How to do Keyword Research – A short guide.
One key (no pun intended) SEO determinant is Keyword Research. People often overlook this simple and essential SEO technique which is the foundation of any SEO strategy.
Without focusing on keywords – there is no SEO! You can BackLink, send social signal all you want.
So how to do Keyword Research? More importantly, How to do proper Keyword Research!
This blog post will be an excellent guide on not just how to do keyword research but how to get started and produce content straight away. If you’re a newbie, I’ll be suggesting ways to do free keyword research
What is Keyword Research?
Essentially, Keywords are words that users use to search for something on Google. If you can master the art of Keyword Research you can narrow down into what exactly your target market is searching for.
They say there is no SEO without Keyword Research and I tend to agree with this. If you’re legitimately trying to rank your website, then Keyword Research is super important. There are no two ways about it.
Hopefully, you have your Niche Research complete and have selected a niche. If you’re still deciding on what niche to enter, feel free to take a look at Niche Research for Website Guide. I share some really cool resources on how you can get great Niche Ideas.
Coming back to Keyword Research, what you first need to do is select topics in your desired Niche.
If you master SEO Keyword Research, you will see your site skyrocket to the top of Google, without much effort.
Niche Topic Selection
Before you jump on to Google Keyword Planner, or any other tool you use to search keywords, what you first want to do is decide what topic within your niche you will be focusing on.
If you’re only targeting keywords, you’re more likely to get caught up in what other people are also targeting. A better strategy is to undertake keyword research on topics rather than words.
Depending on the niche you’ve picked, you want to start compiling closely related topics within that niche. So how do you find these topics? It’s simple. Go to where your target customer hangs out online. Then look for topics that they tend to discuss. Seriously, that’s it.
For example, in my case, Code Central by NS is an online marketing/make money online blog. My readers usually are looking to learn how to create websites, start getting traffic, learn marketing tactics and make money passively. Therefore, my target audience will be found on related websites and Facebook groups.
Once you have a typical customer persona, you can then start to find out what topics these people will be interested in. Personally, my target audience wants to learn about SEO, WordPress Information, Internet Marketing, Make Money Online etc. Now obviously, these are very broad topics – each of them has multiple more niche topics within each. So, I base my content writing around these topics.
How to Find Niche Topics?
Head over to Google and type your Niche (or Keyword) + Forum into Google. Google will then spit out links to popular forums within your niche. Use these to understand what your potential customers are talking about and are interested in.
2) Social Media
Facebook Groups, Pinterest Boards, Twitter Profiles etc. are all powerful tools to gather information. You can find trending topics, points of discussion, user profiles very easily and start creating content addressing some of the issues people are having.
Very few websites can compete with Wikipedia when it comes to the variety of topics and articles available. You can find the most peculiar things like “The Lingerie Football League”, “Mall Walking” etc.
Simply type in a broad keyword that is closely related to your Niche. Head over to the Content section and write down all the categories. You can also take a look at the sections page for each topic. Some sections can be used as Niche Topics themselves.
Keyword Research Tools
Now that you have Niche topics selected, it’s time to start picking out keywords within those niches to start targeting. I’ve listed below a number of free keyword research tools. One popular one is Google Keyword Planner – you can check out the my full guide here.
Just be aware, there are numerous SEO keyword research tools you can use to undertake keyword research, some that are very complex and others that are quick. It would be impossible for me to cover all of them, especially all the tools I use, in-depth in one blog post.
Therefore, I’ll create separate blog posts covering each of them in depth. Here, I’m going to highlight some of the simpler ones you can use to quickly get started.
You can find both paid and free keyword research tools and I’ll be covering the free ones below.
1) Google Suggest
First, we have Google Suggest. To use this strategy, just head over to Google and type your topic into the search field. But don’t press Enter. Instead, take a look at the keywords that Google suggests for you. These are usually awesome, long tail keywords that you can go after.
Pro Tip: Try putting a few spaces before your keyword. This will show you a completely different set of keyword ideas.
Next up, we have quora.com. Quora is a massive community of people that ask and answer questions on every topic under the sun. All you need to do is search for your topic in Quora and see which keywords tend to show up.
Our next tactic for finding keywords is to use Reddit. Like Quora, Reddit is a massive community of people that discuss every topic under the sun from pets to politics. To use Reddit for keyword research simply head over to Reddit and search for your topic. When you find a thread on your topic keep an eye out for words and phrases that tend to come up again and again. These make awesome keyword ideas.
4) Google Search Related Tools
Next up we have Google’s Searches Related Tools feature. To use this feature, simply type your topic into Google. Then scroll to the bottom of the results.
Google then shows you other searches that are related to the keyword you just put in. These are usually excellent long tail keywords that you can target with your content.
Keyword Research and Analysis – Commercial Intent
Now that you have a list of potential keywords it’s time to choose the best from your list. How? By analyzing each keyword’s commercial intent. Keyword Research and Analysis go hand in hand, it is not just important to find keywords, you need to undertake some form of analysis to hone in on the best ones!
Even though a keyword can get a ton of searches, does not mean that keyword will be profitable. You will find keywords that get loads of traffic but will have very few people that actually convert. It just depends on the niche and the audience that particular keyword is attracting.
That’s why you must pay very close attention to a keyword’s commercial intent – especially if you want to monetize your blog. Commercial intent simply means how likely someone searching for a given keyword is to buy from you.
How to check your Keyword for Commercial Intent?
First, head over to the Google Keyword Planner and type in one of your potential keywords. Then take a look at the Suggested bid column. This shows you how much advertisers are spending in AdWords for a single click from this keyword. Obviously, the higher the suggested bid the more valuable that keyword is.
Another simple way to size up commercial intent is to see how many AdWords ads appear when you search for your keyword in Google. If you search for your keyword and see lots of AdWords ads it means that people are competing to bring those searchers to their site.
Now, this step is completely optional. But in my experience, it helps you find the absolute best keywords for your business. And that step is to look at your keyword’s growth in Google Trends. For example, let’s say that you found two keywords that have similar search volume and commercial intent and you don’t know which one to pick. But when you look at Google Trends you notice that one keyword is growing in popularity and the other is dropping like a stone. Obviously, you’d want to go with the keyword that’s growing.
So those were some of the tips and tricks I use for my Keyword Research. If you follow these steps you should have a handful of excellent keywords that you can use. And once you have those it’s a matter of creating landing pages and content optimized around those terms.