Google’s search algorithm considers over 200 signals when determining results. Conducting in-depth, high-quality keyword research is crucial if you want your website to get seen. In order to propel your pages up the search engine ranks and get steady organic traffic, you need to choose the perfect keywords that appeal to your target audience.
The importance of keyword research will be covered, along with a step-by-step approach on how to methodically identify the most relevant terms for your content and make sure they match reader intent. If you want to skim to a certain area of the article, you can use the links provided.
Table of contents
- What Are Keywords?
- What is keyword research?
- Long-Tail Keywords: What Are They?
- Mistakes to Avoid When Using Keywords
- Why Are Keywords Important to SEO (and Marketing)?
- How to conduct keyword research
- Look for similar search phrases
- Method for Optimizing Search Results with Tail-End Keywords
- Key Takeaways
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Keywords?
You probably already know that your website might benefit from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plan. What you might not realize is that keywords are a crucial part of that plan.
Keywords are the phrases or words that your potential customers type into a search engine to find products like yours. You want your site to come up top in the search results when people use that term or phrase to find it. Getting your website or blog to show up in search results is all about using the appropriate keywords.
An example of a keyword is “search engine optimization,” however it may also be a common phrase consisting of two or more words. A long-tail keyword describes a phrase like this.
Let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that you own a ceramic tile business catering to do-it-yourselfers. Making content that is useful to your target audience should be your first priority. Then, you may optimize the material for search engines by using keywords they could utilize. They may look for “cheap tile,” “quality tile,” or “marble-style ceramic tile.” (We’ll go through how to choose the best keywords in a little.)
Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, keywords and search queries are actually rather distinct.
The full search term your audience is looking for is called a search query, and it looks something like “What is ceramic tile,” “How do I install ceramic tile myself,” “What’s the best color combination for ceramic tile,” etc. A keyword is the one or two words that all of these searches have in common, in this case, “ceramic tile.”
What is keyword research?
As part of SEO (search engine optimization), website owners conduct keyword research to compile a comprehensive list of keywords for which they hope to achieve a high search engine ranking. This research asks questions like, “What do people type into Google when they’re looking for a product, service, business, or type of organization? And what do they expect to find?”
Long-Tail Keywords: What Are They?
Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words and are used when a user wants to be more detailed in their search.
- People use long-tail queries, which are more specific and often longer than short-tail ones, to find what they’re looking for online. This is because people tend to start their search for a product or piece of information with very broad or general keywords, such as two-word phrases.
- When individuals use voice search on their mobile devices, for instance, their inquiries are considerably more conversational since they are speaking and not typing. 48% of customers are utilizing voice assistants for general online searches.
- Long-tail keywords, in short, allow you to target extremely precise queries at every stage of the searcher’s journey and are thus useful to rank for despite having less search volume than the more competitive broad keywords.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Keywords
Web content creation entails the following steps:
- Avoid manipulating search engine results by using keywords in inappropriate ways (such as keyword stuffing or trying to rank for keywords that have nothing to do with the content of the page or the site as a whole).
- Don’t try to rank for terms that have nothing to do with your content.
- Avoid stuffing your content with keywords; instead, sprinkle them throughout the text and meta information in a way that seems natural.
Why Are Keywords Important to SEO (and Marketing)?
As a website owner, you may use keywords to:
- Find out who you’re selling to and what language they use.
- Make material that your intended readers will find helpful.
- Tell Google a page is a good result for a search
- Providing Google with a clearer picture of the page’s topic is a great way to boost its search engine rankings.
- Put timely material in front of your target audience.
- Increase the number of qualified visitors to relevant web pages.
- Lengthen a visitor’s stay on a site by attracting more high-quality visitors.
- Boost sales by making it easier for customers to choose you over the competition.
- To elaborate, keyword research tells you how people seek for more information on your issues when using a search engine, and it also helps you learn how your target audience could describe and hunt for your items or services.
With this information at your disposal, you may think of topics for future articles and tweak existing material to better suit a searcher’s purpose and answer their inquiries.
With the help of keyword research and optimization, you may increase the likelihood that your website will appear on Google’s first page of search results. In 2023, most of the title tags on Google’s first page had terms that were an exact or partial match for that search query.
Keyword research may help you in more ways than just rankings and customer service.
