Keyword research on a screen with a hand pointing to study it

Keyword research is the first step in creating content that your audience is searching for. Keywords are the words that your audience uses when searching for you online. How do you know which words to focus on? Crawling, indexing and ranking are the ways search engines rank your website in search results. To have an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, your keywords need to be relevant and have some monthly search volume. Today, we will share how to find the best keywords for your business. 

  1. Create a buyer persona. Imagine you are a potential customer. How would you find your business online? What are your customer’s goals when searching for your business online? What words and phrases would they use to find your business. This is the beginning of your keyword strategy. Make a list of those topics and phrases.
  2. Decide which of those topics you want to be well known for. You may have several in this list so prioritize them to help you know which keywords you would like to focus on first. 
  3. Find out what terms people are searching for online. One way to do this is to open an incognito page on google chrome. Put in one of your potential keywords and see what is listed. Take note of the phrases and wording with those terms and also the “People also ask:” suggestions and the auto-suggestions from Google. You could also use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, or let us do the research for you! There are also Google Chrome extensions you can install that will help you identify potential keywords when browsing websites like Keyword Surfer or KeywordsEverywhere
  4. Take note of the search volume for the keywords you are considering and also the competition. This is where the research tool will help by showing you the monthly search volume. If a keyword has zero search volume then you probably don’t want to waste effort focusing on that keyword. If there is a low search volume but it is a topic that is a large part of your business that is okay! Note the competition with that keyword. If a huge website with strong authority (established and lots of backlinks to its site) is ranking high for that keyword then your smaller business may not have a strong chance of outranking them. 
  5. Take note of the type of content that is ranking for your keywords. Are the top page results mainly lists? Then your audience prefers lists for that keyword. Write a list but add your unique touch. Is it a video? Add content via video but also add some great explanatory content also. Match the type of content that is ranking because that is what your audience prefers to read. 

  6. Check for trending keywords. Use Google Trends to see whether the volume of searches made for your keywords is increasing or decreasing. 
  7. Look at your competitors. What keywords are your competitors using and ranking well with? What topics are they sharing about with good results that you may have missed? Again you can research this by using an incognito window and searching your competitors or there are other tools available to search this for you. 
  8. Use Topic Clusters. Topic clusters are methods of organizing your content for both the user searching it and also for search engines. For example, topic clusters for the keyword digital marketing could include “What is digital marketing?” “Email marketing” “Why should I use a digital marketing company?” “Search engine marketing” etc. Think about your main subject and what questions your potential customers may have. Then ask and answer them in your content.
  9. Prioritize your focus. Consider the buyer’s journey of your customers. Are they looking for more information about your keyword- then provide lots of content that positions you as an expert. This is the awareness stage. Are they in the consideration or decision-making stage of the buyer’s journey? Then provide content that helps them understand why your business would be the best choice for them. 
  10. Get to Work! Begin creating content based on your keyword and topic cluster. Be sure to write your content with SEO in mind so that search engines can easily know what your content is about. 

Don’t get overwhelmed! Proper keyword research will help you to focus on what matters most to your customers and will ultimately help your customers find you online. Putting a little work into keyword research initially will help you to plan and strategize your content creation for your website and save you time in the future. No more wondering “What should I focus on?” 

Quality content on your website will also give you more content to share on social media. You will share web pages and blog posts that your audience is most interested in learning! Keyword research ensures you are not wasting your time creating content that no one is really searching for!

We have a talented team of keyword researchers, content writers, and blog writers here at Dogwood. We would love to work with you on creating quality content for your business and helping you to rank higher in search results! When you succeed, we succeed. Contact us today and let’s get a conversation started! 

To learn even more about how to incorporate keyword research into your SEO strategy, visit our blog post Dogwood’s Guide to SEO.

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