Why Do Keywords Matter?
Search engines are the front page of the internet. Google being the most used, with users making 5.4 billion queries daily. And among these users, only 25 percent go to the second page of the search results. This means that if a website fails to make it to the first page of answers, its chances of attracting visitors significantly decreases.
But how does Google decide who makes it to the first page? They do this with the help of website crawling bots that search websites and store relevant keywords. When we make a search, the words used in our search query are then matched to the best sites that feature these keywords. To make it to the front page of a Google search, identifying the right keywords is crucial for writers and website owners. That is why keywords matter.
How to Research Keywords for a Blog or Website
In order to research keywords for informational blog posts, you need to keep industry best practices in mind. The following are some best practices that can help you decide on the right keywords for your blog or website.
Analyze Your Target Audience
One of the simplest ways to begin your keyword research is by analyzing your niche and your target audience. What are some popular and new trends in your market niche? What are the needs and interests of your target audience? Answering these questions can help you brainstorm for ideas.
So if your target audience is interested in the topic of, say, “video editing”, you should begin creating a list of questions that your audience frequently asks you regarding the topic. You can look up “video editing skills”, “learn video editing”, “how to edit videos for YouTube?” etc.
Once the list is prepared, you can begin searching these phrases on Google. The search results for your queries will most likely show results from your competitors or businesses from similar niches, which further reassures you that the keywords are likely valid.
From thereon you can search the related searches section for your primary keyword on Google. The suggestions you find there can be used as secondary keywords for your topic. Secondary keywords help Google determine the overall relevancy and quality of an article for ranking purposes.
It’s important to remember that the keywords you search on may not be the keywords that have helped your competitor rank. For instance, if you’re a content writer and are often asked to write speeches, you can search, “How to write a maid of honor speech?” The critical keywords for this query are likely to be maid of honor speech, and by thinking from a customer's POV, you increase the chances of attracting more visitors with that keyword, even though it is more about the end result than the fact that you can write about it.
Another method for finding keywords is through an in-depth competitor analysis. By following other websites that write on your topic, and using keyword research tools, we can find out which of the keywords contributed to your competitor's most successful blogs.
You can do this by conducting a domain analysis, which gives broader performance metrics for a website. If you buy a paid plan from Ahrefs or Semrush, they can provide you with insight into all subdomains and pages. However, without the paid plan, you are left with limited options.
An alternative to using tools is to manually look up keywords for a website and to analyze its title, meta description, and URL slug. You will probably notice key phrases and words repeated in all three of these.
Most of the time, this is enough to identify the keywords. But to be on the safe side, what you can do then, is to press ctrl+F and search for that keyword on the webpage. So, if you search for what you think is a key phrase and notice repeated use of it throughout the article, it's a sign that this is, indeed, a primary keyword/keyphrase.
Keyword research tools
There are multiple keyword research tools that can help in providing you SEO insights for your blog or website. Some of these are free and some are paid. And while Google autocomplete can help you look up relevant keywords without using research tools, tools can provide more in-depth insights:
Google Trends: One of the most basic and easy to use keyword research tools is Google Trends. It allows users to access data on a chosen topic. So if you wish to look up trends related to your niche, you can look them up based on a global or countrywide search.
Ahrefs: Industry’s most popular, professional, and also one of the most expensive keyword research tools, Ahrefs provides myriads of advanced level possibilities. You can audit your website SEO there, optimize your website against your competitors. Use Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords searched by people matching your customer profile.
Google Keyword Planner: Being Google’s very own platform for keyword research, Google Keyword Planner is highly rated as it provides up-to-date and accurate results regarding top ranking keywords. Basically designed to benefit PPC campaigners, it can also be used effectively for SEO.
Semrush: Semrush is, in most ways, similar to Ahrefs. However, Semrush provides better value-for-money with more reports allowed, an easier to use site auditing feature, backlink auditing, etc.
Answerthepublic: Ever notice the “People Also Ask” section when making a Google search? Answerthepublic, is one of the best websites for finding pertinent questions related to a keyword. For instance, if you search for a 5-minute speech, the tool will show you all the Googled questions related to the topic. So, optimizing your content with the help of this tool can boost your blog’s chances of ranking on the front page.
Keywords Everywhere: A free tool, Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that gives immense on-page SEO insights while you make searches. These insights include, traffic volume, referral links, domain authority, CPC, relevant keywords, etc.
Learn to Identify Traffic Driving Keywords
Successfully driving traffic to your website requires more than simply finding apt keywords. It’s important that the keywords you identify will drive traffic to your site. Therefore, during keyword research, you need to take into account the following factors:
An important factor that cannot be disregarded is a keyword's relevancy to your website. That is the reason why understanding your audience is necessary. Take, for instance, the example of a website that provides writing services. In such a website's case, writing an article on renowned speakers with "award-winning speakers" as its primary keyphrase may make it difficult for the web page to rank.
That's because users use this keyword with the intent to learn about best-in-class speakers. So it’s unlikely that you would rank for this keyword on the basis of one article, and even if you did, few would click on the search result because the irrelevance of the query is apparent. So ensure that you understand the significance of user intent, and attract a relevant audience to your website.
To get your website on the first page of a search result, your keywords can be used effectively as keyword clusters. This does not simply mean that you should necessarily aim for LSIs from Google search. A good keyword cluster uses semantically related keywords. These are different words but their meanings are similar or relevant in context.
By using such a cluster of keywords you can increase the probability of driving more traffic. Also, when you use a cluster of related search queries to extensively cover a topic, Google may recognize you as an authority on the subject. This approach could drive traffic to your blog.
Ranking Based on Performance Metrics
Once you’re done creating clusters of relevant keywords, it’s time to start ranking them based on their performance metrics. Look for these four factors to ensure which ones have the most potential to drive traffic to your blog:
Search Volume: It’s important to understand that keywords with a higher search volume make it difficult to rank. Therefore, if you’ve just begun blogging, you should aim for keywords with 100–1,000 searches per month. Also, use of long-tail keywords with more actionable terms can increase the probability of higher conversion rates, at the cost of a lower audience to your website. For instance, to avoid a saturated keyword like “speaker profile”, choose a long-tail keyword such as “how to write a speaker profile?”
Ranking DIfficulty: Ranking or keyword difficulty refers to the high competition among users of a particular keyword. Many times, short keywords become saturated, whenever two particular terms have everything in common except for the keyword difficulty, you should aim for the one with a lower ranking difficulty.
Seasonality: A good keyword strategy would be to prioritize those keywords that are evergreen through the year. While often keywords such as “Top video editing ideas for 2022” may attract a good audience, the keyword will not remain relevant after 2022, and you might have to re-optimize it. So it's best to choose keywords that remain relevant through many seasons, and for many years to come.
Click Potential: Semrush's keyword manager analyses click potential percentage, allowing users to rank keywords in a more meaningful way than search volume. If the success of your webpage is dependent on getting clicks, in order to further user action, it is critical that you pay close attention to click potential rather than search volume.
To Sum Up
To promote a blog or website, you must develop an effective keyword mapping strategy for your content. So all blog owners and writers need to learn how to find keywords that would bring in the traffic. Following the best practices discussed in this article will ensure that you achieve the desired result. Remember, with SEO, patience is the key to success!