Everyone will eventually develop their own approach and process to doing keyword research. And ultimately you need to find something that works for you but the most important part of keyword research is to forget about you and your business and put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers.
The process typically begins with brainstorming and answering some key questions. This stage is important from an organisational perspective because it will force you to look at different areas of your business. Start with answering what services you offer; be as comprehensive as possible and list out as many key words and phrases as you can but make sure that you do it from the customer’s perspective. As people who work in our businesses day-in and day out, we might have a very different way of explaining our products and services.
Take for example a discount travel website, you might be tempted to write down keywords like high-value air transport and g-seven six eligible discount ticket but at the end of the day no one in the world is typing that into a search engine. While those things make sense to you, your customers are just looking for things like cheap flights.
While brainstorming can get you started we will look at some tools that can find and suggest similar keywords and expand your list of possibilities considerably. Once you have got that list of potential keywords the next thing you need to do is take a look at the search volume metrics to see what kind of a demand there is for those phrases. As you do this you will notice that a handful of keywords will get typed in thousands and thousands of times a day but there are a whole lot more that don’t get typed in nearly as often. These might be more descriptive keywords or less common variations, but the important thing to note is that these are known as long tail keywords.
Go For The Long Tail
Long tail keywords in SEO are incredibly useful, they let us go after a much larger amount of less competitive keywords that tend to be extremely relevant to our business objectives and while individually, there is not a lot of search volume on each term, they each do have some search volume. For example if I were selling iPhone cases I may start looking into the key word iPhone cases a term that gets tied into search engines are a lot. It is extremely competitive and it is probably going to be very difficult to rank for. But I might also take a look at a more long tail keyword like blue iPhone cases. These are just a lot more targeted and will have much less competition and so should be easier to rank for.
But here is the important part you might be able to on hundreds or thousands of these long tail keywords that together have the potential to get you more traffic than ranking for iPhone cases would have from the start. You want to add some meaning and organisation around the keywords that you have collected. You can do this by identifying themes or topics to group your keywords around a process known as keyword categorisation.
Back to the example with the blue iPhone case, we may want to create a group that will be just about blue iPhone cases that includes all the different models of the iPhone. Alternatively we could categorise these not by phone model but instead by colour. There is no right or wrong way to do this, only a way that works for you and allows you to manage these groups of keywords as you optimise for them.
Everyone Is Different
Remember in the end this is an exploratory and discovery exercise, everyone searches differently and you will find lots and lots of data as you dig deeper and deeper. Be open minded put yourself in the mindset of your potential customers and make sure to consider all of your options as you evaluate your keyword performance over time.