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Smart Keyword Research

Today, proper keyword research plays a significant part of search engine optimization. Determining strategic keywords that target your users and search engines will increase your rank.

A keyword strategy only becomes robust if you get to know your target market and how they are searching for you. Doing this research will give you insights into how many and what people are searching. Read on if you’re trying to learn useful tools and tactics for building an effective content.

Step #1 Get to Know your Customers

No business can strive and stay in the top ranks of the SERP without first understanding who they are and who their customers are. This step is where you may be tempted to take a short-cut – but there isn’t one. There is a difference between knowing what you want to rank for and what users are searching. Knowing the latter will give you the competitive edge to stay ahead. Focusing your keywords on the terms users are searching for will result in a successful campaign.

The more you know about your customers and their needs, the better you can understand how to meet them. Insights into customers go beyond the specific terms they enter into their search queries. Their location, gender, age, are all factors that you can use to tailor how they find you first. Once you have a good understanding of who your customers are and how they are searching for you, you can move on to discovering keywords.

Step #2 Identifying Keyword

Every website has a way of describing and promoting itself and its services/products. But that does not always align with how customers are searching for you. Recognizing how is the primary step in planning your keywords.

You probably already have a few keywords that might relate to your website, products, or services, use those as your seed keywords. Seed keywords can be used to determine similar variations and their search volumes. There are many tools available online that can be used for this. But at this step, you should focus on finding all the different variations are most popular amongst users.

A keyword research tool will help you discover other variations, common questions, and topics for your content that you might have otherwise missed.

While researching relevant keywords for your content, you will notice that the search volume of those keywords ranges considerably. Here, the aim is not to target keywords with a high search volume, but rather to be strategic. It might be advantageous to target less competitive keywords even if they have a lower search volume.

Both high and low competition keywords can be used to your advantage. Learning more about search volumes can help you prioritize your selection to give you the competitive edge.

Step #3 Uncovering Search Volume

Keywords that have higher search volumes also require more work to achieve a higher rank. This is known as “keyword difficulty.” For example, the SERP incorporates features, i.e., snippets, knowledge graphs, and carousels. If these appear the SERP page is already losing space and the difficulty increases. For high volume keywords, commonly, big brands would take the top 10 results. Competing against them would be a long uphill challenge, especially for a starter.

Keywords with high search volumes also have more competition, and therefore more effort to achieve organic ranking. However, if you only target keywords with low search volumes, you will risk not drawing any traffic to your website. Here, long-tail keywords might be the most suitable strategy. These are specific, lower competition search terms.

Ranking number one for a keyword isn’t always positive; it might be causing more harm than good. Keywords with really high search volumes are usually ambiguous in the sense that they are cultivated. For your website, this means that you might match with thousands of queries that do not match your service/product/content.

Keywords in the long-tail account for almost 70% of all search traffic, so targeting them is more likely to cause conversions. For example, a user search for the term “jacket” is probably just browsing. But a user searching for “best price windbreaker men’s size L” essentially is ready to buy.

Step #4 Strategising

Once you have your keywords in place, and you’re aware of the search terms and their volumes, it is time to strategize. First, you begin by looking into your competition, what keywords are they targeting, and how are they deviating from you.

Competitor Keyword

Your list of keywords is probably very long by now, prioritizing them is essential. A good start is targeting high-volume terms that your competitors are currently not ranking for. Alternatively, you could target the same keywords as your competitors. Each approach will have a different result. The first will allow you to seize and capitalize on missed opportunities. The latter will enable you to compete against your rivals, head-on, “aggressive strategy.”

Seasonal Keyword

If you’re online, then you’re likely aware of seasonal trends and keywords. For example, knowing that the phrase “pumpkins for sale” peaks from August to October, you can prepare content in advance to push it at the right time. Following keyword trends and studying peaks will enable you to always be ready with the right content.

Regional Keyword

Geo-specific research can tailor your content for your users. Focusing your keyword research into a particular location, a continent, country, or even town will give you a strategic advantage. Adding location to your study will provide you with insights to how users terminology differ even when searching the same item. For example, users might search for “couches” or “sofas” depending on where they’re from. Having insight into this will help you target your audience better.

Then What?

Now you understand your target audience better and learned how to incorporate different factors in compiling your keyword list. You are well on your way to optimizing your page, but there are still many relevant elements that should also be considered. These elements include determining what format does the user want to view the results and the value of keywords.

Written by Miklagárd SEO Team.

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