While Google Ads Keyword Planner tool is the first stop in finding the right keywords, an extremely valuable, but paid tool is Ahrefs. You can use it for doing a lot of things such as analyzing backlinks, competitor research, keyword research and then some.
This is an advanced tool as you can use it to literally spy on your competitors, understand their traffic sources and know what keywords they are ranking for. Here is how the interface looks like:
This is an example website that shows the keywords it is ranked for, the search volume and keyword ranking according to various countries. This data is worth in gold and can provide with enough data for several months of your SEO campaign.
Owned by Neil Patel, it is one of the most cost-effective and economically priced keyword and competitor research solutions in the market. Starting at just $12 for tracking up to 3 websites, you can easily perform SEO tasks and track the progress and results. The free version is limited in providing data and access, but should be good enough for a start. We will be taking an example of Sitewired in this case. After running a test on the homepage, here are the results:
You can see the number of keywords, the position and the volume. These vary from day to day depending upon your search traffic, and how aggressive your SEO campaign is. Using Ubsersuggest, you can easily identify targeted keywords, and perform competitor research. As such, you can implement a solid SEO plan backed with data.
Intent and impact of keywords
When starting out on an SEO campaign, it is important to find out the right keywords, but even more vital is to research the intent and the possible impact it would have. For example, a web hosting company promoting managed VPS hosting plans should not be optimizing their content for “Free managed hosting” or “free wordpress hosting.” Why? Someone looking for “free” would have minimum chances of converting to a paying customer.
From the following screenshot, you can see how Google has shown results related to the “free managed wp hosting.” This is a great way to identify the user’s intent. Since the search results show pricing points, the hosting company needs to drop the word “free” from their SEO campaigns:
The intent behind “free” is not convincing enough to include this keyword in the SEO campaign.
When conducting keyword research, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I conducting this research?
- What is the intention behind these searches?
- What impact would ranking for these keywords have on my website traffic and conversions?
Optimizing for keywords not relevant to your business will lead to a higher bounce rate, which isn’t a viable option for your business.
According to MOZ, SEOs should not forget the importance and relevance of long-tail keywords.
Here’s a graph to explain:
Long-tail keywords aren’t just targeted for your business, but they also include questions and conversational phrases that customers usually search online. For example:
- How to make a responsive website?
- How to do keyword research?
- What is SEO Keyword research?
As mentioned earlier, one of the BEST ways to find out conversational phrases is by typing some questions on Google Search and getting a list of recommended questions, like this:
If you were to write and optimize for How to do keyword research, your chances of appearing at the top were lesser than if you were to do the same for Youtube, Google ads or Bing, etc. It all boils down to competition. Everyone is doing on keyword research, but the moment you pick up a long-tail keyword, your chances of ranking automatically shoot up.
Wrapping it up!
There is no shortcut or magical formula for search engine rankings, nor is SEO a programming language where you can instruct Google to bless you with free organic traffic.
Gaining fruitful results from an SEO campaign is getting harder day by day due to the ever-changing algorithmic nature of the big G. With that being said, this time-consuming effort is definitely worth the time. And in case you were thinking, here is the answer:
No, SEO isn’t dead!
If you don’t have a solid SEO plan where semantic core is the foundation, you are bound to fail online. Building a semantic core should be the first part of your SEO campaign as it can’t be ignored anymore. Without one, won’t receive enough traffic and conversions.
Many SEOs also fail to realize that simply optimizing for keywords isn’t enough. Writing great meaningful content, rich with keywords is equally important. This could be in the form of blog posts, new articles, guest posts (with a link back to your website), and by improving your website copy.
SEO is an evolving field. What works today, may not work tomorrow. Who knew back in December 2019 that there would be a sudden shift toward remote working due to COVID19? We now have a slew of keywords and search terms related to Coronavirus.
Don’t forget to re-evaluate your keywords every few weeks. You never know when new search terms pop up!
Over to you now! We would love to hear your response on this guide. Share your experiences with us and let’s get something mutually beneficial out of it :)