Let’s pretend you run a bread firm and decide to investigate the keyword phrase “organic bread,” only to discover that the term “organic bread flour” receives a lot of monthly searches.
Keep at it, constantly on the lookout for new chances to address consumer demands and rank higher in search, because trends change, search intent shifts and even the names of things change over time.
How to conduct keyword research
The next steps in identifying the keywords you should be targeting to attract the audience you want and creating a foolproof keyword strategy are outlined below, and they assume that you are already familiar with the importance of keyword research and some of its most important terms and concepts.
In this first step, you’ll want to make a spreadsheet with broad categories or “buckets” for the keywords you want to rank for. These could correspond to product categories or anything you think your target audience would be interested in.
Try to keep this list to no more than ten items by putting yourself in the shoes of a potential customer.
The following are some possible broad product types for a website that sells eco-friendly and natural goods:
- Clean air and water
- Pure well-being
- Natural alternatives to hazardous chemicals for cleaning the house
- Elegance in nature
- A Recipe for Health
- Organic Pet Care
Expand each topic with a list of phrases you think your customers use
Having established these broad groups, the next step is to brainstorm the specific terms and phrases that your ideal consumer may use in a search engine to learn more about your business.
Review the organic search traffic bucket in your website analytics software, such as Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report, to find terms people are already using to find your website.
This is not meant to be a definitive list of keywords, but rather a springboard for ideas that can help you do more focused and effective research.
As an example of what may be included in the “Healthy environment” section of an eco-friendly website, consider the following.
- Evaluate various air cleaners
- Superior Water Purification Systems
- Diffuser for scents
- Diffuser for essential oils
- Toxin-free paint materials
- Allergy-friendly cushions
- Allergic reactions, quelled the natural way
- How to Promote Healthier Indoor Air
- A Guide to Using Sage
Make a list for your spreadsheet under each broad classification; feel free to get input from your coworkers and staff, especially those that interact directly with clients.
Look for similar search phrases
There are a wide variety of methods to expand your keyword databases.
You can get a list of similar search terms in bold at the bottom of the results page after conducting a Google search using a keyword phrase.
If you want to learn more, select one of the suggested searches, then scroll to the bottom of the second page to see what Google has to offer.
AnswerThePublic provides a table of relevant search terms along with up to three free daily searches.
If you want to find out what other related phrases people use, you can enter your keyword phrase into Google’s Keyword Planner or one of the premium tools we’ve included below.
Assess the effectiveness of your keywords
This following step may be accomplished with relative ease using either Keyword Planner or a paid keyword research or SEO tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, Wordtracker, or Ubersuggest (Wordtracker and Ubersuggest also offer free versions).
The results of your keyword research should look like this.
Determine the exact term individuals use in their searches, and tailor your keyword phrase accordingly.
Look for the largest search volume possible, as it won’t do you much good to build a strategy around a keyword phrase if nobody uses it.
You want a bigger search volume with lesser organic search competition, and the paid tools will help you tell the difference between the two types of competition.
Make sure you’re not missing any high-volume, low-competition, relevant phrases.
Find out where you stand in your field
Your approach may need to shift to focus on less competitive long-tail keywords if you’re up against well-established brands for most of the phrases you’ve researched.
If the top results for your target keywords are all established brands that command more respect and market share than your business does (yet), you may want to revise your list with more specific long-tail phrases.
However, if you know you can provide material that is superior to the competition’s in terms of length, quality, and layout, then you may be able to rank higher than them even if they invest more money in advertising.
Verify search intent
When a user types a question into Google, they are on a mission to find the solution to their problem.
Type your keywords into the search engine to see what pages come up for that term and what they provide; this will help you grasp your consumers’ intent.
If a shopper clicks on your link and then sees that you’re trying to sell them a product when they’re really just seeking information, they’ll immediately leave, which will affect your ranking. On the other hand, if a shopper is ready to buy and you present a product page, they’ll be happy to make a purchase.
Keep track of the buyer purpose for each keyword phrase in your spreadsheet, or make it standard practice to verify the intent of a keyword before utilizing it in any content you produce.
How do you think long-tail keywords affect search engine rankings?
Because of my extensive expertise in this field, I’ll be discussing the significant effect that long-tail keywords—phrases with three words or more—have on search engine visibility.
By using longer, more specific phrases, businesses and content creators can better align their offerings with the precise needs of their audience. This is best illustrated by a search for the ideal pair of running shoes: instead of typing “shoes,” you might type “best long-distance running shoes for women.”
