How to do keyword research for your website
Keyword research is vital to any organic online success. While Google does update its algorithm to change how important certain ranking factors are, keywords have remained very consistent. They form the foundation of your search engine optimisation (SEO), but how do you get them?
In this blog post, we are going to go over the basics, from start to finish, on how you would go about getting keywords for your website.
What is keyword research?
If keyword research is completely new to you, this section is for you. If you know what it is, but want to learn where to start, then scroll down to the next section.
Keyword research is what we do to find and analyze the search terms that people use on search engines. This data can be used when we are performing SEO on a website, planning a Google Ads campaign or for general marketing purposes. Through this guide, we are going to find the search queries potential clients use, how popular those queries are and how difficult it is to rank for them.
Another thing we want to look for is the intent behind the keywords. You can only rank well for a search term if your website has an answer to the intent.
Why keyword research is so important.
We have already discussed some important reseasons to begin doing keyword research for your website, but there is more. This research can give us great insight into your market and the kinds of topics they really care about. This is a fantastic starting point when planning the type of content that your website will include.
Since we know what people are searching for, it will also save you time and money when you know which topics are not going to get searched for. So, keywords will not just help you rank but will make your website the go-to resource for certain topics.
How to do keyword research for your website.
By now we know why we want to do keyword research and the benefits it can have on your website, but where do we start?
We are going to answer that question with five simple steps that you can apply to any type of project that would benefit from keywords. These steps are:
- Create a list of seed keywords.
- Study the keywords your competitors use.
- Make use of keyword research tools.
- Look for related search terms.
- Study your website’s niche.
Create a list of seed keywords.
Seed keywords are the start of all keyword research projects. They lay the foundation for you to begin building a library of keywords that you can use for your website. You can also use them to help identify who your competitors are online.
Create a list of five to ten keywords that define what your website does. When making this list, think about what people would search for to find your website on Google. Then, put them into a keyword tool of your choice and list them according to search volume.
Note: Your seed keywords are not always worth targeting on your website. Seed keywords are used to create a starting point for the next four steps, so don’t pour hours into making them. Listing them should be a quick and simple process.
Study the keywords your competitors use.
A great way to begin your research is to see where the traffic is already going to. These are your competitors and it’s a good idea to know what they are trying to rank for. If you don’t know who these websites are or want to find more, refer to your seed keyword list.
Search those seed keywords with Google and see what websites rank for them. Make sure that the websites you choose to look at resemble your own or where you are trying to go with your website. If you can’t find competitors, try the suggested variations of your seed keyword in the search bar.
List your competitors and their URLs, then go over to your keyword research tool. Many have ways to look at a URL and tell you what the top keywords are on that website. With this data, we can see what keywords are sending them the most traffic and what you will have to compete for. You can also get tons of other keyword ideas that you didn’t think of before.
The last thing to look for when looking at your competitors are keyword topics that you want to rank for and they do not. If we discover that they have a high search volume in the next step, they can be good choices to try rank for on your website.
Make use of keyword research tools.
As we just discussed, there are likely keywords that you want to rank for that your competitors are not targeting. We can find and analyse these in a keyword research tool.
Our favourite examples of these tools are:
Use these to analyse the keywords you have gathered thus far and to find new keywords related to your seed keywords. This is a process of searching keywords, looking for related searches and selecting the ones that are related to your website and can draw traffic to it.
If your website has already been running for a while, you can also put its URL into the tool and see what you already rank for. If there is a high search volume and you rank on the search engine results page (SERP), then it’s a topic worth keeping.
Look for related search terms.
If it’s become difficult to find new keywords or you are getting stuck, the related search terms that Google provides can be a great help. They appear at the bottom of the SERP. To get useful results, search a keyword or phrase and look at the related search terms for that search. This can be a very useful tip to spark inspiration and understand what other people are searching for.
Study your website’s niche.
Up until this point, we have only looked at Google and keyword research tools, but this isn’t where you should stop. Forums, online communities and Q&A websites are fantastic resources to find queries that people have online. You might find that some strong and relevant topics for discussion or questions that need answering that didn’t appear in your keyword tool.
If you notice any trends on these other resources, add them to your seed keywords and run through the process with them.
Choosing the right keywords for your website.
By following the steps that we just discussed, you will have completed your keyword research and should now have a list of keywords that would work really well on your website. That list can become too long very quickly and we need to refine our results. Here are the key factors to consider when refining your results:
- Head and long-tail keywords.
Google ranks your content on the relevance to the search query. So, your content will only rank on the SERP if your content is the best answer to the keyword you are targeting. Only select keywords that are most relevant to your content.
If nobody is searching for the keyword, nobody will come to your website from searches that use it. Don’t choose keywords that don’t have a search volume.
It’s important to understand how search volume works. Keyword tools measure the average volume monthly and uses the data over the last year. What search volume won’t tell you is how much traffic you will get by ranking for that keyword. If you are at the top of the SERP for that keyword, you can only expect to get around 30% of that number if your website is doing really well.
Not all searches lead to clicks. In fact, some searches can have way less than 50% conversions to clicks. What causes this?
Google is a query answering machine and it aims to be the best at what it does. For some searches, Google will answer the question by itself. We are sure you have seen this from your own searches. So even though the keywords gain a huge search volume, even the top-ranking websites are not getting any traffic from them because Google did it first.
You can avoid keywords that have this problem by comparing clicks to volume in your keyword tool or even searching it yourself. If you use the latter method, look to see if Google answers the query by itself or gives you website results.
Head and long-tail keywords.
Head terms are keyword phrases that are very short and generic. These can range from one to two words. On the opposite side of the coin, long-tail keywords are longer phrases that contain three or more words. They are usually a lot more specific too.
For a strong keyword strategy, you want to add a mix of head and long-tail terms to give you a balance of quick results and the ability to reach long-term goals.
Get the organic results to meet your goals with Web2Web.
Keyword research is something you will always do and go back to if you want to rank on Google because the environment is always changing. That is why it is vital to set up your website for growth with the keywords that you choose to target. You can have that online success set when you work with Web2Web.
Our experienced website design and development team can optimise your website from the beginning or strengthen your already existing website to perform even better. We understand keywords like they are the back of our hands giving you the power to target the keywords that will bring you the organic traffic to help meet your goals.
Want to see your website grow? Contact Web2Web today.