Keyword Research

Image: Keyword Research
Image: Keyword Research

Keyword Research identifies search queries that people enter into search engines to make an attempt to find out what to rank for in a popular keyword. The Keyword is a word or a phrase which when typed in the browser of the search engines return specific information. Concepts relating to the keyword are keyword frequency, keyword weight, keyword proximity, keyword prominence, and keyword density. A keyword phrase consists of two or more words often used by advertisers in SEO, or by users who visit search engines to find information related to that particular phrase. The focus should be on the body and long tail keywords.

For information on Search Engine Optimization, please click on SEO-Fundamentals to read more.

fig 1.0 - Keyword Research: Head, Body and Long Tail.
fig 1.0 – Keyword Research: Head, Body and Long Tail.

Keyword Research: The Head, Body, and Tail

Keywords [fig 1.0] are divided into 3 main categories. They are head, body and the long tail.

Head Keywords

Head Keywords are single-word keywords (general) with large amounts of search volume but don’t convert very well. High competition and almost impossible to rank.
Example: towel

Body Keywords

Body keywords are two or three-word phrases that get good search volume. More specific and converts better than head keywords but can still be very competitive.
Example: yarn dyed towel

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are 3 or more word that is very specific and highly targeted. Less Competition, Low search volumes and more likely to convert. It takes a short time to rank.
Example: yarn dyed jacquard towel

To view, a list of short, middle and long tail keywords click on towel-industry-list.Keywords Everywhere” tool had been used to compile this list which is a free browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox. This tool provides for free- search volume, CPC and competition data of keywords.

Intent

The most important attribute of any keyword is the intent behind it.
Keywords with transactional intent apply for businesses selling a product or service. Commercial intent keywords are only applicable to transactional (search carried out to buy) and have a high intent.
On the other hand, low intent keywords are those that can be considered either navigational (search carried out to find a particular website) or informational (search carried out to answer questions).

Word Stemming

Keyword stemming is the addition of a prefix, suffix, or pluralization in a particular keyword for a website. Word Stemming refers to this newly converted keyword.

How to do Keyword Research?

  • list your business topics.
  • place your keywords in the subject topics.
  • conduct research of ‘search terms’ for the bucket keywords.
  • combine a ‘mix’ of body and long tail keywords.
  • search for competitor rankings for these keywords.
  • use Google Keyword Planner to downsize the list of keywords.

Use the Ahrefs tool to do your keyword research.

Finding Keywords

fig 1.1 - find more keywords using keywordtool.io pro.
fig 1.1 – find more keywords using keywordtool.io pro.

Use the keywordtool.io and word-stream-tool to find keywords.

Seed Keywords

Seed keywords are the foundation keywords that describe a product or a service. In other words any keyword that culminates into more keywords is a seed keyword. They are not specific but generic 1-2 words used in categories. A seed keyword can attract more phrases used by prospective customers. A modified word when added to a seed keyword forms a long tail keyword. Use seed-keyword-tool to build your keyword list.

LSI Keywords

LSI Keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are keywords that correlate to the target topic of your page. The relevancy of content increases by incorporating more LSI keywords about the target topic. They are not just synonyms but include words that frequently occur when writing about a certain topic. eg Tiger can represent both a brand or an animal. Search engines will refer to latent semantic indexed keywords to determine what the page is about. Use LSI-keyword-tool to generate LSI keywords

Keyword Research: Using Keywords

Keywords relevant to website content

The keyword meta tag is used in the <head> section, but search engines do not give importance to it while indexing web pages. Group keywords and remove non-performing negative keywords from your keyword research list. Use keyword rich content in your landing pages, blog content etc. Convert group keywords to Ad groups and run your PPC campaigns.

Keywords as search query in search engines.

If you search for “shirts”, you may enter the keyword “green shirts”. The search engine will return relevant content with respect to your search term. You can become more specific by entering the keywords “green shirts for men” and get more accurate search results.  >shirts- Volume: 27,100/mo | CPC: $1.15 | Competition: 1 >green shirts- Volume: 4,400/mo | CPC: $0.66 | Competition: 1 >green shirts for men- Volume: 313/mo | CPC: $0.95 | Competition: 1

Keyword Research and SEO

To optimize your website, select appropriate middle and long tail keywords. Place it in the content of the home page, product page, about page, customer care & contact page, blog post etc

Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency refers to the number of times a keyword becomes visible on a single web page.

