Today, effective keyword research is vital in digital marketing. As a digital marketer you should know how to use keyword research in addition to developing a good keyword list for SEO and PPC. With good keyword research skills, you will know the topics you should write about and the phrases to use in your writing. But possibly, you understand the importance of keyword research and you just want to know how to do it in a better way. Generally, to do a good keyword research, you should make a seed list of the starting terms, use the keyword research tools to expand the list and research and improve the list.
Steps for effective keyword research
If you are like many other search marketers, you only think about the main keywords related to your business, then plop them into a keyword search tool such as Google Keyword Planner and then you choose a keyword from the list it delivers. However, search habits vary widely from one digital marketer to the other. There are some who will combine hundreds of keywords to explain the same thing – this tactic may omit hundreds of profitable keywords.
Instead of doing it that way, you should try a creative idea base approach when doing your keyword research. For example, if someone says something about office furniture, possibly the thing that will get into your mind is chairs, equipment, tables, office design and cubicles. However, none of the associations will show up in the Google Keyword Planner and the search tool will only show the close related search terms.
To be effective in your keyword research, you must try to come up with as many associations as you can. You can check the competitor’s blogs, the Wikipedia topic categories, dictionaries and thesaurus, and forum discussions to get more ideas.
This step involves taking the keywords that are relevant. Check your list and eliminate any keyword that doesn’t seem to be relevant to your products or services. Throughout your keyword research you should remember that keyword research tools aren’t human and you should therefore evaluate the results. A good idea would be to choose the keywords that signal commercial intent rather than hunt for information.
3. The analysis
After developing a strong list of keywords and key phrases, you should do some analysis. Avoid relying on old search volume metric and instead use the more robust keyword difficulty score and keyword effective index to evaluate how it will be difficult to rank for a keyword. The metrics consider several niche based factors therefore providing an opportunity of prioritizing the keywords based on their ranking difficulty.
To finalize the list of keywords, you must understand how difficult it will be to outrank the competitors for every keyword. You should check for back links, on-page SEO, content and the domain authority of your competitors. If you are starting a SEO strategy, you should remove all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for including when they have a good keyword difficulty score.
With very many sites competing for ranking for a single keyword it may take longer before your site appears among the first sites in the search engine rankings. Moreover, you should avoid using any keyword with the worst keyword difficulty score since they have intense competition and lower search volume and therefore optimising for them isn’t worthwhile.
5. Keyword Research Tools
There are of course numerous software tools that will automate the above for you. Tools like Market Samurai, Long Tail Pro and one of my favourite Keyword Canine 3.0. Keyword Canine 3.0 will actually do all of the above when it comes to keyword research, making it my favourite tool. A full review of Keyword Canine can be found at http://www.webmasterforum.ws/keyword-canine-3-0-review/ – I recommend you check out this review as it’s really in depth with regards all the features of Keyword Canine.