Keyword research is a crucial aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours online. By researching and targeting these keywords, you can increase the visibility of your website and attract more traffic, leads, and sales.
It is the process of finding and analysing the keywords and phrases that people are using to search for information, products, or services related to your business. The goal is to determine which keywords you should target to increase the visibility of your website and attract more qualified traffic.
Research and analysis are important because they help you understand the needs, interests, and preferences of your target audience. By targeting the right keywords, you can improve the relevance and quality of your website, making it more likely to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more visitors. Additionally, it can help you identify new opportunities to expand your reach and reach new audiences.
To conduct effective research, you need to start by defining your target audience, goals, and objectives. This will help you determine which keywords to target and prioritize in your research efforts. Then, you can use research tools and techniques to find relevant keywords and analyze their search volume, competition, and relevance to your business.
There are four main types of keywords: broad, phrase, exact, and long-tail. Broad keywords are general terms that describe a broad topic or category, such as “shoes.” Phrase keywords are multi-word phrases that describe a specific product or service, such as “running shoes.”
Exact keywords are very specific phrases that match the exact search query, such as “women’s running shoes.” Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are more likely to attract qualified, interested traffic, such as “best women’s running shoes for flat feet.”
Negative keywords are the 5th type of keywords. They are used to exclude from your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns so that your ads do not show for irrelevant or unqualified searches. Including negative keywords in your PPC campaigns can help reduce the number of unwanted clicks, lower your cost per click, and improve the relevance and performance of your ads.
For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you may want to add “men’s” as a negative keyword to ensure that your ads do not show in searches for men’s clothing. Or if you sell running shoes, you may want to add “free” as a negative keyword to exclude searches for free running shoes.
Negative keywords can be added at the campaign or ad group level in your PPC account and can be managed and updated as needed to ensure that your ads are always relevant and targeting the right audience.
It’s important to regularly review and update your negative keywords to ensure that they remain relevant and to avoid paying for unwanted clicks. You can use research tools, search query reports, and conversion tracking data to identify new negative keyword opportunities and improve the performance of your PPC campaigns.
To determine which keywords to target for your website, you need to consider several factors, including:
1. The relevance of the keywords to your business and website
2. The search volume of the keywords, or how many people are searching for them each month
3. The competition for the keywords, or how many other websites are targeting the same keywords
4. The relevance of the keywords to your target audience and goals
No, it is not the same as SEO. While it is a crucial aspect of SEO, it is just one part of a larger optimization strategy. SEO involves a range of techniques and tactics for improving the visibility, relevance, and quality of your website, including researching keywords, on-page optimization, link building, content creation, and more.
It is related to SEO in several ways. By conducting this research, you can identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using to search for products or services like yours.
By targeting these keywords in your SEO efforts, you can improve the relevance and quality of your website and make it more likely to rank well in search engine results pages. Additionally, this research can help you identify new opportunities to reach new audiences and expand your reach.
Keyword research is also an important part of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. PPC is a form of online advertising where advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their ads. To be successful with PPC, it is essential to target the right keywords and use them effectively in your ads and landing pages.
Yes, it is highly recommended to conduct keyword research for paid campaigns, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It can help you identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using to search for products or services like yours.
By targeting these keywords in your PPC campaigns, you can ensure that your ads reach the right people at the right time, increasing the chances of attracting qualified, interested traffic to your website. Additionally, this can help you optimize your bids and budgets, ensuring that you get the most value for your advertising spend.
Yes, monthly search volume is an important factor to consider when conducting keyword research. Monthly search volume refers to the number of people who are searching for a particular keyword or phrase each month. This information can help you determine the popularity of a keyword and how much competition you can expect for that keyword.
Higher monthly search volumes can indicate a high demand for the keyword and a large potential audience, making it a potentially valuable keyword to target. However, high search volumes can also indicate high competition, making it more difficult to rank well for the keyword. Therefore, it’s important to consider both the monthly search volume and keyword difficulty when selecting keywords to target.
It’s also important to note that monthly search volume can change over time, so it’s a good idea to regularly re-evaluate your keywords to ensure that you’re targeting the most valuable keywords for your business.
