Keyword Research: How to Use it to Rank Higher in Google
Keyword Research is just one of the tools you need to employ to optimise your website’s SEO and to create great content that is visible to search engines. As it’s such a huge topic however, we decided to cover this one first before going onto to all the other things you can do to rank highly in Google.
Before we launch into the ins and outs of keyword research, we’re first going to make sure that we’ve covered the basics.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research helps you find out the kinds of questions your intended audience is asking when searching for your products or services online, and the keywords they are using to do so. Once you understand this, you can use this knowledge to create targeted content using the right keywords to rank highly in google.
Keyword research helps you determine the WHO, WHAT, and WHY of all the content you will create for your website:
1. Who are you trying to reach with your content?
2. Why you’re writing it for them?
3. What content do you need to create to achieve your end goals?
Why is keyword research so important?
Without keyword research, you run the risk of blindly creating content that serves the purpose of telling people what you want to tell them, rather than creating content that answers the kinds of questions that your potential customers are searching for.
Without conducting a thorough keyword check, you can only guess the exact search terms that people are typing into Google and other search engines. But, by identifying the correct keywords for your industry, you can avoid the common mistake that many businesses make of creating content that isn’t being looked for online.
You will also find out what keywords your competitors rank highly for, look at this content, and improve upon it.
And you can find low-volume niche keywords that, if you create content using them, you have a better chance of ranking on search engines for those topics!
Keyword research is easier if you understand three things:
1. If you have good knowledge of your industry,
2. You know your target audience, and
3. You understand how keyword research tools work, and how to get the best out of them.
Keyword research also helps you understand some other things, like:
· How much competition do I have to rank for this keyword?
· How will traffic to my website improve if I rank for this keyword?
· What kind of content do I need to create to rank for this keyword?
· How likely is it that the people searching for this keyword on Google will be converted into my customers?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you’ll be in a better position to choose whether you want to invest time on ranking for certain keywords.
So, let’s look at the process of keyword research, to see how you can carry it out yourself.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Keyword Research
Brainstorm Keywords and Questions
There are different kinds of keywords that you will find during your keyword research. And each of these keyword groups will need the right kind of content to match.
To start keyword research, you need to think about how your target customers are using search engines; what keywords they may be searching for, and what questions they’re asking.
So, for example. If you construct swimming pools in people’s homes, your potential customers are most likely to be people searching for a contractor within their local area, so they will be googling “swimming pool constructors near me”, for example.
(Let’s continue with this example below, but the same rule applies to any business wanting to conduct keyword research in their industry).
How to find short keyword phrases to improve your SEO
As said above, different keywords that your customers are using to find your business online will need different types of content to match.
So, questions like “how much will it cost to install an 8x4 swimming pool in my garden?” will need a different form of content to answer it compared to the question “swimming pool contractors in my local area”.
Short keywords and phrases like “swimming pool installation in X locality” can be used on pages like the Homepage, product pages and category pages of your website.
Try using a keyword tool like Ubersuggest. We typed “home swimming pool” into their keyword generator and this is what we found:
Notice the different keywords coming up:
· Swimming pool design
· Swimming pool ideas
· Swimming pools for sale near me
You can decide which of these are relevant to your business and then make sure these keywords feature on your home page and various other sections of your site.
Not only do tools like Ubersuggest generate suggestions for keywords, but they also tell you the monthly search volume of these keywords, the average CPC (cost per click) if you wanted to pay Google to be seen as an ad, and the competition you can expect for both paid and organic searches for these keywords.
Just like with hashtags on platforms like LinkedIn, Search Volume helps you find a mix of both broad and niche keywords to aim for.
#Insider Tip: Low volume, or “niche” keywords are useful if you offer a product or service that your competitors don’t. By creating website pages and content targeted to this niche area, you can catch the low volume traffic not being catered to elsewhere.
Even if the keywords seem low volume, if you catch a few of them, they add up. Plus, they are easier to target because there is less competition for them on Google.
Being niche, there’s also a higher likelihood of people searching for this keyword to convert into real sales. Win-win all round!
Creating content using long-tail keywords and phrases that answer people’s questions
Using the same Ubersuggest tool that we generated our list of short keywords and phrases, we also found top ranking blog posts online on this same topic. Knowing what is working for other websites means you can see what they are doing and improve on it.
The tool also generates relevant keywords for each question and the estimated number of monthly visits of the example page URLs you are given.
This tool can be great for coming up with blog content that answers the kinds of questions that people are searching for, so you can tailor your content to fit.
In our research, the simple keywords “Home Swimming Pool” generated a heap of questions that people are searching for. Taking these as inspiration, you can create content to answer these questions through a series of blog posts, videos, and long-form content both on your website and your social channels. Long-form content that answers the most popular questions on search engines will rank your page higher than your competitors who haven’t taken the time to do this.
Search Intent: Why are people asking these questions?
We already answered the ‘Who’ and the ‘What’. Now is the time to look at the ‘Why’ people are using certain keywords or phrases to ask these questions.
As we mentioned previously, one of the top questions you need to ask yourself when deciding on how much time or money to invest in ranking for a certain keyword, you need to determine how likely the people searching for a certain keyword will be converted into customers.
So, for example, if people are searching for related keywords/phrases to home swimming pools like “home swimming pool builders near me” you know that you need to provide short form content on your home and contact pages that describes your location, the areas you service, and the benefits of hiring you over your local competition.
If people are searching for “how safe is it to have a swimming pool with a toddler at home?” you can provide long-form content in blog posts discussing swimming pool safety. You can inform these potential customers that you provide safety gates and covers for all your pools and list the benefits of having a pool at home with growing children.
If you have found that people are searching for “swimming pool installations jobs near me”, unless you are looking to expand your team, it’s probably safe to say that you wouldn’t want to focus on those specific keywords.
Feeling a little overwhelmed?
Don’t be. You’ve made a great start! You’ve identified your potential customer base, the kinds of questions they want answered and the keywords they are using to search for your company.
Now, all you need to do is prioritise your content to fit the different kinds of keywords and phrases that your target clients are searching for. Our team of experts can help you with this. We have the technical expertise needed to do all the heavy lifting to help your website rank highly in Google. Get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help you today.
And stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on how you can create great content for your website to improve your SEO and improve the visibility of your company!