Guide to Mastering Keyword Research

A Complete Guide to Mastering Keyword Research

With millions of websites on the web, SEO helps you stand out from the crowd. Keyword research is an essential aspect of this strategy, and is the first step of all SEO campaigns.

What is Keyword Research?

It’s the process of identifying common phrases used in search engines when people look for information in your niche. The main aim is to optimize your content around these terms. The ultimate goal is to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP) for competitive and profitable keywords.

Understanding Search Intent

Proper keyword research involves grasping your potential audience’s motivation for using search engines. Once you figure out their search intent, you’ll attract the highest quality traffic to your website. High intent keywords are more likely to convert inquiries into sales. There are two main types of high intent keywords:

(i) Informational: These searches are done with the intention of learning more about a topic. They mostly begin with phrases such as “how to” or “what is”. Such users are looking to solve a specific problem.

(ii) Commercial: These users look for more information on a topic, with the intention of making a purchase later on. Targeting them would realize a high ROI because they’re easier to convert.  Transactional search intent means the person already has the information they need. They’re only looking to perform an action, such as buying a product, subscribing to a mailing list, and downloading files.

How to do Keyword Research

Follow these steps for a successful keyword research strategy:

1. Generate Topic Ideas

You’ll generate valuable keywords by identifying broader topics then analyzing them further into specific ideas. The two key forms of keyword generation are:

(a) Free

Wikipedia is an underrated source for keyword research. For each entry, the online encyclopedia provides a detailed outline, subheadings and internal links that further expound on it.

The question-and-answer site Quora is another great source of keywords. Most answers are provided by industry experts with first-hand knowledge of growing trends. It gives you the chance to identify keywords before they become too competitive.

By following news aggregators and discussion platforms such as Reddit, you’ll discover various natural sounding keywords. Other sources are forums and social media discussions.

(b) Paid

As far as paid keyword generation tools go, Ahrefs is one of the most effective solutions. Its regularly updated Keywords Explorer has a database of over 7 billion keywords. This massive resource helps you come up with thousands of keyword ideas.

2. Generate Keywords Around Your Topic

Once you have your keyword ideas, use keyword generation tools to analyze their potential. Google is a convenient option because it’s the world’s biggest search engine, so you’ll get accurate results. Search results include related topics that are relevant to your interests.

Keywords Everywhere is another useful keyword generation tool with extensions for both Chrome and Firefox browsers. Keyword results include the monthly search volume, cost per click, and competition on the AdWords platform. It also has a flexible pricing model.

If you want all the benefits of free keyword tools plus detailed data analytics, Ahrefs is your best bet. Apart from its large keyword database, other powerful features include support for 10 different search engines and 171 countries.

Unlike the free options, you get detailed search volumes, and a keyword difficulty calculator. Ahrefs also provides SERP analysis for high-ranking websites in your niche.

3. Selecting Keywords

Now that you have a list of eligible keywords, it’s time to pick the most relevant ones. Factors to consider include:

  • Search volume. What may be considered a high number of searches for one keyword may be regarded as low for another. Use the keyword research tools at your disposal to determine a favorable search volume for your niche.
  • Organic click-through rate (CTR). Google’s Featured Snippets have reduced the number of organic clicks for some keywords. Keyword research tools also show you whether it has a favorable CTR.
  • Keyword difficulty. A new website with few backlinks will have a harder time ranking for certain keywords. Your overall SEO strategy also determines this difficulty.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC). A high CPC means that keyword is profitable, even if it might have a low search volume.
  • Relevance. CPC also shows the likelihood of converting your audience into paying customers.
  • Trends. Google Trends is a useful tool for showing search interest in your preferred keyword. If it has been growing, you may go ahead and pick it. Searching the keyword on Google also shows you whether it has high or low search intent.

Competitor Research

This is a fast and cost-effective way of ranking your website. With premium tools such as Ahrefs, you’ll have a list of websites that rank highly for your chosen keyword. By picking five websites with diverse ranking authority, you can analyze their SEO data and use it to rank your own.

With Ahrefs competitive research tool, you’ll receive any site’s total backlinks, organic traffic, referring domains, organic keywords, and traffic value. You can also tell its most popular pages and paid keywords. This strategy gives your SEO efforts a massive head start.

