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How to do Keyword Research?

It is estimated that almost 80% of the Australian population use the internet in their day to day lives. Whether that may be on social platforms, to catch up on the latest news, connect with friends and co-workers, or to shop for the latest products; Businesses are finding that in the digital age an online presence is becoming vital to their long-term success. Simply having an online presence, however, is no longer enough to ensure your business gets noticed by your customer base amongst your competition. That’s where the importance of ‘how to do keyword research’ plays a significant role.

When users search for a business, they type in particular keywords that aim to serve their unique intent. If a user was looking for car repair, they might type in ‘car repair near me’ or ‘car repair Brisbane’ to find the auto mechanics closest to them. How these results appear at the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is based on a complex machine algorithm. The good news is that there are certainly methods you can implement that can help your website get noticed amongst its competitors, this is often termed SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. While keyword research is not the single overriding factor in ranking well, it is part of the larger equation to help your business rank on the web. In this article, we look at some top tips in keyword research that will help you answer the important question ‘how to find keywords for SEO’.

How to do Keyword Research – Our Top Tips

Breakdown your target products and services page by page

A single page on a website can rank for potentially thousands of keywords, but this doesn’t mean that it should. When you begin the ‘how to find keywords for SEO’ journey, it’s important to take the time and look at each and every page on your website. Start by creating a product and services map. Break down each of your primary services or products that you want to target and consider what you would type in as a search query if you were looking to procure those particular goods and services.

Each page should correspond to a particular set of keywords that specifically target the searcher’s intent. It’s best to not overcomplicate individual pages by sending mixed messages to search engines and users about the page’s purpose. For example, if your website specialises in selling sporting goods, it’s often best practice to separate each type of sporting good onto their own landing page to best make use of effective keyword research. If a searcher wants to buy a tennis racket, and lands on your page that sells predominately sells badminton rackets, they are for more likely to bounce back to the SERP.

Searcher Intent

Now that you have your website mapped out, you’re ready to begin the important step of keyword research. The only problem is that on any given topic there are tens of thousands of potential variations that you could use to target your intended customer base. Instead of aiming to target hundreds of different keywords, it’s best to aim for a single set of targeted keywords along with some supporting keywords that are most likely to lead to a conversion. When it comes to answering, ‘how to do proper keyword research’, you’ll often find every guide on the internet is different and that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for keyword research that can be followed and is guaranteed to work for your business.

At Resurge Digital, we like to keep it simple; By choosing keywords that best match searcher intent that are also aligned with your business’ products and services. What is searcher intent? Let’s go back to our previous example of tennis rackets.

Consider these four keywords:

  1. ‘Tennis gear’ – with a monthly search volume of 1,000
  2. ‘Tennis racket’ – with a monthly search volume of 12,000
  3. ‘Tennis rackets online’ – with a monthly search volume of 20
  4. ‘Buy Tennis rackets online’ – with a monthly search volume of 10

In example 1, a user searches for ‘tennis gear’, but the search term tennis gear itself is vague. Should your landing page that sells tennis rackets, target the keyword ‘tennis gear’, not every user is going to want to be taken to a page that sells predominately tennis rackets.

Next look at the term ‘tennis racket’, perfect, you’ve got a search term with huge monthly volume that is specific to your tennis racket sales page. Unfortunately, there are a few problems associated with using ‘tennis racket’ as your primary keyword. Firstly, as it is such a high-volume keyword, the competition to rank well for it is going be an uphill battle against companies with unparallel marketing budgets. It could take months, if not years for your website to get to those coveted top 3 slots on the SERP.

Secondly, the search term ‘tennis racket’ is still vague and may not lead to the highest conversion rate (selling tennis rackets) for your business. By typing in ‘tennis racket’ searchers could be after reviews, repairs, or rentals, and not necessarily be in the market to buy a tennis racket. A good way to check this is to type your researched primary keyword into a search engine such as Google. Google has become surprisingly good at evaluating searcher intent and the first page of the search results can usually show you the likely searcher intent for any given key phrase.

