You might be familiar that Keyword Research is Crucial in SEO. But how do find the right keywords?
In this In-depth Guide, I will show you everything you need to know to Master Keyword research. We will go step-by-step, through the whole process, Enjoy.
In Chapter 1, we will cover the basics of Keyword research. Everything from what they are to why they matter for SEO.
Content for the Keyword Research
Why is Keyword Research important for SEO?
Keyword Research is the first step in any SEO campaign, and if did right, it will help you in the Ultimate Growth of your Business.
What are the Different Types of Keywords?
I like to spend just a little bit of time talking about the types of keywords you’re going to come across as you start building your keyword list and doing your research.
I believe learning about the different types of keywords is going to benefit your results.
So taking the time now for the keyword research will pay off down the road.
But more specifically, we’re going to look at search intent and some other keyword terminology that will help you better identify the right keywords to target. And the search is super important when it comes to keyword research.
Understanding Search Intents:
Different vital words show searchers’ interest and intent.
Understanding this will help you select the keywords that will drive the most targeted visitors to your Website and the keywords that will have the highest conversion rate.
Informational vs. Transactional Keywords
There are both informational and transactional types of keywords.
Informational keywords are going to be what people search for when they’re looking for more information on a topic they’re not necessarily interested in purchasing anything.
So it could be something in general. There’s not anything to be purchased for the most part.
Then you have transactional keywords, and these keywords are what users search for when they want to perform a particular activity. And that is usually buying something.
I could be someone searching to get a car insurance quote, or subscribe to the X Y Z program, or buy an LCD TV.
These people are looking to act, and they are likely to have their wallets out, and ready or they’re very close to it.
So the transactional keywords have more buyer intent, and you can usually identify these keywords pretty quickly because they include product-related keywords.
So this could be specific brands, or this could also be key phrases that include words like buy, discount, or coupons. These indicate that the searcher is ready to take action now.
Here you can find a complete Guide on transactional keywords and Information keywords, that will help you understand keyword research.
As you are familiar with different types of Keywords and their competition level, now I will show you how to make a list of Keywords.
And how you can Come up with great Keyword Ideas in your keyword research, that will do wonders in your SEO journey.
1-Write down a list of Topics.
In this part of the keyword research, you will brainstorm the topics related to your products or niche.
Write topics that you think people will search for to find your services. We will then use these to enter into a more specific question.
For example, if you have a niche related to Gardening the topics you can think of would be like,
- Types of Gardening
- Importance of Gardening
- Vegetable Gardening
- Gardening tools
- Gardening ideas
And as they are the broader topics, you can then find specific keywords from these topics. Which we are just getting into now.
2-Google’s Search Completion
It is one of the best ways that you can use to find the best keywords easily.
Go to Google and search for the topic. It will automatically help complete your search.
The automatically completed searches are what the people are searching for the most.
You can make a list of Google’s Autocomplete searches. You can then use these searches in your content (after performing some tests).
Another easy way to find some suitable keywords is through Google’s Searches Related to.
3-Searches Related To
Search for the topic on Google.
Scroll down the page to see the searches related to the section.
Click on one of the related searches, scroll down, and do the same to this search term (select one of the related searches). You can do this continuously and generate multiple Keywords.
There are high chances that you will find your audiences on Reddit.
You can use Reddit to search for different terms, as you did on Google.
Head over to Reddit, type in the broader topic (say clothe), choose one of the subreddits (this might be where your audience is).
And look for the question terms in the subreddits you can then add those in your Keywords List.
5-Use Youtube Search
Youtube is now the second most used search engine in the world. Like Google type-in, your search term, and will automatically suggest different search terms.
Now, you have a keyword list, and you know how to find those keywords using different free platforms.
Let’s see how you can filter out specific search terms for your content. We will use different techniques in the filtering process.
We will use different Keyword Research Tools.
1-Using Google Adwords Planner for Keyword Research
Head over to Google Adwords Planner click on Start Now.
In the top bar, look for Tools & Settings, select it, in the planning section, (on the left side) choose Keyword Planning.
Type in your search term in the Discover new Keywords (search) box, you can add multiple search terms to compare them.
Once done, click on Get Results.
Google Keyword Planner will generate hundreds of different search terms with their brief stats.
Another great tool you can use is Ahrefs. It’s a paid tool, but they have many tools that you can use for free. Like their Keyword Generator.
Type in your search term, and it will generate hundreds of high keywords in no time.
You will get 100 keywords with their stats, for free and then you need to pay.
Now Ahrefs is what SEO experts use. And it’s worth a while.
They have a seven-day trial for $7.
It’s another excellent SEO tool that you can use to perform different SEO audits.
They have a tool called Keyword Magical Tool. Type in your search term, and you will get thousands of keywords with their stats.
You can also apply filters to your results to find narrower search terms.