Bonus Keyword Research Tips and Tricks

Keyword research affects all other SEO tasks you perform. A successful strategy involves the following steps:

(i) Generate Keyword Ideas

You’ll get various keyword ideas by analyzing the broader topics that your website covers. After brainstorming, you’ll have a list of general phrases that you can examine further for specific keywords. There are various methods for identifying keyword ideas.

One way of doing so is to type a general phrase into the search engine then look at the most popular results. Google Suggest has a valuable autocomplete feature that gives you more keyword ideas. It also provides related terms at the bottom of the search results page.

Other sources of keywords are Wikipedia, Reddit, popular forums about your niche, YouTube Suggest, and Bing search engine.

(ii) Use Keyword Research Tools

Now that you have a list of keyword ideas, it’s time to assess their viability. There are several research tools you can use, both free and premium. Google’s Keyword Planner is the most reliable because its accurate data comes directly from the search engine.

The most common benefit of these tools is the provision of details such as keyword search volume per month. Ubersuggest, Keywords Everywhere and other freemium tools also tell you the keyword difficulty, as well as its estimated cost per click.

If you want more detailed suggestions, use premium keyword tools such as SEMrush. If you search a competitor’s URL, you’ll receive a list of the exact keywords the website ranks for. This convenience saves you a lot of time because you know the exact words or phrases you should focus on.

Ahrefs is another premium tool that’s used primarily for link building, but it also works well for keyword research. You’ll receive detailed data for each keyword, including the number of clicks, cost per click, and paid versus organic traffic.

(iii) Assess Keyword Difficulty

You might identify what appears to be a valuable keyword, only for it to be too competitive. It will be harder for your site to rank for that phrase, which will frustrate your SEO and marketing efforts. Analyzing keyword difficulty is one of the most critical steps of overall keyword research.

If your site is new, it doesn’t make sense to compete with rivals that already rank for established keywords. Focus instead on less competitive long-tail alternatives. Unlike shorter head and body keywords, these phrases contain four or more words and are more specific.

Most keyword research tools also have features that calculate a keyword’s ranking difficulty. Others, such as CanIRank, calculate your website’s probability of ranking for a keyword-based on its current authority.

Need Help? Contact GenZ Writers for More Tips!

If you implement these guidelines, your keyword research skills are bound to improve dramatically. The high volume, low competition keywords you unearth will lead to a steady rise in your website’s search engine ranking. With time, you’ll tweak your research methods in ways that will achieve profitable results. For more information on SEO content, connect with an SEO expert today!

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Organic Search Traffic

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Organic Search Traffic and Behaviors

As Coronavirus continues to affect livelihoods on a global scale, SEO has also been affected, with search traffic and consumer behavior changing in the wake of the pandemic. This occurs as most people adhere to the new restrictions and policies implemented by the government to curb the spread of infections. Here’s how organic search traffic and behaviors have changed in the now volatile digital space.

1. Increased Online Shopping

As more cities and countries go on lockdown, more people are finding it hard to visit brick and mortar shops to make purchases. This has led to a shift from traditional buying practices to more people opting for online shopping, causing an upsurge of organic search traffic on e-commerce sites. While online shopping is becoming more popular, it is only for essential purchases such as groceries, pet supplies, and even at-home entertainment equipment with “groceries,” “online groceries,” and “grocery delivery” keywords realizing up to 446% increase in data. E-commerce sites that deal with luxuries are on the other hand witnessing a drop in traffic.

2. More Social Media Usage

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, social media usage has increased with Facebook registering up to 50% increase in the most affected countries. While social media usage has gone up in the wake of COVID-19, experts say that this doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in spending on ads or revenue growth.

3. Recreational & Hospitality Businesses the Most Disadvantaged

The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is forcing most people to focus on stocking up on supplies and ensuring they can survive to see the end of the pandemic. This means essential commodities and services are a priority. As such, recreational businesses like hotels, travel companies, and chain restaurants have seen a drop in their organic search traffic and conversions as social distancing forces people to stay at home.

