Ask any good marketer what one of the fundamental parts of their digital strategy is and they’ll say keyword research.

No matter your business type, keyword research is the first step towards success.

It is one of the first things anyone should master before they dive headfirst into the search marketing. Why? Because it truly can make or break things. Well- whether or not your website is found by the right people. After all, it’s all about making sure you are getting the right visitors, not just any old visitors.

Understanding keywords, exactly how they work, and how to research effectively is crucial.

In this blog, we talk through keyword research and our top tips for doing it right.

What is Keyword Research?

To take a step back, keywords are terms that marketers use in their digital strategy. They are all about getting in front of your audience by targeting the terms they would typically use when searching on Google.

So, keyword research is therefore the research into trends, related businesses, current rankings and so on that help you determine the best keywords for your business.

Keywords Aren’t All About SEO  

Many people think that keywords are strictly an SEO tactic, but they are so much more than that. They are the backbone of a digital strategy.

Keywords are ultimately the starting point for all digital marketing. They may start in Google, but they relay on to your content marketing, social media strategy and website copywriting.

After all, how can you keep all aspects of your marketing strategy cohesive if you don’t have clearly identified, relevant keywords to focus on for your business?

Keywords are just one piece of the puzzle – but an important piece that holds it all together.

Understanding the Value of a Keyword

It is important to really understand how certain keywords will be more valuable to your business than others.

First, you should ask yourself – is this keyword relevant to the page content? Will people who search this keyword find what they are after on my page? Will these page views help me accomplish my business goals? If you are saying “yes” back to yourself after reading these, then you’re on the right track.

Be Realistic

By now, we all know that with the competitive nature of the web, the chance of ranking number one for a keyword such as “clothes” is a big challenge. Those broad search terms are pretty much controlled by the BIG companies.

It’s important to be realistic about what keywords your business could rank for. You should take into account factors such as how relevant it is to your product or service, how big your company is and who else you will be competing against.

Stick With The Times

Human language and common terminology are known to change over time. And you sure don’t want to let your business get stuck in the past.

Make sure you are using the most current terms for the product or service you are promoting or you will probably never be found.

For example, the term “digital marketing” is hot right now. But not that long ago people were referring to it as Internet marketing.

Stay on top of the way people will be searching for your product if you want to remain relevant.

Go Back to Basics

When it comes to keyword research, we always say to go back to the basics and do a little work by hand.

We suggest sitting down and sifting through Google to see which websites are ranking for certain keywords relating to your business. This will give you basic (but very powerful) insight into who your competition is and how difficult it may or may not be to beat them in the rankings.

Also – listen to search suggestions. These go a long way. When you search a term, see what other similar searches appear below.

For example:

coffee-google-search

This drop-down box of suggestions reveals the most popular searches when people begin with the word coffee.

If you don’t already know how, now is also a great time to learn how to read source code. This can help you to figure out what keywords your competitors are targeting on specific pages.

Focus on Questions

The huge rise in voice search has had a big impact on keyword research and SEO tactics. Now more than ever, it is critical to also pay some attention to the questions people are asking into Google – not just short phrases.

Consider how people would ask about your product or service if they were speaking to Siri.

A handy trick for figuring out what people are searching for is by once again taking to Google yourself. Start by searching a broad question on your topic:

why-is-melbourne-known-for-coffee

From there, you can see other questions people ask on the same topic:

people-also-ask

Keep digging and compile a big list of questions you can aim to answer with your keywords. Remember – your aim is that your content is able to answer.

Buyer Intent vs. Research Keywords

It’s also important to recognise there are different types of keywords. It is all about the state of mind the user is in at the time. They may be searching for an answer to a problem, seeking general knowledge, or they might be ready to buy.

That being said, buyer intent keywords are those that target searches when people are specifically looking to purchase. For example, “best coffee shop in Richmond”.

On the other hand, research keywords are a bit broader. They target the more general searches when people are just gathering information, such as “why is Melbourne known for good coffee”.

Take Advantage of Helpful Tools

Everyone loves a good handy marketing tool. We suggest experimenting with different tools to gain the best possible insight into your business and relevant keywords.

Our favourite go-to SEO tool that we swear by is SEMrush. It’s an incredible starting point for learning which terms you already rank for and who your competition is.

Google Analytics is also powerful for looking into your business’ currently ranking keywords and finding related ones.

There are many keyword research specific tools available to businesses to help you with the research process. Check out Moz’s Keyword Explorer:

moz-keyword-explorer

Google Keyword Planner

You may or may not have heard that Google Adwords recently became Google Ads. Well thank goodness, we still have access to the good old Keyword Planner.

It remains one of the strongest tools because it is the best way to find keywords that are low in competition but high in search volume.

keyword-planner-ad-group

It allows you to search for terms related to your business’s products and services. Then from there, it will come up with keywords that are relevant to you. It also allows you to learn about keyword trends or similar searches. All in all, Google Keyword Planner gets a big thumbs-up from all the digital marketers we know.

That’s All For Now, Folks

Trust us when we say that keyword research will be your best friend in the world of digital marketing.

It is an incredibly powerful tactic that will give you the insights you need to boost your business and bottom line.

We hope these tips have inspired you to go fourth and conquer the world of keyword research. But hey, if you need a hand with your business’s SEO and digital strategies, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can help. Call us at our Melbourne office at 1300 841 244 or send us an email at [email protected].