Then you can export these keywords.
A tool by Neil Patel, SEO Guru. Like other tools, you can find great keyword ideas using this tool.
Head over to Ubersuggest, type in your search term, and it will show you all the keywords with their stats.
In chapter 4, you will learn a few terms, you need to look for whenever you are trying to find new Keywords.
Difficulty Level of the Keyword (Super Important for Keyword Research)
There are generally three types of Keywords.
These are the shorter keywords. And they consist of 1 or 2 words. For example, SEO, Shirts, and the competition level is very high for these terms.
They are delightful, but outranking other big websites for these terms isn’t that easy
They consist of 2-3 words. The competition level is not high for them (at least not as head terms), but they are still hard to get top rankings.
These are the keywords that Intermediate type of Websites should choose. Because they are already getting traffic, and giving them a shot wouldn’t be a bad idea.
But I don’t recommend beginners to go for these keywords as it can get harder to achieve ranking.
3-Long-Tail Keywords (less competitive)
They have more than three words in them. And these are the ones with minimum competition.
I highly recommend going with these keywords as it can be straightforward to get ranking.
They’re less specific, but they typically have a higher search volume.
Keep in mind that about 40 percent or more of all the online searches today, made up of four or more words.
So when you start a new SEO campaign, you want to go after what I call quick wins. It means starting with the keywords you feel like you can rank for the fastest.
It will put your Website on the map, and help give you some early organic search momentum, while you work on ranking for other keywords.
Making Your Keywords List
1-Look For High Traffic
There are many signs of a successful keyword, go to Google Adwords planner, and see what the traffic numbers are.
If there are a massive number of searches, this means it’s the right keyword.
If you narrow that down and you look at the exact searches versus the broad searches, it will tell you if there is a lot of demand for that keyword.
2-Are there any Ads?
Keywords with high CPC (cost per click) means theirs a lot of advertising competition.
You want to look at the traffic, and also see if there are ads.
People are paying for profitable keywords because no one is going to pay for keywords that are not profitable.
So if you see a lot of competition in those sponsored ads, that’s a sign of Good Keywords.
You also want to make sure that these are targeted and that they’re relevant to what it is that you do.
3-Competition of those Keywords
Every keyword is going to have some form of competition.
So we want to determine how hard it is to achieve rankings.
We’re going to be looking at the competition so that you can determine if you’re going to be able to do that easily, or if it’s going to be so hard.
You can find the Difficulty level for each keyword in the tools (I mentioned above).
If the competition is high, It’s not going to be worth your time, and that you should move onto the next one or at least save that keyword for later down the road, once you rank for some other keywords that are a bit easier.
And you also want to select the keywords that are going to drive targeted traffic.
Because if you drive targeted traffic to your Website, that’s great.
If not targeted to what you do or why you want people on your Website, that is not going to be a successful keyword, and people are going to leave your site.
So we’re going to take all of these things into consideration when selecting the most profitable and successful keywords.
Filtering the Keywords list
So now you have a list of keywords with good search volume.
But before we start using those keywords, we need to narrow them down even further to do that. We’re going to take a look at the ranking data and the competition.
I mean, we’re going to determine just how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword.
So y’ all know which to go after first, which to add to your long-term plan, and which to throw out altogether, in this chapter is where you will be able to start feeling confident about the keywords that you are selecting and will be moving forward with this.
Analyzing Keyword Competition
Just when you think it’s over, you have only one last step in this keyword research process.
After this, I promise you can move forward with actually implementing your Osseo campaign.
Now you have a good list of keywords with a decent search volume.
We need to make sure that we have a good chance of actually ranking for that keyword, and that’s where looking into your keyword competition comes in to do that, we need to check out our game, on the first page of Google.
So our goal here is to have both good search volume and little to no competition.t This means it’s going to take you less work to outrank these sites.
Scratching Off The Competetive Keywords
So from the beginning, if you search for your keyword and the first page returns several authoritative sites.
These are going to be sites like Wikipedia, Amazon, Yelp, and other large I sites.
Just go ahead and move on to the next keyword. Scratch that one off your list. It’s going to be very difficult for you to achieve those very top rankings.
Let’s take a look at the example of this.
Keyword Competition Example:
If I search for DSL or cameras, the first search that appears is of Amazon, which is a huge company.
Again another Wikipedia, C-Net, and PC Mag.
These are large Web sites. These are very authoritative sites in the eyes of Google.
So I might as well move on, but if I look for, let’s say skin mask recipes, for example, the very first search is a less Authoritative Site.
So any time you see something like this where it’s pages or one of those other articles type sites, that is a good sign that this is going to be a more comfortable keyword to rank.
But one thing to keep in mind is that Google ranks pages it does not rank entire sites.
So we need to look at the authority of that particular page and not the site as a whole.
