New to the world of keyword research? Before you dive in, you’ll want to know why it’s an important part of your digital marketing process. What benefits can it bring to your business? Is it worth investing time, money and effort?
We’ve got everything you need to know in our no-jargon guide, written by our very own SEO executive, Lewis McCarthy.
What are keywords, exactly?
Keywords are search terms. They are words, phrases or questions that users search for to find information, products or services online.
These keywords can come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got your short and snappy ones, consisting of 2-3 words like “keyword research”. Then there are the longer ones, known as long-tail keywords. “Why is keyword research important?” is a great example.
These can be typed in or spoken with voice search. With the popularity of Siri and Alexa, more and more searches are being done through voice activation. These terms are more likely to be conversational. People are now also starting to search with images, using tools such as Google Lens.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research can assist with any stage of your online business. If you’ve already got an online presence, it’s worth knowing what keywords you’re currently ranking for.
Search terms are important to pay attention to because they will help you decide what terms to use across your website and digital marketing campaigns. This includes PPC campaigns and video optimisation.
Essentially, it takes out the guesswork.
Below, we’ve listed some of the key areas where keyword research can be used to help you reach your business goals.
How can it help you achieve your business goals?
Expand reach and traffic
If you’ve already made a name for yourself, you can leverage keyword optimisation to expand your reach and traffic. How? By boosting your rankings for search terms that are relevant to your business.
Boost conversions by moving users down the sales funnel
By targeting phrases that are related to your business niche, you can help move users along the sales funnel. This, in turn, can help them make informed decisions about your service and product.
Keyword research will help you map out the right search terms to include in your content. More recently, tools such as SEMrush have included intent behind the terms, meaning you can be confident in which stage of the customer journey people are searching for those specific terms. This will help you provide more relevant content and more appropriately match your keywords.
Intent can include informational, commercial and transactional. Tools such as SEMrush do the legwork for you, by labeling the keywords with user intent. Ultimately, this helps you match the right search terms to the right type of landing page or content.
Stay relevant and speak the language of your audience
If you’ve just launched an online business, you can use keyword research to decide on the phrases you want to use for your product, service and informational pages.
If you’re more established, you may discover that terminology has evolved and your audience is now referring to a product or service under a different name. If that’s the case, you’ll want to adapt so that you don’t fall under the radar.
Regardless of what stage you’re at, keyword research will help you know which keywords to attribute to each product or service page. By using the preferred terminology of people who are actively searching for what you have to offer, you will appear more relevant to your audience and to search engines. Once again, it takes out the guesswork.
Be confident about market trends
You can even use these insights to expand your business. If you’re considering a new brand, you can research its popularity over time using tools such as Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner. If interest in this brand or specific products is showing steady, promising growth potential, it could be an indicator that it’s worth investing in. (As long as it’s relevant to your business niche and the needs of your audience).
If you’re in the very early stages of researching the market potential of a new service or product, seeing if people are already searching for it can help you make more informed decisions. You’ll be able to see the popularity of the product by using tools such as Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner. If there are no searches, you may need to rethink your strategy. You might decide it’s worth investing in marketing to develop awareness, or you may decide now is not the time to invest.
Find where your audience is hanging out
Our top tip is to make sure you’re hanging out where your audience is. But how do you know where they’re looking? There are tools that can break down the channels that are most popular for specific search terms, which is particularly useful for product-based searches. Some tools work across all platforms, including TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Google and Pinterest. That way, you have complete visibility and can know exactly where to invest time and energy in your content and keyword optimisation.
Become an expert on your niche
By branching out into long-tail keywords, you can become an authority and expert in your niche. You’ll also be answering the questions that your audience is asking. This will capture their attention and interest earlier in the customer journey. You’re also more likely to rank for these terms, as they tend to be less competitive. In fact, presenting helpful information for users is an important ranking factor for Google. It’s part of their E-E-A-T and Helpful Content update.
What is the ‘research’ part of keyword research? How does it work?
Now that you know what keyword research can be used for and how it can help you reach your business goals, you’ll want to know how to do it!
Matching intent is important. Tools such as SEMrush will tell you whether a keyword is commercial or informational to help you decide whether to optimise it for a blog article or product page. Typically, though, long-tail keywords and questions are a good match for blogs. Short or mid-length terms tend to be a better match for landing pages.
One thing that you will encounter when completing keyword research is a competitive rating. If a term is too competitive, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t optimise for it. Understanding the level of your competitors is crucial. You can find out more about the mechanics of keyword research in our guide.
Want help with your keyword research? Don’t have time to do it yourself? We get it! Sometimes it makes sense to hire SEO experts to help get the ball rolling. Speak to the team at Echo to see how we could help you reach your digital marketing goals with a little keyword magic.Contact Us Give Us A Call Message Us