Whether you’re an expert in content marketing or working on optimizing your conversions, keyword research is a crucial task that you need to do on a regular basis. In this article, we’ll introduce the best keyword research tools and walk you through the keyword research process from start to finish, providing tips for discovering the best keywords, and optimizing your content.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is important for several reasons:
- Keyword research provides marketers with actionable data on how to create organic search visibility (i.e., improve website ranking) and what topics to build your content around.
- Keyword research is beneficial to analyzing and understanding our competitors (what they are focusing on, what tactic seems most effective for them, and how we can apply those tactics)
- Keyword research assists us in improving our offering (by understanding what is problematic for our potential customers, what they like/dislike and how to serve them better)
How to get started with keyword research?
Keyword research always starts with a major term that our business evolves around. Now take that word and browse through a keyword research tool of your choice. Here are some options.
The best free keyword research tools:
- Google Suggest Tool
- Google Trends
- Google Search Console
The best-paid keyword research tools (freemium):
- SEMrush ($99/m)
- Serpstat ($19/m)
- Ahrefs ($99/m)
- Spyfu ($39/m)
The price indicated corresponds to an entry-level package. Each of these tools offers many packages depending on your needs. Most tools will give you the search volume on Google: the higher it is, the more people will search for that word or phrase. Paid tools also offer a form of competitive metric, i.e., the difficulty of ranking on these keywords. Your goal is to find keywords with some search volume (don’t optimize anything on keywords no one is searching) and have low/medium competition.
How do I organize my keyword research?
Presenting an effective and organized routine for keyword research is the most important step. It will define all your future optimization procedures, from conversion to content marketing. After testing one or more of the tools above, you’ll likely end up with hundreds and hundreds of keyword suggestions. So, what’s the next step? The next step is to run the clustering tool from Serpstat to make sense of this list. Serpstat uses a unique classification algorithm identifying groups of keywords based on their relevance. It uses Google’s SERPs to identify relevance: the more the results of two SERPs are identical, the more the search queries are related. This way, it groups keyword phrases based on their proximity instead of grouping them based on a common word.
Once you’ve identified your chosen keyword groups (most of these groups can be included in a piece of content), use them in Excel or Google Spreadsheets to plan your content strategy. Put your keywords (and groups of keywords) one by one, and use all kinds of tags to set your actions:
- Type of content or page (e.g., outdated/up-to-date, category page, product page, lead generation page, etc.)
- Search intent
- Local Keywords
You can have as many spreadsheets as you want. You can use Cyfe to bring them together in one dashboard to optimize different sections of your website and monitor organic traffic:
How should I use keyword research to increase my traffic?
After doing a good job with keyword research, how can we use keyword research to optimize our content for search engines and increase our website’s traffic? Well, keyword optimisation is not necessarily about keyword density. Google no longer gives credit to exact-match keywords, and so should we. To create and optimize your content, use Text Optimizer. This tool uses semantic analysis to extract related terms from Google SERPs and divide the chosen article idea into categories (subtopics). Just enter your spreadsheet keyword and run the tool. Text Optimizer will analyze Google SERPs and return:
- Terms to include in your future article – Pick around 20 to include in your content.
- Topic categories (these work great for better understanding and structuring your content, as well as, in most cases, breaking your content into subsections using H2/H3 subheadings)
- Popular questions (great for creating content around them). In fact, this Keyword Research FAQ was created using Text Optimizer’s ‘Topic Ideas’ and ‘Writing Suggestions.’
Once your content is created, run the tool again to see how well-optimized and well-written it is. Text Optimizer directs your entire content optimization process, encouraging you to include more related concepts, cover common questions, and break your content into meaningful subsections. The easiest way to use the tool is to use its plugin on Google Chrome. When it comes to optimizing for your target keyword, you can handle the basics using plugins like Yoast SEO (or one of its alternatives). They will ask you to include your keyword in the title, meta description, URL slug, etc.
How much does keyword research cost?
For professionals, the minimum cost for keyword research is $79 per month ($19/m for Serpstat + $60/m for TextOptimizer). These are two very powerful tools that you will need for your content marketing (Serpstat being the more affordable alternative). That said, keyword research can be free, but if you work on your content regularly, you’ll need at least these two tools. On the other hand, if you work in SEO, the more keyword research tools you have, the better, as they will all have slightly different results and complement each other.