Glossary | 2 mins
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Keyword research is the act of finding and analysing search terms that users enter into search engines such as Google, with the goal of finding keywords that will help direct and support decision making within SEO campaigns.
Through keyword research, marketers and SEOs can better determine which kinds of search terms they should be targeting, based on their popularity, their relevance to a specific business niche, their competitiveness, and other variables. SEO keyword research is one of the most fundamental aspects of on page SEO, and makes it possible to measure the impact of SEO work.
A Brief Guide to Keyword Research
The process of keyword research begins with brainstorming broad-topic seed keywords, which will help you define the topics that apply to your site and find more developed keyword ideas.
If, for example, you’re running the SEO for a tea brand, you might want to list terms such as “chamomile”, “earl grey”, or “matcha”. Though these seed keywords themselves usually aren’t worth targeting through your further SEO work, they offer an important starting point for future keyword research.
Using a Keyword Research Tool
The next step in the process is entering these seed keywords into a keyword research tool.
These tools will use your searches to return lists of related keywords, showing their volume (how many searches they get per month), their competitiveness, trends in how much they’re searched over time, and other metrics pertinent to how these keywords can be used in SEO.
Sort Keywords by Searcher Intent
People enter different things into search engines looking for different results, and it’s important to bear this in mind when you’re researching keywords to use in your SEO.
Going back to the tea company example, you might come across a keyword like “organic chamomile tea”, which suggests a searcher intent on buying a product, or another term like “how is tea grown?” which suggests a searcher who simply wants to educate themselves on a given topic.
Understanding searcher intent is an important part of deciding which keywords should be implemented where on your site, and knowing which terms to prioritise based on the overarching goals of your business.
Sort Keywords into Topic Clusters
Finally, keyword research involves sorting these keywords into specific clusters, which will further inform your SEO strategy and align it with the way your business categorises its products or services.
For example, if you’ve determined that your site is going to have a lot of content that fits into a “green tea” topic cluster, you might want to assign keywords like “green tea health benefits”, “is green tea good for you”, “does green tea have caffeine”, and other related search terms.
Keyword Research FAQs
How to do keyword research?
Though there are many nuances to the way SEOs can approach keyword research, the basic process involves selecting broad seed keywords, using a keyword research tool to find related terms and their relevant metrics, and categorising selected keywords by searcher intent and topic clusters.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying and analysing terms which users enter into search engines, with the ultimate aim of planning content that answers those queries.
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