Published: Feb 14, 2022
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Keyword research is challenging. It's hard to know where to start, what keyword tools are worth using, and how to interpret the results.

Today, keyword research is only one part of a well-rounded search presence strategy. But it remains an important part. This blog post will cover nine quick tips for doing keyword research—perfect for beginners who want some advice on doing keyword research better to improve their search presence.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a process of learning what people are searching for when they search online. By understanding which keywords and phrases your audience is most interested in, you can help them find the content that best meets their needs.

The process is a little more complex than that, but in a nutshell, it involves finding keywords and phrases with sufficient search volume to give your content the best chance of being found.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

shutterstock_6330361_eIKac

Keyword research is one of the most critical parts of B2C or B2B content marketing strategy. It helps you understand your online audience, what they want to see, and where they are looking for it. By doing effective keyword research, you can help your buyers and other audiences find the information that meets their needs, building brand trust.

Building trust is essential because your audience is more likely to do business with you if you can help them find the information they are looking for.

Keyword research also helps Google and other search engines understand what content on your site is most relevant, giving it a better chance of ranking higher in organic search results. By doing keyword research well, you can help more people find your content, leading to increased traffic.

Finally, keyword research helps you learn how to create the best possible content for your audience. By knowing which keywords and phrases are most popular with them, you will write better blog posts that target their needs.

In short, keyword research is a powerful tool that will help you create the best content for your audience and increase its chances of being seen by more people online, which can lead to an increase in traffic and sales. 

Now here are those nine tips:

1. Determine Your Purpose Before You Get Started

It's important to know what your ultimate goal is when doing keyword research. Do you want to create a new page or check how well your site is doing for particular keywords? Do you want to improve your site's rankings? Are you looking to connect better with people online?

You should know what it is you are hoping to achieve before you start. This will inform how you do keyword research. Importantly, you'll also know when you have enough keywords, and it's time to stop. The last thing you need is to get carried away with researching keywords and end up with many terms you aren't going to use.

Be specific about your purpose before you start to avoid wasting time collecting data that won't help you achieve your goal.

2. Make Sure Your Keywords Are Relevant to Searcher Intent

shutterstock_1906589_hHVl1

Searcher intent refers to what users are trying to achieve with their search. For example, someone searching for "B2B SaaS marketing" is probably just looking for information and still deciding whether they want to make a purchase, either of software or agency services.

However, someone searching for "B2B SaaS marketing agencies" or "compare SaaS marketing automation software" is likely at least considering a purchase.

Therefore, you must understand the searcher intent for each keyword because it will help you create content aligned with what users expect.

One way to figure out searcher intent is to see what content is already ranking for that keyword. Google will rank content it feels is most relevant to users for that particular keyword, making it a good bet that you should take a similar approach.

3. Analyze the Competition

Analyzing your competition is another good way to determine the best keywords for your blog post. You can use tools like Semrush or Moz's Open Site Explorer (OSE) to see what sites are ranking well for specific terms and which ones you might be able to tackle.

Be sure, however, that you aren't just copying other people's work. You need to add your own perspective, insights and data sources in creating content for each keyword that you use. Otherwise, it will be apparent that your ideas originated elsewhere, which isn't a good practice when trying to build authority in your industry.

When doing this exercise, make sure the keywords are also relevant to what you're writing about. If not, then don't include them.

The end goal is to create content that can appeal to searches for several different keywords and categories. However, you should also offer your unique perspective on them, so it doesn't look like you're just regurgitating other people's work.

This will help ensure not only more traffic for your blog post, but it will likely cause Google to rank you higher on SERPs than your competitors as well.

Be mindful of keywords that may be too broad for what you are writing about or ones that offer no real value to the reader. These will do more harm than good, and you should avoid them.

Remember, it's better to have fewer but highly targeted terms than a ton of broad or random ones that don't relate to your goals.

4. Take Advantage of Google Search

Google search can help you identify which keywords are most relevant to what you're writing about based on what people search for.

Type in a keyword related to your topic and look at the list of terms in the "Autosuggest" drop-down. Also, check the "People also ask" section and the additional search suggestions at the bottom of the page.

These will help provide additional options for terms users might be searching for related to your primary keyword.

5. Target Long-Tail Variations of Your Keyword

shutterstock_5673835_7DP32

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are more specific and less competitive than your primary keyword. For example, instead of targeting "PR blogs," a long-tail variation could be: "longest-running PR blogs in the U.S."

A good strategy is to use long-tail variations of the primary keyword in your blog post. You can rank more quickly for these terms.

However, it will also increase the number of click-throughs you receive from users searching for long-tail keywords associated with your main keyword topic and improve conversions by better catering to searcher intent.

6. Don't Forget About Queries and Questions

Targeting query or question-style keywords is also an intelligent way to ensure that your target audience gets the information they need.

For example, if you're writing a blog post about "how to conduct a brand voice audit," it's helpful for users who are searching for this type of content to find instant answers in the SERPs, so these types of keywords should be included in your article.

Including these keywords also helps your site perform better in the SERPs and increases the chances your site will appear in the "People also ask" section.

7. Develop a List of Locally Targeted Keywords

Small businesses can also benefit from targeting location-specific keywords. For example, if you're a plumber in Dallas, TX, your primary keyword might be "Dallas plumbing companies."

But you can also use variations of this term to target specific neighborhoods or cities, so it's essential to include these types of local terms as well.

Not only will it improve the odds that your website is discovered by the right people (you don't need people in Seattle finding your Dallas plumbing business), but it will also make it easier for you to rank.

8. Check What Keywords Your Audience Searches for on Your Site

Your on-site search bar can also help you identify the terms your audience is searching for regularly, which you can expand upon in future posts.

For example, if people frequently search for "how to be added to Wikipedia" on your site, then it makes sense that you should create content around this keyword.

So, make sure to consider the keywords that people are searching for on your site. Pay attention to them and adjust accordingly for future posts to more easily connect with searchers looking for this type of content.

9. Use an SEO Toolbar for Better Results

An SEO toolbar like MozBar allows you to access important data quickly and easily. For example, you can check how competitive a keyword is, what SERP features it's currently ranking for, and various other critical metrics.

MozBar also allows users to see their domain strength, which has become an important factor now that Google provides more weight towards trusted websites in its search results algorithm.

The toolbar offers additional SEO tools as well, including Moz's Keyword Difficulty Tool. This tool allows users to check the competitiveness of a keyword they're considering targeting and provides an accurate prediction as to how difficult it would be to rank for that term.

And you can see all this data at a glance, either on the search engine results page or when you are on a specific site's webpage, which makes it invaluable to doing keyword research quickly.

Don't get discouraged if you're not immediately successful with keyword research. The process can sometimes seem a little like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it's worth investing time into learning how to do it well so that your business can move forward and grow.

Show Comments

Join the conversation

About the Author

Megan Chesterton
Megan Chesterton
Megan plans, develops, and implements digital marketing strategies across a variety of platforms, ensuring that clients tell a consistent story while maximizing results. She has a strong passion for building online website experiences that are optimized for how humans conduct research and engage with vendors online, working to ensure that our clients' digital content is functional, beautiful and strategic. Megan brings experience within a wide range of industries, including fintech, digital solutions, IT management and mobile retailing.

How can we help you?

Subscribe