Keyword Research is that digital-age-but-not-that-old, exploration method into the questions your potential new customers are typing into the search bar when they whip out their smartphones to do a quick Google.
Finding out the key words and phrases that make up these questions will help you to then optimise the written content on your website and marketing activities, so that search engines can find them and then signpost those brand shiny new customers to your website. Remember those clever, crafty little search engines like to crawl across all areas of your website to find out if it’s the treasure chest of information that their searchers are looking for. So the more your content convinces them that it’s the place to be for those searchers’ questions, the more likely you are to appear on that digital podium that is…the first page of the Google search results!
And we’re not only talking about those broad, often vague requests like ‘gifts for him/her’, ‘buy fancy tech stuff’ and ‘funny cat memes’, that are known as SHORT KEYWORDS. We’re also talking about the very specific words and phrases that people use in order to give Google and the other search engine geniuses, the best chance of finding exactly what it is they’re looking for, even if they’re not yet sure what it is. These long and specific phrases, such as ‘handmade gifts for tech-loving website designer’ (wink, wink) are known as, you guessed it, LONG KEYWORDS.
But considering all the words and all their possible combination in the whole world wide web, where do you even start with finding out which keywords are going to unlock the SEO magic for your website.
Lets look at 5 super basic steps to starting your keyword research…
Step 1 – Make a list of all the relevant and popular topics and queries around your business and industry.
Not sure what topics are relevant? Think about conversations you’ve had with your clients/customers. You could even ask current or potential clients and customers, what it is their looking for when it come to your business and industry.
Step 2 – Identify words and phrases associated with those topics.
Once you have your lists of topics, break those down into essential words, phrases and questions that are key to those topics.
Step 3 – Find similar words and phrases that could be used.
Using those newly discovered words and phrases, list all the different words which mean and convey the same thing. For example, the word ‘handmade’ has the same meaning as the words hand-crafted, homemade, and your potential customers could be using any of those in their searches.
Step 4 – Consider the reason behind your customers searches and how the words in Step 2 & 3 fit in.
Think of all the reasons and conditions that searchers are after, are they looking for something handmade, unique, personalised? Do they need delivery, collection, a face-to-face meeting or virtual consultation? Some people can be very specific about what they need and some can be a little unsure and use broader search terms. Now its time to list all the potential search terms you can think of, based on your research so far.
Step 5 – Use the tools at your disposal
The digital gift that keeps on giving, Google, has provided yet more tools to help us with our website and SEO greatness. Take a look at Google Key Word Planner, Google Trends and Google Suggests for some help from those Search Engine Optimisation experts, the Search Engines themselves!
The thought of searching through every possible word, phrase, meaning and topic, especially in a world that revolves around trending and going viral, may sound incredibly overwhelming, but remember these steps can be as big or as small as you need. Key word searches are not an exact science and require some trial-and-error attempts to figure out what works for you, your website and your customers – one small step for your keyword research, one giant step for SEO greatness!