We are not unfamiliar with the subject of keywords. Being a marketer, blogger, or website owner means you probably had to select keywords for the content you shared. Even if you think your content and brand are effective, you may still find it difficult to choose the right keywords to connect with readers, improve your chances of getting seen, and rank higher in search engine results.
- A Brief Introduction on Keywords: What Are They? How Do They Work?
- Why Do Keywords Matter?
- Why Is Keyword Research Important?
- Keyword Research Basics
- How to Find Keyword Ideas
- Keyword Research Tools
- How to Choose a Keyword
- How to Analyze Search Volume
- Why Is Traffic Potential Important?
- Keyword Density Analysis
- Advanced Keyword Strategies
- How to Measure the “Traffic Potential” of a Keyword
- Usage of LSI Keywords
- Identifying the Primary Keyword
- Using Google Search Console for Keyword Research
- Frequently Asked Questions About
The strength of the keywords you select will determine how visible you are online. They do strengthen your content and assist you in attracting the audience you desire. How can we ensure that we are selecting the appropriate keywords, then? Your question can be easily answered by following the keyword research checklist, ensuring that you find the best keywords for your content. A keyword research checklist is an ideal place to start if you are unsure where to begin.
A Brief Introduction on Keywords: What Are They? How Do They Work?
The words or phrases users use while searching on search engines to find a specific topic or piece of material are known as keywords or SEO (search engine optimization) keywords. Since keywords are the key to getting your content to appear when people search for it on search engines, it might be difficult to overlook their significance.
Search engines can learn more about the content on your website thanks to keywords. No matter what we type in the search bar, whether a single word or a lengthy phrase, the top result will contain the right keywords. The authority, quality, and relevancy of your content and website will all affect how high your web page will rank in search results.
How do keywords help your websites appear in search results? How can keywords ensure that you appear higher in Google searches? You might be wondering. To do so, there are two ways: utilizing pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and SEO.
You may begin by optimizing your website for SEO if you’re unsure of how to attract people to find your website through online searches. SEO is important since it aids in keyword selection and boosts the visibility of your website in search engine results. If you disregard the importance of SEO, your website or brand may suffer financial losses.
Simply use the following guidelines to enhance your website for SEO using keywords:
- Conduct keyword research regarding your products, target audience, industry, and competitors.
- Use keywords that might help people find you or your website.
- Make sure to use titles and meta description on your content so that it may help your content and website show up on search engines.
- Make sure your website has a responsive web design for mobile use.
You can also pay Google per click if you’d prefer to find a quick way to improve your chances of appearing in Google searches. By doing this, you may pay Google to include your website in search results when users type in specific keywords. It won’t be an organic result, so keep in mind that your posts will appear as Google advertising. We advise putting your SEO efforts into focus if you desire to appear organically.
Why Do Keywords Matter?
You could be unsure of the importance of keywords for your content and website if you are new to content marketing and SEO. The sustainability of your website on the internet depends heavily on keywords. They ensure that you are noticed and valued. That’s why we’ve prepared a keyword research checklist for you.
By using the right keywords for your content, you can make sure that your business gains the recognition and popularity you seek. If you promote your company online, using keywords will help search engines recognize your website and draw in organic traffic.
If you’re curious about the key qualities of keywords that make them significant for marketers and website owners, take a look at below:
They Make You Show Up on Search Engine Results
The ability to appear on search engine results pages is the single most important advantage of using keywords for SEO. As we just mentioned, the main goal of keywords is to get your name, brand, or website to appear in search engine results. Search engines recognize them and permit website users to see your material if the keywords match those on your website.
Because of this, keywords are crucial for your company. They assist you in placing the right content on your website, promoting the best campaign for your business, and driving organic traffic to it. Furthermore, the proper implementation of keywords will result in more than just clicks.
In addition to helping your website attract organic traffic, clicks may also help you build brand awareness, sell more of your goods or services, or get more organic clicks on your blog or website. As a result, keywords are crucial to increasing awareness and sales.