Ok, let’s go back to our examples. Now, we have examples 3 and 4, ‘tennis rackets online’ and ‘buy tennis rackets online’. These two keywords are considered ‘long-tail keywords’, they have less search volume, but they are very targeted and specific in intent. Chances are if a searcher types in ‘tennis rackets online’ or ‘buy tennis rackets online’ they are ready to buy a tennis racket. This works in your business’ favour because if they land on your page, you’ve already got a captive audience that’s looking to buy. While these two keywords don’t have the monthly volume of ‘tennis rackets’, they are more likely to lead to a conversion and with less competition your business will have a much higher chance of ranking for them.

By finding keywords with searcher intent that directly relates to your pages goals, you are far more likely to achieve greater click throughs and potential conversions.

Curate Your Keyword List

With user intent and your website’s products and services mapped out, it’s time in the ‘how to do keyword research’ steps to curate your list of keywords. There are a lot of free and paid tools that you can use that will help you find keywords for your website and they all have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

How to find keywords for SEO? The easiest method would be to go to a search engine such as Google and type in your intended keyword, you’ll be able to see other websites that rank for that keyword bolded in the SERP. You’ll also be able to see a list of recommended keywords that are related if you scroll to the bottom of the search results. While this a good start, it’s not capable of telling you how many searches per month there are per given keyword. That’s why we recommend using a free keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to curate a list of keywords that best match your goods and services and more importantly are actually searched for by real people. If you’re in the market for a more powerful keyword research tool, there are also many paid versions available that you can utilise for more in-depth results.  

Pro Tip: There’s very little benefit to be gained from choosing keywords without search volume, while some SEO agencies like to push keywords that sound great; Ranking in position 1 for a keyword that isn’t searched for by real people, will do very little in helping your business’ online goals. We recommend you always target keywords that have actual search volume and are chosen based on aligning searcher intent with your products and services.

Explicit mentions

Now, that you’ve curated your list of targeted keywords that match searcher intent and are aligned with the products and services, it’s time to mention them on the pages you are trying to rank for. While Google algorithms have certainly gotten better at crawling and understanding website content, our research suggests that part of ranking well in the current search engine landscape is to have explicit and word-for-word mentions of your keywords in your content.  

So, how does this work in practice? Let’s take the keyword ‘SEO Brisbane’, arguably the most sought-after keyword for every SEO agency in Brisbane. According to Google Keyword Planner, the keyword ‘SEO Brisbane’ has a monthly search volume of 3,600 searches Australia wide, whereas ‘SEO in Brisbane’ has a monthly search volume of only 20 searches per month. While it might be slightly more grammatically incorrect for you to intertwine ‘SEO Brisbane’ within your content, the increase in search volume is often worth the minor grammatical error that mentioning ‘SEO Brisbane’ entails.

Pro Tip: Incorporating location-specific keywords naturally such as ‘golf Brisbane’, ‘renovations Brisbane’, ‘SEO Brisbane’, ‘gifts Brisbane’ is actually easier than you think. For example, ‘We offer SEO Brisbane that is specifically tailored to your unique business circumstances’, instead you could write ‘We offer SEO Brisbane services that are specifically tailored to your unique business circumstances’.

Why is Keyword Research Important in SEO?

We often get asked ‘why is keyword research important for SEO’ when search engine algorithms are getting better at understanding page content. The reality is that no matter how visually appealing or how well designed your website may be, potential customers will find it difficult to find your website if it doesn’t rank well on search engines such as Google. With Google’s machine learning algorithm currently being far from perfect, it still needs the help of well-researched and targeted keyword mentions incorporated into your content for the best chances of ranking well. While having targeted keywords in your content is no guarantee that a page will rank well, in our experience having keywords in the right place, in the right quantities is more likely to have a beneficial impact on your website’s rankability.   

In the future, search engine algorithms may get to the point where they can quickly crawl a particular page and associate that page with a given set of keywords that your customer base is using to search. For the moment, however, the importance of how to do proper keyword research and doing it well can make a huge difference in your website’s visibility online.

Are you interested in learning more about ‘how to do keyword research’ or ‘why is keyword research important’, get in touch with our digital marketing agency Brisbane team to speak to a Brisbane SEO specialist and see how we can supercharge your business today.