Do you want to position your website on the first page of the Google search results? Keyword research is essential for good natural search ranking. A good SEO keyword strategy allows you to improve your organic positioning and generate quality traffic in a sustainable way, while reducing your advertising budget!
In this article, we will present what is keyword research, its importance, how to conduct keyword study and what tools to use. Then, we will explain the importance of adapting your keyword strategy to improve your organic visibility.
KEYWORD RESEARCH AND ITS IMPORTANCE
Conducting a keyword study allows you to better understanding your target market: understanding the needs of your audience and how they search for your content, products or services. More specifically, keyword research allows you to collect information on:
- The products, services, information that your audience is looking for;
- Market trends (which keywords or expressions are used the most?);
- The size of your market via the monthly search volume for a keyword;
- The level of competition for a keyword;
- Seasonality of searches.
From this information, you will be able to establish a list of relevant keywords, corresponding to the best keywords for your SEO. In other words, your keyword research will allow you to develop a keyword strategy, thus serving to optimize the content of your site.
By correctly defining the right keywords and then integrating them into your website pages, blog posts, etc., you will be able to respond precisely to web users requests and therefore, to capture quality traffic.
HOW TO DO A KEYWORD SEARCH?
Several steps are necessary to perform a keyword research.
FIND IDEAS FOR KEYWORDS
This step consists of listing everything that tells you about your products or services. Think about what might get your target audience to click on your site in Google. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) and its competitive advantage.
Go from the most general to the most precise. Identify the main keywords first. Once the main themes have been identified, dig deeper into the sub-themes that are relevant to your audience and your sector.
Multiple keyword research tools allow you to find keywords and their respective search volume. Here is a selection:
This Google keyword research tool is free. It allows you to enter several keywords, filter them by geolocation, search period and category. From there, you collect results that show the search volume for a keyword, where, and where the traffic is coming from – as well as similar keywords. This tool can also give you information on the seasonality of a keyword, especially useful for developing your editorial calendar.
AnwerThePublic is a generator of questions and associations of ideas that uses Google’s autosuggest on a specific theme. From a given keyword, the tool retrieves the most searched queries and brings up questions relating to the keyword. This free tool is therefore very useful for creating attractive content.
This Keyword Tool is an excellent way to give you the search volume of a keyword, the associated keywords, the visibility of the keywords in the search results, or its level of competition, called keyword difficulty. SEMRush also allows you to look at the keywords your competitors are ranking on.
Now that you are well equipped to find keywords associated with your business, it is a question of choosing the right keywords in order to build a relevant keyword strategy.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF KEYWORD DIFFICULTY
The Keyword Difficulty is the level of competition of a keyword. It is not enough to rank on high volume keywords to appear first on Google! The competition can be fierce on a lot of keywords. Thus, being aware of the competition level is essential.
In this sense, tools like SEMRush or Moz Keyword Explorer tells you, for each keyword, the level of competition. If your competition has a strong Domain Authority (DA), it will be more difficult to rank on the same keywords.
Don’t worry about that, there is a methodology focused on long tail keywords.
FIND THE KEY WORDS LONG TAIL
The long tail keyword is a heavily used concept in SEO. It corresponds to the set of keywords and groups of keywords that are searched in lower number, but whose sum of searches may exceed the main keyword and phrases related to your activity. Long tail keywords are on average composed of 3 or even 4 words, which detail a specific idea on which traffic exists and on which the competition is lower.
In addition to being often less competitive, long tail keywords have the advantage of bringing more qualified traffic and better converting than generic keywords, since the search is more specific.
Note that the less competitive nature of long tail keywords often allows faster positioning in the first pages of search engines.
There are several tools for finding long tail keywords, most of which require a paid subscription, but some free tools can be used:
- The search bar of the search engine offers you suggestions of expression, do not hesitate to use it as inspiration.
- Related searches at the bottom of the results pages. These expressions can give you ideas.
- AnswerThePublic is, again, inspiring to find all of the related queries from a keyword.
If you want to learn more at this level, I advise you to read our excellent article on how to find long tail keywords.
SELECT YOUR KEYWORDS
We have seen that the selection of your keywords is based on several criteria:
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Long tail keywords
Once you’ve established your keyword list, it’s all about ranking your keywords by relevance. There are three different types of keywords: primary keywords, secondary keywords, and semantic keywords. Each type of keyword has a specific role. We invite you to read the article on the role of different types of keywords to learn more.
Once the role of your keywords has been defined, you can proceed with the SEO optimization of your website. The work on the keyword strategy will allow you to:
- Write good title tags and meta description;
- Inject your keywords into your heading tags – remember that Hn tags are used to prioritize your content ;
- Build the sitemap, in the event of website rebuilding or for a new site;
- Create SEO friendly URLs. URLs still have a certain importance for organic ranking;
- And finally, write unique, well-optimized SEO content using primary, secondary, and semantic keywords in your content.
ADAPT YOUR KEYWORD STRATEGY
In order to constantly improve your organic SEO and stay ahead of your competition, evolving your keyword strategy over time would be a good idea. Especially since Google is also improving its algorithm!
ENRICH YOUR KEYWORD BASE
Consider constantly enriching the content of your pages with new keywords related to your activity. The Google Search Console can be very useful for you to take an inventory of the search phrases for which your site is ranking and their positioning on Google. This will allow you to know which expressions have a potential to generate traffic and thus optimize the content of the pages with these expressions. For example, you can optimize your page with the search terms that appear from position 11, which is Google’s second page.
Also, stay tuned for market developments to spot new keyword opportunities, which may attract new sources of traffic.
ANALYZE THE COMPETITION
Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can help you discover new keywords ideas that you might not have thought of. Studying the competition also helps you understand why your competition ranks much better than you on a particular keyword.
ANALYZE THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR KEYWORD STRATEGY
Finally, to optimize your keyword strategy, it is very important to monitor your keywords in order to keep track of their evolution. Thus, you will be able to spot high-performance keywords, or on the other hand, those that have no value and adjust your content accordingly.