They Aid You in Reaching Your Target Audience
Any marketing initiative must have a clear understanding of its target market. In a sense, keywords aid in locating and comprehending your target market. Your material may draw readers based on the keywords you use. This could assist you in observing the preferences of the visitors, identifying a target audience to draw in more visitors, and developing better content.
Using keywords, you might center your content creation on your target audience analysis. When people visit your website, you can learn what search terms they use and how they spend their time. You may base your content on the keywords that get the most attention and encourage consumers to take action by paying attention to their purchasing decisions and preferences.
However, keep in mind that picking the appropriate keywords will help you reach your target audience and stand out from your competitors. It could be difficult to identify the specific keywords that your clients are looking for. Because doing so requires first performing keyword research. Check out the following section if you’re not sure where to begin.
Why Is Keyword Research Important?
There’s a reason why we wrote this keyword research guide. In effect, we can’t help noticing how poorly organized keyword tactics can harm one’s SEO efforts. No matter how well any given content is written, without the right keyword planning, it’s unfortunately doomed to fail. Fail at what? Well, at gaining higher visibility on search engines and attracting an audience that could have been interested otherwise.
Let’s not forget that the aforementioned hypothetical (and hopefully target) audience expects solutions. They’re using the internet to get some answers and/or information likely to serve their needs. When doing so, they enter certain types of words and phrases they consider the closest to their queries. Simply put, your task is to determine which words and phrases those are. Once you figure that out, you’re ready to offer what the audience needs through content that matches their search terms.
Another important aspect of keyword research is that it ‘aligns’ you with the market. What do we mean by that? Nothing but the other actors at play, among which your competitors. In effect, determining popular key terms also means finding out what others do. So it’s not only about aligning your strategy but also making it better than your competitors eventually.
Keyword Research Basics
So, with all that said, how to do keyword research? In order to better help you, we thought that taking a look at the most foundational steps would be a good idea. You may label them as basics if you wish. As a matter of fact, effective keyword research is a quite complex process with many details at play. One of the reasons for that is the diversity of fields and disciplines using SEO as an online strategy. Nevertheless, we can narrow the journey down to a few stages likely to yield results for everyone.
Chase Topics Relevant to Your Niche
Remember when we mentioned diversity just a couple of lines above? You must be aware of the multitude of niches out there while staying focused on one in particular: yours. That mindset is actually the essence of keyword research for SEO. You need to look for the topics that basically define your business. At the same time, you should be able to select those your target audience seems to prioritize when surfing the Web.
Say you’re running a digital marketing agency. Ideally, you would design buyer personas to predict realistic scenarios. In other words, you would track the topics that people (represented by here by your personas) explore the most in your niche. SEO, web design, social media marketing, content marketing, and link building are a few typical examples coming to mind in this context. Find the monthly search volume (MSV) for each of those topics to set your priorities. This is also how some useful keywords will start to appear.
Analyse User Intent
You may have noticed that, for now, we haven’t spared a separate subsection for MSV (we’ll get back at it later on, though). Truth be told, volume is a variable a little too much subject to fluctuations. Therefore, we’d rather invite you to focus on more qualitative aspects, such as user intent. How would one hope to conduct effective keyword research by ignoring the audience’s expectations anyway? Let us remind you that the public is far from being simple-minded. Whenever entering a query on the search engine, they already know the type of information they want to see displayed. This motive is called user intent or search intent.
So, your task here is to try and discover the intent(s) in question. Good old surveys tend to work pretty well in that regard. The main idea is to familiarize yourself with what your target audience has in mind. Then, designing your content accordingly will be likely to yield better results in terms of rankings.
Make Some Space for Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keyword research is another topic that we’ll get back to later on. Let us drop a few words about it already, though. Once again: The public is not some dumb entity surfing the Web in sheer randomness. Some people actually have extremely specific concepts in mind when entering their search queries. And some of those can be very detailed, looking like entire phrases. Namely, long-tail keywords.
