First things first!!

SEO keyword research is the first thing you should get started with, in planning your blog or to grow your business online. You might have heard SEO takes too much time, it is hard to rank for keywords, you should run ads instead.

Ads perform much better when you are optimized for SEO. Ranking for the right keywords can multiply your organic traffic by 10x. 

Keywords alone doesn’t get you to the top of SERP. It comes down to lots of other factors as well

  • Domain authority
  • How competitive your niche is
  • Backlinks
  • Bounce rate

What is SEO keyword research?

SEO keyword research is a process in which you figure out the potential keywords that you can rank for, so that when someone searches for something related to your niche, you will be visible on the search results.

And adding those keywords contextually on the site to improve a better understanding of the bot to rank higher.

why SEO keyword research is important?

When someone searches for something related to your niche, if your site is optimized for those keywords, you are gonna organically rank better for those keywords and also for the ones which are closely related.

Keywords help Google to understand much better about your website and thus Ranking for more search queries which google thinks it resembles the same.

Let’s understand with an example of why SEO keyword research is important

Ram owns an online travel agency, when someone looks up for a holiday vacation to Paris his website ranks up at the top of the SERP result page.

Take a look at the search volume for the keyword travel agency, for any month in a year 49.5K people search for travel agency.

Ranking for keywords like this with higher search volume will get ‘Ram’ increased visibility to his business organically without spending a single penny on ads.

How to do keyword research for SEO?

There is no universal steps that one should follow for doing keyword research. What does your users search for 

Start with seed keywords 

Seed keywords are the basic set of keywords in your niche, which defines what your website is about. This can help you identify your competitors that you want to outrank for.

Seed keywords for a travel agency would be

  • Travel agency
  • Tour agents
  • Travel companies

No brainer right? 

But these seed keywords are highly competitive to rank for, especially if your site is new.

Competitor’s approach 

Get insights from competitors sites or similar sites related to your niche, this gives you an instant insight into what you should be targeting.

This doesn’t mean you should be targeting the same keywords that your competitors are targeting since Google considers a lot of other factors in ranking targeting your competitor’s keywords might not be helpful

To make it more simpler, find a list of competitors in your niche. Just type in your seed keyword on Google and list down the first 2 or 3 sites.

Take a look at the below image

2 and  3 results seems to be an agency websites, that could be your potential competitor 

Now type your competitor’s domain name in ubersuggest.com to find out the keywords your competitors rank for. 

It shows the list of keywords that your competitor rank for, search volume for that keyword and a lot of other metrics

Now, you have got a handful of keywords that your competitor ranks for but it doesn’t stop here.

Use free SEO keyword research tools

There are a handful of keyword research tools that one can find on the internet, here I have listed some of the notable ones.

Google Keyword planner

This Google’s free tool helps in listing out the potential keywords, mainly used for ad campaigns but, also a great tool when it comes to SEO keyword research.

It shows you the approximate Search volume and the competition for those keywords. Since this tool directly comes from google, the results are near to accurate.

Bonus Tip: Neve solely depends only on keyword planner you might miss out on some of the major keywords thinking that it has a low search volume. 

Niel Patel’s Ubersuggest

This free tool by Niel Patel is a great tool when you are unable to afford paid tools. This tool has some limitations, which recently rolled out. 

This tool is an overall great tool when it comes to whole of digital marketing from site audit to SEO keyword research to backlinks

It’s got it all.

Bonus tip : The results are not so accurate.

Keyword.io

This tool scrapes off all the google suggestions directly from Google. Keyword.io also shows the list of keywords that are being searched on other platforms like Amazon, youtube, bing, yahoo etc  

Answer the public

When it comes to search intent this tool is hands down the best there is, Answerthepublic shows the list of topics that people search for around a topic.

Common questions that people ask the search engine, this makes it easier for web owners and ceo’s to understand some of the common questions around their niche

Bonus tip : create a FAQ page answering all those questions, helps your site to rank better

Target Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords have higher chances in ranking your website, as they have relatively lower search volume and lower competition

A lot of contents are uploaded everyday, with these overwhelming majority of contents it’s harder to rank higher for shorter words.

Add prefix and suffix for your primary keywords.

Top + travel agency + in + chennai

Best + travel agency + in + India

Google suggestions

When you search for something on Google, it shows a list of suggestions to choose from, this shows what most people search for.

Google shows you the list after understanding the tons of searches that happens every day on the search engine to you the suggestions.

Search Console suggestions

Search console is Google’s free tool for understanding how much Google knows about your site. This is the only tool which shows you results that are close to accurate.

It also tracks the keywords that your website ranks for, it shows the amount of impressions and clicks that you get through those keywords.

This takes some time to gather data, as Google takes time in crawling and indexing your website.

You can retarget keywords that you get higher impression on, as they are searched by higher number of people.

Keyword Mining 

Depending on just these tools, you might miss out on other potential keywords that are people talking around online and offline.

Sites like reddit, Quora where a ton of people are talking about things related to your niche. This is a perfect places to find out quality keywords that are used more commonly.

Keyworddit is tool that scrape offs a list of keywords that are being used on reddit. This tool is similar to that of keyword planner but gets you the high volume keywords that are used on Reddit

Best practices in SEO keyword research

Let’s have a quick review on some of the best practices that you can keep in mind, incase of doing keyword research 

  • Use LSI keywords
  • Target each page individualy for keywords
  • Check out search analytics in search console for best possible keywords
  • FAQ pages
  • Use long tail keywords
  • Consider using common words that people use online
  • Use keywords as your anchor text
  • Use primary keywords in meta tags and H1, H2, H3 tags

Conclusion

Keywords are just the start in digital marketing, it is continuos process finding right keywords and retargeting them to rank better and obtain higher traffic.

The hardest part is writing for all those keywords and implementing a strategy. Once you start ranking for some keywords, you’ll rank automatically for some more.

So what are you waiting for ? Go write some.

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