Hey guys Monto Roy here. As I promised in my previous post, our topic for today is Keyword Research and Analysis, now this post is really important for those who are going to start with SEO campaign for the first time. To build a successful SEO plan you need to have solid foundation and that is keyword research. Why do you need to have a good list of keyword before you start with all your onpage and offpage SEO activities? Obviously when person visits search engine they use particular term or phrases related to the product or service or information they are looking for. And if your website is having that product or providing services or gives information then definitely you’ll want that user to visit your site. But before that you need to do research and shortlist the keywords that your targeted audience is using.
You need to be wise while shortlisting the keywords. There are several keyword tools which you need to give before finalizing your list. Don’t stick to any one tool as no tool is perfect. Keyword tools which you can refer are Google Adwords keyword tool (GAKT), Google Trends, Google insights. Mostly you’ll get the job done using the free Google tools but if you need that extra advantage then you can go for paid tools like Word tracker, SEOMoz Keyword difficulty, Keyword Discovery etc.
When you use these tools you’ll get lots of terms and phrases related to your keywords. Before you shortlist the keywords keep in mind that keyword with high traffic tend to be broad and very competitive. For e.g. SEO, Insurance, Software, Wedding Dress etc. Don’t be greedy, you do not need to target broad keywords, infect you need to understand that not all people searching for broad terms are looking to buy it, some might be the students, professionals doing research, some might be the companies/agencies checking their ranking for that particular term and some or small amount of people may be your targeted audience. If your focus on long tail keywords then it will be easy for you to get ranked in few months and also get targeted visitors to your site thus increasing your sales and keeping your bounce rate low.
If you want to know what world is searching for your related terms then quick thing you can do is to go to Google search, type in the keyword and you’ll get some suggestion form Google while typing as shown in below image –
The other way is the related keywords research. You don’t have to do much in this. Click the ‘Show search tools’ on the right hand side of the Google search result page as shown in the image below:
Then click on the ‘related searches’:
And BINGO you get the list of related keywords:
You can take down these keywords in excel and further add them up in the Google Adwords keyword tool to get the list of all related keywords along with their global and local monthly local search volume. Now these global and local search volumes are the average number of Global and local searches over 12 months for each keyword in all locations, languages, devices, and keyword match types. Don’t even think of considering the competition column in GAKT it is only PPC guys and not for SEO. Before you ahead with this tool make sure you select your targeted location, language and Match type. Select [Exact] match type if you want the search volume for your keyword idea as shown in image below.
Want to know the difference between all match types?
• Broad match: The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words
• Phrase match: The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase
• Exact match: The search volume for that keyword idea
Once you clicked the search button you’ll get the list of related keywords. In this case I search for SEO Services and got 775 matching terms for it -
Below is the trend you get from Google Trends, which show the average worldwide traffic for selected keyword.
If the trend is stable or rising that means it is a good keyword but if it’s falling then you better keep it on low priority. Next if you go in Google insight you will get what are the top searched related to your keywords and which are new rising keywords as shown in below image –
You can also check what other related keywords your competitors are targeting. To do this, go to Google search and type in your main keyword. You can check the keywords used in title tags, URL, keyword tags, meta descriptions, head tags of all websites listing in top 10 or top 20 on SERP. So in these ways create a list of keywords run them in GAKT and shortlist them having search volume of 500+ or at least 100+ if search volume is less in your selected niche.
Your next step is to find the competition of keywords. Go to Google and type in the keyword in double quotes, the number of results you get can be considered as the numeric competition. You can also check how many websites are using your targeted keywords in their title and URL by using Google search operator like “allintitle” and “allinurl”. However the number you get is not the exact competition but you can use it to get an idea of the keyword competition whether it is high, medium or low in nature.
If you want to get the better idea on the keyword competition then you can Google search your shortlisted keywords and check the website that show up in the search results. If they are missing the searched keyword in their title or URL or H1 tags and if they are having low quality links pointing them with no keyword used in anchor text then the competition for the keywords can be considered low.
[updated] For those who want to rebuild their keyword strategy can referee their preferred analytics. You can actually use your organic search traffic results to find out which keywords, phrases your targeted audience are using to find your website. You can use it to compare it with your current keyword list and make the changes. Also do not forget to find out which keywords are giving you more visitors, unique visitors, high visit duration and which keywords are actually turning your visitors into customers. Remember these analytics metric will help in long term.
According to my experience keyword with numeric competition less than 1000000 can be ranked on first page of search engine in 6 to 8 months. So in these ways you can shortlist the good keywords to target and get relevant traffic. If you have time and no money than you can consider above manual way of keyword analysis but if you have money and less time than I would suggest you to go for popular paid keyword research tools which will get the work done for you in no time.
I know this topic is pretty old and controversial when it comes to free vs. paid keyword analysis tool but keeping in mind that not everyone can afford monthly subscription or those one time high payment, I have jotted down my ideas on Keyword Research and Analysis – The Free Way. So, that’s all I have for now. See you next time, until then, take care!