You need to conduct keyword research for SEO.
In search engine optimization, keyword research is the cornerstone.
You want to determine what keyword you wish for your website and its content to rank for, and then you need to research the keyword to ensure it’s worth attempting to rank for.
There will be one of three results from the keyword research:
- The keyword you select, and research will be the best one for your content
- The keyword will turn out to be so low in search results that it isn’t worth ranking for
- The keyword will be so high in the competition that you’ll never have the chance to rank with it
Keyword Research for SEO sounds intense. That’s because the word “research” is involved. Psychologically speaking, research to most of us means hard mental work. It is a thing that often scares off most content creators.
And it shouldn’t scare anyone off.
Keyword research at first might be a challenge, but it becomes easier as you do it more often. It is just like riding a bike.
But to help make the initial function of keyword research less of a challenge, I am writing this complete guide on how you can do it right now with ease in mind.
So, let’s start with your keyword research for search engine optimization.
What keywords should you use in keyword research for SEO?
Keywords are words you scatter around your content to help bring a specific audience to your particular content.
Because the internet is so competitive these days, not using SEO will likely result in a less-seen website because the competitors who use SEO will rank higher than you. Ranking higher means their website and pages will display sooner than yours during search results.
Each content you create on your website should be ranked for its keyword. A piece of content could be your homepage, other pages, blog posts, directories, and so on.
The problem with keywords is that there are millions upon millions of keywords.
How do you know which one to rank for?
You know, by using proper keyword research methods. There are good keywords to use and plenty of bad ones to use. Using the wrong keywords will result in less traffic and less chance that your content will be seen by the people you want to see the most.
So, what is a good keyword, and what is a bad keyword?
Most of the time, there are short keywords and longer keywords. A short keyword example is “Spinning Fitness Blog,” and a long keyword (also called Long-tail keyword) example is “Indoor spinning fitness blog for beginners.”
Trying to rank a brand new site or a website that isn’t as popular as “Spinning Fitness Blog” would be overwhelmingly complicated. This is because the keywords are highly competitive, and many more extensive, well-established websites are already ranking for them. One of the first websites listed on Google for that keyword phrase is Spinning.com which is known for its indoor spinning products. It would not be easy to compete with that website.
The more straightforward keyword phrase is the long-tail keyword “Indoor spinning fitness blog for beginners.” This is because the keyword is more specific and with more words attached to it.
Choosing the right keywords to use and research is choosing longer-tailed ones with less competition.
But if no one is searching for the keywords you choose, find a keyword that people are searching for but has less competition than the single or double-word keywords.
What are the best tools for using keyword research for SEO?
There is a wide range of different keyword research tools out there.
Some tools are costly and meant for SEO agencies and well-established businesses.
But many tools are low cost or even free or have a minimal free option. Free tools aren’t always bad, especially if you’re starting or you don’t have revenue income streams to help you purchase more expensive tools to conduct keyword research for SEO.
For a straight-paid tool that is powerful and will get you the results that you desire, look into Ahrefs. This company has been around for a long time and is a trusted SaaS provider. Many agencies and companies use Ahrefs for keyword research for SEO ranking. The company also provides excellent articles and videos to help make using their tool very simple.
Another great tool with a minimal free edition but an extensive paid addition is SEMRush. This company has also been around for a long time, and many agencies and businesses use it. In most articles that are created about SEO, you’ll see SEMRush links within. Their free area can be used for limited daily use, or you can upgrade to the paid edition.
Another tool that has a very generous free edition is Uber Suggest. I use this tool and have upgraded to the paid edition. The free edition is excellent for those who don’t write much content and need a solution here and there. The upgraded edition is ideal for those who often write, such as for a blog that posts daily SEO tips like this.
Another great tool is Moz Keyword Explorer. Moz has been around for many years. I remember reading their blog, SEO Moz, several years ago. They have a very generous free version of their keyword research for the SEO tool. It allows you up to ten sessions a month which is perfect for you if you don’t publish much content. You do have to create a free account. They have other free tools as well. But all the tools have limits and can be upgraded to the paid edition.
Another great tool is Keywords Everywhere, which is another tool that I use and pay for. It is a browser add-on, and you pay for credits. When you conduct keyword searches on Google, for example, it will show you cost-per-click (CPC) data, search volume, competition, and related keywords with data for those as well. It is a great low-cost solution for conducting keyword research.
And, of course, there is Google Keyword Planner, which is free to use. You do have to have a Google Ads account which you may be required to provide credit card information. But you don’t have to pay for anything or purchase ads. Keyword Planner has limited and fundamental features, but it’s coming from Google, which you ultimately want to rank the best for. So, it may be all you need until you need something better. Why not use something free until you make enough to upgrade to a bit more premium?
Another great free tool is Google Trends. Trends are basic but allow you to see what the world is searching for. This can help you determine what keyword research for SEO needs to happen first. You can choose the best possible keyword phrases by utilizing trends. It’ll give you the overall search interest, what countries the searches are being done in, related searches, and related topics. This can all be used for your comprehensive keyword research.
And don’t be afraid to use a combination of different keyword research tools to help you with your search engine optimization decisions.
How to make keyword research for SEO be a more straightforward process?
As I said before, the term “research” is psychological.
It makes us feel like we’re doing a lot of hard work.
While keyword research for SEO can be tricky, you can also practice methods to make it easier at the end of the day.
To do this – try doing it every day.
Research a keyword every day for thirty minutes to an hour. The more you research keywords daily, the quicker you turn them into a habit. Once you form a pattern, things get easier because you’re used to just doing something that way.
Indeed researching and understanding each tool feature will also make things easier. Take advantage of YouTube for them. Every SEO tool out there has tons of YouTube videos about them. These videos are by creators who want you to subscribe, delivering the best content. These videos can help you quickly master keyword research.
There are tons of videos on YouTube and courses (free and paid) on SEO. You should attempt to learn as much as possible about SEO keyword research. The more you know, the better off you will be.
And that sums up the basics of keyword research for search engine optimization. In future articles, I will go more in-depth into keyword research and other SEO methods. Follow me on Twitter for more SEO tips. Thanks for checking out this blog and spreading the word about it to help support my efforts.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.