how to perform keyword research

How to Perform Smart Keyword Research for Your Market

Reaching your ideal audience and getting them to your website can be a complicated task, but one of the best ways to point people in the right direction is through the proper use of keywords. But how can you figure out which keywords are going to best suit your content and reach the highest number of people possible? You’ve got to do your research. Here, we’ll let you in on all the basics for how to research keywords that are both impactful to your audience and effective in your overall content marketing strategy. 

What is Keyword Research? 

Before we even get into the step-by-step details, it’s important to define what exactly keyword research is. In short, keyword research involves identifying the words and phrases that your ideal audience members would use when searching for your product or service online. Before you can determine the right keywords, you’ve got to understand your audience, compare various keywords for their viability, and prioritize which keywords will work best for you (but we’ll touch more on these factors later). 

Why is Keyword Research Important?

Integrating appropriate industry keywords into your content is one of the most effective ways to boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) performance. Let’s say you sell lawn equipment, and one of your main keywords is “affordable lawn mowers.” If you properly integrate that keyword throughout your content, then a potential customer searches for the term “affordable lawn mowers” on Google, then your website is more likely to pop up in the top results. This prime placement on the Google search results page can help you get more clicks and bring in more traffic, in addition to proving yourself as an authority in your industry.

Don’t make the mistake of missing out on valuable keyword targeting, or you might be creating content that people aren’t actually searching for. 

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Getting Started with Keyword Research

Now that you know the importance of researching your keywords, you’re probably wondering about the nitty-gritty of how to perform keyword research. Here are five easy tips to help you get started.

1. General Brainstorming

You don’t have to do a ton of research in the very beginning of this process. After all, you’ve got to start somewhere, and the knowledge you already have is more than good enough. You can start by identifying some of the basic keywords your audience might search for, a concept which is referred to as “seed” keywords. 

For instance, let’s go back to our lawn equipment example. Some of the most obvious seed keywords might be “lawn mower,” “rake,” “weedeater,” and the like. There’s no need to worry too much about these keywords, since these exact words and phrases aren’t what you’ll be targeting. Instead, work on creating a list of keywords that you can expand on in the following steps.

2. Research Your Competitors

No matter what product or service you’re selling, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re not the only one who’s doing it. So, do a bit of research on your biggest competitors. Using the seed keywords you’ve already identified, do a quick Google search to see what competitors come to the top of the results page. Of course, huge national brands might not be your biggest competitors, so use your best judgement in identifying competing companies that mimic your own. 

Once you’ve got a few competitors in mind, you can use an intelligence tool to see which keywords they’re ranking for. Not only will this step give you some unique keyword ideas, but it can also help you see if there are any keywords that aren’t being targeted. If you take on these keywords and master them, you could be clenching a golden opportunity in your industry.

3. Take Advantage of Keyword Research Tools

There are tons of keyword research tools across the internet, and they can be seriously valuable resources when it comes to finding the right phrases to target. Some of the most popular keyword research tools include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, and the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool (pictured below).

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You can start with a free keyword research tool or upgrade to a premium version for additional features. Either way, you’ll be presented with tons of new ideas to round out your list. Just remember not to get overwhelmed at this stage!

4. Learn More About Your Audience

Having all the keywords in the world won’t do you any good if your target audience isn’t searching for those phrases. When you’re learning how to research keywords, learning how to also research your audience is key. Who are you targeting with your products? What kinds of questions are they asking about your field? Most importantly, what keywords and phrases are they searching for to look for those answers?

As you research your audience, look for trends in their questions and conversations. You can then use these recurring ideas to identify promising keywords to target in your content. Plus, you might be able to eliminate some of your previous keywords if you notice that your audience isn’t using that phrasing.

5. Prioritize Specific Keywords

By this point, you’ve probably got a huge list of potential keywords to work with. But you don’t want to try to target all of them. So, it’s important to analyze your keywords and narrow down your list. Look into SEO metrics such as search volume, number of clicks, and traffic potential to see which keywords would be the most promising for your company.

This step will be a continuous process as you continue to improve your content marketing strategy. As trends change, the keywords you want to target will likely change as well. It’s best to revisit your keywords every quarter to give you an idea of your performance. 

Put Your Keywords to Good Use with WriterArmy

Now that you know how to perform keyword research, you’re well on your way to crafting content that’s impactful and valuable for your audience. Plus, you’ll be bringing in new traffic, engaging with your potential customers, and proving yourself as an industry authority. 

If you need help with keyword research, content creation, or content marketing in general, reach out to WriterArmy. We have years of experience in all the most in-demand verticals and use our expertise to provide personalized service to each and every client. Contact us today for a free quote!

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