In this article we cover multiple ways to perform keyword research and come up with keyword strategy for the purpose of search engine optimization. This includes correct strategy, best practices for success and much more.
SEO (search engine optimization) keyword research is an essential part of creating a successful and effective online marketing campaign. By choosing the right keywords and phrases, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract more qualified traffic to your site.
This article covers the key steps you need to do keyword research, including:
- Initial keyword brainstorm
- Validating volume & keyword difficulty
- How to use SEO keywords in your content
Without further ado, here we go!
One of the first steps in conducting SEO keyword research is to brainstorm a list of potential keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business or website. This can include industry-specific terms, product or service names, and common phrases that people might use when searching for your business online. You may be surprised what new keywords will come out of a good brainstorming session.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s important to use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to help you determine which keywords are most popular and have the highest search volume. This will help you narrow down your list to the most effective keywords and phrases.
However, Keyword Planner will only get you so far. To perform proper keyword research you will need multiple tools such as Ahrefs, SE Ranking, SurferSEO and SEMrush.
The total cost rapidly adds up, and for many small business owners, hiring a local SEO agency directly is actually more cost effective than DIY keyword research considering the time, money, and expensive software required to develop a solid keyword list that matches your business type.
2. Competition and Search Volume
In addition to looking at search volume, it’s also important to consider the competition for each keyword. This can help you identify keywords that are popular but not too competitive, allowing you to focus your efforts on keywords that will be most effective for your website.
You don’t want to waste your time and effort trying to rank for keywords that are extremely competitive just because they have a hundred thousand searches per month. It’s better to focus on keywords that have moderate search volume and low difficulty to rank – and make sure you put a lot of them in your content, but don’t keyword stuff.
Once you have a list of high-quality keywords, it’s time to start incorporating them into your website content. This will include optimizing your website’s content and meta tags with some of the keywords, as well as using the keywords in your website’s URLs and in other online marketing materials.
3. Use Keywords in Content
By conducting thorough and effective SEO keyword research, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract more qualified traffic to your site.
This can help you drive more sales and increase your online presence, making SEO keyword research an essential part of any online marketing strategy.
In addition to optimizing your website’s content and meta tags, there are several other ways to incorporate your chosen keywords into your SEO strategy.
One common and effective method is to create blog posts or articles that are focused on your keywords and provide valuable information to your audience.
By creating content that is relevant, informative, and useful, you can help improve your website’s visibility and attract more traffic from search engines.
4. Keyword Relevance & Search Intent
It’s extremely important to make sure that the keywords you are using will bring in people that actually want to read about what is in the article. So you want to make sure your keyword relevance is on point within the copy.
For instance, if you are writing an article about the 5 best MMA fighters of all time and you insert the keyword MMA gloves based on the search volume, but you don’t sell MMA gloves on your website – you will get a high bounce rate.
This is because someone looking to buy MMA gloves or learn about them probably won’t stick around to read your article because it isn’t what they are looking for. Having a high bounce rate will negatively affect your ranking in search engines.
So do your best to find keywords that match the content you are providing. Doing this will help to ensure that your bounce rate remains in the reasonable range. The longer people stay on the page, the more the search engine algorithms will ascertain you are writing engaging, relevant content.
5. Frequency of Keyword Use for SEO
This is one of the most important factors when applying your keyword research in your on-page content. In the old days of SEO, people would just jam in as many keywords as possible in their on page content.
This method, known as ‘keyword stuffing’, used to be highly effective and SEO companies would make hidden pages with loads of keywords and have articles that were barely readable.
However in today’s world of SEO, keyword stuffing is a big no no. That is not to say that you don’t want a load of keywords in your content, you just need them to flow well with the written content you are producing.
Some SEO companies will want to have between thirty and fifty keywords for a 1,500 to 2,500 word content piece. Each of those keywords should have at least two to three instances in your content.
If you are having trouble getting that many keywords into your content, it’s okay to have less, but probably not less than ten keywords per content piece.
6. SEO Keyword Strategy for Titles, H1, H2s and H3s
It’s very important to incorporate your main focus keyword or key phrase in your title tag and H1. Then you need to make sure that the keyword is mentioned in the associated body copy as well.
Once you have finished with your keyword discovery, you want to plan them into your headings and copy.
Search engines find this to be very relevant content and therefore will push you up the rankings for that keyword in searches.
The same goes for your H2s and H3s. With these types of headings it’s usually good to incorporate two or more keywords in them as well as repeat them in the body copy.
You also want to make sure the keywords are in your meta title and description, which show up on the Google results page.
7. Keyword Combining, Cannibalization and more
Another clever way to incorporate your keyword strategy is to combine keywords to get more than one keyword or keyword phrase in the same heading or sentence. The algorithm will read them as two individual keywords and then again as a new keyword. For example, the keyword phrase ‘luxury holiday accommodation in Aspen’ also breaks down into the keyword phrases ‘luxury holiday accommodation’, ‘holiday accommodation in Aspen’ and ‘accommodation in Aspen’.
It’s important to note that most search engines do not read punctuation. So if you have a keyword with a high search volume that reads ‘snow skiing Aspen’, then you can make it easy on yourself by writing something like ‘… that’s why many people love snow skiing. Aspen is considered one of the best ski resorts’ and so on.
Something to be avoided at all cost is keyword cannibalization. This term refers to using the same target keywords on multiple pages within the site. What this does is effectively confuse the algorithm and it won’t know which page to rank higher for that keyword.
You always want your main page ranking highest. So if you are writing a blog and target a keyword that you have heavily targeted on your main page, this isn’t good and your search rankings will suffer.
Another way to incorporate keywords into your SEO strategy is to research keywords specifically for your social media posts.
Believe it or not, that is considered SEO as well and social media platforms also have their own algorithm that pushes posts up or down based on keyword strategy.
So when you use social media to promote your website and content, take a look at how each algorithm works. By sharing links to your website and blog posts on social media platforms, you can help increase your online visibility and reach a wider audience.
You can also use social media to engage with your audience and encourage them to share your content, which can help improve your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.
Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between local keyword research and global. If you are a local business such as a gym, HVAC company or dentist, targeting global keywords in your SEO keyword strategy isn’t a very good idea.
After all, how does a person searching for an HVAC in Sydney Australia benefit from finding your website if you are located in Los Angeles California?
However If you are an Ecommerce store, then you would want to target both locally and globally if you ship products overseas.
In conclusion, keyword strategy is an essential part of creating a successful online marketing campaign. By conducting thorough research and choosing the right keywords, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract more qualified traffic to your site.
If you don’t want to spring for expensive tools for keyword research then you may want to contract the services of a professional SEO agency who specializes in SEO keyword strategy.
We hope you learned something and enjoyed this article. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on SEO! Now get out there and create your keyword strategy and get more customers to your website!