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A Handy Guide For Keyword Research In 2018

Running an online site and bringing it up in the ranks can be quite a lengthy and tedious task, especially for time poor business owners.

And this is where the important aspect of SEO comes in.

From site building, content set up, copy writing to product promotion and marketing, SEO is an aspect that contributes to all these areas.

If you are familiar with SEO, then you must be aware of the algorithm changes that constantly take place. These shake up any good rankings you might possibly have, as search engines endeavour to make the user's experience as seamless, easy and relevant as possible.

However, it's not only algorithm changes that have shaken things up.

Where mobile was nothing a couple of decades ago, today mobile - and the optimisation of mobile - largely contributes to how well a website will rank. Things keep on transforming in SEO for our convenience and Google is smart enough to know whether you are responding to the trends by improving your website's usability for their searchers.

Despite all these changes and trends, there is still one essential principle that will make or break your SEO.

The right keyword research! It's still such a critical part of SEO, even if the way you use it might have changed a little bit.

The trouble comes that there are so many things that contribute to your SEO, making the list of things to do seem almost endless. This is why for the start of any SEO project we provide preliminary keyword research, because you need to start somewhere!

There are plenty of blogs and articles (4.6+ million to be exact) that are written on how keywords are one of the defining factors of good SEO services, what role it has, and why any online business can't grow without the proper use of keywords.

As an established SEO company in Melbourne, this is what we do for a living. And after speaking to different marketers and promoters, we have found that most of them still aren't doing the right things for their keyword research. We'll give you some tips on how to do your keyword research quickly and properly in 2018. Read on to learn about the easiest ways to do keywords research in 2018, and how to effectively use your time to find the right keywords.

How to do strategic keyword research?

1. Beating all other ideas, the first step is to use common sense.

Now, if your site is a hair salon, what types of keywords would you use? Spa, colour, haircut and hairstyling.

And what searchable terms or phrases come to mind as a customer that is looking for hair salon?

"Hair salon near me", "Hair spa at best price", "Hair colour that is natural", and more.

That's a no-brainer, right?

When you have figured these out in your head, make a list out of it.

e.g. hair salon in Melbourne, best hair salon in Melbourne, natural hair salon, hair spa and colour service, best hair stylist in Melbourne.

In case you're struggling and ready to jump on to a keyword tool, we would suggest not doing that too soon. It's important to first understand what types of phrases that an everyday person might use - as it will be useful to finding the right keywords in the tool later on.

2. Don't just jump on the Keyword Planner tool without considering these:

❖ Understanding your buyer's persona. You can easily click with the consumer when you know their needs, pain points and behaviours. These could be based on:

▪ Age

▪ Gender

▪ Likes and interests

▪ Hobbies

▪ What they want

▪ What they don't want

❖ Learning from competitors. You can know what is going on in the outside world through the research already done by your competitors. And this tactic doesn't necessarily mean 'copy what they do', sometimes it means that you know that this particular phrasing is too hard to compete for, so you should find an alternative or a long-tail phrase.

❖ Confirm that the keywords you are ranking in the market to have a strong base. If you find that none of these terms or a completely unrelated product or services pop up, it's likely that it is because nobody searches for them.

3. After compiling a strategic keyword list, move on to classifying keywords.

In the past, people often overlooked the segregation of keywords. However, this is important, and it eases the task of research.

  • ​1 word keywords often have higher search volume with a lot of competition - making them harder to rank for
  • ​2-3 word keywords make sensible searches with lower competition
  • ​3+ word keywords are long tail keywords with the least competition. People are often scared away by the low search volumes, but these are easier to rank for, and have a better conversion rate. For example, somebody searching for, 'red striped nike leggings for sale' is more likely to know what they already want to buy - making them an easier sale than somebody just searching for 'leggings'.

4. Go for a targeted, small set of specific keywords and phrases that match your business.

These keywords aren't searched for frequently, but when they are they will bring a greater likelihood of conversion and value to your business.

5. What about relevancy?

Users & searchers are getting smarter and more demanding. They want to see the right results for the things that they have searched for, and they want it quickly as well.

Add a dose of bad attention span, you can expect these searchers to leave very quickly or search for a different term if they don't find what they're looking for. And you can also expect them to be seriously annoyed if they click a link to what they think they were looking for, only to find that it's completely unrelated.

So, you should have a set of keywords which are relevant and useful. Don't try to deceive Google by using a term you think a lot of people will search for only to write about something completely different.

Google's algorithms are smart enough to pick up on meaning within pages, so if your page is unrelated to the title you've provided, it's unlikely that you'll get value or rankings from it, anyway.

SEO Tip:

Use these patterns: Informational, Navigational, Commercial Investigation and Transactional. When you use 3+ word keywords, meeting these 4 criteria provides qualified keyword output.

6. Do you use filters for keywords research?

After you have retrieved commercial intent data and expanded your seed (niche) keywords, use filters to recognise the easy wins, valuable targets and keyword trends.

Online markets have become highly saturated and competitive. Throughout the research process you have to think methodically on what areas you'd want to dominate, and where you won't have as much chance of succeeding. To know all this, use keyword research tools.

What tools we can use?

Keyword research is the organic step to SEO, and thus it is smart to have the best tools in your arsenal. Here are some of the industry favourites:

Google Keywords Planner-:

Most of the people rely on this tool because it's from the Google clan. And given that Google is one of the leading search engines that dictate your rankings, it's likely that any tools they create will be beneficial to you.

That's not the only reason to get this tool, it is also quite simple to use and gives you results to begin your SEO journey. With this, it becomes important to understand keyword metrics such as search volume, trends, cost per clicks and traffic potential.

This is a tool that you'll find many SEO professionals using for their preliminary research, as it's a great tool to:

  • ​Discover competitor keywords
  • Recognise local keywords
  • Collect niche market keywords
  • Understand keywords relevancy and density
  • Learn keywords performance 
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Monday, 17 December 2018