An Introduction to Keyword Research

Written by Sto Adams | Updated on September 7th, 2022 | Learning SEO

If you’re new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), you may have come across the term “keyword research” and wondered what it is and why it’s so important. In a nutshell, keyword research is the process of finding and using relevant keywords in your website’s content in order to improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what keyword research is, why it’s essential for SEO, and how to go about doing it. By the end, you should have a good understanding of what keyword research is and how to use it to your advantage.

What is Keyword Research?

As we mentioned briefly above, keyword research is the process of finding and using relevant keywords in your website’s content. But why is this important? To put it simply, when people use search engines like Google to look for something online, they type in keywords or key phrases that describe what they’re looking for.

If those keywords or key phrases match up with the content on your website, there’s a good chance your site will appear in the search results. And if your website appears high up on the list of results, that means more people are likely to visit your site. So, as you can see, keyword research can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website.

Another reason why keyword research is important has to do with SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which essentially means making sure your website is designed in such a way that it will rank highly in search engine results pages. One of the key factors that search engines like Google use to determine where your website should rank is the presence of relevant keywords.

So, if you want your website to rank highly in SERPs, you need to make sure you’re using relevant keywords throughout your site’s content. That’s where keyword research comes in; by taking the time to find and use relevant keywords, you can boost both your traffic levels and your SEO.

An Introduction to Keyword Research

How to Do Keyword Research

Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of keyword research, let’s take a more detailed look at how to actually do it. The process of keyword research can be broken down into a few simple steps:

Step 1. Determine Your Goals

Before you start your keyword research, it’s important to take a step back and think about what you’re trying to achieve. What are your goals? What do you want your website to achieve? Once you have a good understanding of your goals, you can start to think about the keywords that will help you to achieve them.

Step 2. Identify Your Audience

Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach with your website? When you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can start to think about the keywords that they might be using to find your site.

Step 3. Brainstorm A List Of Keywords

Once you have a good understanding of your goals and your target audience, it’s time to start brainstorming a list of potential keywords. Don’t worry about being too exhaustive at this stage, just come up with a list of keywords that you think might be relevant to your site.

Step 4. Research The Competition

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to start researching the competition. What keywords are your competitors using? What keywords are they ranking for? How much traffic are they getting from their keywords? This information can help you to narrow down your list of potential keywords and choose the ones that are most likely to help you achieve your goals.

Step 5. Analyze The Search Results

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to start looking at the search results. What kind of results are you seeing for each keyword? Are there a lot of results? Are there a lot of results for your competitors? This information can help you to further narrow down your list of potential keywords and choose the ones that are most likely to help you achieve your goals.

Step 6. Choose your keywords

Once you have a good understanding of the competition and the search results, it’s time to choose your keywords. When choosing your keywords, it’s important to consider a number of factors, including search volume, CPC, and competition. You’ll also want to think about how each keyword fits into your overall SEO strategy.

Keyword Research Tools

There are a number of different keyword research tools available online, and they can be really useful in helping you map out your list of keywords. Here are a few that we have used:

Keyword Research - Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and powerful options. And it’s free!

With Keyword Planner, you can see how often certain words are searched for, as well as get ideas for related keywords that you may not have considered. In addition, Keyword Planner can help you to understand the competition for certain keywords, and how difficult it may be to rank for them. As a result, Google Keyword Planner is an essential tool for anyone who is serious about keyword research. 

Keyword Research - Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is another great tool that can be used for keyword research. It provides you with a huge list of keywords that are relevant to your initial search term, as well as information on the monthly search volume and the level of competition for each keyword.

Keyword Research - SEMrush

SEMrush

SEMrush is a paid tool, but it offers a lot of features that the free options don’t. In addition to all of the features that Ubersuggest has, SEMrush also provides you with detailed information on your competitor’s keywords and traffic levels. This can be really useful in helping you to understand where they are ranking and what keywords they are using to get there.

Keyword Research - Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Ahrefs is another paid tool, but it’s a bit different from the others on this list. Rather than just providing you with a list of keywords, Ahrefs has a whole suite of features to help you research a high-quality SEO campaign. This information can be really useful in helping you to understand where you need to focus your efforts.

Keyword Research - KWFinder by Mangools

KWFinder by Mangools

KWFinder is a paid keyword research tool that provides you with detailed information on each keyword, including monthly search volume, CPC, and the level of competition. In addition, KWFinder also provides you with related keywords that you may not have considered.

Keyword Research - SpyFu

SpyFu

SpyFu is a paid keyword research tool that provides you with detailed information on your competitor’s keywords and traffic levels. This can be really useful in helping you to understand where they are ranking and what keywords they are using to get there.

Do your research. As we mentioned above, there are a number of different tools available that can help you to find relevant keywords for your website. Take some time to experiment with a few different options and see which one works best for you.

And don’t forget, keyword research isn’t just about finding the right keywords to use on your website. It’s also about understanding your audience and what they are looking for. So, take some time to think about who your target audience is and what they might be searching for before you start your research

Simple Keyword Research Options

If the idea of using tools is a little overwhelming at first, don’t worry. There are a number of simple keyword research options that you can use to get started.

Google Autocomplete

You can also use Google’s autocomplete feature to get ideas for relevant keywords. Simply start typing a seed keyword into the Google search bar and see what suggestions Google provides; these are typically popular search terms that people use.

Google Trends is a great way to see how popular certain keywords are. Simply enter a keyword or phrase into the Google Trends search bar and you’ll be able to see how that term has been trending over time. This can be really useful in helping you to understand whether a particular keyword is worth targeting.

How To Use The Keywords

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, you need to start using them in your website’s content. This means using them in your titles, meta descriptions, headings, and throughout the body of your text. However, it’s important not to overdo it; if you stuff your content full of too many keywords, this will actually hurt your SEO rather than help it. A general rule of thumb is to use your keywords in around 2-4% of your content.

Additionally, you should try to use a variety of different keyword types, including long-tail keywords, LSI keywords, and exact match keywords. This will help to make your content more relevant and give you a better chance of ranking for a variety of different terms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keyword Research

What is a seed keyword?

A seed keyword is a word or phrase that you use to start your keyword research. This can be something general like “shoes” or “travel”.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank for. For example, “men’s running shoes” is a long-tail keyword, whereas “shoes” is a short-tail keyword.

What does LSI mean?

LSI stands for latent semantic indexing. This is a way of understanding the relationships between words in order to determine the meaning of a piece of text.

What is a keyword difficulty score?

A keyword difficulty score is a number that indicates how difficult it would be to rank for a particular keyword. The higher the number, the more difficult it would be to rank.

What is a competitor analysis?

A competitor analysis is when you research your competitor’s keywords and traffic levels in order to understand where they are ranking and what keywords they are using to get there. This can be really useful in helping you to find new keywords to target.

What are exact match keywords?

Exact match keywords are keywords that you use exactly as they are. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “men’s running shoes”, you would use that exact phrase in your title and throughout your content.

Conclusion

As you can see, keyword research is essential to anyone looking to improve their website’s traffic levels or SEO. If you’re not already incorporating keyword research into your digital marketing strategy, now is the time to start! Not sure where to begin? Our team of experts at MY DOMAIN would be happy to help. Contact us today to get started!

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