The exception to this is going to be large e-commerce sites.
So these are going to be sites like Amazon, for example, because they are a huge brand and, to be honest, Google tends to favor them in search results.
So it’s going to be very hard for you to outrank other sites like Wikipedia as well are going to be more favored in google as well even if they don’t have all the correct SEO tactics in place that you need to use on our Web site.
So if you do not see big sites or some of the less Google favored sites like small pages or article sites, it can be hard to determine how competitive the sites are without doing a little bit more research.
So to do this, we need to look at the top-ranking Web sites page rank and Page authority.
Understanding PR (Page Rank), PA, and DA
Before we get into how to find the web pages page rank and Page authority, Let’s talk about precisely what those terms mean.
It is a number that is assigned by Google and based on a scale of 10.
I’ve found that this is still an excellent way to determine how easily you’re going to be able to rank for specific keywords.
So new sites will start with a page rank of 0, and they will build their way up from there, although page rank changes very slowly.
Many authoritative sites have a PR of 4 or 5 or even higher, but also a four and five are considered very good.
One of the reasons I recommend you avoid keywords were the top-ranked sites like Amazon, Wikipedia, etc. is because they have a page rank of 8 and 9, and Google tends to favor those sites.
It doesn’t apply as much to the more prominent sites that I just mentioned, but if you see other Web sites with an official home page, but that particular page that ranks do not have much authority by itself, that’s OK.
And that’s still a good sign that you can outrank that particular page.
Now Page Rank is a good indicator, but it doesn’t get updated too often, and that’s why it’s good to look at page authority, which is updated more frequently.
It is another indicator of how much authority the site has, in eyes of Google, Google measures page Rank, while page authority is measured by another tool that we will look at shortly.
When researching a site’s page authority and page ranking you’re looking for Low Page Authority and Low Page Rank, it’s a sign that you can outrank the web page if you’re targeting medium or higher competition keywords.
–> Having a few pages with a higher page authority or Page Rank is OK, as you will still be able to achieve the top 10 rankings.
Now domain authority is something that I haven’t mentioned yet, but it is worth taking into consideration.
Now the central authority is what I’ve hinted about so far, and as you can probably guess, domain authority refers to the entire Web site’s power in the eyes of Google.
It is essential to consider, but ultimately, page authority is more important to find because, as I mentioned, Google is going to rank those individual web pages and not the entire website.
So let’s take a look at how to find this information quickly.
Free Tools to find PR (Page Rank), PA, and DA
There are two free tools you can use to find a web page’s page authority and page rank.
What I like to use is called Moz bar and SEO Quake, which are both browser extensions that you can install for free.
If you don’t see this little information on bars here below each search result, then just refresh the page or even just close and reopen your browser. And they should appear.
We are now going to look at the first few results.
And right now, this particular page has a page rank of 0.
Looking down at Amazon, the page rank for this page is a six that’s rather high.
Now I can go back and look at page authority as well for the first search result.
There’s a 67 PA (Page Authority).
So let’s talk about these numbers a little bit.
I like to see low page ranks.
These are typically 0, 1, 2 sometimes even a 3 are all good signs.
Now for our page authority, I typically don’t want to target anything over about 40. So I want to keep these numbers relatively low.
You can also see the domain authority here in the Moz bar.
So these are all very, very strong sites.
You can see that most of them here have zero for the Page Rank, which is good but followed by a page rank of 63.
But then when I go back up, and I look at the page authority, even though this one has a page rank of zero, it does have a page authority of 67, and domain authority of 88.
That’s pretty high.
That’s not something I usually like to mess with, especially if I’m trying to target a quick win.
Low Competetive Page Authority Sites
So you can see these particular pages looking pretty competitive, and they have a lot of authoritative
sites here with a high page rank with top page authorities.
So this is a keyword I’m probably going to want to scratch off my list and just move on.
I’m going to select another keyword, hair mass recipes, to grow hair.
Now here I have a PR 3, but it has a page authority of 37.
That’s a good sign.
It is a good sign that the top rankings have both lower page rank and very low page authorities.
It is a keyword that I can expect to rank relatively quickly.
Backlinks and Keyword Research
The last piece of analyzing our keyword competition has to do with backlinks.
Now backlinks are the number of links from other websites that point back to the web page we want to rank.
It is so important to look at because backlinks are one of Google’s top criteria for deciding which web pages to rank, Google has to figure out which websites provide the right useful information for visitors.
So how can they determine that without sitting down and reading every web page sites linked to other websites or pages, because they feel they can offer something of value to their readers.
So, in essence, the more links, the better.
Now, this has been abused by spammy ASIO’s, and Google is getting smart.
They know that a website with a handful of excellent quality links is better than a Web site that gets links from a bunch of spammy low-quality sites.
It means it’s Important to see how many links your competitor has.
