The best keyword research practices for your website
Last modified: 2018/11/13 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
When it comes to the SEO of your website, thorough keyword research continues to be an absolute necessity. If you’re an online marketer able to master the art of finding the best possible keywords for your content, the benefits to your visibility and traffic will be endless.
Not only this, but you’ll also be able to target the right audience for your content and in turn, improve on your customer base. But with online marketing trends constantly in flux, how can you know the best way to approach keyword research? Well, we’re here to offer the best keyword research strategies for 2018.
The best keyword research practices for 2018
Approaching your keyword research process
The majority of marketing agencies follow similar keyword research strategies, with the process taking on an outdated approach. Most businesses will come up with a few potential keywords, plugging those keywords into Google Keyword Planner and then simply choosing one of the many based on gut instinct.
Although this strategy may work for some, we'd argue that it doesn't take the customer into enough consideration. Thus, it's not tailored enough to your target audience or the words and phrases they're likely using to search the web as related to the goods and services offered by your business.
It's no secret that tailoring your SEO strategy around the right keywords will optimize your website and land you more traffic, leads and sales. However, in almost any industry, one of the key ways to do this is to find ways in which you stand out from your competitors. In this regard, great keywords will need to be those which haven't been overly used but aren't too obscure.
The first step to approaching your keyword research is to determine niche topics within your industry that your competitors haven’t quite come across yet. Niche topics are the beginning of an excellent approach to keyword research, as they work to set you apart.
Although many might consider beginning the keyword research process with a tool such as Google Keyword Planner, this strategy isn’t as effective as it once may have been. Although still a useful tool, GKP relies on closely related keywords to the word you’re typing in. Thus, this tool does not take on a nuanced enough approach when it comes to creating newer keywords to use for website optimization.
Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your visibility. The more widely used a keyword is, the harder it will be for it to be profitable. So, how can you identify niche topics relevant to your industry? Keep reading and we'll explain further.
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How to find niche keyword topics
Niche topics are not specific keywords but will drive you towards extracting great ones for your website. The purpose of indicating these niche topics is to find less competitive and equally as lucrative keywords. Now, begin by creating a list of topics that you feel your customers would be interested in, keep them in direct relation to your business. These topics should be unique while closely relating back to your company. When writing your list of niche topics, try to think like your customer:
- How will they be searching?
- What are their specific needs as related to the goods or services you’re providing?
- How can you improve their lives?
Narrowing down a few topics to focus on should allow you to come up with specific keywords that have enough search volume and intent to work towards properly optimizing your content. Aim to go with at least 5 different niche topics and around 10 keywords for each. If you’re unsure about how to determine these topics to begin with, follow further strategies for thinking like the customer!
Adopting a buyer persona will help you to create niche topics to focus keywords around. Creating a buyer persona is simple, and involves collecting data about your target audience. This data should include the following information about your audience:
- Hobbies and interests;
Of course, the buyer personas you create will come down to your specific industry or marketplace. In some cases, you may need to come up with many different personas in order to correctly target your audience. Get inside the head of your target customer or customers, as this is the best way to uncover topics that you might not have thought of otherwise.
Forums are an excellent way to further determine the needs of your target audience, and thus niche keywords that’ll work towards excellent optimization. Use Google to find forums where your target audience might be searching by plugging some of the keywords you’ve come up with plus the word forum. Forums are usually divided further into topics and threads that will offer smaller marketplaces or conversations that your target customers will likely be involved in.
Reddit is an excellent example of a forum which you can use to discover the needs and interests of your target audience and push forward with keyword research. This is a place to search for topics related to what you sell or your services. Subreddits can even be designated to a specific city or part of the country, and this can be especially useful.
Three different types of keywords: head, body and tail.
Now, you’ve discovered crucial information about your target audience while also determining niche topics and potential keywords, you’ll need to further consider the three distinct types of keywords and these are the head, body and tail.
Head: These are single-word keywords which will be the most competitive option. This is because they’re not specific enough to narrow down searcher intent. These will be the most difficult option when it comes to converting customers.
Body: These keywords consist of 2-3 word phrases with less competition than head keywords due to the fact that they are much more specific.
Tail: Tail or long tail keywords are the most specific option in the list and are usually in the form of a short question or sentence. This makes up a huge chunk of how things are searched for online.
Focus your efforts towards the longer of the two, rather than shorter head keywords. Ranking with body and long-tail keywords seems to be much easier than focusing time and attention on single head keywords alone.
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