Usually speaking, shorter and more general key terms are more frequent (and thus with higher volume). Long-tail ones, on the other hand, are rarer and don’t have much MSV. However, they can have more impact on conversion rates. Why? Simply because the people using them are almost “ready to get converted” since they’re looking for finer details. Or, more simply put, all they need is a final touch of confirmation. So, don’t shy away from including those advanced key terms in your overall keyword research strategy.
Be Aware of Query Types
Remember, we’re still in the ‘basics’ section. So we’ll take the time to rediscuss all this in due time. For now, we’d also like to remind you that SEO keyword research is also a matter of categorization. There are indeed several types of search queries, which are informational, navigational, commercial, transactional, and local.
What you need to know at the moment is that understanding those types or categories will help you be more organized. In effect, when you determine the category under which a given user intent falls, you can set up your content in a more harmonious way.
How to Find Keyword Ideas
Just like they say, it all starts with an idea, right? But where can you get ideas that are likely to match your SEO project? Here are a few elements to help you see through.
Your target audience, to be more exact. The one you want to reach out to. Take some time to study their most visible characteristics, attitudes, and needs. These elements will help you determine what you aim to offer. You can then launch your keyword research by noting down recurrent themes and concepts.
A big portion of search queries are formulated as questions. Yes, users simply ask questions to the search engines in order to find what they’re looking for. So, let’s suppose you’re selling inflatable mugs. Some question examples that you can come up with include:
- What is an inflatable mug?
- How to use an inflatable mug?
- Where to find inflatable mugs?
- What is the best inflatable mug brand?
As you see, questions with the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) are always effective. They make you obtain straight-to-the-point and simple queries. It is a must for anyone wanting to collect basic information.
Has your website been online for a while already? If so, good. You can use Google Search Console to find out how you’re doing in terms of relevance. In case you notice that the current search queries don’t match your products, services, and/or brand, it’s time to revise your keyword strategy. One thing that works great is to look at the top 10 queries on Google for a given topic. You should also check the number of impressions (that is, the number of times the URLs appeared in search results). Last but not least, see if those top queries match your content.
With those elements of information in hand, you can modify and optimize your web pages accordingly.
Keyword research tips wouldn’t make any sense if one skipped the most foundational part. We’re talking about seed keywords. These are the most basic short words to be found for any topic. Examples? Resilience, gaming, fast food, inflatable mugs… You name it.
From such seed keywords, you can start building more elaborate ones. Nothing too fancy, though, to begin with. More like:
- Resilience in psychology
- Gaming tips
- Fast food restaurants
- Purpose of inflatable mugs
Don’t forget to add buying modifiers in order to redirect the audience to your products and create sale opportunities. See the examples below:
- Buy inflatable mugs
- Best inflatable mugs
- Inflatable mugs price
- Inflatable mugs reviews
Competitor Keyword Research
We’ll have the occasion to discuss this topic later on. However, you can already note that it’s an important one. Keeping an eye on your competitors’ keyword choices and strategy is always an undeniable source of inspiration. The idea is not only to copy what they’re doing but also to come up with ‘something more’.
Keyword Research Tools
Let’s face a fact: you definitely need a keyword research tool. Or even several, should we say. Nowadays, thinking that you can succeed with only old-school manual keyword research is not a realistic approach. So, let’s just see what the market has to offer.
Here are the keyword research tools;
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Dopinger Rank Checker
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
This company is one of the top references when it comes to SEO toolsets. Thus, if you’re looking for both reliable and extensive keyword research software, Ahrefs is certainly a smart bet. It has an advanced explorer that digs no less than 10 different search engines to unearth keywords. But not only that. It also provides you with indicators regarding how those keywords move over time, their search volume, and ranking difficulty.
So, what you get is a dynamic and up-to-date analysis. Moreover, you’re also informed about what your competitors are up to. All in all, you’re equipped to improve and optimize your website thanks to solid and in-depth information.