Analyzing Competitors Backlinks with Free Tools
So how do we go about finding out how many backlinks our competitors have?
Although there are many tools, you can use to help you find this information.
There are a couple of free tools that will give you this information quickly.
The first one is the Moz bar that we already looked at right from the search page you can see the number of links the web page has.
So you can see the web pages that are ranked on the first page here have thousands of links pointing to them.
Analyzing Backlinks using MOZ
So to see what’s going on, I can click on the links and this is going to open, Moz’s tool called Open site to explore.
I am going to share the number of links that it has.
Now you’ll notice over here two things One it says that there are seven root domains and there are 14,942 total links.
That means that all of those 15000 links are only coming from seven different domains.
That’s not very diversified.
But scrolling down, you’ll be able to see which of the pages are linking to this page.
You can see here a spam score.
You can also see the page authority and the domain authority of those external websites.
So the more domains that are linking to a site, the better off that site is.
And also, high page authority and high domain authority sites are the right places for backlinks, so you can use this information to see how good or bad the links are that this particular web page has.
So this will give you some information without registering for the Pro version.
Analyzing Competitors Backlinks With Premium Tools
Ahref’s is another useful tool to use.
You can enter a URL here.
Now this one is for my hair mask recipe’s example.
Now you’ll see right off the bat it says there are 6600 backlinks and over a hundred and fifty-three domains.
But if you look up top, I have selected for the domain (means entire site).
So I want to look only at the exact URL because again, Google is only looking at that particular web page, not the entire site.
So that takes it down to 20 links with only 16 referring domains.
So this is more realistic.
It’s going to give me a better idea of what I would need to do as far as backlinks are a concern to outrank this site.
So you can see the number of links is relatively low.
That tells me I have an excellent chance to outrank these web pages.
Analyzing Backlinks using Semrush
And if you decide on signing up for the SEMRush tool, you will be able to access all this data there. And also, the data of the SEO Quake tool that pools the SEMRush.
It also has a backlinks comparison tool, so you can compare to competitor sites or even a competitor site against your own, to see how you stand against competitors.
As far as backlinks are concerned, that’s an elegant feature.
Analyzing your competition doesn’t take too much time, but it is such an essential step in analyzing the keywords you want to rank.
After researching your keyword competitors, you can feel confident that you targeting keywords you can rank.
Some Advanced Tips
Congratulations, you are now a keyword research expert.
Keyword research is time-consuming, and it definitely can be frustrating. Still, there is no better feeling than going into an SEO campaign with confidence because you’ve put forth the time to do proper keyword research.
Now you know you can rank for these keywords, and soon you’ll start seeing the results.
I hope you follow it along with me, and now have at least a handful of stable keywords you’ll be moving forward with.
Now it’s time to get right going.
How Much is Each Keyword Going to be worth?
It’s quite easy to determine just about how much each keyword is going to be worth to you based on how it ranks and search engines if you list a keyword on the first page of Google.
That’s great, but there is a big difference in value between a keyword ranked in positions 8, 9, or 10 and the first or second spot.
There is quite a significant difference between the value of a keyword in position one versus position two.
So let’s have a look at this breakdown
Position one will get you about 42 percent of the clicks where a position ten keyword ranking will get you about 3 percent.
So that is a big difference, especially when you’re looking at your search volume, you’re trying to determine where you can rank, what you think you can achieve.
So this can help you take a look at just how many searches you will get.
If you only think that you can rank in position number 5 because some large authoritative sites are higher than that, let’s say.
So this will give you a better idea of what you can do.
Let me show you how you can calculate this yourself
First, you need to gather the estimated monthly search volume for the keywords you’re targeting.
So let’s say you want to rank the Website that sells photography lightboxes that sell for $50 on average.
Now I’m just going to make up the numbers here as well as the keyword.
I’m going to pretend that this is not a very competitive keyword, although I’m sure it is to use as an example, so just don’t hold me to these.
Search Volume Research
First of all, we need the search volume.
Let’s say after I did my keyword research, and I determine there has been an estimated monthly search volume of 2500 searches, as you can probably imagine.
When a user does a Google search, and the first ten options, the likelihood the user will click on the search result dramatically decreases with each position.
Let’s say my search volume is twenty-five hundred, and I get fifty dollars per sale with a conversion rate of 2 percent.
You can see that position one will get me one thousand fifty-three dollars per month.
However, the position for my income will dramatically decrease, down to about $300. I can go all the way down, and I can see that my place ten rankings will get me about $75.
So you can see with this potential keyword depending on where I rank on the first page. I could take anywhere from $75 to over a thousand dollars per month.
That is a huge difference.
So this is something you want to take into consideration when you’re looking at how competitive a keyword is, how much search volume it has and what you think you can achieve and how much money you need to make from these keywords each month.