An Advanced Guide to Keyword Research for SEO
“Good Keyword Research is the difference between a successful website that drives traffic, revenues, subscriptions; and an unsuccessful website that ends up being a wasteful investment.”
The Origins and History of Keyword Research
Before the crazy and weird ways of SEO experts emerged, keyword research was still very much there. Yes, back then great content writing after conducting keyword research for SEO was just ‘copywriting’.
I believe I am an ancient dinosaur from the Jurassic era, still trying to find my way to the perfect guide for keyword research. However, we are not in the Jurassic era anymore, and keyword research, for better, or for worse, is very significant.
It is not as though keyword research did not exist. It did exist. In many ways, it still served the same purpose, albeit in a slightly different way.
In earlier times, copywriters always aimed at creating and choosing the right words. Advertising and marketing were complimenting the sales team back then as well.
A good punch line was often the difference between a company becoming successful and a company biting its own dust. Times have changed; however, the right words are still as important as they were ever before.
Great copywriting has found ways and means of reinventing itself through the ages. In the modern era, it has been aided by keyword research. Great keyword research helps good content do its magic.
Attempting at being successful from an SEO standpoint is contingent on two things-
- Doing keyword research for SEO
- Writing great original and informative content
Making it work without one or the other is quite difficult. Unless you are someone who is too good at this, chances are you would need to depend on the above two points.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Many young and upcoming content writers frequently ask this question. If I am writing great content, isn’t it enough? Why do I need to get into the technicality of what SEO experts are telling me?
Well for starters, writing great content is not simply enough. I have always had this belief, that everyone can write, but not everyone can write SEO friendly content.
Keyword research for SEO friendly content is essential because-
- It helps drive traffic to your website
- You can increase more readers and visitors (different than traffic)
- Keyword Research helps you rank higher on the SERPs
- Instrumental in increasing sales and revenues
- Helps to improve the metrics of your website
- Improves discoverability and visibility
In other words, good keyword research is the difference between-
- A blog article going viral and having millions of views and shares and another one that is snubbed.
- A Landing Page that shatters every sales conversion records and one that needs rewriting repeatedly.
- A blog site having a bounce rate of 25% and a blog site having a bounce rate of over 70%.
This list can go on forever, but I am sure you have gotten the idea of what I am trying to highlight.
If you have been in the digital profession of creating content for some time, you will definitely know about doing keyword research for SEO. The digital landscape is different from other forms of writing. Here, SEO friendly content dominates.
What is Keyword Research for SEO?
SEOs keep bragging about the fact that without keyword research a piece of content is nothing. Neither is this entirely true, nor is this entirely false.
Keyword research is linked to keyword optimization. It is about knowing what kind of words your audiences are looking at and typing. This is a part of understanding audience behavior. Keyword research for SEO is simply Google’s way of ranking content according to user’s choices and preferences.
I have already stated that keyword research and keyword optimization is essential. However, more specifically ‘keywords’ have a particular aim-
- Attracting the attention of audiences
- Persuading them to visit a particular web page
- Generating and earning the trust of audiences
- Converting and coaxing audiences to buy products and services
- Hooking the consumers to forms of content on your web page
If you are looking at a bare-bones kind of a definition, then you are in luck. I have one of the simplest and most uncomplicated one for you-
“Keyword research is finding words that people are most entering
When they are searching on Google.”
Many people are stuck at keyword research as a form of just getting website traffic. Keyword research is much more than that. It is a mechanism, which helps you understand the intricacies of your audience’s behavior from the inside.
There are a number of tools, which can help you in keyword research. While some of these tools are paid, others are free. Wordtracker, Ubersuggest, Keywords Everywhere are some of the most popular ones.
An Advanced Guide to Keyword Research for SEO in 2021
In this section, we look at some of the most advanced techniques for doing keyword research for SEO in 2021.
1. Understand your Audience Base:
One of the cardinal mistakes that content writers do is not understand their target audience. People do not enter search terms uniformly. There is a drastic difference in target audiences across regions, gender, age, and the industry.
Knowing which words people are typing in their searches and predicting customer behavior is an old school technique.
I find it to be more helpful than plain keyword research through tools. This method offers a much more holistic understanding than just keyword research.
2. Create Topic Buckets:
To further elaborate on this; let us take the help of an example. Suppose you are writing on digital marketing. You will end up creating topic buckets like SEO, Social Media Marketing, PPC, etc.
This is your primary topic bucket. Now you need to fill it in with specialized topics under every major bucket. Let us take the example of Social Media. Under this, you can have keywords like Social Media Marketing Tools, Social Media Marketing Best Practices, or even, the Advanced Guide to Social Media marketing in 2021
This stands true for every industry and every brand. This also helps you chart a course of action and arrive at actionable keywords.