The monthly fee range is between $83 and $999, depending on the chosen package.
Another giant of the SEO industry, we may venture to say. Semrush proposes a set of toolkits in which you can find many goodies for your keyword research.
Want a panoramic view of keywords, their search volume, level of difficulty, and possible combinations/variations? Topped with some info about aspects such as cost-per-click (CPC)? Then, meet the Keyword Overview.
Want to conduct a thorough analysis of your target keywords and export data in no time? Here comes the Keyword Manager.
How about determining exact, broad, and phrase matches for your keywords? That’s precisely the purpose of the Keyword Magic Tool. Needless to say, this little wonder also informs you about many other essential indicators (search volume, intent, etc.).
Are you longing for something showing your ranking on a daily basis with as much exactitude as possible? Along with a comparison with your competitors? Semrush’s Position Tracking gets you covered.
And so much more awaits you!
The monthly fee range is between $99.95 and $449.95, depending on the chosen package.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Did we forget those on a shorter budget looking for free keyword research tools? Not at all. Moz, which is undoubtedly one of the most influential SEO brands, proposes both free and paid plans.
The free version might be limited to 10 queries per month. However, it has as much merit as the paid plans. In effect, no matter your type of subscription, Moz provides you with extremely effective analytic and predictive tools. These include in-depth assistance to help you rank higher.
Let’s also add that SERP (search engine results page) analysis is one of Moz’s fortes. It digs deep into them in order to help you identify relevant long-tail keywords as well as search questions.
The monthly fee range for the paid versions is between $79 and $599, depending on the chosen package.
Dopinger Rank Checker
If you want to meet a next-generation keyword research assistant, then you just can’t skip Dopinger. Let’s start with the best part: it’s a free keyword research tool. To be more exact, it’s a comprehensive suite of tools designed to serve different SEO tasks.
The first one informs you about your current position in search engines. It also tells you how well your different pages are doing. Moreover, you get insights regarding your keywords in terms of search volume and competition difficulty level.
The second one is more of a Google keyword research tool. So, the primary focus is Google SERPs and your ‘performance’ on them. The tool helps you follow your progression, mainly through position gains and losses.
To sum it up, Dopinger is your ally if you want to keep an eye on your real-time SEO scores.
Google Keyword Planner
Alright, here comes the Google keyword planner service. We know indeed that some of you are particularly fond of anything made in Google. So, it was simply impossible not to include this one in our list.
As you would guess, the biggest advantage of this tool is that it extracts data directly from Google. In other words, you get a precise idea of what Google itself expects from you.
To be honest, it’s certainly not the richest tool available out there. Nevertheless, it has the merit of being simple to use and giving essential clues. All you need to do is enter a keyword of your choice. You will instantly get related keywords as well as information regarding search volume and bidding.
The tool is free of charge for Google Ads account owners.
Let’s stay in the Google universe for a while. Google Trends is another free tool made to facilitate your keyword research process. The principle is as simple as it can be. You just enter keywords, key phrases, and/or related queries. What you get then is trends by location and over specific periods of time. So, it’s also about ‘the where and the when’ of your target terms.
Furthermore, the tool allows you to compare two keywords. So, if you notice that one is more trending than the other, you know which one you should prioritize in your web content. Such comparison options are also what makes Google Trends a great competitor keyword research tool.
Famous SEO guru Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is another free option to consider. Many field experts often refer to it as one of the best keyword research tools because of its meticulousity.
What you get is a list of keyword suggestions accompanied by all the complementary information you might need. Among those, let’s cite trending tendencies, search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and level of difficulty (especially regarding competition).
Another cool feature is the section called ‘Content Ideas’. Here, you can visualize information about backlinks, estimated monthly visits, and the number of shares on some major social media platforms.
If you’re looking for further customization possibilities, you can sign into Ubersuggest with your Google account. This will help you obtain more suggestions relevant to your business and follow daily ranking in an easier way. If you wish, you can also turn Ubersuggest into a Chrome extension to make it even more practical to use.