Yes, keyword relevancy is extremely important when conducting keyword research. Keyword relevancy refers to the extent to which a keyword is related to your business, products or services, and the content on your website.
By targeting relevant keywords, you can ensure that the traffic you attract is more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This can result in higher engagement, conversions, and a better return on investment for your marketing efforts.
Relevancy is also important for search engines, as they aim to provide the best possible user experience by displaying the most relevant results for each search query. If your website is optimized for irrelevant keywords, search engines may determine that your content is not useful or relevant to users, resulting in lower search engine rankings and decreased visibility.
Therefore, it’s important to target keywords that are both popular and relevant to your business to ensure that your efforts are well-targeted and effective. You can determine keyword relevancy by analysing the content on your website, your business goals, and the interests and needs of your target audience.
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases that are typically less competitive and less expensive to target in search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. They often consist of three or more words and are used by people who have a more specific intent when searching for products, services, or information online.
For example, instead of targeting the broad keyword “shoes,” a long-tail keyword could be “women’s running shoes for flat feet.” This type of keyword is more specific and less competitive, making it easier to rank in search results and target in PPC advertising.
Long-tail keywords can also be a valuable source of targeted traffic because they are more likely to be used by people who are closer to making a purchase decision. By targeting long-tail keywords, you can reach potential customers who are looking for more specific information about your products or services, increasing the chances of attracting interested, qualified traffic to your website.
Long-tail keywords can be found through various research tools and can help you identify new opportunities to reach your target audience and increase your visibility in search results. They can also be used to optimize your website content and PPC campaigns, ensuring that you are reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.
Competitors’ keywords refer to the keywords and phrases your competitors are targeting in their search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising efforts. Analysing your competitors’ keywords can provide valuable insights into the strategies they are using to reach their target audience and can help you identify new opportunities to target.
There are several ways to research your competitors’ keywords, including:
1. Reviewing their website content: Look at the titles, headings, meta descriptions, and other content on your competitor’s websites to see what keywords they are targeting. Analysing their PPC ads: Use keyword research tools to identify the keywords and phrases that your competitors are using in their PPC ads.
2. Conducting a search engine query: Use these tools to analyze the search results for a specific keyword or phrase and see which websites are ranking well for that keyword.
3. Utilizing competitor analysis tools: There are various competitor analysis tools available that can help you identify the keywords your competitors are targeting and the strategies they are using.
By understanding your competitors’ keywords, you can develop a more comprehensive keyword strategy, identify gaps in the market, and make informed decisions about the keywords to target in your SEO and PPC campaigns. Additionally, monitoring your competitors’ keyword strategies can help you stay ahead of the competition and continuously improve your efforts.
Keyword difficulty measures how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword in search engine results pages (SERPs). It takes into account various factors such as the number of websites competing for the keyword, the strength of those websites, and the quality and relevance of their content.
A keyword with high difficulty means that many high-quality websites are competing for that keyword, and it may be difficult for a new or low-authority website to rank well for it. On the other hand, a keyword with low difficulty may indicate that there is less competition for that keyword and that it may be easier to rank well for it.
Keyword difficulty can be determined using keyword research tools, which analyze various factors such as the number of websites ranking for a keyword, the authority of those websites, and the relevance and quality of their content. The results of these analyses can be displayed as a score, a percentage, or a colour-coded system, making it easy to understand the difficulty level of a keyword at a glance.
It’s important to consider keyword difficulty when conducting research into keywords and developing your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) strategies. By targeting keywords with lower difficulty, you can increase your chances of ranking well for those keywords and attracting more organic and paid traffic to your website.
However, it’s also important to balance keyword difficulty with keyword popularity, as keywords with low difficulty may also have low monthly search volume, making them less valuable for your business.
Yes, there are free tools available that can help you conduct your research and identify the keywords and phrases to target in your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Wondering what the best research tool is? Here are some of the most popular free keyword tools:
Google Keyword Planner: This tool is available as part of Google Ads and provides data on keyword popularity, competition, and suggested bid prices for PPC campaigns.
