identical content and intent) means Google has to compare your pages against each other,  and choose which ones fit the matching keywords  best. Hence, there is a cannibalisation of the click through and conversion rates of your pages. 

Additionally, banking on more generic keywords and not more specific ones means you are missing out on a lot of potential for better search results. As a simple example, if you are a store that sells dresses, and ‘dress’ is the only word you consistently target. This will be telling Google that every page is about dresses. You will not be capitalising on specific dresses sold, such as ‘formal dresses,’ ‘party dresses’  and other longer-tail keywords, which would also be much less competitive. 

This is why mapping out your keywords, and using a variety across your pages is crucial.

7. Categorise Your Terms By Focus/Target & Secondary/Semantic Keywords

Your list of keywords should also fall under focus/target or secondary/semantic keywords. A focus keyword,  is the main term a webpage is expected to rank for in search engine results. Typically, they have a high search volume and can potentially bring a considerable amount of organic search traffic.

Secondary keywords, on the other hand, are terms that fine-tune your content and add context, value, and specificity. They’re more likely to fall under the four categories of search intent,  which we will discuss later.

As an example, let’s say “maxi dress is a primary keyword. Secondary keywords related to it would be ‘summer maxi dresses’,  ‘long orange dresses for the beach’ or chiffon maxi dresses for spring’. 

This framework allows you to tap into a broader range of keywords, and the two types work together to help content rank better.

Primary keywords have higher search volume, and are of course  relevant to your content, however, secondary keywords encounter less competition among Google rankings, and should be considered alongside them.

Categorise Your Keywords By Their Search Intent

What do you hope to achieve? Understanding search intent targeting types is crucial for SEO, content creation, and paid search campaigns, as it allows websites to meet users’ needs more directly. 

Keyword intent types can be categorised into four types: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. Let’s explore them briefly to understand the concept of search intent targeting in more detail.

Informational Intent:

  • This crowd is on a quest for knowledge. They have questions, and they’re looking for answers.
  • Example: Search queries like “how to water succulents” or “history of the Eiffel Tower.” They’re not looking to buy a cactus or book a flight to Paris; they want information.
  • These searchers know where they want to go. They’re using the search engine as a GPS of sorts.
  • Example: Typing “Facebook login” or “OpenAI website” into a search bar. The user knows the destination; they just need some help getting there.

Commercial Intent:

  • These searchers are the window shoppers of the online world. They’re considering a purchase soon but are still in the research phase, comparing options and looking for the best fit.
  • Example: Queries like “best DSLR cameras 2023” or “top 10 hiking boots.”

Transactional Intent:

  • Ready your cash registers because these folks are in the mood to shop. They’re looking for a product or service, and intend to purchase it. Transactional keywords have evolved from this intent, and indicate a user’s intention to complete a transaction.

Example: Searches like “buy leather boots online” or “best iPhone 13 deals.”

9. Undertake A Keyword Competitor Analysis

Keep your friends close, but your competition closer. It’s important to have your finger on the pulse of your competition in the industry you are in. In terms of a content strategy, this allows for the comparison of the similarities and differences both bring to the table. Getting to know competitors’ marketing and content patterns will also allow you to see the gaps in your own plan, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. This is why it’s valuable to do a keyword competitor analysis. 

Here’s how you can go about it: 

To do a keyword trend analysis of your competitors, you will need to:

  • Identify Your Competitors: Know who you are competing against, i.e. those with similar services and products and make a list of around five of them.
  • Keyword Research: Use a keyword research tool such as SEMrush  to observe their websites, and to find out which keywords your competitors are targeting. alongside observing their website to find out which keywords your competitors are targeting. 
  • Analyse Both The Competition & Keywords: Consider factors at play, such as the main keywords difficulty, search volume, and the quality of your competitors content. 

Identify Opportunities To Outrank Your Competitors: This may involve targeting less competitive and long-tail keywords, improving content, and building backlinks from popular websites.

10. Develop Content Based On Your Content Strategy & Keyword Research

Once you have analysed the keyword research for your content, you are going to want to develop fresh content that aligns with your findings. While it may seem daunting, engaging in fresh keyword research can prove advantageous. The results often reveal new angles, perspectives, and topics that you might not have explored previously. 

If you find yourself in a bind with integrating your relevant keywords into new content material, then you might want to check out our article on SEO & Content Writing to make the process that much smoother.

11. Continually Review Your Keyword & Website Performance

Keyword popularity and trends are ever-changing, and that means your content strategy has to as well. It is not a one time task, and requires monitoring to keep up with changing search trends. Make sure your tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics are bookmarked, so you can be ahead of the curve in creating and updating your content.

Achieve Your Desired Business Outcomes With A Successful Keyword Research Strategy Today

The cornerstone of any thriving digital strategy lies with effective keyword research. By consistently honing in on the right keywords, businesses can align their content with audience needs, ensuring greater visibility and engagement in the long run.

Don’t underestimate the power of a well-executed keyword research strategy! It’s the gateway to meeting your business objectives, and driving success in today’s oversaturated digital landscape. Start your keyword research journey now, and watch your business flourish.