As a result, one of the first and most significant tasks in every search engine optimization campaign is to create a keyword list. When it comes to executing a successful search marketing strategy, keywords and SEO are inextricably linked.
What Are SEO Keywords?
The keywords and phrases in your online content that allow people to find your site via search engines are known as SEO keywords. With SEO keywords that assist connect searchers to your site, a website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base. One of the most important aspects of SEO is keywords.
In other words, SEO keywords (also known as “keywords” or “keywords”) are terms that are added to online content in order to boost their search engine rankings. The majority of keywords are discovered during keyword research and selected based on a combination of search volume, competition, and commercial intent.
In other words, you need to know how people are looking for the products, services, or information that you offer, in order to make it easy for them to find you—otherwise, they’ll land on one of the many other pages in the Google results. Implementing keyword SEO will help your site rank above your competitors. Because keywords are the cornerstone of all other SEO activities, it’s well worth the time and money to make sure your SEO keywords are highly relevant to your target audience and well-organized for action.
Settling on the right SEO keywords is a delicate process involving both trial and error, but the basics are easy to understand. Here we’ll walk you through researching what your customers are looking for, discovering those keywords that will help you rank on a search engine results page (SERP), and putting them to work in your online content.
Why are SEO Keywords Important?
Your website can rank higher for those searches if you optimize your content around words and phrases that people search for. Ranking higher in the SERPs will, of course, bring more targeted visitors to your website. That’s why the first step in any SEO effort is to figure out what people are looking for. In fact, without keywords, SEO is nearly impossible.
Keyword research can provide you a lot of information about what your target audience is looking for on Google. The knowledge you gain from these genuine search phrases can inform both your content strategy and your overall marketing plan. Keywords, on the other hand, may not be as vital to SEO as you believe.
We’re hearing more and more about how much SEO has changed in the last ten years, and how unimportant keywords have become to our ability to rank highly for the searches consumers conduct on a daily basis.
To some extent, this is correct; in the viewpoint of an SEO practitioner, utilizing keywords that exactly match a person’s search is no longer the most essential ranking element. Rather, it’s about the keyword’s intent and whether or not a piece of content fulfills that intent (we’ll get into that in a minute).
However, this does not imply that keyword research is no longer relevant. Allow me to explain:
Keyword research reveals what topics people are interested in and, provided you use the correct SEO tool. How popular those topics are with your target audience. The keyword here is subjects: you may identify and classify your content into topics that you wish to publish content on by researching keywords that receive a high volume of monthly searches. Then, based on these subjects, you may decide which keywords to search for and target.
You may address the questions that the majority of your audience wants to be answered by studying keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent.
You’ve probably got a list of keywords in mind that you’d like to rank for. These will be things like your products, services, or other topics covered on your website, and they’ll serve as excellent seed keywords for your study. So start there! You can use a keyword research tool to find out the average monthly search volume and similar keywords for those phrases. We’ll go over search volume in more detail in the following section. But it might help you figure out which variations of your keywords are the most popular with searchers during the discovery phase.
Once you’ve entered your seed keywords into a keyword research tool. You’ll start to see more keywords, common inquiries, and content ideas that you might have overlooked otherwise.
Let’s look at a florist who specializes in weddings as an example.
By entering the terms “wedding” and “florist” into a keyword research tool, you can find highly relevant, highly searched for terms like:
- Bouquets for weddings
- Bridal bouquets
- Flower shop for weddings
When you’re researching keywords for your content, you’ll probably realize that the search volume for such phrases changes a lot. While it’s important to target terms that your audience is searching for. In some circumstances, targeting terms with lower search traffic may be more advantageous because they’re less competitive.
Because both high- and low-competition keywords can benefit your website. Learning more about search traffic can help you prioritize keywords and choose the ones. That will provide your website with the greatest strategic advantage.
How to Research Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
I’m going to walk you through a keyword research method that will help you come up with a list of terms to target. That way, you’ll be able to develop and implement a solid keyword strategy. That will help you rank for the search terms that matter to you.
Step 1: Based on what you know about your firm, make a list of significant, relevant issues.
To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You’ll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important to your business. And then you’ll use those topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.
