How to search keywords
This post unpacks everything marketers need to know about keyword research and how to implement it in a marketing plan.
11 February 2021 · 9 min read
The success of your marketing strategy relies on the depth of your keyword research. Keywords are one of the foundational elements of digital marketing and a core component of driving traffic to your website and landing pages.
The Google search algorithm keeps rolling out updates, optimizing the platform to cater to what people are searching for online. Using the right keywords ensures that the search engines see your content and recommend your webpages.
Using related keywords to what people are searching for in your niche can dramatically improve the outcome of your PPC and advertising campaigns while boosting your SEO strategy.
If you’re new to inbound marketing, keyword research is the first place the start your learning process. This post unpacks everything marketers need to know about keyword research and how to implement it in a marketing plan.
Keyword research explained
Do you know what your customers are searching for online? Keywords are the search terms that your prospects and customer enter into the Google, Bing, or Yahoo search box when they want to resolve a query.
Choosing relevant keywords to what your target market is searching for is vital to your content marketing and digital strategy’s success. Targeting popular keywords and long-tail keyword phrases help search engine bots see what you’re trying to promote with your content.
However, using the right keyword search terms with high-volume search results isn’t always the best strategy. Some keywords are expensive if you’re buying them on AdWords, and you’ll find the keyword difficulty for ranking with those specific keywords to be out of your price range.
Some of the best keywords work well in long-tail keyword format, where there’s less competition for those keyword phrases. You get better reach for a lower budget.
How do keywords affect my SEO strategy?
Choosing the right keyword opportunities for your SEO (search engine optimization) campaigns is essential to their success. Optimizing your off-page and on-page SEO strategies rely on placing keywords in content like product descriptions, blog posts, guest posts, and meta-tags.
If your website and content are keyword-rich, it helps the search engines rank your webpages, pushing you up in the SERP and search ranking. As a result, you’ll see more traffic and daily visitors opening your webpages and tasking you up on your offers.
How do I do keyword research?
If this is your first time conducting the exercise, keyword research might seem somewhat intimidating.
We get it. When you don’t understand something, it’s easy to procrastinate and avoid the topic. However, conducting the right keyword research process is vital to the success of your marketing strategy.
If you get your keyword research wrong, it’s like building a house without foundation – everything’s going to come crashing down, and you’ll have to start again.
Use this step-by-step process to find the search terms that bring you the best conversion rate for your business.
Step 1 – Create topic buckets
Create your starting point by drafting a list of five to ten content topics relevant to your industry and business. These topics should be what you want to rank online. Later in the process, we’ll use these buckets to help you develop specific keywords for your campaigns.
Your topic buckets are content topics you intend to discuss on your blog, podcast, or social media accounts. The topics could also be frequent questions that come up in conversations with your customers.
To create your topic buckets, you need to understand the buyer persona of your target audience. The buyer persona is a general description of the buyer types that use your products or services.
Use demographics like age, income, interests, and education to create buyer personas. Look at the keywords they use when searching for products and services in your niche, and then add those to your topic buckets.
If you run an accounting firm, you might have the following topic buckets.
- Tax returns
- Corporate structures
- Forensic accounting
- And so on
Look up those keywords, and identify the search volume on each of them. That data lets you assess the importance of these topic buckets to your audience. It also gives you an idea of the sub-topics in each bucket that also generate search traffic.
Step 2 – Fill the topic buckets
Fill each topic bucket with as many relevant search terms as you can find. Focus on looking for long-tail keyword phrases over individual keywords.
Your keyword phrases need to help you get a fast ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target audience is likely using those terms when conducting their searches.
Take a few hours to brainstorm keyword phrases for your content buckets. Moving back to our accounting example, some of the keyword phrases people might search for would be the following.
- How to file a tax return?
- Choosing the best corporate structure
- The benefits of forensic accounting
- How to avoid an audit
There are dozens of other keyword phrases that will work with your content strategy. You don’t need to be specific at this stage, just get as many topics as possible into your list of keyword phrases and add them to your topic buckets.
Using web tools like Google Analytics is a great way to develop keyword ideas for your topic buckets.
Drill down into organic search terms to suit each of your content topics, and find the relevant search terms that matter to your content and marketing strategy.
Step 3 – Research related search terms
This inventive step in your keyword research process is a great way to fill your topic buckets. If you’re finding it challenging to locate keywords on a specific topic bucket, look for related search terms.
When you plug those new keywords into Google, you’ll notice that related search terms appear on the bottom of the page.
These results help you find keywords to add to your strategy and take it a step further by typing the related terms into search and look at the related searches for those keywords.
