Top 10 Keyword Research Techniques for Your Business 🔍

Keyword research is the heart of SEO. It's how you get your business in front of the right eyes, helping you climb those search engine rankings, and most importantly - convert. Here are ten top keyword research techniques that can propel your site to the top of Google.

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1. Understanding Your Niche

Identify Your Audience's Needs

Before you dive headfirst into keyword research, it's important to understand your niche. What are your audience's needs and interests? What type of content are they looking for? Understanding these aspects will help you in determining relevant keywords.

Engage with Your Audience

One simple way of understanding your niche is by engaging with your audience. Use social media platforms, forums, and even the comments section on your blog to gather insights about your audience's interests and questions. Basically - talk to your customers/users.

2. Long-Tail Keywords

The Power of Specificity

Long-tail keywords are phrases with three or more words. They may not drive as much traffic as shorter, more general keywords, but they often attract highly targeted traffic, which can lead to higher conversion rates. The idea here is to create a "cluster" of content to interlink with and to build around your main keyword.

Tools for Long-Tail Keywords

There are several tools available for identifying long-tail keywords. Google's "Searches Related To" feature at the bottom of search results is a simple but effective one. You can also use tools like AnswerThePublic, Ubersuggest, or SEOSHIP to find long-tail keywords related to your niche.

3. Use Keyword Research Tools

Explore with Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is the OG tool for keyword research. It gives you keyword ideas and shows you how often they're searched for. The competition level data can also help you choose the most effective keywords.

Delve into SEOSHIP

SEOSHIP is a powerful tool for keyword research. It allows you to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for, giving you an idea of what you're up against.

4. Competitor Analysis

Identify Competitors' Keywords

Finding out which keywords your competitors are ranking for is a smart way to refine your own strategy. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs also allow you to do this and provide much deeper analytics and data but that does come at quite the cost - starting at $99/month! 😬

Understand Competitors' Content Strategy

By analysing your competitors' content, you can get a sense of which keywords they're targeting. This can give you ideas for your own content and keyword strategy.

5. Google Trends

Stay Up-to-Date

Google Trends is a great tool for staying up-to-date with what's currently trending and the general move of keywords and search intent around a specific keyword/content. This can help you identify emerging keywords before they become highly competitive.

6. Using LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords

Enhance Your Content

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) refers to a mathematical method used to determine the relationship between terms and concepts in content. With regards to SEO, these are synonyms or related words that are often found together because they share the same context. Kind of similar to long-tail keywords.

E.g., if you're writing a blog post about apple pies, the main keyword might be "apple pie recipe." LSI keywords could be terms like:

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Pie crust
  • Cinnamon
  • Homemade apple pie
  • Thanksgiving desserts
  • Serving suggestions for apple pie

Google and other search engines use these related terms to understand the context of your content. If your article about apple pies includes words like "baking," "desserts," "Granny Smith apples," and "Thanksgiving desserts," the search engine will have a better idea that your content is indeed about making apple pies, not about Apple Inc., or apple farming.

Using LSI keywords in your content can help make it more comprehensive and relevant, potentially improving your search engine rankings. It's important to note, though, that these should be used naturally within your content and not forced or overused (don't keyword spam).

Tools for LSI Keywords

LSIGraph is a handy tool for identifying LSI keywords. Just enter your main keyword, and it will generate a list of related terms.

7. Social Media Listening

Monitor Conversations

Social media platforms can be goldmines for keyword research. By monitoring conversations related to your niche, you can discover new keyword ideas and gauge their popularity.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags used on social media can often be great keyword ideas. Tools like Hashtagify can help you explore popular hashtags related to your niche - it works particularly well for Twitter.

8. Keyword Difficulty

Understand the Competition

Keyword difficulty refers to how challenging it will be to rank for a particular keyword. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, and SEOSHIP provide keyword difficulty metrics, helping you choose keywords that you can realistically rank for.

Balance Difficulty and Search Volume

While it's tempting to target high-volume keywords, they often have high difficulty scores. Finding a balance between search volume and keyword difficulty is key and a painful reality when you're just starting out. I always recommend going after long-tail keywords first and just building up a clustering of keywords to get the ball rolling.

9. Local SEO Keywords

Target Your Local Audience

For businesses serving a specific geographic area, local SEO keywords can be extremely effective. These are keywords that include specific locations, such as "best coffee shop in Brooklyn." This is also brilliant to use when building a marketplace or listing directory style product - perfect for programmatic SEO.

Use Google My Business

Google My Business is a powerful tool for local SEO. By optimising your Google My Business listing with your local keywords, you can improve your visibility in local search results.

10. Regularly Review and Update Keywords

Stay Relevant

SEO is not a leave and forget job. It's a process. Regularly reviewing and updating your keywords, blog posts and content is crucial to staying relevant as trends and search patterns evolve.

Use Analytics

Google Analytics and other analytics tools such as; Fathom Analytics can help you understand which of your keywords are performing well and which ones might need to be replaced.

Wrapping Up

Keyword research can seem daunting, but these techniques should give you a solid starting point. Remember, the key to successful keyword research is understanding your audience and their needs. Use these techniques to help guide your SEO strategy, but don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your business. SEO is an art as much as it is a science, and every business is unique.

Remember, keyword research is the beginning, not the end. Once you've identified your keywords, you need to integrate them into your content effectively. But that's a topic for another day. Happy researching! 🤙


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