- February 14, 2017
- Posted by: seo@bank
- Category: Blogs, Keyword Research
Keyword Research For SEO
What’s It All About and Where do I Start?
Keyword research is starting to become a long lost art. Some know it as the most important part of SEO, and others refer to it as the one-and-only practice that gets you results and it’s obviously in direct proportion of how well you implement a proper keyword strategy for your business.
Keyword research is definitely important and always will be. It is a process that puts you on the start line when it comes to ranking high and prepares you for the race to the top result. But the true core of keyword research is to help you win as many races as possible, or in other words, rank on as many pages as possible by having the right keywords to begin with.
It’s true that there are just so many keywords and so many metrics out there, and all may seem like a tough pill to swallow for the average business owner. However, those metrics and specific keywords are able to give you the right kind of visitors to your website and potentially transform them to your long-term customers.
So in a nutshell, keyword research is an important part for SEO – and one that you must focus on before everything else.
Is Every Keyword The Same?
How Do I Know Which Ones To Target?
If you are asking yourself the questions from above, you should know that there is nothing like keywords that are the same. Sure, there may be similar metrics to a keyword – but in order to understand the real value of each keyword you must understand your website and industry, make some hypotheses, do some tests and repeat the entire process.
Below, we are going in-depth on all the keyword research tactics.
Basic Keyword Research
What most businesses and individuals are fond of is the basic keyword research. Basically, this research focuses on finding relevant keywords without the help of a specific tool. For example, if the business specializes in roofing and it is located in Toronto, the basic keyword research would deliver some obvious keywords such as “roofing contractor Toronto”, “roofing company Toronto”, “roof replacement Toronto” etc. aside from the main keywords that include “roofing”, “roof replacement” etc.
Basically, the aim of the basic keyword research is for you to get going with the idea of including keywords in your content that are relevant to your business. However, a business which aim is the top search engine spot cannot depend on the basic keyword research only.
The most basic (and advanced) program in the world when it comes to keyword research is the Keyword Planner by Google. And although many people have recently labeled it as outdated because of the new products on the market, it is still the gold standard to which many people look up to.
Using the Google Keyword Planner, formerly Google Keyword Tool is simple. You only log in to the page, enter a keyword and change the filters tailored to your needs. You can also set the tool to “Get Keyword Ideas” which is a nice feature to build out your blog post ideas.
Finding The Smart Keywords: How It All Begins
As soon as the basic keyword research phase is over, the process of actual keyword research can start. This is the part where you can actually identify the smart keywords that may work for your business.
A great place to start looking for smart keywords is Google itself, where you search for your relevant keyword (and location) and see the results, check out the competition.
But most importantly….
A thing that only a few people know is that Google shows a dozen of recommended keywords on every single page. Wondering where are they located?
Well, you only head to the bottom of the actual search page and you will see the ‘Searches related to [keyword]’ part. This is where Google packs some of the most relevant keywords tailored to your search, all of which being great additions to your already searched ones. You can search for more keywords, see the related searches for each result and combine the most relevant ones as well.
In case you can’t find it, here is a preview of the Related Searches category with the (roofing) example we already mentioned above.
Long-Tail Keywords & Their Massive Potential
A great way to step up your game when it comes to keyword research for better SEO is with the introduction of long-tail keywords. Don’t know what long tail keywords are?
Basically, a long-tail keyword is a keyword that has low competition in the search results and low to medium traffic. In other words, these keywords are used to target niche demographics and are more specific, which makes them less competitive. And only because of that, they provide both short-term and long-term benefits.
So, when searchers are looking for something more specific or tailored to their needs, they search for long tail keywords. For example, the keyword “cheap shirt” is a basic keyword which has thousands of views monthly. However, the keyword “red shirt under $100” is a more specific one and one that has a few hundreds of searches per month – and all of them are more specific.
The specificity in these searches is what makes long-tail keywords powerful. On top of that, ranking for a long-tail keyword as the first result is way easier because of the absent competition. Not every business is able to find as many specific keywords – which is why you should and dominate the industry, step by step.
Neil Patel has visualized the value of a long-tail keyword in an interesting graphic, shared below:
LSI Keywords: Another Great Place To ‘Fish’ For Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, also known as LSI keywords, are the next group of keywords we’d like to share. These are basically keywords that are related to the primary keywords you are using but are not only synonyms or keywords that are similar to your focus keyword’s meaning.
LSI keywords change with trends and just like Google’s advanced algorithms, they are able to get you true results if used properly. A great example for an LSI keyword is the Oculus Rift one. As you probably know, “Oculus Rift” was a term we all knew of 5 years ago, but nowhere near a VR (virtual reality) device in the making. Today, “Oculus Rift” and “virtual reality” are keywords that go perfectly together because of the recent VR trend and the device named Oculus Rift.
There are many ways to track LSI keywords, however LSIGraph: LSI Keyword Generator keeps it simple. All you need to do is enter your main keyword and you’ll get data on more than 50 latest LSI keywords relevant to it.
Or if you still prefer the ‘old school’, you can go through the suggested search in Google or try any on this list of great free keyword research tools.
Free Keyword Research Tools
(We are putting together a Defitive guide to Free and Paid Keyword tools and I will place the link here, once created.)
The Semantic Search Done Through Google’s Rank Brain
The meaning of semantic search was something we covered in the part above. Basically, semantic in keywords stands for relevant keywords and ones that blend together.
Google, as a true pioneer in the SEO world, has recently created a new artificial intelligence program and named it “Rank Brain” – which helps people search for keywords based on the advanced artificial intelligence system packed into it.
A great way to explain the value of Rank Brain are the different measurements, trends and statistics for every country. For example, Europe and the US use different measurements and there are different trends in both areas of the world for particular products and services. Google’s Rank Brain and the next-gen search engine technology prioritizes on these trends with the specific location in mind – and never fails to recognize a new pattern.
The use of Google’s Rank Brain can positively affect your SEO campaign, mostly with the relevant keywords that pop in the results. In fact, these are the exact keywords that your potential customers are searching for – now served on a plate for you.
A Final Thought on Your Business Keyword Strategy
In the end, there is a lot when it comes to keyword research, and it seems that it is a practice that is growing. The variety of products, platforms and ways to research for keywords are the best proof for that. But the only thing that matters and will always matter are the relevant keywords you use, and the balance you create in your content.