Keyword research is the first step in the SEO copywriting process and is an important part of every SEO strategy. Before you write the content of your website, you need to think about the search terms you want to find and this means getting into people’s minds to find out what words they are using when searching. Then, you can use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking them. This is keyword research and the main guide that will take you through many steps to produce SEO content and can compete in search engines.
- What is keyword research?
- Why is keyword research important?
- How to do keyword research
- Step 1: What is your mission?
- Step 2: Create a keyword list
- Step 3: Look at the purpose of the search
- Step 4: Build a landing page
- Long-term keyword strategy
- The importance of long tail keyword strategies
- What do competitors do?
- Synonyms and related keywords
- Conclusion of keyword research for SEO
WHAT IS KEYWORD RESEARCH?
Before I start explaining the process of keyword research, let’s look at the most important concepts behind it.
Keyword research can be defined as the work you do to generate a list of keywords that you want to rank and become part of your content.
Keyword strategy is about the decisions you make based on the keyword research.
Unique phrases are keywords that contain many words. You should tend to use word keywords all the time, but it doesn’t have to mean just one word. [Hosting Service] is a keyword, just like [Best Bank Indonesia List]. Keywords usually consist of a few words! So, in this guide, when I talk about keywords, we usually interpret phrases, not one word. In using the Yoast SEO plugin, keywords are termed keyphrase in more places, and have replaced the previous term “focus keyword” with “Focus Keyphrase”.
Whereas for long tail keywords are more specific and less common because they focus more on the niche as well as the following keywords [List of the Best Indonesian Banks]. The longer (and more specific) for search terms, these types of keywords will get easier to rank. Keywords that are more specific (and often longer) are usually referred to as long-tail keywords.
Focus phrases (Focus Keyphrase) are the words or phrases you want most from your page. You should put your key phrase focus in the meta plugin box that is available in the SEO settings under the WordPress editor from Yoast SEO.
The purpose of the search is all about finding what the searcher really wants. These are not just keywords, but goals that underlie what the searcher wants to know, do or buy.
Also Read: 8 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks For High SEO
WHY IS KEYWORD RESEARCH IMPORTANT?
Researching the right keywords is important because it will clarify the search terms that your audience uses. At Yoast, I often find clients who use a set of words when describing their products, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. As a result, potential customers did not find the website, because of incompatibility in the use of the word.
Sometimes digital marketing decides to give their product a certain name. And, that can be a smart marketing decision. This can be a way to make people remember your product. For example, you do not rent vacation homes, but [vacation huts]. But: know that very few people are looking for [vacation huts]. So if you optimize your text for these terms, you might get good ratings on these special terms. However, you will not generate a lot of traffic with these requirements and you will lose most of your potential audience.
So, you will understand that it doesn’t make sense to optimize words that people don’t use. Good keyword research ensures that you use the same words as your target audience and this makes all your efforts to optimize your website more useful. In addition, by looking at your search intent, you know which questions your customers have. The questions must get answers in the form of quality content.
HOW TO DO KEYWORD RESEARCH
For me, there are four steps to doing keyword research. First, you write down your business mission. Next, you list all the keywords you want to find. Then you see the purpose of the search and finally, create a landing page for each of these keywords. This main guide will take you through these steps in more detail.
Step by step, we will guide you through the entire process of keyword research, and I will provide practical tips for starting your own keyword research easily.
STEP 1: WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?
Before starting something, think about your mission. Think of questions like, Who are you? What is your website about? What makes you special? Who do you want to reach? And what promises do you make on your website?
MAKE SURE THE KEYWORDS MATCH YOUR SITE
Be aware that your website must be found for requirements that match or match your site. For example, if your website discusses WordPress, then don’t post keywords about selling clothes. This will make people disappointed when they find your site. They will probably go straight back to Google and do a search again and this will result in a large bounce rate. And a high bounce rate tells Google that people don’t find what they are looking for based on their search terms. This will definitely lead to lower rankings on selling clothes for your site – and that will be fully justified because we know nothing about buying and selling clothes, or about fashion in this matter.
