Perhaps you’ve just launched your website, and you want people to find it. Or maybe you have an established website, but you’re struggling to bring in more traffic. There’s good news… search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can help you with these tasks! 😁
One of the most important things to do when working on SEO is to find ways to improve your organic search rankings. This is where SEO keyword research comes in!
Keyword research is one of the foundational techniques for SEO. For a comprehensive and in-depth guide to SEO, including many more techniques, tips, tricks, and recommended tools you can use, check out our SEO Tools Guide.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that people use to search for products and services. When people are searching on Google, Bing, or another search engine, they can use keywords to find what they’re looking for.
Keywords can be more than just one word. In fact, keywords are often multiple words.
There are two main types of keywords:
starting an online business in the travel industry.
Long-tail keywords have several advantages over short-tail keywords. They don’t have as much competition because they’re so narrow and specific, and they tend to convert better than broad keywords. They also help with user experience and SEO by leading to more relevant content.
However, there is a major tradeoff: the more specific the keyword is, the less often that keyword is searched for! Thus, you’ll likely need to capture hundreds of long-tail keywords in order to get the same amount of traffic as capturing just a few short-tail keywords.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research will help you understand:
More importantly, the keywords you use on your website pages will directly affect your position in search engine results pages (SERPs) on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
PRO TIP: A SERP is a list of web pages that a search engine thinks best relates to a user’s keyword search. Pages that are listed at the top of SERPs can generate a TON of organic traffic!
Therefore, it’s super important that your website pages show up as high as possible on SERPs for all of the keywords that matter to your business.
Which keywords should you use for SEO?
So, with all that in mind, how do you choose keywords for SEO? The best way to find keywords is by using an SEO toolkit, which is basically just a collection of tools specially designed to help you with SEO, including doing keyword research.
With an SEO keyword research tool, you can start by entering your main keyword. This will show you a huge number of details and metrics about the keyword as well as related keywords that people use when searching on Google.
PRO TIP: Most SEO tools have some form of a Difficulty Rating (DR) that indicates how hard it is to get on the first search results page for a keyword based on competition.
They also include a search volume value that indicates how many people perform a search using that exact keyword every month.
Try to choose keywords that you think are both relevant and useful for people searching online. To start out, you should aim for keywords that are both easy to rank for and that people are actually using.
Unless you have a super-popular site with an amazing amount of traffic already, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be able to rank for highly competitive terms that have a huge search volume.
What are some popular keyword tools?
Here are just a few premium SEO tools that can help you find keywords for your SEO strategy:
SEO Keyword Research Tools
But those are only a handful of the many all-in-one SEO toolkits available. All of them include tools for keyword research. In my opinion, when used wisely, premium SEO tools are worth every penny.
For a comparison of many popular SEO toolkits, check out this detailed SEO Toolkit Report.
Insert keywords thoughtfully!
It’s important to use keywords in key locations on your web pages because they’re the primary areas that search engines look at when ranking a page. Here are some spots to consider:
PRO TIP: You should take care not to overdo it. Stuffing your pages with keywords will only hurt you in the long run. A great way to place keywords is by including them naturally within your page so that it doesn’t look forced or unnatural.
Evaluate your results and fine-tune them!
After you’ve done your keyword research and chosen the right keywords to target, it’s time to see where you’re ranking.
You’ll want to check your SEO results on a regular basis so that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your keyword strategy. An effective SEO campaign will see an increase in search engine rankings over time as well as increased traffic from organic search results.
But don’t waste your time trying to track all of that data manually! The SEO tools listed above should also help you automatically keep track of your keyword positions over time. 😎
SEO takes time. But if there are no noticeable changes after a month or two, it means that your keyword strategy might need some fine-tuning. You might need to add more content to your page, add new keywords, change the keyword positions, or even remove some keywords.
I hope this article helped you to get a better understanding of how keywords can be used for SEO. But we only just started to scratch the surface of what SEO has to offer!
There are many more details and nuances about SEO, keywords, and keyword research that are covered in the SEO Toolkits guide. Why not continue your journey and check it out?