How to Keyword Research – The Complete Guide to SEO
Keyword research is the beginning of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Before you do anything else on your website, the first thing you must do is to identify your keywords. SEO is all about appearing on the first page and hopefully first position on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) for the right keywords.
SEO is not all about getting traffic to your page, but getting the right kind of traffic. It is meaningless to have thousands of people visiting your page if they are not your target audience. Therefore, you want to optimize for certain keywords that describes your business and when someone search for those keywords, you will appear in front of them.
Understanding Long Tail Keyword versus Single Word Keyword
So what is “Long Tail Keyword?” Long tail keywords are keyword phrases with three or more words. For example:
General Keyword: Dog
Long Tail Keywords: How to train a dog
Long tail keywords are more detailed and descriptive. It targets people who are looking for something specific.
When people search for “dog”, they can be searching for cute dogs, different kinds of dogs, picture of dogs, or anything related to dogs. You can’t really tell what the searcher is searching for. However, when someone search for “how to train a dog”, you know that they are looking for tips or guides on how to train a dog. Therefore, if your website provides dog training guides, the long tail keyword can help you generate the right type of visitor.
The more specific the long tail keyword is the fewer searches it will have. HOWEVER, those are the people who know that they are looking for and is the right visitors you want to visit your page.
Keyword Research Steps:
Step 1: Identity the pages that you want to optimize. (Probably pages that are the most popular or a product page that helps you get the most business or a product that you want to promote.)
Step 2: Keyword Brainstorming: Once you identified a page that you want to optimize, come up with a list of keywords related to that page’s topic. Use your common sense, experience, and what you think people will be searching for.
Step 3: Keyword Tools: Once you are done with brainstorming a list of keywords, your next step will be to use keyword tools to check the competitive level of the keyword and to get more keyword suggestions.
Here is a list of tools that you can use:
The most commonly used tool is probably Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool. I personally use it for my initial keyword research.
So enter keywords in the tool you decide to use and add the additional keywords to your list.
When you are looking at the keyword ideas, there three things that you should look at:
- Competition – the competition column gives you an idea of how competitive that keyword is
- Global Monthly Searches – The average number of searches measured by Google
- Local Monthly Searches – Based on your location, this is the average number of searches in your area
Step 4: Google Search Suggestions: Another way to increase your list of keywords is to use Google’s Search Suggestions. Simply visit www.Google.com and start typing in a keyword in the search box. You will see that ten phrases related to your keyword will drop down from the search box. These are the popular and suggested searches that Google recommends.
As you continue to type in more words in the search box, Google will provide more detailed search recommendations based on your keywords. See if any of these keywords are on your list, if not, add them.
So now you have a list of keywords that you can work on to optimize your page.
Read the next article: Learn how to choose the BEST keywords for your site