Weight

Weight is an estimate of keyword importance to the web page. The keyword weight increases, if the keyword is included in headings or a title of the page.

Proximity

Keyword Proximity refers to how near keywords are to each other within the content of the body text. The more close the two keywords are to each other, the more weight the phrase gets.

Prominence

Keyword prominence is the prominence of your keywords within key elements of your web page. Main keywords are best placed in tags such as-

  • <meta name=”keywords”, <meta name =”description”,
  • <h1, h2, h3….,
  • image files
  • alt tags
  • link tags – <a href=”sapcanvas.com”>Keyword Research<a/>
  • body content
  • URL address
  • comment tags

Keyword Density

SEO experts suggest optimum keyword density should be about 1-3%. eg: in a 2000 word blog page where the keyword – “keyword research” appears 20 times, the keyword density is (20/2000)*100 or 1%. Alternatively, you can use the Live Keyword Analysis tool to find out the keyword density.

Keyword Research and SEO will ensure users find your website when searching online.

  • Search Results for Strengths and Weakness: Conduct a SWOT analysis for your website. Evaluate your site on a keyword and at the page level.
  • Optimizes your websites for ranking factors such as UX, HTTPS, backlinks, Rich Content with anchor link text, Relevancy, Site Speed, Social Media, Mobile First pages, CTR, structured data, Rankbrain etc
  • Site Content, Backlinks, Site Maps, SEO Review
  • tracemyip.org to remove repeated keywords
  • searchvolume.io to find search volume of keywords
  • longtailpro.com to find less competitive keywords 
  • semrush.com to find keywords used by your competitor that attract users to their websites.
  • SERPs to find the ranking of a keyword.
  • Google Analytics to measure & track results.
fig 1.2 - Sales Funnels and Keyword Research
fig 1.2 – Sales Funnels and Keyword Research

Sales Funnels and Keyword Research

The sales funnel is a process starting from the user contact (top) of creating awareness of a product or a service and journeying through the stages of generating leads, prospecting and making a sale (bottom).

  • Awareness (brand) > Marketing Activities via blog websites, social media, paid Ads etc.
  • Leads (create) > squeeze page/ opt-in offers for an ebook, product videos, datasheets, webinars, white papers, newsletters, free trials, sales training etc
  • Prospects (target group)> target content to prospects via autoresponders or a drip campaign
  • Sales (sale of a product or service)> payment system, shopping cart, reviews & referrals, customer sales service etc.
fig 1.3 Keyword Research: Modifiers
fig 1.3 Keyword Research: Modifiers

Incorporate long tail and short tail keyword phrases to target your bottom-of-funnel prospects. Examine the keyword volume for each keyword phrase, cost-per-click (CPC) and the competitiveness of the keyword.
A high CPC shows that the keyword is a bid to advertisers and point that this keyword can be targeted to your visitors who have reached to the bottom-of-funnel in the buyer journey.
Next, select bottom-of-funnel keywords from what you have. Add to it any additional generation by the tool based on high search volume and CPC, but a low to moderate competition.
Match the keywords obtained from your keyword research for the right content to result in a conversion.
You have engaged with your prospects through your blog posts. But you need to extend further with educational materials. It can be through workshops, demos, specifications, white papers, free trial offers etc. This would convince users to eventually buy the product or service that you are offering.

Keyword Research: Modifiers

A modifier is a word when combined with your seed keyword creates long tail keywords. For a more detailed list click on keyword-research-modifiers-list. To choose the right keyword:

  • use keyword research tools.
  • Have your customer’s mind to find what words they use in search engine browsers to find relevant pages of you website.
  • study competitor keywords and find out what keywords they use to pull more traffic.
  • use long tail keywords
  • analyze results

Mapping

Keyword mapping allocates relevant keywords to different pages of a website that are identified through a complete keyword research selection process. It forms the basis of on-page SEO that enables the search engine to determine the page relevancy to what users search.

Uses of Keyword Research

Keyword research is used in the design and re-design of websites, in headers, while creating content and profile, file names, image & video titles.

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