When optimising a website for Search Engines, we always start with Keyword Research. This is an essential foundation of SEO as it determines all other SEO activities for a project.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is basically identifying the main search terms people are searching for when it comes to a particular product or service. The goal of keyword research is to find search phrases that are:
- Relevant. Ensure that search term is relevant to the business, product or service we are trying to rank for.
- High volume. There are a high amount of monthly searches for that particular search term.
- Low competition. We determine if it will be easy to make it to page one for a keyword.
Why Perform Keyword Research?
Keyword Research uncovers valuable data which can be used in a number of ways. Below is a list of the ways we use Keyword Research as an agency who offers digital services.
To Determine if a Business Should Invest in SEO.
There is no point trying to optimise your website if no one is searching for your products and services online. This can particularly be the case for specific niche products or those who differentiate within an industry. In these cases we recommend discovery advertising through display ads and social media.
To Determine What Keywords to Target within a Website and Where.
Once we have determined that there is enough search volume to invest in SEO for a business, we then look to determine what search phrases they could target as a business.
Keywords are grouped into topics and then mapped to the most relevant page on the website. For example a Plumbing business in Rockingham may target “Plumber in Rockingham” on their homepage, “Blocked Drains” on their blocked drains service page, “Hot Water Repairs” on their hot water service page etc.
To Discover Blog Post Topics.
With the rise of voice search through devices such as Google home, there are many more searches now which start with “how” or “what.” This presents a great opportunity for websites to answer the queries that people are asking and provide value to their audience.
An example of a related question using the plumbing example above would be: “how hot should my hot water be?”. This would make an excellent blog post or sub section on a website.
These search phrases often represent people who are at the “top of the buying funnel”. This is essentially people who may not be ready to purchase immediately, but they are looking to find out more about something which may eventually lead to a purchase.
By answering these questions as blog topics or sub pages on your website, you add value to your potential audience and show Google you cover the topic comprehensively. If done correctly, this can help improve a website rankings for more lucrative terms.
Discover New Keywords
Search is constantly changing and therefore keywords rise and fall. As part of our SEO Packages, every month we will check to see if new search phrases are emerging and how we can best include target them within our optimisation of a website.
Some of the ways we discover new keywords includes:
- Competitor Research. What is the competition ranking for? Does this present an opportunity to add content and pages to the website to also come up for these search phrases?
- Search Console. Google Search Console is a tool we use to connect a website to Google in order to get feedback from Google. Often we have checked search console to find new keywords that pages are starting to improve their position for. We may be able to adjust a pages meta data or content to improve rankings for this term.
- Keyword Research Tools. There are many tools out there. We currently use the industry benchmark of Sem Rush and Ahrefs to find search phrases that are related to a main topic.
How We Use Keyword Research in Our SEO Service
As mentioned our SEO service relies heavily on Keyword Research. This is both in the initial set up of an SEO project and also ongoing work. For the initial setup, we use it to
- Determine if we should perform SEO. If there is no search volume or we don’t think there is viable ROI on a project for the business we won’t recommend they pursue an SEO service.
- Map out keyword phrases to pages.
Once an SEO project has commenced, we use keyword research to:
- Identify blog post topics
- Identify new keywords and therefore new ranking opportunities
- Measure how a website has responded to our onsite and offsite changes by looking at the keyword position changes.
Keyword research can be a time consuming practise but is vital to a successful SEO service. It gives us insight into what a potential market is searching for, and importantly, the questions they are asking.