When talking about the SEO strategy, keyword research is one of the first terms you come across. For many SEO specialists this is the daily routine, but how can you get even more out of it?
In this article, we want to take you to all the ins and outs of keyword research so that you can set up a rock-solid SEO strategy.
What is keyword research?
The keyword research is used to determine which keywords users use to get their information on a particular topic. It is not only important for the SEO strategy, but also for the SEA strategy. There, too, there is full focus on keywords.
Where are those keywords searched for?
When we talk about keyword search this is happening in the search engines. Think of Google, Bing, Duckduckgo and so on. Which search engine is most important differs per country. Google is the largest and best known in the Netherlands and worldwide. That’s why we’ll take Google as an example in this article.
Important values in the keyword research
When you start the keyword research you will see that different values come up. Think of the Cost Per Click (CPC), Competition and search volumes. We will discuss this during this article.
Why is keyword research so important?
At the moment there are annual 3.5 billion searches performed through Google. With that, Google owned 92.18% of the global market in 2019. In 2020, the search engine was visited 62 billion times. This through all channels such as Google News , Google Lens and the other products. So not every session contains a search.
These do indicate that in 2021 our society is fully running on the internet. Consumers no longer search for their products via offline media, but mainly via Google and Facebook .
The search engine Google is therefore partly responsible for this. That’s why you want your shop to be at the top of Google’s results. This is how it is most visible. But there are more reasons.
Insight into the target audience
Keyword research provides quite a lot of information about the target group. By doing good research you actually find out the wishes and needs of the user. You can respond to this by providing the content that is interesting for the target group.
In addition to the SEO strategy, keyword research is also essential for the paid side of Google. You can bid on exact keywords and thus send conversions. This can be done via both Google search and Ads.
Step 1: Come up with a list of topics related to your business
When you start with keyword research, it is useful to see which topics your company is working on. As an example we take an online bakery shop that wants to be found better.
Grab an excel document and put the most important subjects in a tab like the example below.
This way you keep your keyword research structured and well-organized.
Step 2: Use keyword tools to find the keywords
Now we are going to get started with the real work. You do your keyword research with the right tools. Below is a list of tools that you can use of which I can definitely recommend Google’s Keyword Planner. You can sign up for this.
We use Google’s keyword planner in our examples. This one is free and quite accurate.
The keyword planner
If you want to know which terms are frequently searched for for the bread category, for example? Then type Bread in the keyword planner and you will get the results.
Now you see that for the category bread, the keyword bread is searched 10,000 to 100,000 times a month. Quite a bit, but since we seem to be on the healthy tour in the Netherlands, just as much is being sought for low-carbohydrate bread. Then you will see other terms that are popular below. In this case, 672 keyword ideas are given.
Very nice to know that we are very conscious in the Netherlands, but what should you do with this?
The results show several things. Namely the search volume, competition, bid for the top of the page at a low range and at a high range.
Search volume says a lot about the difficulty of a keyword. Frequently searched terms are often generic. This means that users with different interests can search for this keyword. Consider, for example, someone who wants to bake their own bread, someone who wants to buy bread or someone who wants to know the history of bread.
That is why it is not always useful as a small party to focus on the big terms. Here you can get a lot of traffic that is not relevant for your company, in this case an online baker. That is why it can be useful to focus your keyword research on the user you are looking for. More on this later.
The competition provides an indication of the players in the market. “Bread” is an informative term and there you see wikipedia, brood.net and rutgerbakt.nl appear at the top. Nice and busy Rutger! Free backlink for you!
In short, the competition indicates how difficult it will be to get to the top of this keyword. For “Bread” this should be easier than for “Low-carbohydrate bread” where you will immediately find the fitboy and fitgirl sites. These apparently put a lot more effort into this.
If you are not planning to advertise, you can skip it. Suppose you want it? Then it is relevant. The bids actually indicate a maximum and minimum bid according to Google to participate a bit nicely in the ad results. In short, you pay € 2.03 per click per click with a high reach for the keyword bread. At a low range about € 1.08.
This is a good estimate of the costs that you can expect as soon as you start advertising well on this.
Step 3: Select the correct search results
As we just indicated, Google comes up with a lot of search terms. You can refine keywords in the right part of the filter. You do this by, for example, selecting terms without a brand. The language or the like is also useful.
Nevertheless, this can provide insufficient insight. By selecting the terms from high to low you get an idea of what is going on.
We recommend exporting this list and selecting it from highest to lowest in your excel sheet. When you talk about bread you can, for example, start writing about the bottom list.
You have specific keywords for each keyword. These keywords therefore provide inspiration for writing content.
Bread is the main category, and the other terms are subcategories. So when you make a nice landing page about bread and place the subcategories under it again, think of baguette or spelled bread, for example, you already have a nice structure. But what should you write about baguette in this case?
Keep in mind that you do not have a recipe website, but are an online baker where you can order baguettes, for example. The content you are going to post about baguette should therefore be both informative and conversion-oriented. That is why you want to answer the questions of your user. Answer the public is a good tool to find out what your users are looking for about “Baguette”.
This beautiful circle indicates a number of topics that are useful for you as an online baker to answer. Namely:
- Where to buy baguettes?
- Where does baguette come from?
- French baguette where to buy?
- Which baguette is healthy?
These are just a few ideas for your text, by answering this, chances are that you will rank in Google on the word “French bread” but also on the niche terms that the users have questions about.
You can therefore insert a text both informatively and conversion-oriented in this way.
Step 4: Complete your keyword research
In this example we used bread and baguette. You can do this literally for any term. That is why I recommend that you initially enrich the other tabs in your file with the subjects with the data from the keyword planner.
When you have done this, you already have a good insight per keyword what terms are important. Use appropriate terms such as main and sub-topics for the information you provide and answer the public to answer questions.
When your articles provide relevant answers to the user’s specific questions, you will see that they are getting traffic here and there over time in both Google Analytics and Search Console.
Keyword research is not rocket science, in principle anyone can do it. It does require some knowledge to choose the terms that suit your users. We have provided a small guide for this, but this of course differs per case. So do you have any questions about this? Don’t hesitate to ask!