How to Choose a Keyword
Effective keyword research depends on a certain number of criteria. We have listed the main ones hereunder.
Search volume lets you know if there’s a significant buzz around your target keywords. In other terms, it shows whether those words are actively searched by the audience or not.
As tempting as head keywords with overkill high volume (e.g., ‘Twitter’, ‘botox’) may look at first sight, they’re not the best starters. They’re usually too vague, and their purpose can be ‘nothing and everything’. So, instead, it’s wiser to focus on mid-range and long-tail volume. The more specific, the better, at least to a certain extent.
What about terms with zero volume? Well, there’s a reason why your research tool is bringing them to your attention. They may indeed gain some value in the future, so you can already sprinkle them onto your content at the right dose.
Organic Click-Through Rate
Abbreviated as organic CTR, this is another parameter you should take into account for your keyword research. What is being expressed here is the percentage of clicks received by traditional or organic links in the SERPs. So, high organic click-through rates can be seen as a genuine sign of your actual ranking potential.
You don’t need to be too obsessive and give up any keyword with low organic CTR. However, a high rate is often an important confirmation regarding the accuracy of the keywords in your web content.
Optimize Your Content Around Synonyms and Related Keywords
Notwithstanding the importance of your focus keywords, you can’t (and shouldn’t) stick to them only. Remember, what you want to provide with your content is also a pleasant reading experience for your visitors. That is an (almost) ideal combination of several elements somewhat difficult to define with exactitude. So before anything else, you will need to use your intuition as well as your own ‘reader identity’.
Generally speaking, good content aims for a structure that flows effortlessly without being repetitive. So, for example, if your focus keyword is inflatable mugs, a related keyphrase can be portable kitchen utensils. Similarly, a synonym can be a blow-up cup in this particular case.
To sum it up, you should optimize your content with such kinds of variations. Don’t forget that search engines like Google are getting smarter day by day. So, stashing massively the same keywords throughout a text is not a tactic that works anymore. So, finding the right balance is what will make a difference eventually.
User Search Intent
We already mentioned this one. Actually, this is where things get a little more serious. Search volume, CTR, keyword variations… all those lose their meaning if one is clueless about the intent. The ultimate goal is to research keyword material and organize it according to an audience’s expectations.
So once you have your first draft with the keywords you believe can work, you must examine SERPs as thoroughly as possible. This is where you can capture the most essential features of keywords that rank high.
For example, if you’re trying to set up some local trade, you may then be interested in local keyword research. In such a case, you should try to detect ‘regional’ characteristics in SERPs. Do your target keywords come with a location map? What do they tell about the people using them in their queries? What local aspects do those people seem to focus on?
Or, say, are your keywords of interest more of a tutorial type? Do they teach ‘how to’ do something, and thus are they informational?
What about the commercial aspect? Do your highest-ranked target keywords include ‘selling terms’ such as buy, price, best, etc.?
As you see, you can examine and then organize your target keywords within different categories. In the end, you would select those that seem to have the most impact on SERPs.
Use of Long-Tail Keywords
We already wrote a few lines on the importance of long-tail keywords previously. They’re among the tricky yet rewarding aspects of keyword research, provided one manages to make good use of them.
Again, they may not be benefitting from as high search volume as short, ‘head’ keywords. Just compare the following:
eco-friendly inflatable mugs for picnic
how to remove dandruff with a fine toothcomb
Notice how long-tail keywords are much more specific. So when you’re using them, you get the chance to reach out to specific people with specific intentions. They already have an exact idea of what they’re looking for and, in most cases, are ready to make a purchase. If you’re the one capable of giving them the ‘right thing’, then you have the needed recipe to convert them into customers.
Let’s get back to another important parameter, which is relevance. First of all, one should keep in mind that it’s, above all, a matter of context. To give a very simple example: If you’re conducting keyword research for YouTube, then a keyword like ‘video’ would be undoubtedly ultra-relevant. Yes, sometimes things can get just as obvious as that.
