Quick Keyword Research Tips
It’s always important to start any content writing project with a quick dive into keyword research to make sure you’re covering the topic thoroughly and targeting effective keywords in the process. Even a few minutes can help you identify valuable keywords, reduce keyword cannibalization and write a more informative and useful piece for your audience to enjoy.
The Basics of Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of finding, analyzing and optimizing specific words and phrases your target audience uses to gather information. These are the queries entered into search engines like Google and Bing, something that happens 8.5 billion times a day.
Quick keyword research isn’t necessarily good keyword research, but if you’re a time-crunched marketer, speed makes a difference.
For efficient and quick keyword research, consider these tips:
- Target 2 to 5 keywords on each page. Focusing on a few keywords will help you effectively target them. Writing content naturally will ensure the content is more likely to rank for natural variations on the chosen keywords.
- Avoid targeting the same keyword on multiple pages. This is known as keyword cannibalization because your pages can weaken each other’s chances of ranking. Instead, focus each keyword on only one web page.
- Check keywords for volume. Using keyword research tools to determine a term’s search volume helps you target phrases that users are searching for. It also provides a better understanding of the ways users are searching for your products or services.
- Avoid focusing on volume alone. Just because a keyword has high search volume, doesn’t mean it’s a great fit. The best keywords are highly relevant and have the ideal intent, in addition to having search volume.
How to Perform Keyword Research
Ready to get started? Follow these steps to perform keyword research:
- Choose your keyword research tool. We love using Semrush!
- Research the top phrases you think are relevant to the content.
- Consider related keywords and other ways of searching for the same information.
- See what keywords the competition is using.
- Narrow options down to the best 2 to 5 keywords.
- Check the intent of selected keywords.
Consistently choosing the right keywords takes practice, but following the steps outlined above is a great starting place.
The most important things to consider during the keyword research process are:
- Search volume
This means that any keyword you choose to target should be highly relevant to your business or target customer persona. We recommend targeting queries within a realistic range of keyword difficulty that matches your desired intent. Focus on keywords that meet these factors, then select the terms with the highest search volume.
Keyword Research Best Practices
Once you have the basics down, it’s time to perfect your keyword research strategy. Consider these best practices for identifying keywords that convert.
- Intent. Intent. Intent. If we drive any point home in this article, it’s that keyword intent is king. Intent refers to what a user is planning to do when they search for a specific term. The content should match the user’s intent, so it supplies the expected, helpful answer to the query. For example, a user searching for “how to conduct keyword research” is looking for instructions to do the research themselves. A user searching for “keyword research agency” is looking for an agency offering services to do the work for them. The first keyword is great for a blog SEO strategy, and the second is fitting for a service page.
- Conduct a search for your target keywords. We always recommend searching for the keywords you plan to target before you target them. This reveals whether the term has a lot of search volume for an unexpected reason, such as it being the name of a book or song. It also helps you understand what search engines believe users want to see when searching for that term, solidifying its value for your page. Finally, performing a search will provide insight into what content to include on your page.
- Understand keyword difficulty. Most keyword research tools provide an organic keyword difficulty score on a scale from 0 – 100, with 100 being the most difficult. This score is based on how many domains are targeting that keyword and how much domain authority they have. If you’re working on a well-known national website, a keyword with a high difficulty score (80+) may be within reach. If you’re working on a new website without much authority, focus on keywords with lower difficulty scores.
- Align with your paid media strategy. Paid search campaigns can tell you a lot about what keywords have the highest conversion rate. If there are paid search ads being run for your website (or display ads with keyword-based targeting), be sure you’re aligning SEO with the paid strategy and putting learnings into action from both channels.
- Implement the keywords effectively. Choosing the right keywords is only half the battle. Consider the best ways to optimize content with those keywords as well.
A Quick Note on AI Keyword Research
Every day, more and more artificial intelligence tools hit the market. While it can be tempting to free up your team’s bandwidth with an AI tool, use caution. Many of these tools are relatively new and still working out the kinks. While they do have some value, most results provided by such tools will still need to be double-checked by a human being, so the time savings may be minimal.
“Quick” Is Not Always Efficient
While the ability to conduct quick keyword research can be valuable, a website’s keyword strategy should involve more than fast research done on a page-by-page basis.
The ideal keyword strategy is one that considers the full structure of the website and matches each relevant keyword with the best possible page for targeting that keyword. There’s no shortcut or substitute for the professional and rigorous keyword research you’ll get with Oneupweb’s professional SEO marketers.
Speed Up Your Keyword Research – Let Us Do It
With more than 20 years of experience, Oneupweb is a vertically integrated marketing agency. With developers, designers, videographers and writers ready to roll, we’re an office full of solutions – and we usually have snacks handy, too. Get in touch to let us handle the heavy lifting.