With over 3 billion Google searches every day, millions of people use various search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc to find relevant information in the form of articles, videos, news, etc.
The very possibility of being discovered for these search queries makes businesses, and individuals very interested in wanting to be positioned at the top results, in order to drive organic traffic with high intent to their website, app, or landing page.
The entire process of ranking on the top is a combination of efforts and often termed as SEO – Search Engine optimization.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on Search Engines such as Google, Bing, etc thereby driving organic traffic.
SEO is an amalgamation of different sets of processes such as:
- Identifying business use-case or business requirements
- Mapping relevant keywords that suit the business use-case
- Identifying keywords – Performing Keyword research
- Outlining blog headlines with the shortlisted keywords
- Generating high-quality blogs, and guest blogs on the decided headlines
- Creating backlinks, and internal linking
- Optimizing content, and landing pages for SEO
For Example – You search for “Best app developers near me” on Google. You are most likely to click one of the first few results, and this drives organic traffic to the websites.
This process of ranking a website on top for certain keywords, or a combination of searches is SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, and an SEO-Expert is someone who can help a business achieve this goal.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is something that people search on Google, or other search engines to find information that’s relevant to their requirements.
- Mr. Smith wants to take his family out for dinner, in such cases, he will search for “Restaurants near me” or “Best food in Jackson” or something similar. The choice of the keywords help us identify Mr. Smith’s intent, thereby enabling the restaurants to optimize their website to be discovered
- Mrs. Jones is looking to buy a smartphone for her daughter but is confused about whether she should get an iPhone or an Android, so she will search for “iPhone vs Android”. This keyword is an indication that Mrs. Jones is looking for a phone, but is confused between the two brands. In this case, both Apple, and Android have an opportunity to create content around this keyword, and potentially acquire Mrs. Jones as a customer.
Taking the above 2 examples, we can only imagine the number of searches that can be potentially used by people to find what they are looking for on the internet.
A keyword is usually categorized into 3 categories –
- Short Tail Keywords – These are short terms people use on the internet, and usually are high in volume, and competitive, therefore the intent is low.
- Mid-Tail Keywords – Usually comprises 3 words or more, and have higher intent than short-term keywords, but the volume becomes lower.
- Long-tail keywords – Long-tail keywords are the easiest to rank for and are usually very low in volume, therefore the competition is low, but the intent is very high since people are looking for specific keywords.
How to perform keyword research?
Now that we have a fair idea of what keywords are, let’s understand how to go about performing keyword research.
But before that, let’s understand that one can look for keywords at all those places where people perform searches. Here are a few places where people perform searches –
- Google – Most obvious, and most commonly used by people to search for information online. Google Search provides contextual, and actively searched queries that can serve as the foundation for root keywords, based on which marketers can perform deeper forms of content research. Looking at the following image, we can note that for a search query “hire social media Manager” we get the following suggestions from Google. One can use these keywords to be included in their blogs, and there are chances that if the content has been written well, it can rank on the top, therefore allowing businesses to come at the top, and therefore attract organic visits from people who are intending to hire Social media managers.
- YouTube – If YouTube were a search engine, it’d be the 2nd most popular search engine, and a lot of people go to YouTube to find relevant keyword opportunities. With billions of hours of content watched every day YouTube provides a good idea as to what kind of content is being searched for and consumed.
- Amazon – People with the intent to purchase use Amazon, and similar eCommerce sites to search for the goods, and services they need to buy. If one is selling products online, one should definitely look for Amazon, and list out search suggestions. One should note that these keywords are high in “buy intent” since they are being searched for on Amazon. This process can be repeated on similar eCommerce platforms like Ebay.
- Quora/Reddit – Question answer platforms and Forums where people post questions and hold discussions are a goldmine for people to discover “long-tail keywords”
- Google Keyword Planner – Under Google ADs, this is one of the most reliable tools that is used extensively by Digital Marketers to find relevant keywords.
- Paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, UberSuggest, etc are also actively used by PRO digital marketers to identify opportunities for keywords, find keyword trends, and more.
- Competitor Research – This is one of the most under-rated forms of research, but one of the most useful tactics that allows people to research, and find relevant opportunities by researching on their competitors. There are tools like Spyfu that allows people to spy on their competitors and their keywords
Keyword research is an essential part of digital marketing and SEO. Be it running ADs or planning for SEO, one should be very careful in choosing their keywords. The wrong choice of keywords may result in efforts going waste where-in one is targeting keywords that may not have the desired intent.
One tip that can save a lot of time is to first start with keyword research of one’s competitors, this helps one get a fair idea of what works, and what doesn’t, and then use the above-mentioned tricks to identify potential keywords that may work for one’s business.
Hetvi works as a Product Associate at Refrens.com. She has worked for some renowned companies as a Brand and Digital marketing associate.