Keyword research and analysis is a vital part of any internet marketing campaign. This guide teaches startup companies how to properly use this technique.
Now that you have got your startup up and running, the next step is to spread the word. As you know, one of the most effective ways to market your company is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This method includes incorporating keywords into your written content; this, in turn, helps your website rank highly in search engines.
But you are stuck on one major issue: how exactly do you find the best keywords to incorporate into your content? What is the proper method for keyword research and analysis?
You know that without taking the time for keyword research and keyword analysis, your chances of your website having internet success is slim. Constantly analyzing the success and failures of your site are crucial for its sustained growth.
Keep on reading and we will teach you how to find the best keywords for your content:
Keyword Research and Analysis: A Comprehensive Guide
Use these steps below to understand how to properly research keywords and analyze their usefulness and popularity in search engines.
1. Shortlisting Topics
The first thing you must do is to create a list of topics that you plan on writing about. After you research the appropriate keywords you will see which topics attract a wider audience – and which ones do not.
The best way to do this is to create a spreadsheet in which you list topics using one or just a few words; there is no need to go into huge details with your topics. After you shortlist topics you will later find the keywords that correspond to this topic. This will let you decide which is a better topic to focus on for your content.
2. Are Your Topics Being Discussed?
Now that you have shortlisted your topics, you want to know if they are being discussed and how they are being discussed. You want to know what questions are being asked in relation to your topic.
There’s a great tool to see what questions are being searched for in relation to your topic.
Suppose your topic is ‘basketball shoes.’ You want to know what questions are being asked in relation to basketball shoes. Let us suppose that one of the most popular searches with regard to this topic is ‘what are the best basketball shoes to buy?’
This tells you that you should write a blog post about buying the best basketball shoes and comparing the different models and styles.
3. Find the Keywords
Now that you have decided upon your topic, you want to find the keywords to put in your content. Keyword research is one of the crucial steps in this process and you want to make sure you get it right.
There are a plethora of keyword research tools and you should test as many out to see which ones suit you best. By using a tool such as Keyword Tool you can input your topic – i.e. ‘basketball shoes’ – and then you will receive a list of relevant keywords to use in your content.
We would suggest copying and pasting as many of these keywords as possible into your spreadsheet.
Next, you want to wither out keywords and find out which ones are the best for your content.
4. Analyze the Keywords
Now, how do you determine which keywords to use and which ones to put aside?
One great application is Google’s Keyword Planner. Using this tool, enter your keywords to see how they rank in Google’s search results.
First, you should enter the top 7 keywords from the ranking results into your spreadsheets. These are the keywords you should be using in your content. These keywords have high competition and you should be a part of this competition.
But wait, you are a startup. You know that competition will be fierce. This means you should also try to dominate in a less competitive space.
Using the keyword planner, you can see keywords that are ranked lower and are in less competitive fields. Take another 7 keywords from this group and add them to your spreadsheet. These keywords should also be incorporated into your website’s content.
5. Check out the Competition
As mentioned above, you will have endless competition. And you want to make sure you are always one step ahead of the game. To do this, you have to know what your competition is doing.
We suggest using SEMRush’s Position Tracker to see how your keywords rank with the keywords that your competition uses. All you have to do is enter the URL of your competition and you will see how highly their keywords rank. This is a great strategy to decide what keywords to use for your own content.
6. Where Are Your Keywords?
As you will know, mindlessly inserting your keywords into your written content will not help your website rank highly.
Here is where you should insert your keywords into your written content:
- Meta titles
- Headings and subheadings
- Within the first few sentences of your copy; aim to put your keywords within the first 100 words
Remember, these keywords are not just for your blog posts. But they can also be added for the different sections of your website – from the About Me page to your Contact page. Incorporate them as often as you can – without making it seem forced.
7. Stuff That! Actually, Don’t
Following up with the previous rule, you want to make sure that your website’s copy is not overstuffed with keywords. Let us go back to the beginning where you have shortlisted 14 keywords – 7 high competition and the other 7 being a mixture of medium and low competition keywords.
These 14 keywords do not have to be in every section of website copy and often you should not even try to do this. If you do, you will inevitably be overstuffing keywords. The copy will not read naturally, and your audience will be able to spot that you are mindlessly incorporating these keywords just to improve your SEO rankings.
But, it will do the exact opposite! As search engine technology becomes more sophisticated, they will notice when website copy is overstuffed with keywords. This will cause your website to be ranked low in search engine results.
8. Keyword Matching
Often search terms will be worded differently, but the intent is the same. “Best basketball shoes” is the same meaning as “highest quality basketball shoes” or “most popular basketball shoes.”
You can use this to your advantage. Let us suppose a high ranking keyword phrase is “best basketball shoes.” You know if you use this exact phrase, you will be competing with the best. To work around this competition, you can use one of the alternate keyword phrases such as “most popular basketball shoes” to attract the same audience – but with less competition in the way.
9. The Customer Is Always Right
You must never forget that behind each computer screen and mobile phone screen is a customer who you need to maintain a relationship with.
While the tools we have mentioned are necessary to understand what the best keywords are and how to analyze them, one can never forget about the traditional method of speaking directly to your customers or your potential customers.
Utilize the usual tools of communication to reach out to your customers. This can be through an email campaign, a survey application, and of course, social media platforms.
Here are some example questions to ask your audience:
- What are you looking for from our website (in terms of products/services)?
- How did you find our website? What did you search for?
- What have you liked about our website and what it offers?
- What have you disliked about our website and what it offers?
By speaking to your customers directly, you will have a better idea of how to cater directly to them. So if your customers like basketball shoes from the Jordans range, you can create more content and incorporate keywords that fit the wants of your customers – think “most popular Jordans” as opposed to simply “most popular basketball shoes.”
10. Continue Analyzing, Continue Editing
As you develop an archive of your content, part of your content may fade away from the search results. To keep your older content relevant, go back and see what new keywords can be incorporated and what keywords can be replaced. You must always analyze the trends so that you know what remains popular and what has faded away.
The simple step of re-editing your previous content to be up to date with new keywords can bring your website back to the top of the search results. Do not forget about revising as you create new content.
Now that you know about keyword research and analysis, you are ready to take the necessary steps to grow your website.
Be sure to return to these 10 steps when you notice a slump in the growth of your website and you want to optimize your website’s copy and content to rank first in any search engine.
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