Discovering Keyword Discovery and What Works for You

Keyword research is the most crucial part of any SEO Campaign. Keywords are the driving force behind boosting visits to specific web pages. In short, the more focused – or “targeted” – the keywords for a specific product or service, the higher position that correlating webpage will have in search engine results page (SERPs).

By discovering what target keywords work, domain owners can create optimized content that drives the most traffic to their website. Keyword discovery is absolutely critical; again, it determines how well your content ranks in SERPs.

The first step to ranking highly is discovering the keywords that work for your products/services, and how tough it’ll be to rank for those keywords. Some domains – even well-established ones – simply publish content and see how what keywords it ranks for. But we highly advise this; rather, use the many tools out there to find the best keyword and keyword phrases to get your page(s) ranking higher. Remember, search engines look for themes throughout the written content, and keyword research will surface all related terms you can use along with the main target keyword or two. We also advise targeting only or two main keywords, and have others that are semantically related.

Keyword Research Tools

First map out a list of keywords and phrases that apply to your business. Put your ideas onto a spreadsheet (we recommend Excel)  and than expand on each keyword with related keywords/prhases. SEMrush provides a helpful tool in analyzing which keywords drive the most traffic to competitor’s websites. Simply enter a domain name to discover which organic and ad keywords are generating traffic. Remember to record all keyword competition in your spreadsheet.

One important hint to ranking high in keyword rankings is to find non-competitive query spaces that allow new links to get started in keyword rankings.  By searching the top 10 results in a particular query, you can perform a Google keyword difficulty check to see how difficult it will be to achieve the number one rank on a keyword/phrase search. SEMrush provides an effective tool for uncovering the difficulty of ranking for a keyword. Also, a simple “allintitle” search into Google can provide you with a sufficient report of the number of sites using specific keywords in tag title searches. The higher the number of sites using this keyword will prove to be more difficult in ranking first in your keyword competition.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner is an effective and efficient tool in uncovering other keyword ideas that are beneficial to your SEO. By signing into a Google Account you can type in a specific keyword, such as basketball or social media, and the Google AdWords tool will match you with hundreds of related keywords and phrases. This will provide columns that rank each keyword and phrase based on competition, global monthly searches, local monthly searches, and approximate Cost Per Click (CPC). To further narrow down searches you can also select specific Match types with each column. This will affect the global and local monthly searches based on three match types, broad, [exact], and “phrase”.

The Match type determines how keyword results are filtered based on the exact character nature of the search or potentially related keyword strings. It might be advisable to exclude certain terms from keyword searches to better pin down searches that pertain, specifically, to your generated content. The SEO Book extension also provides a good tool for analyzing keyword frequency, as well as domain age. As a rule of thumb, Google’s trust algorithm generally makes it easier for older, more visited domains, to maintain higher ranks.

Set Up a Spreadsheet

You can export data from programs like SEMrush and Google AdWords Keyword Planner to distinguish specific keywords and phrases you wish to target and analyze. Within Google AdWords, this is accomplished by simply clicking the download button, which will export the file to a spreadsheet.

Customize your spreadsheet to what best suits your needs, but some specific columns that you should include are: Keyword, Ranking, Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches, and Approximate CPC (costs per click).  After gathering all of your data on a spreadsheet you can find the keywords that will help best drive traffic to your website. The other hidden gem is discovering keywords that you would not have thought to actively target that drive user traffic to competitor’s websites.