Google has changed the SEO game a lot in recent years, and keyword research is one of the biggest factors. In an era where organic search isn’t as big of a driver to traffic as it used to be, understanding keywords will ensure that you’re writing content that is helping you achieve your goals.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is about the intersection of keywords and content. If you want to rank highly on Google, you need to optimize for keywords. But keywords can be used on several different aspects of your website, so you need to be sure to include keywords in your content for every page.
The importance of Keyword Research
Keyword research in SEO is vital to the success of any website. Even if you have a wonderful product or service, if you don’t use the right keywords, you could lose any of that traffic and visibility. By finding and optimizing your target keywords, you’ll increase your chances of ranking for those key phrases on a top search engine.
Keyword research in SEO helps you gain insight into how your target audience is thinking and searching. You can also use it to better target your content and SEO strategy. Understanding your keywords also helps you determine which topics to create content for on your website.
How to do keyword research
There are many tools that you can use some paid and some free, a Freemium (Free with some paid features) tool that I recommend is KeywordTool.io. There are many tools that are available that can use including:
Most premium paid SEO tools include a Keyword Research Tool. For example: SEMRush
How to organise your keyword research
A great way in order to organise your keyword research is either into specific keywords for the main website pages you’d like to rank on search or if you have an eCommerce website you may decide to target specific keywords related to the products you are selling.
A quick tip: One tool I use is Google Sheets which is really easy to use and is free!!! Also the tool I recommended earlier, KeywordTool.io also allows you to export all keywords into an Excel spreadsheet which you can upload to Google Drive and open and edit it in Google Sheets
How to use keyword research
There are many way you can use the keywords you have found in your research the main ways to use your keywords are:
- Use them to help you write great content e.g. Blogs and Pages
- Use the main targeted keywords in your meta title and meta descriptions
- Use your main keyword in the H1 tag of the page/post
- H2, H3 and H4 tags should also include target keywords and are a great way to target question based keywords for example: How do I use Google Drive
- Add the keywords within your content – but don’t over optimise!
- Put your keywords in your Image Alt tags as well
How to choose good keywords to use on your website
In order to choose the best keywords for your website is to first think about if the keywords are relevant to the page you want to optimise for and then look at the Keyword’s Search Volume (per month) and also the Keyword Difficulty which shows you how competitive the keyword is. Good keywords to start off with if your website is relatively new are long-tail keywords which are easier to rank for and then after you start ranking for these keywords you can start looking at targeting more competitive keywords.
While the main focus of this article was to have you grasp some of the basic concepts behind SEO, I hope that it has also inspired you to do your own keyword research. With a little bit of time, and some technical knowledge, you can certainly learn a lot about the way search engines think and act to your benefit. With that said, it’s time to get to it. Good luck!
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