3. Use the Right Keyword Research Tools:
Your brain and smartness can only take you this far. Post this you have to rely on the power of keyword research tools. There are hundreds of them on the market. However, my personal favorite is Afrefs. This is one of the most powerful and affordable tools.
It is easy to use and has a lot of potential for doing the right kind of keyword research for SEO. Finding organic keywords, search numbers, related keywords and which keyword suggestions, along with their levels of difficulty. Ahrefs give us all these capabilities and much more.
4. Create Video Content on your Keyword:
Many experts in the digital marketing industry say that video is where you would want to push your content. They are not wrong. From Neil Patel to Brian Dean of Backlinko, everyone is doing video content.
There are ways in which you should optimize video content for keyword research. The first step is to create content based on your keyword. The next step is to use the same keyword in the title and create a YouTube video.
By creating videos with the same keyword-optimized title, you will be getting a lot of traction. You can also embed the same on your text content blog page for best results.
5. Ask Google:
At this stage, you might be thinking that this person has gone mad…However; one elementary trick that people miss is ‘asking Google!’ Just type in a subject in Google’s search bar. It can be anything. For example, we have used- Social Media.
The search results offered by Google are some of the best in the world. All the search results are great keywords. You can always use Google to help you start at the very elementary level. However, you will always need to complement this basic level of understanding with tools like Ahrefs.
6. Use Synonyms for Actual Keyword Research:
Sometimes ranking for particular keywords is quite difficult. Many authority sites that might be ranking higher. In such cases, if you want to rank, the process might take longer and involves a lot of investment.
However, always remember that you can try to rank for synonym keywords. For example, if ‘Get Backlinks’ is the higher ranking keyword, you might want to try ‘Build Backlinks’ or ‘Create Backlinks’. You will see that the competition for synonym keywords is a lot lesser. This will also afford you the opportunity to rank better for them.
7. Use Social Sharing Effectively for Keyword Research:
This strategy is quite similar to the video YouTube strategy with slight differences. The key is to create great titles with your keyword. Once you have done that, you need to share the same title on social media pages.
Suppose, you have created a blog article for your website. One of the best ways to increase social sharing is to link it to your social media pages. The more clicks you get from social media to our website, the better are your chances to rank for that keyword.
8. Related Searches on the Bottom of Google’s Search Page:
Again, we are coming back to Google, and how it helps us in the most subtle and unobtrusive way. One of the best methods of looking for related keywords is looking at the suggestions Google gives us at the bottom of the search results page.
I looked for content marketing as a search term on Google, and Google suggested the following search terms. Please remember, that related search terms as keywords are different from synonym keywords. Please do not confuse the two.
If you look at the related searches, you can see that ‘content marketing strategy’ and ‘types of content marketing’ are great keyword suggestions. Once you have them, just use Ahrefs to get the complete picture.
9. Find Keywords on Quora:
If you are looking for an unconventional way of doing keyword research, you should check out Quora. This will give you a great understanding of how people are engaging with various words. This will also give you an idea about the responses of people on the platform.
I searched for ‘SEO’ in the search section. Quora showed the following results to me-
SEO experts and digital marketers often overlook Quora. However, I find it to be a landmine of keyword research for SEO related information.
If you look at some of the titles, those are your most effective long-tail keywords! They are the ones generating the maximum number of engagements. Google looks to sites like Quora and reads the chatter. This helps it rank particular search titles.
Think of Quora as a platform that does the legwork for Google…
10. Create Great Eye-Catching and Attractive Content:
No matter what tips or tricks you use, there is no substitute in the world for great content. I put in this point last, as it is by far the most important one in my Guide.
If you are creating original and quality long format content and aiding it with the help of the above points, you will rank my friend! Please invest heavily in creating great content. No matter what it is- text, video or infographics.
Creating a great content writing team needs time and discipline. However, if your content is great, you have already done 50% of the work. Leave the rest to the SEO team.
An Advanced Guide to Keyword Research for SEO in 2021: The Final Word
Think of keywords as breadcrumbs in Hansel and Gretel fairy tale for the lead characters to follow home.
Keywords are like breadcrumbs for Google. They help in understanding the relevance of a web page. As Google’s intention has always been to pass on the most relevant information, keywords become important.
This is based upon the search patterns of users on the internet. Google merely promotes them and ranks them higher, for it feels them to be much more credible.
I wish you all the best for your keyword research!
If you need any other information on keywords, please reach out to me at email@example.com.