If you are trying to reach your market online, it all starts with keyword research.
What is it?
Keyword research is the process where you discover what your market is searching for on Google.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
When you know what your market is searching for there are a number of things you can do effectively:
- Structure your website into the various keyword groups so that each page on your website addresses a question that your market is asking. This helps your website have good information architecture.
- Target the most used phrases on each page of your website so that you are more likely to show up on the search results pages for the most popular terms. This is called onsite optimisation and is part of the Search Engine Optimisation process.
- Target the right keywords in the pay per click campaign.
What is a Good Keyword?
There are three main factors which determine if a keyword is worth pursuing. These factors are:
- Relevant: the keyword is relevant to the goods and services you offer.
- High Volume: the keyword or phrase is regularly searched within the geographical area of your market.
- Low Competition: There are not many other businesses who are targeting or trying to rank for this keyword.
What is the Free and Easy Way to Do an Initial Keyword Research?
- The most basic way to do keyword research is to use the Google Keywords Planner Tool. Here are the steps:
- Go to google.com.au/adwords
- Sign using your google Adwords account or create one if you don’t have one
- Once you are into the adwords dashboard, click on the spanner in the top right corner
- In the drop down menu select “keyword planner tool”
- In the keyword planner is asks you to “Enter words, phrases, or a URL related to your business.”
- Here enter the main keyword you think people might type in. If you are a local business include your location. For example if you are a carpenter servicing Perth the phrase would be: “carpenter perth”
- Once you have added the term click get started
- You should see a list of keywords. In the top next to “locations” click to edit the locations and include all the areas where people in your market live.
- Once you have set location, Click on “Avg. monthly searches” to order the list by order of most searched each month.
- Work your way down the list and select all keywords that are relevant to the products and services you deliver. If you are unsure if a keyword is appropriate, ask yourself “what is the likely intent of someone if they search for this?”. If you think there is some purchase intent behind the keyword, select it. Also keep in mind at this point the criteria for choosing a good keyword mentioned earlier: A good keyword is Relevant to your business, has high volume and low competition.
- Once you have selected all the keywords, click “add to plan” at the top of the list.
- You will see an estimation of all the clicks and impressions for your keywords, click “download plan”
- A spreadsheet will be saved to your downloads folder
- Open the spreadsheet and copy all the keywords into a main keyword master sheet.
- In a new sheet group the keywords into topics. Keep the topics fairly tight. In other words, one group would be “carpenters perth” “carpentry services perth” “carpenter” etc and another group would be “door carpenter” “door carpentry” “door installation perth” etc.
- Once you have broken all your keywords into groups you may find you need to repeat steps 6-14 for any terms that are in a topic by themselves.
Alternative Keyword research
To find even more keywords you can also look at some of the keywords your competitors are ranking for. To do that do the following:
- Pick a relevent, high volume keyword you have discovered in the initial keyword research and use it in a google search.
- Look at the top results and note any competitor websites that are listed.
- Repeat steps 6-16 in the initial keyword research, but this time at step 6, enter all the top performing competitors you noted in step 2.
Keyword Research Using Paid Tools
There are many paid tools that perform keyword research. Some of the most popular are:
SemRush – Good for analysis of competitor keywords
Ahrefs – Great source of Australian Terms
Long Tail Pro – Good for discovering long tail keywords (search phrases with three or more words)
Spy fu – Good for finding competitor keywords and keywords with market intent (search phrases that are more likely to lead to a sale)