The process on turning ideas into reality

February 20th 2019

Keyword Research for SEO

What is SEO? (a quick overview)

For a more in-depth look please refer to the previous blog post here.

SEO, short for search engine optimization is a strategy to optimize web pages in order to increase their rankings in google search results. Google uses bots called spiders to crawl web pages online. These spider bots add and categorize pages based off of what content is relevant to particular search queries. They do this in order to give people the best results when they search for something online. Part of SEO involves keywords which is what is article is going to cover.

What are keywords?

Keywords can be described as words or phrases that people search for. Many people utilize the ability to search by voice so often entire phrases can be considered common keywords. They are also used to describe the content found on a web page - such as a phrase to sum up the main idea of that content. Keywords are important because they help you target your audience and can drive more organic traffic to your site. By placing them in high attention areas it also allows for Google crawlers to easily identify the content of the page. Adding keywords should not be about bloating content with unrelated keywords as it is now penalized by Google.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a strategy to discover which terms people regularly utilize to search for information in their google search engine. Finding out which words that are commonly used can help with SEO rankings, marketing and content strategy. Having a great content strategy enables you to build content around a particular term that you know your audience is searching for. Keyword research should be a way to add value to your high quality content to increase organic traffic to your site.

Types of keywords

Short Tail Keywords

These are short and are typically made of three words or less. These types of keywords are hard to identify intent so they do not typically convert well despite having a high search volume. Many short tail keywords are common and have a high competitive rate so it is harder to achieve a high ranking when using them.

Long Tail Keywords

These are keywords that are longer than three words. They are typically much more descriptive which means they have a specific search intent and leads to a low search volume but a high conversion rate. They tend to be less competitive as well since they are more specific.

Short Term Fresh Keyword

This type of keyword is used to describe something that is trending and popular in the current moment. They tend to have a large search volume while they’re hot but will drop drastically once the hype has passed.

Long Term Evergreen Keyword

Like a tree that has leaves all year round evergreen keywords are always relevant and show very little change in their search volumes. They tend to be more specific and have a high conversion rate. These keywords have a moderate search volume and competitive rate for ranking. Despite their consistency note that content still needs to be updated regularly or eventually google will rank your page lower for not having fresh information.

Product Defining Keyword

Keywords that explain and describe products. They tend to be very specific and have a high conversion rate. Since they are more specific they have a low search volume and a low competitive rate.

Customer Defining Keyword

These are created to target specific groups of searchers. They have a low search volume and low competitive rate but a high conversion rate.

Geotargeting Keywords

Keywords that are used to target specific places such as cities or states. These are typically used by businesses who have brick and mortar establishments in order to describe where they are. Like customer defining keywords they have a low search volume and low competitive rate but a high conversion rate.

LSI Keyword

L.S.I stands for latent semantic keyword. These are keywords that closely relate to the main keyword. They are very specific and have a high conversion rate but a low search volume and competitive rate.

Intent Targeting Keywords

There are four categories for intent targeting keywords.

  • Commercial: A broad category of keywords used to drive customers to sites
  • Navigational: Used to search for a specific site
  • Informational: For information research
  • Transactional: Keywords that may lead to a purchase online

Getting Started

  • Start out by brainstorming
  • Identify your niche
  • Think about what you’d search for
  • Identify key phrases
    • Example: weight loss
    • weight loss calculator
    • weight loss pills
    • weight loss tips
    • weight loss plans
  • Take a look at Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • Identify what search terms are being used by people already coming to your site
  • For Google Analytics
    • Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Channels & Click on Organic Search
    • Note that encrypted browser searches will no be displayed
  • For Google Search Console
    • Acquisition >> Search Console >> Queries
  • Create a Master List and narrow down options based on
  • Search Volume
    • How often a phrase is searched for
  • Competition
    • High volume keywords are highly competitive and harder to rank.
    • Aim for higher traffic but with low competition
  • Relevance
    • Ask yourself: How relevant is the keyword to your brand?
  • Current Ranking
    • See where current keywords rank, you might have some hidden treasures!
  • Now What?
  • Consider utilizing a keyword research tool. Here are some options.

Where do Keywords go?

Now that you have a list of keywords put them to work. Keywords work best in a few different places.

  • Title of the page
  • This is the clickable link that is viewed in search results
  • Meta Description
  • The description that is below the clickable link. This can sometimes be the first 160 characters of content.
  • Links and Social Media Updates
  • These are hashtags and the part of the title that is being shared