Additionally, you ought to explore finer details, among which your target audience’s needs. Google comes up with an algorithm that can be quite picky about relevance and accuracy. Basically, it compares similar queries before deciding which one(s) deserve(s) to be ranked higher. In our somewhat marginal example of inflatable mugs, this term might not have much significance on its own. So Google and other search engines will be asking for further levels of relevance, such as:
- What is an inflatable mug?
- What are the advantages of inflatable mugs?
- Where can I buy inflatable mugs?
- How much do inflatable mugs cost? etc.
In a way, you will need to enrich your focus keyword with extra details that can best match the audience’s expectations. We can then conclude that relevance and user intent are pretty much similar in their purposes.
Types of Search Queries
As already pointed out earlier, there are 4 main query types. Taking them into account can add more accuracy to your keyword research.
This one is pretty basic. Informational keywords are usually simple and somewhat broad/general in their meanings. People use them to get raw information on a certain topic. Let’s take ‘green tea’ as an example. The following variations may appear:
- Difference between green tea and black tea
- Health benefits of green tea
- Origins of green tea
- Informational keywords can also be questions starting with terms like how, what, why, etc.
Don’t expect them to help you much with your conversion rates. In effect, people who use them are usually at the beginning of the marketing funnel and barely getting started with their buying journey. That being said, they’re certainly useful for providing a core structure and meaning to your content.
People using this kind of keyword are looking for a specific location or brand. Here are some examples of navigational queries:
If you used WordPress to build your website, you might be familiar with terms like keywords, titles, and meta descriptions since they are content-focu...
Where’s the nearest Walmart?
So here, the user’s intention is quite clear enough. They already know what they’re looking for but also where. Using navigational keywords in your content can thus draw organic traffic because you’re providing something that already has a level of popularity. Do apply the same logic to your own brand. Indeed, including your brand name in your keywords can boost your visibility and, thus, ranking.
Commercial keywords are usually similar to navigational ones. The main difference here is that they also comprise a commercial intent. People using them are after specific products and services in most cases.
Walmart vs. Amazon
Starbucks iced caramel macchiato
Gumroad flash sales
As you see, here we are in a more advanced stage of the buying journey. So, take advantage of it to redirect the audience to your products and services. Incorporate straightforward commercial keywords into your content in order to show that you have the exact solution to your prospects’ queries.
Transactional keywords fit the last stages of the buying journey like a glove. Here, people are totally ready to take action and get into some transaction, as the name clearly indicates. No need for detailed examples here. Basically, whenever you see terms with elements such as buy, buy now, fast delivery, rent, for rental… you’ll know that they’re transactional.
Those are kind of saying: ‘It’s now or never.’ So, saving some space for them inside your content can reward you with tangible results pretty quickly.
Competitors’ Keyword Analysis
Competitive keyword research is crucial mainly for two reasons. Firstly, it makes you open up your eyes to what is going on in your market of interest. Secondly (and consequently), it tells you what to improve in order to overtake your competitors.
In the previous sections, we introduced you to some of the influential keyword research tools that are helpful in that regard as well. When it comes to analysis, the most important part is to see and understand the keywords for which your competitors are ranking high. What is their search volume? How do they relate to a given topic? How do they illustrate it? Don’t be impressed by the seeming complexity of these questions. The tools we presented previously (as well as many others) are here to guide you and automate the process.
However, it’s not only a matter of automation. You can’t ignore the human factor, which is… your own judgment and flair. Don’t shy away from paying some visits directly to your competitors’ websites, blogs, and social media pages. Get glimpses of their style and vision about their business. Then, ask yourself which components may inspire you and which ones you can do better.
How to Analyze Search Volume
Here again, the easiest way is to rely on specialized keyword research services and tools. Semrush is one of the brands we mentioned before. Its dedicated feature called Keyword Overview shows you regional and global search volumes for any given keyword. The same goes for the Keyword Magical Tool.