These are presumably the topics you blog about the most if you’re a regular blogger. Or perhaps they’re the most frequently discussed issues in sales meetings. Put yourself in your buyer personas’ shoes: what topics would you’re target audience search for that you’d like your company to be found for? If you were HubSpot, for example, You might have general topic buckets like If you’re selling marketing software (which also happens to have some excellent SEO tools… but I digress…), you might have general topic buckets like:
- “inbound marketing” (21K)
- “blogging” (19K)
- “email marketing” (30K)
- “lead generation” (17K)
- “SEO” (214K)
- “social media marketing” (71K)
- “marketing analytics” (6.2K)
- “marketing automation” (8.5K)
See those numbers to the right of each keyword in parentheses? That is the number of searches they conduct each month. This information will help you determine how significant these topics are to your target audience. As well as how many different sub-topics you’ll need to cover to be successful with that keyword. We’ll go on to step 2 to learn more about these sub-topics.
Step 2: Fill in those topic buckets with keywords.
Now that you’ve decided on a few topic buckets to focus on. It’s time to find some keywords that fit into those categories. These are keyword phrases that you believe are vital to rank for in SERPs (search engine results pages). Since your target consumer is likely searching for them.
For example, if I were working for an inbound marketing software firm and the last topic bucket was “marketing automation,” I’d come up with a list of keyword phrases that I think people would use to search for that topic. These could include the following:
- marketing automation tools
- how to use marketing automation software
- what is marketing automation?
- how to tell if I need the marketing automation software
- lead nurturing
- email marketing automation
- top automation tools
The list goes on and on. The goal of this step isn’t to create your final keyword phrase list. You simply want to come up with a list of phrases. That you believe potential customers might use to find content related to that specific topic bucket. Later on in the process, we’ll trim down the lists so you don’t end up with something too cumbersome.
Despite the fact that Google is encrypting more and more terms every day. Another clever technique to come up with keyword ideas is to see which keywords your website is already being found for. You’ll need website analytics software. Such as Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report in the Traffic Analytics tool, to perform this. Drill down into your website’s traffic sources and comb through your organic search traffic bucket to find the keywords that people are using to find you.
As many topic bins as you have, repeat this practice. Remember that if you’re having problems coming up with suitable search phrases. You can always turn to your customer-facing colleagues for assistance. Those in sales or service and inquire about the terminology that prospects and customers use. As well as the most typical inquiries they receive. These are frequently excellent places to begin your keyword research.
We use the Search Insights Report at HubSpot for this step of the process. This template will assist you in doing the same, including organizing your keywords into topic clusters, analyzing MSV, and informing your editorial calendar and plan.
Step 3: Recognize how intent influences keyword research and analyze the results accordingly.
User intent is now one of the most important variables in your ability to rank effectively on search engines like Google, as I said in the last section. Today, it’s more crucial that your web page solves the problem that a searcher was looking for rather than simply containing the searcher’s term. So, how does this influence your keyword research?
It’s all too easy to take keywords at face value. Yet they might have a lot of distinct meanings behind the surface. Because the intent behind a search is so critical to your ranking potential. You must interpret the keywords you target with extreme caution.
Let’s imagine you’re writing an article and you’re looking for keywords like “how to start a blog”. The keyword “blog” can refer to a blog post or the blog website itself, and the purpose of the searcher will influence the path of your content. Do you want to learn how to start a blog post from scratch? Or do they want to know how to set up a website domain specifically for blogging? If you’re just targeting folks who are interested in the latter. You’ll want to double-check the keyword’s intent before using it.
It’s a good idea to type a keyword into a search engine yourself to check what kinds of results come up to verify what a user’s intent is in a keyword. Make sure the type of content Google is displaying is closely relevant to the type of content you intend to develop for the keyword.
Step 4: Research related search terms.
When conducting keyword research, you may have previously considered this step. If not, it’s a wonderful method to get those lists filled up.
If you’re having trouble coming up with more keywords for a given topic, look at the related search terms. That displays when you type in a keyword into Google. You’ll get some suggestions for searches related to your original input if you key in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results. These keywords might give you some suggestions for other keywords to consider.
Step 5: Use keyword research tools to your advantage.
Keyword research and SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest can help you produce new keyword ideas based on exact match and phrase match keywords based on the ideas you’ve already generated. This activity may provide you with options you hadn’t considered before.
Check out our case study and exclusive interview for an inside look at how Ahrefs may help you with SEO keyword research.