Google Trends: This tool allows you to see how popular a keyword or phrase is over time and in different locations, providing valuable insights into its potential popularity.
Ubersuggest: This tool provides data on keyword difficulty, search volume, and related keywords, and can help you identify new keyword opportunities.
Keyword Tool: This tool generates a list of keyword ideas based on a seed keyword, including long-tail keywords, related keywords, and keywords used in PPC ads.
SERPstat: This tool provides keyword data, including search volume, competition, cost per click, and related keywords, as well as keyword ranking data for your website and competitors.
While free tools can provide valuable insights and data, they may also have limitations and may not provide as much detail as paid tools.
However, they can be a useful starting point for businesses with limited budgets and can provide a good foundation for conducting research and developing a keyword strategy.
Here are ten tips for conducting effective research on keywords:
Define your target audience: Knowing your target audience is key to identifying the right keywords to target. Consider their interests, pain points, search behaviour, and language when conducting your research.
1. Define your target audience: Knowing your target audience is key to identifying the right keywords to target. Consider their interests, pain points, search behaviour, and language when conducting research.
2. Use a variety of keyword research tools: Use a combination of free and paid research tools to gather data on keyword popularity, competition, and search volume.
3. Consider long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and targeted, and can often have lower competition and higher conversion rates.
4. Focus on relevancy: Target keywords that are relevant to your business and the content on your website.
5. Use negative keywords: Exclude keywords that are not relevant to your business or are unlikely to generate qualified traffic to your website.
6. Analyze your competitors’ keywords: Use research tools and competitor analysis to see what keywords your competitors are targeting and to identify new keyword opportunities.
7. Consider keyword difficulty: Look at the competition and search volume for each keyword to determine how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword and whether it’s worth targeting.
8. Use keywords in your content: Incorporate keywords into your website content, meta descriptions, and title tags to improve your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.
9. Track your results: Use analytics and tracking tools to monitor the performance of your keywords and make data-driven decisions on future keyword targeting.
10. Regularly update your keyword research: Keyword trends and search behaviour change over time, so it’s important to regularly review and update your research to ensure that you are targeting the most relevant and effective keywords.
By following these tips and incorporating this research into your digital marketing strategy, you can improve your website’s visibility, attract more qualified traffic, and achieve better results from your search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns.
This research is a more in-depth and nuanced approach that involves using advanced tools and techniques to identify new keyword opportunities, analyze keyword competition, and refine your keyword strategy. Some of the advanced techniques used include:
Latent semantic analysis (LSA): LSA is a technique that uses statistical and mathematical algorithms to identify relationships between keywords and concepts, and to identify new keyword opportunities that are related to your existing keywords.
Keyword clustering: Keyword clustering involves grouping similar keywords together based on their meaning and intent. This can help you to identify new keyword opportunities and refine your keyword strategy.
Search intent analysis: Understanding the intent behind a user’s search query is key to identifying the right keywords to target. Search intent analysis involves analysing the keywords and phrases used in a search query to determine the user’s goals and needs.
Voice search optimization: With the rise of voice-activated devices, it’s important to consider how users are searching using voice commands and to optimize your keywords for voice search.
Local search optimization: Local search optimization involves optimizing your keywords for local search results, including targeting location-specific keywords and your business information in local directories and listings.
By incorporating these advanced techniques, you can gain a deeper understanding of your target audience and their search behaviour, and identify new keyword opportunities that can help to improve your website’s visibility and performance.
However, it’s important to remember that this research can be time-consuming and requires a deeper understanding of search engines and search behaviour.
About the author
Steve Baron is the Founder & CEO of Webprecision. He founded Baron Marketing Ltd, an advertising company he ran for over 20 years, as well as several online startups.
He is a past mentor for Business Mentors NZ and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Waikato, Majoring in Economics & Political Science. He also holds an Honours Degree in Political Science from the Victoria University of Wellington.
He is a published author of three books and a prominent guest editorialist for newspapers throughout New Zealand. In his spare time, Steve is the Clerk of the Scales for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, is a Bridge Grandmaster and enjoys walking, running and cafes.