In any SEO process, SEO keyword research is probably the first and the most important factor which decides the fate of our SEO campaign. Without a clear idea of our targeted keyword phrase, we can’t even think of beginning our SEO strategy. If our keyword strategy is not on the right path, we may completely lose track of our organic traffic. With changing market conditions and with frequent Google updates, it has become all the more necessary to make changes to our existing keyword research pattern and adapt to the changing search marketing trends.
So before discussing the factors and methods to find your best SEO keyword research to let’s see what goes in the initial SEO keyword research process:
Initial SEO Keyword Research Process
Typically we would start our keyword research by identifying our list of primary and secondary keywords that can bring us valuable traffic. For this we would most probably depend on all of the below-given tools and methods:
Google Instant Search
Through instant search, we can find most searched organic keywords typed by the user in search query box. We can find a large no of keywords similar to our primary search term. If the instant search is not much of a help, we can even depend on tools such as Uber suggest finding the best possible keyword variations.
Search Analytics (Search Query) Feature in Google Search Console
Through Google Search Console Search query feature, we would find the search queries people have typed for finding our website or website pages
Google Analytics Organic and Paid Keywords
Through organic and paid keywords feature in Google Analytics, we can find keywords which bring us organic as well as paid traffic respectively. A Slight drawback in Google Analytics organic keyword feature is that most of them fall in 'not provided' keyword category.
However, we can extract the full version of our paid keyword list from google analytics as shown below:
Google’s Related Search Term Feature
These are terms which are closely linked to our search query.These terms too give us few potentially useful keywords to add to our bucket list.
- Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Last but not the least Google Adwords keyword planner will suggest us with keyword ideas which are relevant to our primary keywords.
With the help of above methods, we can now bucket a list of keywords which we think will earn us valuable traffic.
How to Perform an SEO Keyword Research
Though we would have found a list of keyword, we would more often than not, depend on few key factors which help us select and prioritize our most profitable keywords from the list of found keywords.
So let’s see which are the factors and methods to find your best SEO keyword research:
The first and most important factor in an SEO keyword research process is the user intent while performing a search.With Googles recent Hummingbird Update, user intent has found new wings in Google search results. Now Google considers not only a synonym for a particular keyword but also the context behind that particular search. So while performing keyword research, we need to ask ourselves:
- What is the user’s intent when he searches for a particular product or service?
- Whether our keyword qualifies users intent?
- Is user only searching to collect information or he possesses buying intentions?
- Whether my keywords align with page content to provide a great user experience?
A keyword having a good search volume will not necessarily meet our users intent. So we need to have keywords which are specific to users intent even though we may lack in high search volumes. High search volume keywords are always good to have in our kitty, but the fact of the matter is these short term keywords make only 30% of our searches on the web. The rest 70 % lies with the long tail or accurate term keywords which clearly mentions user intent.
Another reason for using long tail keywords is that they convert better as they will have the clear intent of buying or subscribing than short term keywords. For Eg if a user is searching for “pants” or “jeans” he would most probably trying to know about the different kinds of pants or jeans in the market but if he searches for “best price on denim jeans of size 36”, we can be more than sure that he possesses a pure buying intention.
Another critical factor affecting our priority list is the search volume or the no of searches performed for that particular keyword compared to its counterparts. We can depend on tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner or Google Trends for this purpose.If you are using Google keyword planner, you will get the monthly search volume for a particular keyword.While finding the search volume, purpose .it would be best if you find the both the local as well as global search volume. Local search volume can be examined from a country in which our business is located or the country from which we are receiving the most traffic or transactions. In any case finding the local search volume will help us cover the domestic demand along with the global demand for that keyword. You can depend on keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner for this
Relevancy is another important factor in deciding our final keyword list. Relevancy only signifies the relation or connection between your page content and your targeted keywords.We need to make sure that our keyword is relevant to our subject and content matter of our web page. Irrelevant Keywords can create more harm than good to our website page.
You can get a brief idea about the competition of a particular keyword from the Google keyword planner tool, but while determining keyword competition, we need to ask few questions like:
- How difficult will it be to rank higher in search results for that keyword?
- How much is the competition when the keyword is typed in the search query?
- How authoritative are the websites that appear on the first page of Google Search Results?
- How is the trust and authority of our website compared to those competitor websites?
Ideally, we should prioritize keywords which have high search volume with medium competition, but If those keywords are already taken by our big player competitors, we can focus our attention on long tail keywords with moderate search volume and medium/low competition.
It is not always our primary keywords which can prove beneficial in our keyword strategy but with Googles recent algorithm updates; it has become imperative that we use the synonym or close variants of our primary keywords. Semantic keywords help us with this purpose and help us bring traffic which is closely related to our most important keywords. These are keywords which are semantically related to our primary keywords. So along with our main or direct keywords , we should include some semantic keywords in our keyword strategy.
Keyword Effective Index
Keyword Effective Index or KEI is a metrics which is a ratio of the number of organic searches for that particular keyword divided by the no of search results for that keyword. The Higher the keyword effective index, the better chance we have to achieve a top position in search results. This metric is usually calculated by dividing the search volume for that keyword by the total no of SERP result pages.
Brand term Vs NonBranded term
It is utmost important to include both branded as well as non-branded terms in our keyword research plan . Branded terms are terms which include our brand name while non-branded terms are terms which don’t include our brand name but relates to our product or service in some way or the other. Although the bulk of our keywords will include non-branded terms it is important that we use branded keywords too especially if we are dealing with a notable and popular brand. This is because if we don’t include our brand term in our research, someone else might use it and reap the benefits.
It is essentially a score which indicates how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword in Google search results. Lower the Difficulty score better are the chances for that keyword to perform.For, e.g., if a keyword has a difficulty score of 45% and another with 35% then we can say that one with 35% difficulty can perform better than one with 45%. It is to be noted that high search volume keywords will mostly have a high difficulty score compared to low search volume keywords. However, a keyword score anything under 50% is considered a good keyword difficulty score. Moz Keyword Difficulty tool is the best choice for this purpose.
After verifying through the factors mentioned above, we can create our final list of keywords which will earn us traffic or conversions whichever is our website goal. By Performing such a keyword research, we become aware not only of the keyword demand in our market niche, but we better understand our customers as a whole. So performing such detailed keyword research will surely help in achieving our future marketing goals.
If you want to know more about keyword research or SEO, then please visit SEO Services or get a free review for your website.
If the above keyword factors proved helpful in your SEO keyword research process, then do share your suggestions and opinions in our comment section below.
This resource was published by Ranjit Venugopal10 February 2016
Ranjit is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Webdura Technologies . He is Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Hubspot Certified . He loves digital space and helps businesses increase their returns through digital strategies.