Search engine optimisation, also known as SEO, is a crucial component of any online company’s marketing and growth strategies. Millions of businesses are competing for billions of consumers each and every day, and the majority of this competition begins on the internet. Consumers are continually searching for products and services that are designed to meet their needs in nearly all aspects of their buying lives, and companies that have strong search engine page results can lead the way in turning potential buyers into paying customers.
Within SEO strategies, several components come together to generate an effective plan for boosting results on search engine pages. One of the most vital aspects of optimisation is the smart use of keywords to help a company site rank highly on relevant searches from consumers. However, selecting the right keywords to use on a website and its content requires some know-how. This boils down to keyword research. Before jumping into how to perform strategic keyword research to improve SEO outcomes, it is helpful to understand why researching keywords is beneficial.
The Benefits of Keyword Research
To keep things simple, keywords are the words or phrases individuals type into search engines to help find relevant and helpful information about a specific topic. As a common factor in SEO strategies, keywords are used to help optimise content so that a user’s search results include a company’s site. Keywords can be used in any type of content online, including social media posts, image text, meta tags, product descriptions, and blog posts.
The benefits of doing keyword research may be obvious, but they extend far beyond improving search engine page results. Companies strategically researching keywords have a better understanding of their audience, which can help tailor products and services more efficiently. Keyword research also helps strengthen content as it allows for identifying the topics that target audiences are interested in. One overlooked advantage of keyword research is getting a leg up on competitors by learning what keywords they rank for and how businesses compare.
A Basic Guide to Researching Keywords
There are a few basic steps a business needs to take in order to perform strategic keyword research. These include the following:
Create a list of relevant topics – brainstorm about topics that are relevant to the business, its products and services, and target customers. For instance, a hotel located in London may include potential keywords such as hotel, London hotel, London accommodations, and holiday travel. These are not necessarily the keywords that will be used in a content strategy or site design, but they provide a place to start with keyword research.
Get ideas from search engines – with the list created, type topics into a search engine like Google and see what prepopulates below the input. These can be great indicators of what users are searching for online. Also be sure to check the related searches list at the bottom of the search engine to see what other topics or keywords you may have missed.
Hone the results – utilising a keyword planner or search tool can help tremendously when narrowing down specific keywords to target. Businesses can enter the topics and search engine results from the previous steps and quickly see the volume of each keyword. This provides a reliable estimate for traffic from specific keywords relevant to a business.
Know what ranks – in addition to these simple steps, keyword research should include checking competitor sites for their keyword results, as well as your own. Search analytics are available through Google for both these components of keyword research, and the results can be both telling and advantageous in creating a keyword strategy for content moving forward.
Understand the metrics – although these steps are helpful in generating beneficial keyword research that can be used for SEO strategies, it doesn’t do much without recognising what metrics are important. Search volume, which shows the overall demand of a keyword, and clicks, which provides insight on traffic potential from specific keywords, are integral keyword metrics. Understanding these numbers can help improve keyword research and eventual use.
Once you have an understanding of why keyword research is important and how to do it, implementation is the next step. Again, keywords can be used in countless ways, from blog posts and social media blasts to product descriptions and meta titles. Having a strategic plan for utilising valuable keyword research moving forward can help with SEO on an exponential scale.