Learning about keyword optimization contains a steep learning curve. With so many things to worry about like fleshing out good content, keeping track of your word count, researching keywords is just one of the many difficult skills any SEO writer should master.
With these four easy steps, you can become a keyword research expert and boost your site ranking without breaking a sweat.
1. Ask the right questions
Before you even begin researching keywords, you need to be asking the right questions.
An important question to ask yourself is this: What are the trends that people are searching for?
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second at any given time. This means that roughly four million searches are conducted per minute, translating to 5.6 billion searches per day.
Narrowing your options should be the first thing on your agenda. Using the tool Keywords Everywhere, you can install it as an extension to your browser and see monthly search volumes, CPC (cost per click), and competition data on over 15 websites, including Google.
Once you’ve found a potential keyword, further challenge it by asking yourself how relevant this keyword is to your industry or line of work.
Sure, the trending keyword “Apple iPhone” might have millions of searches daily, but that keyword would hardly translate to your business if you operate a doggy daycare.
2. Cater to your market
Now that you know what the trends are and what people are searching for, it’s time for you to cater your keyword to your market. You can achieve this step by putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience.
A target audience or target market is a particular group of people you see as the most potentially profitable customers for your goods and/or services.
You need to understand the needs of this target audience and your goods/services should supply their demands. You can do this in two ways: by location or by industry.
If your target market is based on a geographical area, you need to know what the people in the area are searching for. If for example, your target market is looking for an efficient way to order food, adding a delivery option to your restaurant will significantly draw customers to you and increase sales.
If your strategy in finding a target market is by industry, you need to do some research and find out what they would be searching for in relation to that industry. Once you’ve identified this, ask yourself: What can I add to this conversation? What can I say/give that hasn’t been said/given before?
Once you’ve found your answer, find a related keyword that is relevant to your target audience and to your business.
3. Use SEO tools
After you’ve found a potential set of keywords for your site, you’ll want to confirm it through the use of keyword research tools.
While there are many software that provides these services, few are known to be effective and efficient. A well-known and reputable software is Ahrefs.
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool that can perform keyword research, site audits, link building, and competitor analysis among many other features. In the SEO industry, Ahrefs is one of the most powerful tools available in the market.
To check the strength of your chosen keywords, simply enter them into the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer and see if the stats are up to your standards.
Generally, you would want your Keyword Difficulty to be no more than 40 so that it will be easier to rank in the top ten (or the first page of Google) for your chosen keyword. You’d also want your Global Volume to be high because that means many people are searching for it worldwide.
If you scroll down, you can see the current top ten ranking pages for your chosen keyword. If you’re competing against the official merchandise store ([nameofbrand].com) or a very well-known website (Wikipedia), be aware that it will be hard to rank against them.
To understand what the different columns and numbers mean, you can learn more about it here.
4. The balance between seasonal and evergreen content
When you find your perfect keyword, you can now proceed to write! An important (but not really necessary) factor to consider is to figure out whether your selected keywords are for seasonal or evergreen content.
Seasonal content is–as the term suggests–content that is themed around a particular season. For example, an article focusing on New Year’s resolutions will only get traction from December to early January before dying out for the rest of the year.
Evergreen content, on the other hand, is content that always stays relevant for readers and will consistently generate traffic for your site. Simple how-to’s are a good source of evergreen content because it’s not centered around a particular season or holiday.
Balancing your content between seasonal and evergreen content can help you optimize your website and assist you in researching keywords.
If you follow these simple steps, you can become an SEO expert and never have to worry about keyword optimization ever again.