Keyword research is the most important first step in any successful SEO or content marketing campaign. But it can also be confusing and difficult for beginners.
I think by now you’re asking:
- Where do you start?
- What tools should you use?
- How do you interpret the data?
Don’t worry in this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to perform effective keyword research and analysis in 2023. After reading this post you’ll have the idea about understanding search intent, leveraging Google’s free keyword tools to tracking keyword performance ..etc.
Ready? Let’s dive into the exciting world of keyword research!!!
1. Keyword Research Basics
Before we start digging into tactics and tools, let’s ensure we have a solid foundational understanding of keyword research.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is the term or phrase users enter into search engines like Google when looking for information online. These keywords represent user search intent – the goal behind the search query.
- “best pizza recipes” – Informational intent
- “pizza restaurant near me” – Commercial intent
- “how to make pizza dough from scratch” – Transactional intent
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is important because it helps you:
- Identify high-value topics and keywords your audience cares about. This ensures your content targets searches with good traffic and conversion potential.
- Understand user intent for different queries so you can create content that matches what the searcher wants to find.
- Expand your keyword list to cover all relevant topics around your products/services. This improves discoverability and visibility for your brand.
- Prioritize keyword targets based on search volume, competitiveness, relevancy and more. This allows you to focus efforts on the terms that will deliver the best ROI.
As you can see, proper keyword research lays the foundation for an effective SEO and content marketing strategy tailored to your audience’s wants and needs!
2. Understanding Searcher Intent
As hinted in point no. 1, all keywords and searches have an intent behind them. If you want to create content that ranks and converts, you need to understand these different types of intent.
The three main types are:
a. Informational Intent
Informational keywords indicate the searcher is looking to learn or research a topic. For example:
- “how to bake cookies”
- “best scrapbooking ideas”
- “when is the next full moon”
To target informational intent, you need to create comprehensive, educational content like tutorials, guides, and listicles.
b. Commercial Intent
Commercial intent means the searcher wants to purchase a product or service. Some examples:
- “buy protein powder”
- “men’s running shoes under $100”
- “cheap flights to london”
For commercial keywords, useful content includes product reviews and comparisons, pricing and deals, and tips for purchasing decisions.
c. Transactional Intent
Transactional keywords show the searcher is ready to make a transaction now. For example:
- “order pizza online”
- “book a cruise”
- “file taxes with TurboTax”
Target these high-converting keywords by ensuring your website has clear calls-to-action, shopping carts, booking systems, and other tools to enable the transaction.
Pro Tip: To maximize your conversion potential, create content that moves searchers down the funnel – from informational to commercial to transactional intent keywords.
3. Leveraging Free Keyword Tools
a. Google Keyword Planner
Google’s free Keyword Planner gives keyword suggestions and monthly search volume estimates. Here’s how to use it:
- Enter a seed keyword like “yoga mats” and location.
- Filter suggestions by monthly searches to prioritize volume.
- Export the keywords – this data integrates with other Google tools.
- Repeat the process with other seed keywords.
This gives you a list of high-volume keywords to target in your content.
b. Google Related Searches
Don’t overlook Google’s “People also ask” and “Searches related to” boxes on SERPs. The suggestions come directly from user search queries.
Simply search for your focus keyword and mine both sections for more specific keyword ideas and questions to answer.
c. Google Autocomplete
As you type queries into Google, you’ll see search suggestions in the dropdown. These are driven by the most popular searches starting with your text.
Try typing in your important keywords and scrolling through the suggestions for more angle ideas.
d. Google Trends
Google Trends shows you search volume patterns and regional interest over time for keywords. This can reveal new trends and seasonality to consider.
Input your main keywords to uncover this data, then download the results into a spreadsheet for analysis.
4. Advanced Keyword Tracking & Performance
The free Google tools are great for initial research. But to truly master keyword targeting, you need to track keyword performance over time. Here are two tools that can help:
a. Google Search Console
Google Search Console connects with your website to provide key metrics like:
- Which keywords drive traffic to your site
- How much traffic each keyword gets
- Clickthrough rates and position for important keywords
Use this data to find your top-performing keywords to optimize and underutilized targets with more potential.
b. Google Analytics
With Google Analytics, you can track goal completions and conversions by keyword by:
- Setting up goals/conversions tracking in Analytics
- Adding the “Secondary Dimension” for keywords to reports
- Viewing keywords with the most goal completions
This reveals your highest-converting keyword targets to shift more focus and optimization efforts toward.
Pro Tip: Use scripts like Rank Tracker to auto-pull keyword data from Search Console and Analytics into a single dashboard.
5. Keywords Are Just the Beginning
While keyword research is crucial, it’s just the first step. You need to:
- Organize keywords into topics and buckets
- Assess keyword difficulty and competitiveness
- Identify priority keyword targets
- Align keywords to pages based on relevance
- Optimize pages for your focus keywords
- Create pillar content for major keyword targets
- Promote content to gain backlinks and rankings
- Analyze results and iterate on what’s working
This is the foundation of an effective SEO and content strategy. Keyword research gets the ball rolling, but constant tracking and optimization are needed over the long-term.
There you have it all- a complete guide to mastering keyword research in 2023 and beyond.
The key takeaways:
- Know your audience’s search intent
- Leverage free Google keyword tools
- Track keyword performance over time
- Align keywords to content and pages
- Create pillar content for competitive keywords
- Promote and analyze to continuously improve
As you now know about Keyword Research that’s not all you have to also know How to Do Keyword Research for SEO to identify high-traffic, low-competition keywords that you can realistically rank for.
My Final Words: With the right keywords fueling your efforts, you can align your content and SEO to match searcher intent, unlock growth opportunities, and ultimately drive more qualified traffic and conversions.
So don’t neglect keyword research. With this guide’s tips and strategies, you have everything you need to turn keywords into content marketing success!