One of the first steps of any content marketing and/or SEO strategy is to find keywords.
But, how do you do it?
At first, it might seem a little overwhelming because of all of the tools and data involved.
Don’t worry, because in this guide we’re going to talk you through how to do keyword research in an easy-to-understand way.
Once you’ve got keyword research in the bag, take our 5 day SEO challenge, our guide to internal linking or check out our list of guest blogging sites that you can contribute to!
1. Get Ideas
The first step would be to get ideas. This part is simple, and you can do this in two different ways. We suggest doing both, as this will give you the most ideas.
- Write down seed keywords and other keyword ideas.
Write down “seed keywords” which are very basic terms related to your products or service. For example, if you are selling hand sanitiser, the seed keyword would be “hand sanitiser”. Later on, you can then use these “seed keywords” to find more by taking a look at the keyword suggestions in your preferred tool.
But, we’ll talk more about that later…
At this stage, you can also write down some keyword ideas that come from you. You can do this by putting yourself in the position of your target audience, and heading over to Google to type in some terms. Any suggestions that come up which you would like to rank for, you can keep in your list to check their data later on.
- Fetch your Competitors’ URLs
The second way you can get keyword ideas is by checking out some of your competitors. Make a list of their domains and keep them in a spreadsheet or something similar.
Later on, you can put these into the Keyword Research tools to see all the keywords they rank for, as well as the pages doing so.
From there, you can then create similar pages to compete with them on those keywords, and ultimately steal their traffic.
2. Get The Tools Out
Now that you have some keyword ideas and competitor URLs, it’s time to get the tools out.
There are many SEO tools out there that you can use, but the most popular ones are SEMrush and Ahrefs.
Either of these will do just fine, so go ahead and open one of them up.
Use Seed Keyword/ideas to get keywords
From here, you can take the keyword ideas you got in the previous steps, and start typing them into the keyword research section.
Now the tool of your choice will show you keyword suggestions and the metrics such as the CPC (cost-per-click), search volume, and difficulty. In case you aren’t familiar with these metrics, we’ve explained them below.
For keywords with a higher CPC, it usually means that there is more buyer-intent behind the keyword. This means it’s more likely to convert.
And, search volume gives you a rough idea of how many people are searching for this keyword.
Lastly, the difficulty is a score that takes into account the competition’s backlinks and content to help determine how hard it is to rank.
You can simply make a list of the keywords that you find and want to rank for. Then, you can analyse them later to see what exactly you need to rank.
Use Competitors’ URLs To Get Keyword
Another great way to use these tools to get keywords is by taking your competitors’ URLs and putting them into the keyword research tool of your choice.
Now, they’ll spit out all your competitors’ keywords, their data, and the pages ranking. Now, you can take a look at these and figure out which ones you want to rank for.
You can make a list of them and the pages ranking to create something similar (or better) and then your chances of ranking are pretty good.
Now, you should have a list of keywords that you want to rank for.
3. Understand The Search Intent
Search intent is something that a lot of people ignore which can be quite costly in the future. When you are targeting keywords, you should first analyse the intent of the searcher to get a better understanding of what type of content you should create.
The first question should always be: “What’s the searcher looking for?” and your job is to give it to them the best way possible.
But, it also goes beyond that. You should also check out the pages already ranking on the first page because Google clearly thinks they satisfy the intent quite well.
If they have long 2000 word “How to” guides, then chances are you need something similar to compete with them. When it comes to SEO, usually, the pages already ranking have most of the answers.
You can take a look and see how they have satisfied the intent, and do something similar/better.
4. Check Out The Trends For Seasonality
Before you go and create the content, something worth checking are the trends and seasonality of the keyword. The reason for this is that if you don’t check this, it can sometimes be a little less profitable than you might have thought.
A very basic example of this would be keywords related to Christmas. People will usually be searching for these around October onwards.
And, it’s a similar case for many other keywords too, but quite often they’re less obvious. So, you can head over to a tool like Google trends to check the seasonality of a keyword.
Usually, you can do this by typing in the seed keyword and filtering to the last 12 months.
Additionally, you can also filter to the last 5 years to see general trends related to the keyword. Plus, most keyword research tools will have trends built-in, but it’s always good to check several tools to get a more complete picture.
5. Create Your Content Plan
Once you have your list of keywords, you can now create a content plan with the keywords you want to rank for.
You can do this in a spreadsheet, and there are even lots of templates online that you can download for free. You can add the pages of your competitors’ that are ranking too, as this will make it easy to see what they have created so you can do something similar.
You can plan for the next month or two, and build a strategy using the keywords you have found in the previous steps.
Next, of course, is going and creating the content.
But, it’s not just a case of going and writing some random articles to hope they’ll rank. Instead, if you do proper competitor analysis, you’ll have much better chances.
Recently, we created a guide to getting your website on the first page of Google which covers competitor analysis.
For your content, you can also use Page Optimizer Pro that will analyse the pages ranking on the first page and guide you to writing optimised content.
If you are looking to hire content writers you can also check out our content writing service, where all our writers use Page Optimiser Pro.
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