Keyword Research for SEO: Beginners Guide 2021

keyword research beginners guide
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If you appropriately use keywords you’ll get more traffic from search engines!

If blogging foe a while or even as a beginner you must have heard this countless time. Why?

This is because keywords and keyword research are the first things you should learn of when you want to grow your online business using search engine optimization.

This being my second blogging site after my previous site was hacked, I know how benefitting keyword research could be for anyone like you or me.

I’ve made this guide beginner friendly just to help you understand the most fundamental concept of SEO(keyword research)

keyword research guide

completely green when it comes to SEO?

Not to worry even if you never understood what is the purpose of keyword research, and how do you actually do it, this guide will help you understand every aspect of it.

At the end of this guide you’ll learn:

  1. What is Keyword research?
  2. What is the importance of Keyword research?
  3. How Keyword research could benefit you?
  4. How to perform Keyword research?

That known, lets get started.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the technique of finding keywords that would drive targeted traffic to your business(website). Mostly, this is done by identifying how your target audience are finding a website like yours.

let’s put this in a simpler way

When looking for answers to difficult questions or a question on a field we are not familiar with, we use search engines like Google to find answers.

We expect the search engine to give us a solution within the first page of search, which is also known as SERP (Search engine results page).

This is where keyword research now comes in. You’ll be able to identify those “phrases”, “words”, “queries”, that your targeted audience is asking using a search engine.

As a business or even a blog, when we get to know what kind of queries users (mass) are asking via search engines, we can optimize or create new pages, helping users to find the answer, and use that traffic to grow our business.

The key purpose of keyword research is to gain a deeper insight into your audience; how they search online, which topics most resonate with them and which companies they engage with.

Let’s use an example to build a better understanding around this:

You are around Nairobi city in Kenya and you’re looking for the best restaurants to have lunch. You’ll use the query “best restaurants in Nairobi”. it’ll look something like this:

keyword research

Since Google search is smart, it auto-populates a lot of frequently used queries to you the ask the right question. Now, depending on your location, and understanding, you can either stick with your query, or perhaps pick one suggested by Google.

The process of keyword research shows the most popular query, along with geo-location, and the number of times these queries has been asked at a specific time (ex: 7 days).

Now, as a business owner, these stats would help you understand which of these queries, to answer on your website, and in turn, it will help users to discover your website, and the solution.

The solution ultimately helps owners to drive more targeted traffic from search engines, which converts into direct sales, ad sales or even as an affiliate sales.

Now done with the example of you looking for a restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya. Assume now you’re the business owner owning a restaurant around that location.  (You could be anyone, and replace baby stroller with your product).

With the help of a  keyword research tools, we’ll be able to find data like which keyword “Also known as queries, question, search term” a parent is using on a search engine to find a solution.

keyword ideas

With the image above with the help of ubbersuggets, it shows similar queries with a lot of data as shown below.

Let’s interpret the image above:

  1. Keyword: This is the query users are asking to find the best restaurant in Nairobi. When doing SEO, this is the phrase that we “target”, we call this “target keyword or Focus keyword”.
  2. Volume: This is an estimate of how many people are searching for that particular keyword in a given month. This is a very important metric as even if you assume a search term will be popular, search data will tell you otherwise. In the above example, you can see two similar keywords which have a considerable difference in monthly search volume:
    • Best restaurants in Nairobi: 1,900 searches/month
    • Best restaurants in Nairobi 202090 searches/month
  3. Trend: This one helps you to see if the keyword trend is going up (more people are searching) or going down (fewer people are searching).
  4. Keyword difficulty: This is an important metric that helps you understand, how difficult or easy it is going to be rank for a target keyword on the first page of Google. The lower the rank is, easier it would be to rank for.

That done, let’s see why keyword research is of importance.

Why is Keyword Research Important?

The following ways are how keyword research can help your blog/business

  • Knowing your keywords helps you to understand your brand and your business. What are you selling? What are your services? If you don’t know this, identifying your keywords can help you to understand who you are.
  • Keyword research can tell you vital information, such as where you rank for keywords, which keywords are easy to rank for and which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
  • Keyword research can tell you what people are searching for, rather than what you think they are searching for.
  • Search engines can only rank your website if they know what your business is. Targeting keywords on different pages of your website means Google can then rank you for those keywords.
  • Identifying keywords to use in blogs and outreach can drive traffic to your website.

The above mentioned importance are just a few of the many more advantages of keyword research.

Note: Your duty as in SEO is to remove those keywords which are not going to benefit your business in any way. Moreover, after finding profitable keywords, you will also learn how to prioritize them for maximum benefits in shorter span.

Keywords based on user intent

Keyword intent represents the user’s purpose for the search. It’s what the user is likely to do when searching for a particular phrase. Or, to be more precise, it’s what we think the user is likely to do since we cannot always be sure.

1. Commercial, or High, Intent

This type can also be referred to as “buy now” intent. It signifies a strong intention on the part of the searcher to act (to buy, join, subscribe, etc.). Usually, these will be keyword phrases containing the following modifiers:

  •  Buy (online)
  •  Coupon (code)
  •  Deals
  •  Free shipping, etc.

People are most likely to commit to purchase as a result of these types of searches.

2. Informational Intent

Informational intent, on the other hand, means that the searcher is willing to find out more about the concept. It’s probably not a good idea to try selling anything to them outright, but these could be good for developing “gated” content and collecting emails. Queries with purely informational intent could contain the following modifiers:

  • How to . . .
  • Why . . .
  • Best way to . . .
  • History of . . .
  • Anatomy of . . .
  • What . . . means

3. Transactional Intent

Transactional intent lies somewhere in the middle of commercial and informational intent. Simply put, these queries can represent both the purpose to buy and to read more about the concept. With the right content and setup, these searchers may buy things or be convinced to buy somewhere further into the conversion funnel. These queries can contain words like:

  • . . . Reviews
  • . . . vs . . .
  • Best . . .
  • Top 10 . . .

4. Navigational Intent

Keywords that contain brand names signal navigational intent, meaning a searcher knows exactly where they’re headed. Brand name searches are your assets. If a person types in your brand name when searching, they already know exactly what they want; you just need to give that to them.

Ways to do keyword research

1. Find a competitor or top site keyword:

This is the easiest way to find keywords that are already working for an existing website.

In this, process, you have to identify 2-3 websites which are the top in the niche we are targeting. 

keywords

With the results, On the ubbersuggest dashboard, enter the domain name that you identified from Google search and use it to find keywords that the domain is ranking for.

This way, you’ll see:

  • Which keyword is driving maximum traffic to the particular website
  • The volume, traffic %, KD, Keyword position
  • Which page on the website is getting traffic for which keyword
2. Using Seed Words for researching Keywords

This is idle for any new and existing website alike. This is more time consuming than the above two methods, but this will help you discover unique keywords that no one is targeting.

You can use this method by using and Keyword research tools or even a long tail keyword tool.

You can filter the keywords based on various parameters such as:

  • Exact match will include the exact match of the phrase ‘baby stroller’ with the same words order. So you will get ‘buy baby stroller’, ‘where to buy baby stroller’, ‘buy baby stroller in San Francisco’, etc.
  • Broad match will include all forms of the words ‘buy’ and ‘new’ and will suggest variations of the word order. So you will get all keywords from exact match plus ‘‘buy the newest baby stroller’, ‘buy baby stroller new’, ‘buy super-new baby stroller in New York’, etc.
  • Phrase Match
  • Related Keywords

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