Step 4 – Implement keyword research tools
Fortunately, you don’t have to do all your keyword research manually. There are plenty of free web tools to help you find what you need.
You’ll probably find plenty of other keyword phrases you didn’t think of in your earlier research.
Step 5 – How do I refine and choose the right keywords for my strategy?
After completing the steps so far, you’ll find you have an extensive list of keywords. Now it’s time to start whittling away at that list to find your top keywords for your marketing and SEO campaigns.
Refining your list requires you to look at all the keywords you want to rank for and measure them to the following criteria.
Google search gives priority to authoritative sources. Do all you can to use your keywords to create high-quality content on your site and in your backlinking strategy.
The more helpful information you add to your site, the more the search engines will push your webpages up in search and SERP results.
Google search bots rank content by relevance. Your search intent is a concept where your content only ranks if it meets the searcher’s requirements.
Your content must be the best resource available for that specific topic or search query to get the best ranking,
You’ll find that you end up ranking at the top of search results for a specific keyword. However, if no-one is searching for it, then you’ll never see any traffic from the keyword.
Search bots measure MSV (monthly search volume), accounting for the number of searches on the specific keyword across all audiences during a month.
Step 6 – Add a mix of long-tail keyword and head terms to your topic buckets
You probably don’t know the difference between long-tail keywords and head terms, and that’s okay. Long-tail keywords are phrases that contain three words or more.
Head terms are short and generic and one to three words in length. Ensure you have a mix of head terms and long-tail keyword phrases in your topic buckets.
This strategy gives you the best option to establish short-term wins and long-term goals with your content, marketing, and SEO strategies.
Head terms get more monthly search volume than long-tail keyword phrases, but they are more competitive and challenging to rank.
Therefore, using long-tail keywords gives you the best bang for your marketing budget. However, it’s important to have a good blend of both head terms and long-tail keywords. The long-tails take longer to rank for, requiring more effort in your SEO and marketing strategy.
Step 7 – Use Google Keyword Planner to refine your keyword list
After creating the right mix of header terms and long-tail keywords in your content buckets, it’s time to start refining them into your final SEO keywords list you’ll target with your content strategy.
There are plenty of search tools and keyword tools to help you with this stage of the process. You’ll use the quantitative data to finalize your list and get your site ready for launch.
We recommend using Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner for this step. With the Google Keyword Planner, you’ll set up an AdSense account and then start researching monthly search volume and traffic estimates.
Look at the data on any keywords you feel are worthy of adding to your strategy. Decide where the best options are for your campaigns.
Take that information over to Google Trends, and use it to complete the methodology. In Google Trends, you’ll identify the top performers in your final list.
Ensure you’re using the Google Keyword Planner for flagging search terms that have too much or too little MSV. This strategy helps you avoid overly-competitive keywords and those that don’t bring you any traffic.
Google Trends lets you examine the projections and trend history of specific keywords you want to use in your final keyword strategy.
Step 8 – Start building your content strategy
After completing your keyword research, it’s time to put it to the test with a custom blog post designed to draw traffic to your site. Create and schedule blog posts using your keywords, and use them in your page content like product descriptions and sales copy.
Your content strategy needs to cover your blog, online content, social media, and outreach campaigns. Producing high-quality content requires a skillset, and you might not be a natural writer.
Suppose that’s the case, head to Upwork or Fiverr. These freelancing platforms put you in touch with thousands of writers looking to help you create your content.
Add your article instructions and the keywords you want to include in your copy. The writer comes up with webpage content, articles, and sales copy, using your keywords.
All that’s left is to start posting to your website, social media accounts, and your outreach partners’ blogs.
Use B12 for your website design and management
By now, you should have a good understanding of keyword research and what it does for your marketing strategy.
However, if your website design is terrible, your keyword research is in vain. Your website design is a critical element in your digital marketing strategy. If a prospect opens your landing pages and has poor design and navigation, they’ll bounce back to search results.
B12 offers you beautifully designed website templates in minutes using its AI-assisted design process.
The B12 design team can build and optimize your website per your instructions. Instead of charging you a huge upfront fee, B12 makes your website design accessible through a monthly subscription fee.
With B12, you get a fully functional website optimized for search. The B12 team also manages every aspect of your site, issuing you with any fault reports they find during their maintenance duties.
Approve fixes directly in your dashboard, and keep your site optimized for search. With B12, you get everything you need to develop, promote, and optimize your site for search. Visit the official website now and get your free AI-assisted template draft in 5-minutes.