Keyword research is one of the most valuable and vital aspects of marketing you can do for your company.
When you do keyword research, you’re looking for the search terms as they relate to your industry or business. The knowledge you gain from keyword research can help you with your content strategy (insert link to how to come up with content marketing plan blog) and marketing strategy.
Keyword research allows you to learn which terms and phrases you should be targeting with SEO. They also teach you more about your customer demographic as a whole.
When it comes to keyword research, it’s not about getting the most visitors to your website—it’s about getting the right visitors to your website. Keyword research can help you target your content to the right visitors and respond to changing market conditions. Keep reading to learn more about how you can start to do keyword research today.
Getting a CSV export (or Excel) to determining a content marketing plan
There are several online SEO tools that you can use to generate the keyword data for your website. No matter what tool you use, your keyword data will always be organized by the same variables—cost per click (CPC), search volume, position, and competition. Once you’ve got this data from your online tool, it’s best to export it into a CSV or Excel file. Putting all of your keyword data into an organized spreadsheet can help you view it logically and create a content marketing plan based off of the information available.
What should you be looking for? Well, this is where things get tricky. Depending on your goals, the information will speak to you in different ways. Within your spreadsheet, you should have columns that show keywords, variations, monthly search volume (MSV), etc. Here are some ways you can easily organize your keyword spreadsheet depending on what you'd like to rank for:
Parent Topic—the keywords with the highest search volume on the individual pages.
Intent—This breaks up the keywords by what you think your target audience is the most likely to search for. If your selling a palm tree, there could be different search intents including people who want to buy a palm tree, people who want to learn how to plant a palm tree, and people who are looking for gardening services.
Value— This is where you determine which keywords are going to give your business the highest conversion rates. Generally the more specific the keyword, the higher chance you have of ranking for it. Instead of focusing on “palm trees” you’ll have a better chance of ranking for "easiest palm trees to maintain.”
Key metrics to pay attention to during keyword research
When doing keyword research, there are several different key metrics to pay attention to that can help you determine the most effective keywords for your business. When you find a new keyword, take a look at these different metrics to see if it’s worth including in your content marketing plan.
Monthly search volume
Monthly search volume is the number of times a particular keyword has been searched for in the span of a month. The monthly search volume can tell you a lot about the keywords competitiveness and how it drives traffic over time. Certain keywords can be seasonally specific. For example, not many people are going to be searching for “best Christmas gifts” in June. While other keywords stand the test of time and aren’t affected by the month. When thinking about monthly search volume, you want to make sure your keywords are actually being searched by people. If no one is searching for keywords that you’re targeting, then it’s highly unlikely that anyone will find your content. At the same time, if your keywords have too high of a monthly search volume, you may find yourself a little fish in a big pond competing against large corporations for the same keyword search.
A keyword difficulty ranking is what tells you how hard or easy it is to rank on the top page for a particular keyword. It’s easy to come up with a large list of keywords that you know you want to rank for. What’s more difficult is figuring out how you can rank high for them. The difficulty ranking is meant to help you figure out which keywords will be the easiest for you to rank for. If a keyword is generic like “best dog food” and a lot of large dog food corporations are ranking for that keyword, it’s difficulty ranking is going to be higher because the competition is much higher. When looking for the perfect keyword for your company, you’ll want to consider keywords that are both undervalued (they provide good traffic compared to its difficulty) and ones that will rise in value (you’ll be the first to write about it, but its popularity has the potential to increase).
Cost per click
The cost per click of a keyword is the price that you will pay every time someone clicks on your PPC (pay-per-click) marketing ads. Cost per clicks differ depending on what industry you’re in, but they generally range from $0.20 to $6.00. When you start running Google Adwords to get more visibility for your specific keyword, cost per click becomes very important in determining whether or not your campaigns have been financially successful. The cost per click can determine the return on investment for your PPC campaigns and the quality of traffic you’re getting for that investment.
Keyword research is a valuable tool that can help you create a successful content marketing plan. Keyword research can help you figure out what keywords to optimize your content for and gain a better understanding of your target audience. Getting the right visitors to come to your website can help increase your sales and improve your marketing strategy.