If you’re hoping to boost your rankings on Google’s search page, you’re going to need to know how to do keyword research well.
Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that people are searching for on Google.
Knowing what people are actually searching for can help you with a whole bunch of SEO tasks like writing engaging blog posts, optimising your onpage content, promoting your content, increasing traffic to your website and more.
Check out these 6 SEO tips to improve your keyword research and rank higher on Google!
1. Brainstorm relevant topics for your business
Start by asking yourself: “What topics are relevant for my business?”
Then make a list of as many topics you can think of that make sense for your business. For example, a digital marketing agency might start by listing these topics:
- SEO Services
- Facebook advertising
- Google Ads
- Email marketing
- Paid per click ads
And so on.
Next, take each broad topic and split it into smaller topics. For example, I could take Google Ads and break it into topics like:
- Optimise Google Shopping listings
- Set up a Google Ads account
- How does Google Ads work?
- Cost of Google Ads
And so on.
The aim is to get as many ideas as you can on the page – you will fine tune the list later. For now, focus on identifying as many topics as possible.
Once you’ve exhausted the spontaneous ideas in your brain, you can start hunting for other topics using steps 2 and 3 below.
2. Use Google Analytics to see what keywords you’re already ranking for
Dig down into the data for organic traffic to your website and you could find more keyword opportunities.
A tool like Google Analytics can help you find out what keywords are already bringing people to your website. Use this info to help you expand your list of topics.
3. Hunt for related search terms on Google Search results
Jump on Google Search and mine the free data you find on the page to generate more keyword ideas.
Here are three ways to do just that:
Suggested search terms
Start typing one of the topics you brainstormed above into Google. Before you even finish typing it, you’ll notice Google suggests searches in a drop down list.
This can be a source of more keyword ideas, giving you an insight into what people are actually searching for.
You can also use this method in YouTube’s search bar too.
People also ask
Once you’ve made a search in Google, you’ll notice a list of “People Also Ask” questions. This is free data you can use to develop your keyword list and generate blog ideas.
Here’s what comes up when I type in “SEO Perth”.
Related searches at the bottom
Again, type one of the terms you brainstormed above into Google Search.
Then scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the list of related search terms at the bottom.
For example, when I search for “Facebook advertising” this is what I find at the bottom of the first results page – more possible keywords.
4. Make the most of keyword research tools
There are plenty of free and paid keyword research tools out there – Answer The Public, SEMrush and Ahrefs to name a few.
Tools like these will help you streamline the process of keyword research. They’ve all got slightly different capabilities and functions, so do your research and use a combination of tools for the best results.
Don’t forget Google has a couple of tools you can use too. The advantage of using tools from Google is that the data comes straight from them.
Google’s Keyword Planner is designed for paid ads, but you can still use it to mine for keyword ideas.
Google Trends is a good tool for discovering topics that are trending now or predicted to be trending in the near future.
5. Understand what “search intent” is
Keywords play an important role in SEO, but not as important as you might first think. It’s not simply the words and phrases you try to target that matter, but the intent behind the search.
Search intent refers to what a Google user is actually looking for when they type a certain word or phrase into Google.
Knowing the search intent behind a search term isn’t always straight forward.
If someone searches “how to do copywriting”, they could be looking for tips to write better copy. Or they could be looking for advice on how to become a copywriter.
This means you have to be careful how you interpret the keywords you’re targeting.
One way to figure out the search intent of a keyword is to type it into Google and check out the top results. Make sure the type of content you plan on creating is similar in intent to the Google results.
6. Fine tune your list of keywords
Not all the keywords in your list will be usable, so it’s important to fine tune your list and focus on the keywords that will make the biggest impact.
Keywords should be relevant and have a decent amount of search volume. In other words, you want to target keywords that people are actually searching for, otherwise you won’t get any traffic.
But there’s also a flipside. Going for keywords that are really competitive might not be the best way to spend your time and energy because it’s hard to rank well for them.
Try and aim for a mix of head terms (shorter, more generic phrases) and long tail keywords (longer, more specific phrases) in each of your big topic buckets.
You’re all set for some super keyword research!
Don’t forget to circle back and revise your keywords every few months. You should also work on building your website’s authority so that you can rank better for your target keywords.
Managing all the aspects of SEO, including keyword research, can be pretty time consuming. If you live Australia and you’re based in Perth don’t be afraid to reach out for help from an SEO Perth based agency if you need!