Keyword research happens to be the foundation of SEO. Google algorithms keep on changing from time to time still Keyword research has the same value in search engine marketing. If you rank on right keywords, you will not only benefit from more search engine traffic, but you will understand your customers better than your competitors. Keyword selection can make or break your website ranking. Before we get into technicalities, it’s important to understand
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the research for those words which people type in the search engines to find the result. Example: If you want to buy t-shirts online, you type “Buy t-shirt online” in the search box which is a keyword. There is no universal approach for keyword research. Keyword research should always be user centric. Research varies depending on website, goals, and objectives. I am sharing the approach of keyword research which is 100% result oriented. Also, you can adjust the method to any website or goals. I use these methods on my site, and I can guarantee you that this particular keyword research framework will increase the website traffic rapidly.
Decide a seed keyword.
Depending on the site or blog you can choose seed keyword. You can choose a single seed keyword or multiple seed keywords based on your product or website. However, the basics of research remain the same. Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research. For example, I chose “sales funnel” as seed keyword for my post-http://monarchwebworld.com/sales-funnel-strategy-adwords/.
Use the google keyword planner tool
The Google Keyword Planner itself says “reach the right customers with right keywords.” You can find keyword ideas from the keyword planner. For that login in your Google Adwords account and choose Keyword Planner from tools option. From the keyword planner option “Find new keywords and get search volume data” select the option “search for new keywords using a phrase website or category.” Put the seed keyword in the search box and get ideas. Depending on your seed keyword you will get the number of keyword ideas. Though this number of keyword ideas is enormous in Google keyword planner, it’s recommended to download it in a CSV file. In the Google Keyword planner suggested keywords number will not be more than 701 at any point in time. You can see this picture; it explains a lot.
What to choose from the CSV File?
It’s important to follow a right bucket while doing keyword research. What I do is, I select three columns from the CSV and delete others. The three columns which I retain are
- Avg. Monthly Search
- Suggested Bid
Sort and filter option of excel plays a significant role in manual keyword planning. Using Sort and filter option, filter all the keywords with the blank option in Average Monthly searches column and delete them.
** Note – If you have a seasonal business, check the keywords with no monthly searches before deleting. If you find that the keyword is useful for you, don’t delete it. For example: If you sell gift items, and you find Christmas gift as a keyword, that’s a potential keyword to work on for SEO starting now.
What’s the use of low bid keywords?
Low bid keywords have mostly less search volume. After deleting the selected Avg.monthly searches, filter all the keywords with lowest suggested bid amount. If you find any of those keywords useful, you can keep it otherwise delete them too.
** Note – It’s important to check the relevancy and conversion keyword in the lowest suggested bid option before removing.
Long tail keywords or Short tail keywords?
SEO is an art; it’s not science. Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. Most of the conversion happens from long tail keywords. If you are a beginner in SEO, if you are not aware of all the technicalities its recommended to start working with long tail keywords. There are two main advantages of using long tail keywords.
- You will have less competition in raking on long tail keywords than short tail keywords, and it will become easy for you rank at the top.
- If you can rank for long tail keywords, it will automatically include some short tail keywords. If you are ranking well on the long tail, you will rank for short tail keywords by default. As Per Neil Patel Keywords like Buy, Free, How to, Best, You, Why, Tricks, Great, etc. has the maximum search volume. Try including them in your long tail keyword if possible.
For example, if your website is ranking on “buy iPhone 6s gray color 32gb.” By default, it will list on “iPhone 6s gray color” “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone.”
Doing a word count on your keyword excel sheet is simple. You can put the word count formula in your excel sheet to determine the long tail keywords. You don’t have to work hard on excel formulas, just search in google search bar, copy the formula and paste in excel.
Filter all the long tail keywords from excel and delete the others. I am choosing the keywords with 5,6,7 and eight words. After removing the phrase with 1,2,3,4 words, you will be left with few keywords on the list. You can see in the image out of 609 keywords after removing the short tail ones; I am just left with 39 keywords to work on.
Is it important to create a Group?
Well, I feel that grouping is important while doing keyword research. If you can create a group based on the categories or based on your website pages, it will be convenient to group keywords as per that. Create a List of the keywords for the keyword group. For Example, I have chosen
Tips to create sales funnel
Sales funnel for marketing
Stages of Funnel, as the group and made a list of these keywords. Now depending on this group, I can categorize the keyword list.
*Tip to create a list in Excel: Name the items which you want to keep in the group. Select the cell where you want to put the list. Go to the data menu in the Excel. Select List from Data Validation and choose the source cells.
Once the Keywords are categorized, it’s convenient to sort the list for each group for a quick win on SERP.
Check the Competition
Pick one group and check all the keywords that are relevant to that group. You can see the Example. Check the competition of each keyword using Google search. If you take the time to evaluate keyword competition, you can usually find keywords that get significant search volume and have little to no competition.
Divide into Levels
Depending on your Competition result, divide the keywords into levels. L1 stands for highly competitive keywords, L2 Will be lesser competitive than L1 … and L5 will be least competitive.
I am sharing a picture of an Ideal scenario of keyword competition list. You can categorize as per the search volume which comes as a result of your research.
Bingo!! Now you have the L5 Keywords to start working on for SEO which will bring in results in a lesser time as you have very less competition to break through. If you start ranking on L5 Keywords in the 1st three searches of the search engine, it will make a path for you to start listing on L4, L3, L2, and L1. When you tailor your on-page SEO around the right keywords, you’ll watch your site rocket to the top of Google landing you more traffic, leads, and sales in the process.
Tips: If You choose multiple seed keywords. You can use these research tools. If you are aware of your competitor, you can choose “Get search volume data and trends.” option from Google Keyword tool from Google Adwords.
1. Google Suggestions
The advanced Google algorithm attempts to suggest the best matching search queries for the entered term. Suggested keywords appear under the search box. A user that is executing the search can click on any keyword from the list and immediately see the search results page. This experience is both fast and convenient.
You can research from your seed keywords using this tool. Download them in excel, merge the excels, remove duplicates and follow the process starting from choosing the long tail keyword.
It’s a paid tool however you can check all the keywords using this medium on which your competitor is ranking.
It’s a free tool which gives you an idea of the related keywords on multiple search engine.
It’s helpful for bloggers like me as it gives you multiple questions related to the keyword.
You can check whats trending about your seed keyword.
Understanding the keyword research metrics is essential if you are planning to become a long term player. I tried my best to distill a lot which I know about keyword research in this article. There’s certainly more to keyword research than that. So I would love to pass the mic to you guys and girls and have you share some of your ideal tips and tricks that you didn’t see me mention in this guide.
Let’s learn from each other!