Keyword Research: The Go-To Keyword Strategy Guide

Getting Started With Keyword Research

keyword research

Read Time: 5 minutes

Choosing the best keywords for your business can be a difficult task but is important if you want to get your business ranked for search engine optimization – especially since keywords are the search terms used by potential customers. You don’t want to only focus on words with a high search volume that are already highly ranked by competitors. By optimizing your keyword usage and using a variety of words – including those that aren’t in high demand but are still relevant to your business – you can save money and ensure higher volumes of traffic to your business website. There is no golden tried and trusted approach that works across the board for amazing keyword research as it all depends on your website and content relevance, your specific goals, your industry and competitors as well as your respective budget.

Keyword Research

There is a lot that goes into keyword research. You need to take everything about your business into account. You need to consider the different services or products that you offer because your keywords need to revolve around those specifics. If your keywords are not relevant to your specific service or product offering, your website ranking will drop and there will be a high bounce rate. When choosing your keywords, you also need to take into consideration broad and specific keyword terms as well as a mixture of hard and easy ranking keywords.

  • Ranking Drop & High Bounce Rates

    A drop in rankings is just that, instead of appearing first or second on a search engine, your website may even appear on the third or fourth page. It’s well known that internet users never really delve past the second or third page, which is why it is important that your website ranking remains as high as possible. A high bounce rate is the absolute worst for any business, regardless of the number of page views you’ll be getting – users will rather leave the site than engage with any of the content on offer. Google will interpret the high bounce rate as your site not offering what people are looking for and will lower your site in the rankings. Remember, Google wants to provide people with the most relevant pages for their search queries, if people click on your page and leave very soon after, it tells Google your information is not matching that query. Any keywords related to your content or that your content is about need to be relevant to your business and services.

  • Broad and Long-Tail Keywords

    When choosing a keyword, start with a broader keyword and work your way down into a more detailed word or phrase. The detailed word or phrase is known as a long-tail keyword. Be careful that your keyword is not so broad that it can be searched for in several different types of queries as this could increase your bounce rate. Having a variety of keyword types helps attract customers through all levels of the sales funnel. People will search for the broader keywords during their research phase and will narrow down to detailed keywords as they refine exactly what they are looking for. The long-tail keywords may be lower search volume but generally have a high potential of catching people at the decision level of the sales funnel. This can increase actual customers rather than just internet traffic.

    For example
    If you have a dermatology business, your broad keyword could be “skin cancer” and as you progress with the content for your website, you may want to use more detailed terms such as “melanoma skin cancer” or “sun induced skin cancer”.

    • In this example we use “skin cancer” since “cancer” would be too broad as people can search for it with intent to learn about other types of cancer not related to skin. In this case, they would leave the dermatology site quickly as it is not what they are looking for.
    • Your long-tail keywords are “melanoma skin cancer” or “sun induced skin cancer”.
  • Hard and Easy Ranking Keywords

    A good mixture of hard and easy ranking keywords will ensure that your page gains more visibility. By choosing one or the other, you limit your chances for an increase in traffic to your website. Remember an undervalued keyword can still provide a decent amount of traffic to your site. The more competition you have with keywords, the harder it will be to rank highly in the search engine results page (SERP). Including a variety will help you rank for some easier keywords quickly while you work towards ranking for the harder ones – which may take a bit longer to rank. Difficulty to rank is not determined by volume of searches. Some words may have a very low search volume but will be hard to rank for while others may be easy to rank highly for with a high search volume. Try looking at the competition. What kind of sites are on the first page? Are they sites similar to your services or are they more informational sites? Using the example listed prior, would the first page of results show other dermatology sites or are they more towards informative health sites or government sites? If you search skin cancer, the results may be more geared to health information pages or cancer specific agencies. This word would be harder to rank for as Google would rate those sites as higher value for the information.

  • Key-spiration Can Be Found Anywhere

    Use as many different sources as possible to find different suggestions or variations on your keywords, especially if you’re narrowing down your keywords. Internet users will generally use broad terms in their initial search and then narrow down the search using more specific words or phrases as they narrow down what they actually want to know. There are many sources you can use. You can even start typing your broad word into the Google search bar and see what it auto fills as phrase suggestions. You can also use the suggested searches at the bottom of the Google page. There are several keyword research tools around the internet that are also free to help you create long-tail keywords. Explore and figure out which tools work for you.

Finalized Your Keyword List – Now What?

You have this mega list of keywords that reflects all aspects of your business, now what do you do? It helps to group those keywords by similarity, or even better, by service or product they refer to. You can either group them as you do your research or wait until you have your list of keywords completed – whatever works best for you. This will help when designing your website as the different groupings could help you determine your navigational bar or site menu.

I like to narrow down my list to determine a set number of the keywords most important to me. These are what I want in my SEO reports. Your number may be based on the program you use as there may be limits to the amount reported on. This does not mean you can’t use the words not included in the reports. I keep them for article and blog topics or content ideas. You can still rank for them even if they are not in your specific reports – you just may not get a notice about the ranking. You can also change your report keywords later so don’t feel like this is a permanent “set in stone” decision. Try not to limit your keywords by amount. Use whatever is relevant to your business. It helps as the more keywords or topics you have, the more article ideas you can write about and increase your chances of ranking high in the Google SERPs.

To sum it all up, keywords are very important to your site. They need to be relevant to your business products and services as they shape how your content is delivered which affects how you rank in Google. Focus on relevance to your business as content created around relevant keywords keep people on your page letting Google know you have the information they are searching for which helps your rankings. Don’t forget to add in a mix of broad and long-tail keywords which could help through several different search styles – including voice search which may use full questions or sentences. Don’t focus only on volume or ranking difficulty. Lower volume keywords could still help you gain valuable customers which are more important than just website visitors. Isn’t the point of your website to help you gain more customers?

Keyword research may be an overwhelming task, but it helps shape your website and tell people what your business is all about. This isn’t a one-time thing wither. You can always add, remove, or update your list of keywords based on the changes of your business or customers so don’t feel like you need perfection right away.

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