More and more, businesses are catching onto the fact that they need an SEO strategy, as it is one of the greatest marketing tools available today. However, many businesses are still trying to catch on, which means that the competition is as easy now as it ever will be.
An SEO strategy always starts with proper keyword research, which brands too often neglect. Fortunately, you don’t have to. With the right tools, you can utilize the right keywords to your advantage today.
So, what is keyword research, why is keyword research important, and how do you use it to help grow your business? Let’s talk about that.
What Is Keyword Research?
Essentially, keyword research is the process of finding the right words and phrases to use throughout your website, in hopes of improving your site’s SEO value. However, they have to be industry-specific and relevant to your business.
To understand keyword research, you first have to understand how search engine optimisation (SEO) works. SEO is the process of building your organic reach online by optimising your website’s content for search engines like Google. Google alone accounts for over 94% of search engine traffic in Australia, so they have the power to set the rules.
When you think about it from Google’s perspective, it would reflect poorly on their search engine if they were promoting irrelevant sites to their users. Because of this, they have an algorithm designed to match users and websites by using specific keywords. This is how Google determines that websites are what they say they are.
Consequently, a dry cleaner doesn’t want to appear for searches related to cybersecurity or dog grooming. You can’t simply optimise your content for general search results, nor would you want to. Instead, you have to try to rank by using more relevant keywords across your site.
For example, an insurance company may use keywords such as “car insurance in Sydney” or “do I need homeowner’s insurance?”. This will ultimately bring in more relevant traffic to your site, potentially driving more conversions.
However, there is a need to find both relevant keywords and keywords of varying search volume to maximize your reach. To do this, you need to conduct proper keyword research.
Why Is Keyword Research Important?
Because of the need to drive relevant traffic, SEO keyword research is critical. Not only are there obvious keywords to your business like the products or services you offer, but plenty of others could drive highly relevant traffic to your site.
For example, if you operate an auto dealership, you could try to rank for the obvious terms like “car”, “new car”, or “used cars”. However, you will be competing with every other car-related business in Australia or around the world, meaning you would be lucky to rank on the tenth page of search results, let alone the first.
However, there are thousands of related keywords that an auto dealership could use. A few that come to mind are “used Toyota Corollas in Brisbane” or “should I buy from owner or dealer”.
Not only are you expanding your potential reach with keywords like these, but you are also driving traffic that is likely looking for a specific product or who is interested in purchasing a new vehicle. At the same time, you are avoiding unnecessary competition from other businesses.
Remember, users search for information far more than they search for brands. If your website has a home page, a services page, and a contact page, how will anybody ever find you without searching for the name of your brand? Chances are, they won’t.
Essentially, a basic website with three to five pages will only have three to five chances to rank on relevant searches. However, with SEO content marketing, you have endless chances to rank for any topic or keyword you want.
Also, you should want to rank higher. Showing up on the first page of a high-traffic search could easily be enough to keep your business afloat for years.
Because of this, content marketing is critical, and a blog is the easiest way to start. From there, search engines can quickly index your site, understand the keywords you use, and you can start ranking for relevant keywords.
A Guide to Keyword Research
Among the most important SEO tips, one of the most important is how to find keywords for SEO, as it’s the essential foundation of your content marketing strategy. Fortunately, we have some of those tips for you! Here’s how to get started with keyword research.
How to Find SEO Keywords
First, let’s go over the keyword research basics to help you get started. Once you have this down, all you have to do is implement the words into your content marketing strategy as naturally as possible.
If you want to know how to find keywords, the first place to start is actually in your head. Write out some of the obvious ones that you already know are relevant to your business and target audience and start with that list. “New car”, “IT services”, “pet supplies”, or other easy ones.
Once you have a list, keyword research can begin. First, we recommend starting on Google Trends to see if your ideas actually have traffic. While the tool doesn’t tell you the actual search volume, it does allow you to compare multiple keywords to see how they perform relative to each other.
High volume isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, as low-volume words are still valuable (more on that later), but you want to ensure there is traffic. From there, keep a list of the ones with the highest volume.
Now, you have some keywords and confirmation that they are used from time to time. Next, you want to expand on that list. Luckily, there are plenty of free keyword research tools online through which you can search your existing keywords and receive more relevant ones.
These tools will give you samples of other keywords along with their search volume, cost per click (on ads), and other key metrics. Then, you can search through all of the keywords on your list and receive plenty of relevant keywords to incorporate into your strategy.
However, these tools aren’t perfect. Using more than one tool is highly recommended to avoid missing something, but this is still a great way to start.
Diversify Your Keywords
We never recommend “putting your eggs in one basket”, as the saying goes. A healthy mix of both long-tail and short-tail keywords will maximize your reach.
Consequently, short-tail keywords offer much higher traffic volume but also stiff competition. Think of keywords like “car”, “dry cleaner”, or “cybersecurity”. Many companies with vast resources will try to rank for those terms, so a long-term strategy is required to achieve that.
If you manage to rank on the top page for such a high-traffic keyword, you will see a major spike in organic traffic. It is worth striving for in the long term. However, it takes time to develop.
Because of this, we always recommend utilizing long-tail keywords, even if they offer little traffic. They are the low-hanging fruits that are ripe for the taking, and they can help you see faster results while striving for the bigger prizes.
In essence, long-tail keywords are keywords with lower traffic but also less competition. These are keywords such as “Subaru Forester oil changes”, “best dry cleaners near me”, or “best cybersecurity firms in Melbourne”. Not only are they easier to rank for, but the traffic will be far more relevant.
When developing an SEO strategy, you should always start by conducting keyword research and develop a keyword strategy first. From there, you can work out the details about how you intend to rank for them.
Get Professional Help
Whether or not you already have an idea of the keywords you want to use, the best way to develop and implement your SEO strategy is with the help of experienced professionals. Proper SEO services could help you improve your website, strategize, clean up citations, and even help with keyword research.
If you are looking to compete with high-volume keywords at some point, then there is no “DIY” substitute. More businesses are developing SEO strategies than ever before, so look into your options for the best results!
Get the Most From Every Post!
Now that you know the keyword research basics and why keyword research is so important, you know what to do. The sooner you start implementing keyword research into your SEO strategy, the sooner you will increase your traffic.
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