In addition, long-tail keywords can boost conversion rates because they attract visitors with specific intent and lead them to the answers they seek. This leads to improved engagement, longer sessions on the site, and more purchases.
The use of long-tail keywords is helpful for voice search optimization because they reflect how people talk, making your content more accessible to voice search queries and expanding your audience reach. As the use of voice assistants becomes more common, people are more likely to use natural, conversational language.
Careful investigation is required to make the switch from broad keywords to carefully selected long-tail phrases. Once you’ve uncovered the specific queries your target audience is likely to use, you can incorporate them naturally into your content, titles, and meta descriptions.
As an authority in the field, I stress the importance of using long-tail keywords strategically as an indispensable tool for elevating your digital presence and connecting with the right audience, as you can tap into a goldmine of targeted traffic, improved engagement, and higher conversion rates by understanding the intent of your audience and tailoring your content to match.
Method for Optimizing Search Results with Tail-End Keywords
Do some digging into who you’re writing for to learn more about their needs, interests, and typical search terms.
Create a list of broad, niche-related keywords by brainstorming ideas from the brain.
To find more specific versions of your seed phrases, use keyword research tools to expand your keyword set.
- Examine the Rivalry: Check out how other websites fare when people use your selected long-tail keywords to see how tough the competition is.
- Focus on what matters most to your target audience by selecting long-tail keywords that accurately describe their needs.
- Natural Incorporation: Use long-tail keywords in your text, headers, and meta descriptions without changing the flow of the writing.
- To satisfy the expectations of people who are looking for particular information, your material must be well-written and interesting to read.
- Always keep an eye on how your material is doing with analytics tools.
- Make changes to your keyword strategy and content based on performance statistics to further optimize your efforts.
- In order to fine-tune your long-tail keyword strategy, you should always be aware of the latest trends and changes in searcher behaviour.
- You may improve your rankings in search engines and strengthen your connection with your target audience by following these procedures and making use of long-tail keywords.
You can locate the best keywords to base your content on by conducting keyword research and using the results to identify emerging trends and potential blind spots. It’s important to keep in mind that keyword research is just the beginning of your SEO campaign. If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure that every blog post, article, and product description is better in every way. Create information that is easy to skim and mobile-friendly by paying close attention to page layout and on-page SEO.
Remember that organic search engine optimization takes time. While some keywords and phrases may propel you to the top of the SERPs immediately, most companies have to work at it. Improve your SEO with the help of tools, and watch your readership soar. Get started making meaningful relationships with customers right now with our marketing CRM software, and monitor your progress with our digital marketing analytics reports.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I look for common search terms?
Examining your competition and learning what your target audience is searching for might help you identify high-volume terms. Using the Keyword Explorer tool is a fantastic approach to learn what keywords people are actually using. Simply enter a keyword relating to your main topic, and the tool will provide a list of similar keywords, along with a measure of their relative popularity in terms of search traffic. The most popular terms may be easily viewed by using a filter. However, you need to exercise caution because popular search terms aren’t necessarily the greatest keywords to utilize.
What is a keyword strategy?
Based on the results of your keyword analysis, you can next formulate a plan for your keyword strategy. What this means is deciding where and how to use your selected target keywords on the website. The whole SEO approach is supported by your keyword strategy. You may measure the efficacy of your efforts by comparing them to the benchmarks you establish in your strategy.
How many types of keywords are there?
The difference between ‘head’ keywords and ‘long-tail’ keywords was covered. All the keywords that fall in between the “head” and “long-tail” are collectively referred to as “middle” keywords. All of these broad categories may be further subdivided into more specialized ones, such as branded or product-related phrases and location-based keywords (such as “best coffee spot in Seattle”).
What is a primary keyword?
The main focus of any given piece of writing is its principal keyword. The page’s main topic is represented by the page’s principal keyword. Using this principal term as a springboard, you may investigate related keywords.
What is the difference between a key phrase and a keyword?
When we talk about keywords, we’re referring to single words, which are usually the ‘seed’ terms. The ‘long-tail’ keywords that consist of many words make up a key phrase. In contrast to the low search volume and strong competition of keyphrases, keywords receive a lot of traffic and are used often. You can also take advise from SEO consultant for keyword research.