HOW TO: SEO KEYWORD RESEARCH
Part of any SEO marketing plan will be keyword research and by extension your content marketing plan…
… You might say to yourself: “We are already producing content for our audience and naturally the topics we cover will have some great organic keywords without even researching.” It’s a no brainer that this will be the case, BUT doing a little research will help you immensely, because a) as much as we’d like to think we know EVERYTHING, we don’t, and b) although you might be writing some great content with strong keywords, perhaps there are new keywords that might be easier to rank for, that you haven’t thought of.
Step One – The search for the right keywords – Who’s that in the mirror?
So basically, your first thought above is not a bad thought and a great place to start. You are an expert in your industry so think about the topics, areas, keywords, trends, latest news that you think are interesting and important – chances are others will as well.
Compile this list and save it.
Step Two – What are my customers typing? – Walk a mile in their shoes.
Next cab off the rank will be putting yourself in your customers and associates shoes – What MATTERS to your audience? What are they searching for and what language do they use? How many types of customers do you have? Some will be using sophisticated terminology. For example, a kitchenware store might have one customer using “wine glasses” while another might use “Reidel stemless wine glasses”. This terminology is not only an indicator of a prospective customer’s knowledge, but it can also suggest where they are in the buying cycle.
Step Three – Google auto suggest and search parameters.
For more thoughts, type in one of your keywords, or ‘customer words’, into the Google search for their auto suggestions. Or search competitors websites with advanced parameters, especially if they have their blogs catergorised or in tags.
Some other neat Google-fu tricks can be found here.
Step Four – Research, Research, Research.
By this stage you will have a solid list. Now it’s time for suggestions from the bots.
Which tools are good?
Google’s keyword planner is the main go-to when it comes to research (for a good how to click here). But don’t discount the other big search engine Bing, and their keyword researcher toolbox. There are a billion other non-search engine built keyword helpers: Moz always has many tools available (paid and free), including explorer and moz bar; another software builder WordStream has great tools including keywords; and an indie developer built the rather nifty https://ubersuggest.io/ (learn how to use it here).
Step 5 The hard work – start writing.
Empty pages are scary but by now you already have your content plan, some awesome keywords/phrases… so get to it… time to create some killer creative content that is shareable, but will also get you noticed in the search engines.