What is a Keyword?
In the context of search engine optimization, a keyword is a specific term or group of words that define the content of that web page.
Keyword research is a process of finding words and phrases which people utilize in search engines. The final goal of keyword research in SEO perspective is to build and optimize content around those keywords.
Why do we need Keyword Research for SEO?
Keyword Research makes a huge impact on other SEO activities like content creation, link building, on-page SEO, etc.
Keyword Research Process- Infographic
That is the sole reason as to why keyword research is usually taken as the first step, for any SEO campaign.
Let’s look at it from a different angle-
- Just as how a sailor sailing in the sea and a traveller discovering an uninhabited location needs a compass. Similarly, keywords behave like a compass in every SEO professional’s journey.
- If you perform keyword research, you can easily figure out your target market’s thoughts, desires, and dislikes. It is so powerful that you can get to know your searchers intent.
- Keyword research is the modern market research for any online marketing campaign.
Main types of Keywords one should definitely know for SEO?
There are many types of keywords, but the most important ones that you should definitely be knowing are Head Keywords, Body Keywords and Long Tail Keywords.
These are also called as Head Terms. They are single-word keywords like “banking” or “cooking”. Head Keywords always have a lot of search volume and are high in the competition. That’s because of the broader search intent concept.
For example, there might be someone looking for banking with the intent of buying a book on banking while another person trying to find a banking job.
See how the search intent is scattered all over the place. For this reason, Head Keywords are very difficult to convert.
Body Keywords are keywords with 2-3 word phrases. These keywords get a moderate search and are less competitive than Head Keywords.
Unlike Head Keywords, Body Keywords are more specific. Keywords like “Banking Courses”, “Banking Jobs” have lesser competition and better accuracy than Head Keywords.
They convert better than Head Keywords.
Long Tail Keywords
Long Tail Keywords are 4+ word phrases. They are the most specific keywords like “banking jobs near me”, “best cooking recipes for vegans”. These keywords do not get a lot of search volume individually, but adding them together relatively makes a good chunk of searches on the internet.
Long Tail Keywords are the least competitive keywords and are highly accurate towards searcher’s intent. Hence, Long Tail Keywords convert very well.
Tip: Whether you do google keyword research, youtube keyword research or any other keyword research in SEO, always try to target Long Tail Keywords in the beginning.
What is the Keyword Research Process?
Find Keyword Ideas
Select topics according to Niche
Let’s say you have recently started a blog about cooking.
Now cooking is a Head Keyword. You’d better be looking for topics under cooking like;
- Vegan Cooking
- Low-Calorie Indian Recipes
- Gluten-Free Cooking
- Diabetic Recipes
- Paleo Cooking
Ideas like the ones above are the best to start with. Brainstorming for such ideas is a good way to start with keyword research.
Google Keyword Research
Try typing each of your ideas to get a further understanding of what people are searching
of vegan cooking
YouTube Keyword Research
Works like Google search, in providing better ideas of what users are searching.
Image of low-calorie Indian recipes
This useful feature is located at the bottom of the search page. A list of 10 suggestions which come straight-away from Google.
Image of Diabetic Recipes
Tip: Click on any of the suggestions to see ideas revolving specifically around that topic, rinse and repeat.
You can find a huge collection of user’s questions to get original ideas.
Image Gluten-Free Cooking
SEO Keyword Research Tools
Here’s a list of free keyword research tools you can start with after collecting a bundle of ideas around each topic.
It’s the first thing you will notice on Neil Patel’s website. It offers keyword metrics like search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, and CPC.
Image of ubersuggest metrics (put paleo)
You can click on keyword ideas to see even more ideas with their specific metrics.
A Chrome and Mozilla Plugin. This tools straight-away displays search volume, CPC and competition for the keyword you’ve typed.
Image of cooking appliances (MSV 4400)
This is a great tool if you’ve wanted to look into the basic metrics with OnPage Difficulty, OffPage Difficulty, SEO
Difficulty, and Organic CTR.
Image cooking appliances
How to do Keyword Research for SEO? [Step-by-Step Process]
Below mentioned are a summary on keyword research and analysis.
Perform keyword brainstorming on ideas according to your niche. List down a bunch of broad terms under that niche.
Look into content already ranking on search engines, for those broad terms. You will get a good idea about what’s trending in the market.
This time search your ideas with body keywords and list them down with their basic metrics – average search volume, CPC, competition.
Use free keyword research tools mentioned above, to get additional information like OnPage Difficulty, Off-Page Difficulty, SEO Difficulty, and Organic CTR.
Search Volume – higher is better. Body Keywords have a higher search volume compared to Long Tail Keywords.
Organic CTR (Click-Through-Rate) – analyze this metric with the search volume. If you’ve found a Long Tail Keyword which has both, a good search volume and a decent organic CTR, then go for it. Get the accurate Organic CTR from Moz keyword explorer and Keyword Keg.
Difficulty – Whether it’s On-Page, Off-Page, or SEO Difficulty. They give you a good understanding of what had been done already, and where is the room for improvement based on your selected keyword. Free tools like Keyword Keg and Keyword Revealer are good at these metrics
CPC (Cost per Click) – An important metric to let you know whether people really spend money on the keyword you’ve selected. Google Keyword Planner gives you the best insight into understanding the CPC.
After looking closely at all the metrics, perform a google trend check for the list of your keywords to better understand interest over time.
That’s it, you are done with the keyword research process.
I hope you enjoyed this quick pick. Now, go ahead and try it out.
Do let me know what’s your opinion and how did this information help you, by leaving a quick message below.
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