TOOLS THAT YOU CAN USE
Make a list of search terms that might be difficult. Until a few years ago you could only check Google Analytics and see the terms people use to find your website, but unfortunately, that is no longer possible. So, you won’t know which terms people use in search engines to end up on your website. Fortunately, there are still a number of other tools that make researching your keywords a little easier like the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Also Read: How To Get Backlinks in 2019
STEP 3: LOOK AT THE PURPOSE OF THE SEARCH
Today’s SEO strategies must mostly revolve around answering people’s questions. Every time someone enters a search query to a search engine, they are looking for something. Each type of question requires a specific answer. In the article SEO basics from experts like Yoast SEO about the purpose of search, they said:
“The purpose of the search is related to the reason why people do certain searches. Why are they looking for? Are they looking because they have questions and want answers to those questions? Are they looking for a particular website? Or, are they looking because they want to buy something? ”
When planning your content, always ask yourself these questions. There are four types of intentions:
- Information intention: As written in people’s minds, people try to find information about a particular topic.
- Navigation intent: People want to access certain websites by entering terms in search engines.
- Commercial purpose: People want to buy something in the near future and do research before making a purchase.
- Transactional intentions: People are looking to buy something after searching for their commercial intentions.
Find out what kind of intention applies to you and try to match the purpose of this search, really giving people what they want.
STEP 4: BUILD A LANDING PAGE
The next step towards a long-term keyword strategy is to create an awesome landing page. In the past, every keyword that you want to find has its own landing page. However, today, search engines are so smart that most of them use the search intent to give searchers the best answers to their questions. The page that answers those questions will take the top rank. The search engine also understands subtle differences between keywords so you don’t need to create a landing page for all the subtle variations of keywords. You can optimize pages for several key phrases, related synonyms and key phrases.
CREATE AN OVERVIEW
We will advise you to build your page structure in a well-structured way – using spreadsheet programs like Excel or Google Docs / Sheets is the best way to do this. Create a table and add your keyword list. Using tables forces you to organize the structure and create relevant landing pages. Enter search terms in the first column and add columns to the various levels of your site’s structure.
CREATE A LANDING PAGE
Then, you have to create a landing page for your search terms, but you don’t have to make all these pages right away – it can be a long-term thing. The more specific your search term is, the further into the site structure that the landing page belongs to in that term. The most important keywords will lead to your foundation content articles. This is the keyword you want to optimize. To do this, you make the best content about those keywords – authoritative and all-encompassing, like the ultimate guide you read now. All your supporting articles will be linked to this foundation content. This must be part of your internal link strategy, if you use Yoast SEO Premium, then you can apply this automatically.
After completing keyword research for SEO, you must have a clear picture of the terms people use and the terms you want to find pages on your site. This overview will guide you in writing content for your website.
LONG-TERM KEYWORD STRATEGY
No website has to rely on one single keyword or one passphrase for its traffic. You must use your mission as a starting point, then take these steps in doing the right keyword research and working towards a strong base: keyword strategies. This complete section of the guide explains why it is important to have a long-term keyword strategy.
HOW MANY KEYWORDS?
I can’t tell you the exact number of keywords you have to have, but I can tell you that you need lots of keywords – as much as you can think of. However, more than 1000 keywords may be too many!
Even if you are a fairly small business, you might end up with a few hundred keywords. But there is no need to directly create a page for all of this. The great thing about having a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is that you can add content little by little. Think about what keywords you want to rank for now, and which keywords aren’t important right then. Understand your priorities and plan to make your content.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LONG TAIL KEYWORD STRATEGIES
Focusing on long tail keywords must be an important part of a long-term keyword research strategy. Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific (and usually longer) than more general keywords, which are often called ‘head’ keywords. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but usually will have a higher conversion value, because they are more focused on a particular product or topic. Read my posts about the importance of long tail keywords if you want to know why you should focus on long tail keywords when optimizing your site.
WHAT DO COMPETITORS DO?
Always keep an eye on your competition. Do you have to look for long tail keywords, which are specific and consist of a few words, or after the term head, mostly depending on your competition. If your niche is high, you will find it difficult to rank based on competitive head requirements. If you have a little competition, you will even be able to rank for head requirements. So how do you determine your competition? What should you look for? There are two steps that must be taken to properly assess how you compare to your competition:
- 1. Google and analyze your competition
- 2. Try, evaluate and try again.
