How to do keyword research (quick steps):
Step 1: Find keyword ideas based on key terms, related queries, long-tail keywords (and LSI).
Step 2: Check the REAL keyword difficulty and search volume.
Step 3: Determine user intent.
In today’s guide, I’m sharing a step-by-step keyword research guide that explains not only how to find hundreds of great keywords, but how to determine which ones can take your business to new heights and which ones are a pure waste of time. Let’s get started!
Before I get into the exact steps to find keywords for your SEO campaign, let’s take a quick look at what keyword research is and why it should interest you.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and screening keywords to target in an SEO campaign.
This is done with the help of a number of free and / or paid tools that show you what people are looking for via Google and other search engines.
Proposed In-Depth Guides: Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
The role of keyword research in digital marketing
The quality of your keywords is the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a waste of time and we’ll discuss this in the next section. The keywords you choose determine 100% your SEO marketing strategy.
Let’s see how that works.
How important is keyword research? (Don’t skip this!)
SEO can be complex, but it is based on three basic principles:
Of those three, keyword research is the most significant.
Why? If you focus on the wrong keywords, you can create the best content and build lots of quality links that put you at number 1 on the Google ranking, but you still won’t see your business grow or increase sales.
For example, say you want to write content for the blogging portion of your site so that you end up on the first page of Google. You have come up with a great idea for a great article and you also believe that you are targeting a good keyword. You create stunning content, build links to it through guest posting and email sending, and (here’s how to find someone’s email address) you get to the first page of Google. You get hundreds of visitors every month …
But the income from that article remains a good € 0.
That’s because you didn’t research your keyword properly beforehand. You may have found a keyword, but finding a keyword and doing thorough keyword research are two very different things.
Good research on a keyword means understanding its revenue potential, how competitive it is, and even the exact content you need to create to rank with it. You will understand what I mean by the end of this guide.
In short, good keyword research can be the difference between a hugely successful SEO campaign that makes your business a lot of money and a total waste of time and money.
Search volume and long tail keywords
The principal idea to comprehend about catchphrases is search volume.
This is what most people look for when they first start researching keywords and also one of the worst metrics to look at.
High search volume is very misleading for two reasons:
The raw number of people searching for something has very little to do with how much you can actually make from that traffic. For example, if you go for a keyword that returns 10,000 searches per month, but if people are just looking for information and aren’t willing to buy (hint: you need to define search intent. More below.), You still won’t earn a penny. On.
Just because 10,000 people search for a keyword doesn’t mean that all 10,000 people actually click on a result. For example, consider the keyword “How old is Trump” - it gets 30,000 searches a month, but only 13% of those people actually click on something. That’s because people get the answer on Google and don’t have to click through to find the answer.
Keyword search volume to click ratio
On the other hand, low search volume doesn’t mean that a keyword is bad or that the number you see is the number of visitors you get. Almost all pages that appear for one keyword on Google also appear in tens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of other keywords.
These different watchwords are typically equivalents and long tail variations. There are also Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, which I will discuss in a section below.
For example, take a look at this article my wife, Kayla, wrote for The Wandering RV. She focused on the keyword “best camping gear,” which, according to Ahrefs, gets about 2,700 searches per month. But as you can see in the screenshot below, it’s also on a list of 1,912 other keywords, and is even on page one for “camping gear” with 32,000 searches per month!
The moral of the story? While search volume is an important metric, don’t base the keywords you’re targeting solely on how many people search for them each month (unless you’re only targeting brand awareness and / or ad revenue per impression).
Search intent is exactly what it sounds like - the intent of the person searching for a particular keyword. It is similar to the “buyer intent” marketing concept.
All in all: what is the client searching for?
Are they looking for an item they want to buy now? Do they research before making a purchase decision? Or are they just looking for information that has nothing to do with buying something, but rather a problem that they might need a solution for?
Let’s take a look at some examples.
High purchase intent: A keyword with a high purchase intent can be a product name, such as “RV Rental Las Vegas”. If you type that into Google and look at the results, you’ll see a ton of RV rental ads and a map of Las Vegas RV rental companies. Someone looking for this is likely to be willing to buy or about to do so.
High purchase intention
Research Intent: These are keywords that people are still researching for solutions, but are likely to buy soon. “Best” and “Review” keywords often fall into this category, such as “Best Multimeter”.
Medium purchase intention
Informational Intent: These keywords are for people who are strictly looking for information and are unwilling or even thinking about making a purchase. The example “how old is Trump” falls within this category. Another example that fits RV rentals could be something like “how to travel around the country with a pet”.
However, don’t think that you should only go for buying intent keywords. Informational keywords can help you build your email list and get people into your marketing funnel to eventually buy from you.
Search intent is also important to know, as it affects the ranking on Google. If you’re trying to create a landing page for an informative keyword while Google rates you on the quality and length of the content, you probably won’t even get a ranking even with perfect on-page SEO and lots of backlinks because it just isn’t what the user is looking for.
For example, let’s say you want to get a good “small RV” ranking. So you create a guide to small RV ownership. However, when we look at Google, we can see that people are not looking for a guide, but rather are looking for a list of small RVs to buy.
Search intent example
That’s why, even after finding good keyword ideas, you should always manually type them into Google and see what’s currently in the ranking to get an idea of what kind of content to associate with this keyword. Don’t write a huge guide when people just want a quick answer and don’t try to rank a blog post when people want to buy a product.
The role of LSI and synonyms
Earlier I mentioned LSI keywords. This stands for Latent Semantic Indexing and it is a luxury way for Google to say “synonyms and related keywords”. They are words that are often found together within a single subject and that are related semantically, ie by meaning.
They are important in telling the search engines what your content is about as there can be multiple meanings for the same keywords.
For example, let’s say you want to write an article in English about cars, so about “cars”. There are five different potential “cars” you can talk about:
Cars, the vehicles
Cars, the animated Disney movie
CARS, The Canadian Rally Sports Association
CARs, Canadian aviation regulations
(The) Cars, the American music band from the 1970s
How does Google know which version of “cars” you are talking about? By LSI Keywords! Have a look at this:
Using the words “vehicle”, “used”, “new”, “buy”, “sell”, etc.
Using the words “movie”, “cartoon”, “Disney”, etc.
Using the words “association”, “rally”, “sport”, etc.
Use of the words “aviation”, “regulations”, “administration”, etc.
While LSI keywords are not necessarily important in your keyword research, they are important in developing your actual content. You should naturally incorporate various LSI keywords into your content without cramming them in between, including in headlines and image text.