Solid keyword research is fundamental to any successful online marketing campaign (but you probably already know that, which is why you’re reading this.)
Without it, you run the risk of wasting time, money and effort on trying to get your website to appear for keywords that mean diddly squat to your potential customers. If your website isn’t optimised for the right keywords then you’ll always struggle to increase website traffic, generate a list of tasty leads and convert customers.
So to help you get started (whether you’re new to this or just want a refresh), here is our super simple guide on how to do keyword research in five easy steps. It’s so simple we’re confident that even your Gran could follow it…
1. Put yourself in the mind of a customer. List out the topics related to your business that matter to them.
This could be the topics that come up in sales conversations, or common questions about your most popular product or service.
For keyword research to be effective you must try to imagine what a potential customer might search for when they are looking for your business. It’s the first step to making sure you attract the right people to your website.
2. Use free keyword research tools to generate keyword ideas for each of these topics
Once you have 3 – 4 core topics you need to build out a list of potential keywords for each one. There are lots of free tools online you can use to do this. We recommend – Google’s ‘Related Searches’, Google Trends or Soolve. For more detailed instructions on how to use these tools check out this blog post the put together on recommended free keyword research tools.
3. Find out how many people search for those keywords every month
Google Keyword Planner is an awesome free tool from Google tells you how many times (on average) people search for a particular keyword every month.
This tool helps you to make informed decisions about which keywords have the potential to drive the most traffic for your business. Here’s a great post on how to use Google Keyword Planner.
4. Consider the competition
Picking keywords that have a high search volumes is great – but you also need to consider the competition for each keyword. By this we mean, “How difficult is it to actually appear in Google for this keyword?”
If big brands take the top 10 results and you’re a smaller local business, then it could take years of work to appear in the search results for the most popular
keywords (don’t forget, Google favours websites with authority and reputation).
Pick battles that you can win by looking out for keywords that include your physical location or something with a smaller search volume that’s really specific to your business. You could also use online tools like Moz’s ‘Keyword Explorer’ tool that tell you how competitive a keyword is, (as a starting point look for anything with a score of less than 45).
5. Pick 5 of the most important keywords and update the ‘Project Setup’ tab in Glasshat
Pick 5 keywords that you want to target, asking yourself the following questions to help you narrow down your list.
- Is it highly relevant to your business?
- Do people search for it every month?
- Is the keyword related to pages that already exist on my website?
- Are people who search for this likely to become a customer?
- Are too many other people targeting this keyword?
Now you have your keywords you’re all set to move onto the next step.