Keyword research is one of the most important factors for succeeding in SEO. It is essential for:
- Developing a clear direction for your content by targeting the correct keywords.
- Developing a clear direction for online advertising.
- Understanding your website visitors and attracting the right audience.
- Knowing the keywords your target audience uses across multiple channels.
- Producing content that resonates with your target audience.
- Being found online by people searching for your products and services.
- Deepening relationships with your existing customers and increasing customer retention.
Keywords and SEO
Keywords are the words and phrases people use when performing online searches. Internet marketers use keywords when producing content, so their content is found by their target audience in search results.
So, how do you find the keywords used by your target audience? First, you do SEO keyword research to discover the keywords, monitor the keywords, and watch for changes in your audience as new keywords are adopted and old keywords are dropped.
Tools for Doing Keyword Research
SEO keyword research tools regularly ranked at the top include:
Numerous companies have compiled a list of the top keyword research tools. These lists help compare the tools and see which are consistently at the top.
Here are a few of the best lists for keyword research tools:
- WPBeginner: 8 Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO
- Backlinko: 15 Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO
- HubSpot: Top 11 Tools For Finding Long-Tail Keywords
And here is a list of free keyword research tools: Ahrefs: 10 Free Keyword Research Tools.
Deciding Which Keywords to Target
Once you have keyword data, decide which keywords you should use with your content and ads. Select keywords that you can rank for in search based on your domain authority while also being relevant to your target audience.
Competitiveness and Volume
Keyword research tools include a measurement of the competitiveness and volume for each keyword.
Most websites will need to target less competitive keywords to rank high enough on search engines to generate enough traffic to justify the marketing expense.
Related: Organic Click-Through Rate Stats
The key is to choose less competitive keywords that generate search volume in your target market area. In other words, you want to select keywords you can rank for on search engines that people in your market area are using in their searches.
Relevancy to Your Target Audience
When researching keywords, determine the words your target audience uses when searching online.
One way to do this is to drill down and research the SERPs for each keyword, then research the web page (and associated company) linked in each SERP. You can then make assumptions about the audience shown in the SERP.
Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases. Thus, they comprise the bulk of the less competitive keywords.
Rather than a keyword with one or two words, long-tail keywords have three or more words that are more specific to the user’s intent.
Examples of long-tail keywords include:
- Mortgage brokers with the lowest interest rates.
- The best Orlando pain doctors.
- Internet marketing in Tampa.
There is a significant disparity between keyword popularity and keyword value. Keywords that are too general may receive an enormous number of monthly searches; however, they may have minimal results in driving the targeted audience to the site.
On the other hand, long-tail keywords can target a more narrow audience that is further down the sales funnel and closer to making a purchase, resulting in better results for the business.
For example, optimizing a page for the keyword “solar” will drive people to a website searching for solar information for various reasons; some will not be interested in purchasing solar, and others will be at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. However, optimizing for long-tail keywords allows the company to target prospects close to purchasing solar for their home. Examples of these long-tail keywords are:
- Best solar companies for residential.
- Best solar companies in Tampa Florida.
- Best solar companies in Central Florida.