Discover how to harness the potential of ChatGPT for advanced keyword research in SEO with our comprehensive guide.
Keywords are undoubtedly the fundamental building blocks of successful SEO. Keywords in your online content tell Google what your page is about.
If you’re writing about something specific, if you aren’t using the correct keywords relating to that material, you won’t be receiving any traffic from the search engine because it doesn’t see it as relevant.
So how are you supposed to know which keywords to use when creating your content? Well, that’s where keyword research comes in, and it plays a major role in determining whether the words you’re using are going to be beneficial or not.
Keyword research allows you to walk in the shoes of your target audience when it comes to finding your content, and by proxy your services and products too. Once you get inside the mind of your customers, it becomes much easier to optimise your site for search engines, hence the term Search Engine Optimised (SEO) keywords.
It has many different aspects, and to be successful you will have to analyse, compare, test and prioritise from a long list of keywords which will present you with the best opportunity to attract the right kind of people to your site.
There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself when doing proper keyword research. You need to find the metrics for how hard it is to actually rank highly for the chosen keyword, the amount of traffic such keywords bring, what styles of content are needed for your target audience, and also have the conversion rate in the back of your mind too – will these keywords actually draw the kind of customers you are wanting so that converts into sales?
The process of choosing keywords begins with imagining what kind of words and phrases people would use to find your services, products or content. You can then begin to expand on that using a variety of tools to discover other relevant keywords that you may not have thought about. In order to do this successfully, you should have an excellent understanding of your own specific sector, and realise the potential in tools used to conduct SEO keyword research. You have three methods to generate keywords:
This entails jotting down and brainstorming any words or phrases that you think would bring people to your store, in other words, put yourself in the customer’s position and think ‘what would I search for to bring me to this website in particular?’
This will help you to characterise your sector and set it apart. These seed words can then be used in keyword research tools to enhance the results. If you are a restaurant, then you should focus on the types of food or drink you serve, so a seed keyword may be ‘Italian food’, ‘Chinese takeaway’ or ‘wine bar’.
Get a head start on your keyword research by looking at what your competitors are already doing, and what is sending them traffic. Take a few of your seed keywords and Google them – who is coming up in the top positions? What kind of content do they have? How similar is their business, service or product compared to your own?
Taking the example above, if you search for ‘Italian restaurant near me’ you will see who is appearing at the top of the search results, these are your competitors and your aim will be to rank as high or higher than them when someone types in that keyword, leading the searcher to you first instead of them.
There are lots of free and paid sites that you can use to discern which keywords are going to be most effective for you. Enter in your seed keywords and these clever tools will throw up hundreds of similar keywords that you could use. What’s more, it will tell you on average how frequently they are searched for, and you can use this to assess how to target your own keywords for your website.
‘Italian restaurant’ may show 50,000 searches monthly, however ‘Italian restaurant Manchester’ may only display 4,000 searches, and ‘cheap Italian restaurant’ may give even less: just 500 searches. Those keywords with higher search numbers are going to be more competitive to beat, they have a higher 'difficulty' so you have to sum up which words to use for the greatest effectiveness.
With so many keywords to choose from and a myriad of metrics to sift through it can be overwhelming to know which ones to choose, however, there are a couple of easy things you can do, namely identifying the parent topic and also the search intent – what people are looking for. You may have a list that includes search terms like:
You can then begin to assess how you will use all of these keywords effectively. Some may be put directly onto your homepage or landing page in phrases such as: ‘If you’re looking for the best Italian restaurant around, then come to Papa Joes’ or ‘Wondering where to eat spaghetti for dinner tonight? Then Papa Joes has you covered’.
Or you could have a blog post devoted to ‘How to make Italian pasta’ which uses the keyword a few times on that page. It’s up to you to organise the best keywords, and then how to use them to their most effective on the website.
Once you have your bases covered for the types of content, it’s time to implement them on your site, and the time you’ve taken during keyword research will pay off once you get the content written correctly, fully search engine optimised.
Don’t worry if you don’t see the effects right away, it can take time to build up a credible SEO profile, and if something’s not working for you, then simply conduct more research and try from a different angle, target less difficult and less competitive keywords for example.
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