Now, here’s a point worth noting down. Going after volume just for the sake of big numbers is not the most effective mindset. You should always ask yourself the meaning of volume within specific time frames as well. In effect, some key terms are seasonal, such as summer holiday packages or best Christmas gifts. So, the search volume for this category of keywords will highly vary depending on the period of the year. On the other hand, there are terms known as evergreen. These tend to preserve a stable ‘popularity level’ throughout the year.
All in all:
- Time frame
- Demographics are among the variables that are likely to give volume its actual significance.
Why Is Traffic Potential Important?
Traffic potential is one of the essential SEO concepts or even goals, should we rather say. It refers to the amount of organic search traffic a page or website is likely to receive monthly from Google SERPs. Why would it matter in the context of keyword research? It’s because keywords play a major role in that potential.
Here, we’re talking about visitors actually clicking on results… and not just your ability to appear in those results (aka SERPs). So, volume and CTR will also determine your traffic potential. Most of the SEO tools and software we cited in this article (along with others) will help you get estimations. Once you’re equipped with those estimations, you can decide which keywords you will focus on and which high-ranked URLs you will try to compete with.
Keyword Density Analysis
Keyword density indicates the number of times a keyword appears on a specific web page or even an entire website. It’s a ratio expressed in comparison with the total number of words on the page or website in question. You can also get a percentage by dividing the number of times the keyword is used by the total number of words and then multiplying by 100. Online tools such as Keyword Density Checker can take care of this for you.
You probably recall that earlier section of our article where we emphasized the necessity for balance. Density is definitely closely related to that balance. There is no doubt that search engines pay attention to keywords displayed more often than others within a given text. That’s how they ‘know’ what the content is about. However, nowadays, they’re also capable of sensing there’s something ‘off’ when some keywords are stashed excessively and mindlessly inside a page.
So, what’s the ‘right’ density you should aim for? Between 1% and 4%, as claimed in many related sources? Not so sure. 1% of a page with a total of 500 words is not exactly the same thing as 1% of a 5000-word page. Solution? Making use of the human factor once again. Namely, your judgment and flair. You should evaluate how natural and easy-to-read your content is. And for that, there are no mathematical formulas to assist you.
Density also goes hand in hand with position. Ensure that your main keywords appear in strategic places on your page, such as the title, meta description, heading tags, and such.
Advanced Keyword Strategies
The most competitive hardcore SEO practitioners among you may need extra tips to score extra points. After reviewing a few of them, we decided to concentrate on two in particular.
Focus on Niche Keywords
What motivates any keyword research is usually a specific business-related project. We’ve never met anyone chasing keywords out of the blue so far. Instead, the starting point is generally a brand or company aiming at consolidating its position within a certain environment. Namely, its own niche or the segment of the market in which it wants to operate.
But niche keywords are more than that. They’re not only related to a niche. They get as specific as can be within that niche. Doesn’t that remind you of the previously mentioned long-tail keywords?
If you’re selling kitchen utensils, the term mug will not take you far in the rankings. But if you come up with something more elaborate, like:
Inflatable mugs made of eco-friendly polyethylene
You suddenly narrow down your scope in a considerable way. And you already know by now that this is how you capture and convert prospects.
Should you give up generic, popular, and shorter keywords for all that? Or should you use an overly specific language that almost sounds hermetic? No. Here again, balance is the key.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
CPC is one of the essential metrics of online advertising. Above all, it can have a huge impact on your ROI (return on investment). When it comes to keywords, CPC acts like a bidding system. If the keywords are relevant to your products and services, then your ads containing them are more likely to appear on the results pages.
The real process begins when someone clicks on your ads and visits the pages associated with them. In effect, the CPC calculation formula goes like this:
total ad cost / total number of clicks
The profitability of a keyword may be difficult to determine on your own. So here again, the previously mentioned tools and software can come to the rescue. For example, Semrush’s Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic Tool can show you the average price advertisers are ready to pay for clicks on ads containing certain keywords. In short, CPC is another factor that you would better rely on while selecting your keywords.
