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Search engine optimization is one of the most critical elements of success for your website, blog or online store. It makes the difference between success and failure in your online marketing campaign. This is the reason why every website owner, marketing agency or webmaster must know how to utilize SEO potential to achieve their overall business goals. SEO is a series of strategies all aimed at ranking your site at the top of the search engine result page and improve user experience. It is one of the efficient and cost-effective ways of marketing your business to web surfers and creating user-friendly content that addresses your audience’s needs.

SEO is a continuous practice that involves many adjustments to align your campaign with the ever-changing search engine ranking rules and methods. However, even though there have been many new search engine ranking algorithm updates for the last 10 years, which have shaped the modern SEO approach, one aspect of SEO which has remained consistent is keyword research. Though there have been changes in the keyword researching process and introduction of several high-tech tools, the need for keyword research has never changed.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is an SEO strategy that helps you to identify phrases or terms that searchers a likely to type on search engines to find a given topic or information. It is one of the fundamental, cost-effective and valuable SEO tasks as it helps you to create content that your audience is actively looking for.  Apart from identifying the on-demand phrases for SEO, it also helps you learn more about your target audience and discover new opportunities in your industry. There are many applicable approaches to research your market for popular and valuable keywords which depends on:

  • Your particular website – in terms of WebPages, content, and authority.
  • Your site and business intention – branding, traffic, leads, and exposure.
  • Resources – Budget and timelines.
  • Particular industry and level of competition.

Importance of Keyword Research

  • It helps you to keep tabs with industry trends and shifts.
  • Gives insights on popular brands in your niche.
  • Increases relevant site traffic.
  • Identifies the exact customer needs.
  • It helps you rank higher on search engine results.
  • Enhances your website usability and visitor’s experience.

Four Keyword Research Guidelines for Starters

1.Create An Initial List Of Relevant Search Terms

The first step of keyword research is coming up with an initial list of possible phrases that you feel that your audience would be looking for to find your products or services. This can start with seed terms that define your niche; phrases that best describe your business by thinking how the consumer would look for it.

2. Generate Keyword Ideas

Once you have the relevant seed keywords, it is time to create a huge list of relevant keywords idea putting into account what your audience could be searching on major search engines. This can be done in the following ways:

  • Analyze Keywords That You Are Already Ranking ForIf you have an existing website, it is important to determine which phrases you already rank for. Google Console search analytics tool can help you in growing this list. The tool can help you get an average position, impressions, and clicks for up to 1000 keywords. You can use other advanced tools such as Ahrefs, Serpbook or SEMRush for better results.
  • Analyze Your Competitors’ Keywords – Check the keywords that your competitors are already ranking for and pick the most valuable ones. The best approach here is to research top ranking websites in your industry and generate unlimited keyword ideas that they have targeted. One of the valuable ways is to check for common keywords among your competitors that you are not using. This shows points where you are getting it wrong.
  • Use Modern Keyword Research Tools – You can use free or premium tools to generate relevant keyword suggestions. This gives you an opportunity to identify new unique ideas that are yet to be utilized by your online rivals. The tools generate suggestions based on different sources and give you analysis based on various metrics.

3. Group Related Keywords

Once you have generated a mammoth of keyword ideas, choose the best ideas by assessing different metrics such as search volume, traffic potential, keyword difficulty, and CPC. You can group by topic, intention or business value.

4. Prioritize You Keyword List

You can assign a keyword score based on:

  • Keyword potential traffic forecast.
  • Keyword completion level.
  • The cost of targeting the keyword.
  • The business value or return on investment (ROI).

Using the scores select the most prospective keywords to rank for.

Remember that keyword research should not stop there. Make it an ongoing practice to get the best from your SEO campaigns.

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