The core of any search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is keyword identification and analysis. Keywords are the fundamental drivers of any strategy. Content and structure are crafted to target the words or phrases entered by the users to find information and to ultimately land them on your website.

This is why keyword research is a vital part of SEO. As a website owner, you must ensure to do this correctly. This is a crucial undertaking that can make or break the execution of your SEO campaign.

Steps To Do Better Keyword Research

Step 1: Identify the topics you intend to focus on

Before you can prepare a list of possible target keywords, you need to identify what topics you aim to discuss in your articles. These topics should be related to your business or to the particular niche or category to which your website belongs.

For instance, if you are in the retail industry that sells children’s apparel, your broad topics may include “children’s shoes,” “clothes for toddlers,” “infant clothing,” and similar terms. These are broad topics that you can later fill in with possible keywords.

Step 2: Make an initial list of keywords

The next step is to fill in those broad topics with probable keywords or phrases you think your target audience may type into the search box. You can prepare an initial list of these terms. In the example above, some of the keywords may be “school shoes for kids,” “summer clothes for toddlers,” “dresses for newborns” and so on.

Take note that this is not the final list because these phrases still appear too broad and are likely to be highly competitive. You will still have to narrow down to more specific phrases.

shutterstock_360426944

Step 3: Research related terms

If you’re struggling to come up with terms for your broad topics or if the keywords that come to mind appear repetitive or general, you can search for related keywords. To do this, just go to Google and enter your listed keywords. At the bottom of the SERP, you will find a list of “related searches.” These are terms used by customers to find similar information. Study those keywords and consider them in expanding your keyword list.

Another way to find related terms is to plug in your list of keywords into Google’s Keyword Planner. Not only will the search reveal additional related terms, but it will also show you the monthly estimated traffic volume for each keyword or phrase. This will help you refine your list of targeted terms.

Step 4: Include both head terms and long-tail keywords

Head terms refer to keywords that are shorter and more generic. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are longer phrases and are used to find more specific information. An example of a head term is “children’s shoes” while a long-term keyword example is “children’s leather school shoes.”

While long-tail keywords are more beneficial in attracting quality traffic, it is good to include both types of terms because people search differently. At times, a user will first enter a generic term and will later refine his search by typing a phrase with different keyword combinations. Thus, it is a good practice to have a balanced strategy.

———————————-

As with everything else in the SEO world, keyword trends are constantly shifting. Users get smarter with their choices of keyword combinations because they want to find information as soon as possible.

It is important to review your keywords’ monthly traffic volume so you can refine your list regularly and revise your content accordingly. Make keyword research a part of your SEO routine tasks to keep your website current and optimized.

New call-to-action

Author
Pablo Villalpando

Pablo holds a BA in Sociology and is a Bilingual SEO Strategist for Victorious. He was recently featured in "Real Research: Research Methods Sociology Students Can Use" by CSU, Chico Professor Liahna Gordon. He is fortunate to enjoy a career path through analytics, digital marketing, and social psychology. His passions include Mexican food, his 4-year-old lab Chia, and astronomy.

Additional articles

How To Stop Dreading And Start Loving Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm update. It’s a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of many site owners and SEOs alike. And it used to scare me too. But, in reality, there is no need to be upset. Paranoia about algo updates and trying to cater to each individual update makes about as much sense as obsessing over whether or not there will ever be a rainy day where you live. Yes, there will be rain. Yes, there are ways to prepare for it. Yes, rain can be fun sometimes. What Is an Algo Update? The first thing we should probably clear …

Read Article
12 Min Read
Turning the SEO Flywheel

The Flywheel Effect The flywheel effect was conceptualized by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great. Collins and his team of researchers found select organizations that drastically outperformed their competition for years, and analyzed their commonalities to assess what propelled them to their exceptional success. What did they find? 7 key characteristics, culminating in the concept of the Flywheel Effect. Keep pushing and the flywheel builds momentum. Keep pushing and eventually it starts to help turn itself and generate its own momentum – and that’s when a company goes from good to great. As Jim explains: “The flywheel image …

Read Article
6 Min Read
What is Organic Search?

The main way we navigate the internet around the world today is by searching — with the vast majority of searches coming from the Google search engine, and a very small market share going to other search engines like Yahoo or Bing. In marketing terms, all of this searching is referred to as organic search, and it is the most “natural” way you might navigate to a new place, or find the answer to a burning question you find yourself suddenly needing to know the answer to. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about organic search engine …

Read Article
6 Min Read
Let's give your business the attention it deserves