4. Tons of Clicks on Recipe, Health and Wellness Sites

With people staying home and self-isolating, websites with content about DIYs, recipes, and even work out content has seen an increase in their traffic. This massive web traffic is a result of staying-at-home behaviors of millions of people in the world—no going out to eat, no outdoor gym, no outings, no movements in the streets—people are carrying out these activities from home. Health nutrition and natural remedies sites have also seen an upsurge in organic search traffic.

5. More traffic on Data Sites

In a bid to keep track of new COVID-19 statistics, websites providing data and statistics continue to get more search traffic since the virus was discovered. A website like WORLDOMETER continues to dominate the search engine’s first pages as it provides live global statistics on COVID-19. Publisher sites like reputable news websites have also had the lion share of traffic as people are in search of reliable news and updates related to the pandemic.

Stay at Home, Be Safe!

Stay-at-home measures have made a majority of the world’s population depend highly on the digital space for entertainment, news, education, and even running businesses. As a marketer, you need to look into your website’s data and be in touch with emerging trends so you can provide your audience with the content they care about and realize success both now and after the pandemic.

If you want quality content that can boost your local visibility in this pandemic season, contact us today.


6 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Double Your Google Ranking in 2020

There are several things I have always kept in mind either when working on my website or when performing ecommerce SEO on other people’s websites. In this article, I present to you the tricks (if they can be called so) I have used with unerring results of millions of visitors to my website and almost a comparable number of those visitors translated to sales. If you would want to increase your sales volumes through ecommerce SEO only, you have come to the right place.

1. Optimize to Be Mobile-Friendly

The need for websites that are optimized or use in smartphones cannot be overemphasized. Nowadays, the number of people who use mobile phones and tablets runs in the billions. Very few people would prefer a laptop over a mobile phone or tablet, which can perform necessarily the same as the former minus the inconvenience of having to carry around a comparatively more massive load. Anyway, my purpose here is not to go into the nitty-gritty details of how much better a mobile phone is compared to a laptop, but you do get the point, don’t you?

2. Optimize Pages with Site Audits

When I was building my website, I emphasized the architectural design of the information, knowing that this would have a significant impact on the usability of the site and the user experience of each visitor to my website. I did this by ensuring that the number of clicks from my homepage to any product page were as few as possible, with my focus being on a flat architecture. Furthermore, this also meant that when I wanted to expand my site and increase the product listings, it was much easier than it would have been had if I decided to plan otherwise.

3. Use Internal Linking Effectively

While I know that internal linking is not targeted towards any search engine spider, I do this as part of my ecommerce SEO, knowing how important it will be to any visitor to my site. Internal linking refers to the linking of pages on my website to other pages within the same website as opposed to linking pages within my website to other websites on the world wide web. 

Through internal linking, I can quickly establish anchor texts and boost my rankings through the use of the navigation bar, categories, and related products, which will be very convenient for any of my site’s visitors. A word of caution, though, internal linking should be used in moderation. Otherwise, it might not bode well with Google.

4. Content Creation

Great content can be used to drive inbound sales, and such content comes in a variety of forms which include but are not limited to:

  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Animations
  • Guest blogs
  • How-to guides

The content I use to increase sales facilitates the purchasing decisions of visitors to my website because the content is not only authoritative but also relevant to their needs. The content should also be structured in a way that not only makes sense to the would-be customers but to Google as well. 

The keywords in the content should be congruent with the intentions of the user. As with internal linking, content should also be applied with moderation since using too much content will bog down the user with information and ruin the user experience.

5. Product Pages Optimized Depending on Search Demand

Successful ecommerce SEO also depends on what people are looking for while they are online. Just the same as any run-of-the-mill business, it would not make sense to advertise any product in which the majority of people are not interested.

In this regard, the headings and title tags should contain the brand name and model number of the product, while the product image should contain alt tag information. While ensuring that this is the case, I also try to avoid keyword stuffing and using iframes to display the content on any product page.

6. Optimize for Social Media

Any ecommerce SEO strategy is incomplete without having an element of the social media included. More and more customers turn to social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to engage with online brands. A great opportunity lies in wait on Facebook, where most people venture into looking for captivating content. Through social media, I have been able to attract more prospects, reach people I would never have dreamed of, and maintain lasting relationships with them.

With that said, I have come to the end of my article. I am confident that these snippets will steer you in the right direction even as you use ecommerce SEO to turn leads into sales this year and thereafter.