How to Conduct Keyword Research
Welcome to chapter 5 of the beginners guide to SEO. In this chapter you’ll learn about how to conduct keyword research.
In this guide to search engine optimization we cover the following:
Now, lets get into it.
What is keyword research?
Every SEOs job relies on random people typing words into the search box.
Keyword research is one of things you can’t get away from. It’s a key aspect to master, and getting it right could lead to a great return on your ROI.
This is why you should know what keywords to target on every webpage of your website.
Learning what keywords your target audience uses, helps you get a better understanding of what your customers like, and an insight in what they are looking for.
Keyword research is not all about getting random people to your site, there’s no point in that.
But it’s all about getting the right type of people to your site, those who can turn into an actual paying customer.
The information you uncover while conducting keyword research, is extremely valuable to your SEO campaign, and it helps keep you aware of any changes or shifts in the market.
Never has there been a time where marketers can understand the thought process of a customer.
How to find out how much a keyword is worth
Every website owner must ask themselves, “What is a keyword worth to me”.
Let’s pretend you own an eCommerce site and you sell shoe laces. You have to ask yourself whether you make more sales from visitors searching for Nike laces, or Adidas laces.
How to find out what keywords people use to find your website?
Webmasters can find out what keywords people are using to find their website by using some tools. These tools are free for everyone to use, like the Google keyword planner.
Unfortunately, these tools cannot allow us to find out how much value each keyword brings.
So for us to understand the actual value a keyword brings, we must do a few things.
We must look at our own website, make a hypothesis, test them, then repeat the process.
Below is the process to work how the value of a keyword:
Ask yourself questions: Is your targeted keyword relevant to the content on your website? Will the searcher find the answer to their question on your website when using the keyword? Is the searcher going be satisfied with the content they find? Will the traffic you receive lead to an increase in sales? If the answer to all of these questions is a “ hell yeah!”, your in a good place.
Check the SERPs to see what’s ranking for your targeted keyword: Taking a look at what’s ranking for your targeted keyword, will give you a rough idea on how tough the competition is and how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword.
Did you see any ads?: If there are any advertisements above the organic results, it could indicate that you have a potential valuable keyword that converts well. A rule of thumb: The more ads above the organic listings, the more profitable the keyword is.
Put the keyword to the test: You could buy a sample campaign from the major search engines, to see if the keyword will actually convert. This works by buying test traffic that’s pointing to the web page, and see if you get any impressions and conversions.
When testing the keyword, track the outcome over 500 or so clicks.
Extracting meaning from your data:
When you have collected the data, you can then work out just how much the keyword is worth to you.
For example, if your sample campaign generated 2,500 visitors in one day, and 100 visitors clicked on your web page, and three have converted for a grand profit (not revenue!) of £500.
It means that a single visitor using that keyword is worth £5.
Those 2,500 impressions over-night, could possibly generate a click through rate of anywhere in the region of 15% – 35% with a number one ranking.
This means you would get around 375-875 visits per day, at £5 each or around £500,000 – £1,000,000 per year.
You can probably see why businesses love search marketing, and SEO.
Getting a better understanding of long tail keywords
Let’s go back to the ecommerce store I mentioned earlier.
Do you think it would be good to rank #1 for shoe laces?
Dealing with keywords with a low search volume may seem great, but low search volume keywords only make up around 30% of user search.
The rest lie in what’s called ‘long term’ search keywords. These types of keywords have many more searches than ‘short head’ keywords, but when joined together make up 70% of user search volume.
Another important tip to remember is, long tail keywords often have a better chance in converting leads, as they capture potential customers later on in the buying cycle.
For example, a person searching for “shoe laces”, probably doesn’t want to spend any money yet.
But, a person searching for “ white nike shoe laces for air force 1s”, has very likely got their credit card at hand.
What chances have I got?
To properly conduct keyword research, you need to find out the search volume of a keyword and the work required in order to outrank your competition.
Understanding how long it will take to outrank everybody else, sets a realistic target.
If the search results for a keyword is saturated by big brands, then you need to realize that it will take years to potentially outrank them.
Well, that’s all there is to it.
Now, you’ve read how to conduct keyword research, why not read our ultimate guide to keyword research if you want to know more.
Read our next chapter in the beginners guide to SEO, how usability & user experience affect rankings.
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