How to Measure the “Traffic Potential” of a Keyword
We already talked about this, but let us break down the recommended process a little further.
- Select your target keywords: Your target keywords here should be your main keywords and not secondary ones. Once you have mapped the terms you’re hoping to rank for, pick the one that managed to get the highest number of clicks. Dedicated tools and software can help you do that.
- Select your target URLs: Your target URLs are the ones you want to compete with. You will need to compare its content with yours in order to be sure. Again, dedicated tools and software (including those we mentioned) can assist you. Some of them give direct data from competing URLs.
- Get Traffic Potential Values: You can obtain those values through a dedicated tool such as Ahrefs Batch Analysis. Copy the first 200 competing URLs. Export the results as an Excel file and keep the following columns: target and traffic. Put the data (minus the header) inside the tab named ahref_batch_analysis_data.
Repeat the process in case you have more than 200 keywords for which you’d like to examine the traffic potential.
In order to interpret the results, we encourage you to follow the guidelines provided by the keyword tool of your choice (e.g., Ahrefs).
Usage of LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI keywords are terms and phrases that are semantically connected to your main keyword. There’s a debate still going on among experts about whether they’re still useful or not. We’d say they are. As you know, search engines like Google have gained in complexity over the years. Stashing only the main keyword over and over doesn’t work so well. Worse, it’s considered spamming. Search engines rather evaluate the whole meaning of your content before they decide how it would rank.
LSI keywords allow you to stay on topic without being spammy. They’re not just synonyms. They act more like complementary information about your main keyword(s). Therefore, they allow you to be more specific when presenting a subject of interest to potential readers.
There are several tools available on the market that can help you generate LSI keywords easily, such as Google Autocomplete and Ubersuggest.
Identifying the Primary Keyword
Speaking of the main or primary keyword, how does one identify it? That’s one of the central questions in keyword research.
What determines a primary keyword is, without a doubt, the main topic of a given piece of content. Or, in other words, the keyword likely to illustrate best your content. When you want to identify it, the best practice is to use a professional SEO tool.
Not to be repetitive, but here again, Ahrefs is a good example. Its Site Explorer is pretty effective as a keyword finder but also as a competitive keyword research tool. In effect, it generates a list in which you can see what your competitors are using and how they rank according to the search volume. Ahrefs also comes with a Keywords Explorer that gives you the parent topic, again based on search volume.
Using Google Search Console for Keyword Research
Start by clicking on the ‘Performance’ tab in the main navigation menu. You will see a certain number of metrics regarding your keywords: total clicks, total impressions, average CTR, and average position. If your organic traffic comes from other Google features such as Discover or News, you can get further information about your performance (under the respective subsections).
One of the important aspects here is the data range. How far do you want to go in your retrospective evaluation? The maximum amount of time you can select is 16 months. Either way, that’s how you will be able to understand how well your keyword strategies worked over time.
Once you know which are your ranking keywords, you can export the related data. Google Sheets, Excel, or CSV file, it’s totally up to you. What matters is that you work in an environment that allows you to filter your data easily. Several filtering options are available, depending on the file type where you exported the data. We recommend you explore the instructions specific to your chosen sheet file. Presenting them here one by one would derail this article too far. Let us just remind you that your main goal should be to sort your keywords by order of importance. You should basically determine which are your top-ranking ones, your quick win (or secondary) ones, and the ones you may exploit in the future.
As a wrap-up, we discussed keywords and how they operate and presented our checklist for conducting keyword research as a guide to help you find the best possible keywords for your content. To make sure you take the necessary actions to create content that is focused on the right keywords, we supplied information on the keyword research checklist.
By the end of this article, we hope you will have a better understanding of how keywords work. And why they are a significant component of marketing strategies, and how you can follow the keyword research checklist to find the best keywords and create more effective content.