1. GOOGLE AND ANALYZE YOUR COMPETITION
Google keywords that come out of your keyword research. Start with the term ‘head’ you most. The most common. See the search engine results page (SERP). This is the website that you will fight after you optimize your content for those keywords. To check whether you can compete with the website on the results page, analyze the following:
What is a professional website? Is that a company website? Ask yourself if you are ‘equal’ with these companies. Is your website among these sites? Does your company have the same size and does your company have the same influence?
Does SERP show famous brands? It’s harder to rank when you compete with sites with strong brand names. If the brand is known from TV or radio ads, your chances of ranking will be smaller.
What about the content of this website? Is the content well written and well optimized? How long are the articles on the site? If your competitors have bad content, you will have a greater chance to surpass them!
Are there ads on Google? And what is the pay per click on Google Adwords? Search terms that have high pay per click are usually also more difficult to rank in organic results.
HOW DO YOU COMPARE WITH COMPETITORS?
It all comes down to one question: how does my website survive, compared to websites on SERPs? Do you have the same size and marketing budget: go ahead and focus on those key terms. If not: try longer tail keywords.
The next step is to do the same analysis with a slightly longer keyword. Longer and more specific search terms will result in less traffic, but ranking on these terms will be much easier. Focusing on a large number of long-tailed keywords combined can attract a lot of traffic. After successfully ranking for those long tail keywords, aiming for more head terms will be a little easier.
2. TRY, EVALUATE AND TRY AGAIN
After you carry out a thorough analysis of your chances of ranking on certain terms, the next step is to write extraordinary articles and optimize them. And press publish. Make sure you will attract some good backlinks. And wait a minute. Look at your ranking. Does your article appear? Is that about the first page of Google SERP? Or hidden on page 2 or 3? Be sure to evaluate your articles on SERPs. The Google term that you optimize for your article. Check whether your SEO is successful or not!
If you can’t rank on the first page, try writing another article, focusing on longer tail keywords. Make it a little more specific, more specific. And see the results. Evaluate again. Continue this process until you press the first page of the SERPs!
AD HOC KEYWORD RESEARCH STRATEGY
In an ideal world, you will research your keywords, create beautiful tables and create landing pages for each. The structure of your site will be perfect and you will write every day for your blog and make your site rank higher and higher on Google. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.
Of course, your keyword research won’t always work. And some posts or articles are not written as part of an extraordinary strategy, but only because the topic is on the news or something that inspires you to write it. That’s how it works. But this doesn’t have to be a problem.
If you write something that does not fit your strategy, this does not mean you should not try to rank the content. You can still use it to rank for something related to the terms in your keyword strategy list. Use a tool like Google Trends to choose the keywords you want to get ranked. At least take the time to think about how to make your article or blog according to your strategy. After all, if you write valuable content, you can get it ranked!
SYNONYMS AND RELATED KEYWORDS
The Yoast SEO Premium plugin allows you to optimize your content for related synonyms and key phrases. Synonyms are direct substitute words for your focus keyword phrases, while related key phrases are words and concepts that are not direct substitutes but terms and phrases that deepen and broaden your understanding of your focus passphrase. By using synonyms and related key phrases in your text, you can paint a complete picture of the key phrases you focus on in your article. Remember, don’t use your focus keywords more than once.
FOCUS SINGLE OR PLURAL KEYWORDS?
Should you target single or plural keywords? Well, this depends on demand. Because Google learns more about the search intent of your query, Google can guess better what you are looking for. For example, if you search for the keyword “book”, you get different results than if you search for “books”. It seems that Google thinks that in the first case you are looking for a specific definition or story, in the second case he is sure you are looking for a book to buy. So, make sure you know what you are offering on your page and that it is in accordance with the requests and results that Google has given to that request.
Yoast SEO Premium has word form support, so it automatically detects all the different forms of your key focus phrases. Now, you no longer need to choose your posts for certain word forms. Optimizing your posts is a more natural process. However, there are reasons why you still want to optimize for very specific keyword forms. In this case, you can focus your keywords in quotation marks: “Indonesia’s best bank”. Yoast SEO will now only focus on the right keywords to your account when checking your content.
CONCLUSION OF KEYWORD RESEARCH FOR SEO
Keyword research must be the beginning of an advanced SEO strategy. The result will be a long list of keywords you want to find. But the hardest part is still writing all your content. You must write articles and blog posts on each keyword that you want and that is a challenge!