BlogSearch Engine OptimisationThe Beginner’s Guide to (Good) Keyword Research

May 16, 2022
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You can’t talk about SEO without mentioning two words: keyword research.

It’s the cornerstone of everything we do here at Search Marketing Group – not to mention the foundation of any good SEO strategy. 

But how do you find keywords? And how do you know that they’re the right ones for your business? 

Today, we’re going to show you exactly what keyword research is, why it’s so important for your digital marketing, and how you can get started with the basics. 

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is all about knowing how your customers think and search for products, services, and content on the Internet. There’s a whole world of possible queries out there – it’s your job to find out which ones are relevant for your business and your ideal customers. 

But it’s not simply identifying the right words and phrases. You also need to be able to analyse the keywords and decide which ones you should target for the best results. 

After all, there’s no point in going after a keyword you have no chance of ranking for – it just wastes your valuable budget and time. 

Remember: keyword research should be the first step in any digital marketing strategy, whether it be SEO, PPC, content creation, or really anything else.

Why is keyword research important for SEO?

It’s quite simple, really. 

Only 0.78% of searchers venture past the first page of Google. So if you’re not there? You’re essentially invisible. 

In fact, according to Ahrefs, most web pages get no organic traffic from Google. Meaning you’re either spending a fortune on PPC, or your business has zero online presence. 

Source: Ahrefs Blog

Keyword research is also vital for:

  • Getting an insight into customers’ heads
  • Generating relevant topics for your blog, social media, and other content
  • Earning more qualified leads (not just visitors)
  • Building better brand awareness
  • And so much more

Basically, it’s the most important part of your digital marketing strategy. Get this wrong, and you’ll be set up to fail.

Get it right? While you can’t be sure of success (nothing about digital marketing is ever certain), you’ll definitely be on the right track. 

How to research keywords

You may have a few keywords in mind that you’d like to rank for. 

For example, if you run a cleaning business, you’d love to be right at the top of the page when someone searches “cleaning company Melbourne”. Or, if you’re a mechanic, “mechanic near me”. 

(The list could go on.)

But there may be other, less obvious keywords you (and your competitors) haven’t thought of yet. And this is where expert research comes in. By understanding where your customers are coming from, it’s a lot easier to find valuable search terms you didn’t even know were a thing. 

Start with general topics

You know your industry. So what topics are important?

For Search Marketing Group, for example, we have a few areas we know our customers are interested in. It’s why they come to us, after all! These include:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Web design
  • Social media marketing, etc. 

These might be ‘seed keywords’, or keywords that inspire the next step of the process. They also help you group your keywords so that you can better use them later on (aka keyword themes). 

Generate more keywords

Using your themes and seed keywords, generate a whole bunch of keywords – the more, the better! 

Start by brainstorming all the possible ways a customer could look for your services. You can also use related searches at the bottom of the results page, your Google Analytics, and keyword research tools (more on that below). Focus on both short, 1–2 word terms and longer phrases (long-tail keywords). 

Don’t forget to take a look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for. After all, the best SEO strategies target those underutilised keywords that your bigger competitors miss. 

You’ll also want to see what keywords your pages are already ranking for, so that you can incorporate them into your content and start to improve your position. 

Evaluate potential keywords using keyword research tools

You’ll want to take note of: 

  • Monthly search volume
  • How competitive the keyword is
  • What sites are currently ranking for this keyword
  • Users’ search intent

This will help you decide which keywords you want to focus on – which ones have too much competition, or not enough searchers, to invest in. 

There are a number of keyword research tools out there. Some are free, some offer a free option, and some are completely paid. Here are some of the most common. 

Free Paid
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Semrush (one tool we use for our keyword research)
  • Ahrefs
  • Jaaxy
  • KWFinder

Put your keywords into practice

Once you’ve decided which keywords will be the best for your digital strategy, it’s time to put them to good use! 

If you want to find out more about using keywords for SEO, ads, and all the other aspects of your marketing, we’ve got lots of resources on our Blog. You can also reach out and have a chat with our specialists at any time. 

Ask these essential questions for keyword research

To make sure all your bases are covered, use the questions below. By focusing on the intent of your customers and how they actually search, you’ll be on your way to a stronger SEO strategy in no time!

  • What type of terms, products, and services are people actually searching for?
  • Who is searching for terms? What is your ideal audience?
  • Where are your customers located? Are you targeting a whole city or country, or just certain suburbs?
  • When are people searching for a specific term? Is there a certain time of the day/week/month/year when people are more likely to search? 
  • Why do people search for a specific term? What answers are they looking for? And what do they expect to find? 
  • How are your customers searching for terms? Are there certain words they use, or questions they ask? And do they prefer to use mobile or desktop?

Want to see how the right keywords can transform your business? Get a free consultation with our SEO specialists today! With an 85-day Page 1 Guarantee, you can be sure that you’ll see results in months, not years.

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