Think you know how to conduct keyword research? What SEO tools are you using?
It’s simpler than you think to create an SEO keyword strategy, while on the other hand it’s much harder than you think. Quite a bit of manpower goes into creating and maintaining an effective keyword strategy.
Keyword research requires you to get inside the head of the audience searching for products or services like yours. You want to understand what keywords they are typing into their search boxes. Then you need to analyze which keywords you should first start optimizing your website for.
The Good News? Free SEO Tools
If you are a small business or entrepreneur you can take a few shortcuts a large business with a massive website can not without skimping on the quality of your keyword strategy. Simply because most small businesses and entrepreneurs have smaller websites, often with only a few pages, you can beef up the existing pages and work your keywords into new pages and posts as they are created.
First, find your keywords and second decide which keywords are most important to use in your content.
There are a few tools that make it much easier to find keywords. Start off with your own list of 10-20 keywords you “think” your website should rank for or that you believe your audience is searching for (you might be surprised about which keywords they are actually searching for).
You can speed up your keyword research by using tools that suggest similar keywords. A few free tools you can use to do so include Übersuggest:
Or just use Google search — if you type in a search term and scroll to the bottom of the page Google provides suggestions for other terms users are searching on (see screenshot). Using such SEO tools significantly speeds up the process to help you come up with a long list of keywords.
The Problem? You need more than one SEO tool
Understanding which keywords you should focus on is critical to your keyword strategy. Even if you have a long list of keywords you think your audience is searching on, you need to understand two additional things.
1. Is your direct audience actually using these terms?
Type the search terms into a search engine box, and evaluate the results. Do similar brands appear in the results?
2. Are your keywords high or low competition, and what is the expected search traffic?
Even if you understand some of the keywords your audience is searching for, do you understand how many people are searching on those terms? Or do you understand if other high authoritative websites are already using those keywords? Googling for your selected keywords is another way to determine what other sites are ranking for these terms.
This becomes the issue. If several other websites, especially if they are in general higher ranked than your website, are already ranking for those keywords or trying to, you are in a losing game. However, the key to getting ahead of the game is using keywords that few are using yet that still have a good amount of traffic.
This is where you can utilize other free SEO tools, specifically the Keyword Planner in Google Adwords.
Once logged in, select “Get search volume data and trends.”
Enter your keyword list, and then analyze the average monthly searches (aim for 10,000+) and the competition score (we recommend low to medium competition).
There are better, much more expensive tools on the market that can make this easier, but for someone just starting out, these tools are a great start. Keyword strategy is an important consideration for your website if you expect to be found in organic search results. And if you don’t care about being found, why have a website at all? Take this aspect of your digital marketing strategy seriously, and invest the time in creating a strategic keyword seed list.