SEO Keyword Research Tutorial in 5 easy steps
In this article, I’m going to discuss my proven SEO Keyword Research Tutorial in 5 easy steps. This is the same blueprint I’ve used to help grow SEO Builder to thousands of unique visitors per month. Today you’re going to learn exactly how to find the best SEO keywords for your business.
Identify your ideal customer persona
Appeal to your audience with content
Consider the search query intent
Analyze keyword monthly volume
(Recommended) Check the commercial value in AdWords
SEO Keyword Research Tutorial in 5 easy steps
When I first got started with SEO my approach towards keyword research was a total mess. Back then I’d fire up the latest and greatest keyword research tools and start typing in a bunch of random keywords. So, what’s wrong with this approach? My competitors were doing the exact same thing. No wonder most of the keywords I found were insanely competitive. Over the years, I built a keyword research methodology that maximises my SEO efforts. Specifically, this method will help you uncover keywords that your competition doesn’t know about. So, let’s dive right in with step number one of this process which is to identify your ideal customer. This is the step that most people skip, and it hurts them.
The ideal customer
And what does identifying your ideal customer actually mean? Let me explain with an example. My site sells SEO Services to small and medium-sized businesses. Most people in my position would open a keyword research tool and feed terms like ‘SEO Agency’ and ‘SEO Services’ in the tool. What’s the problem with this approach? As I mentioned before, your competition is doing the exact same thing which means you’re going to run into the same set of keywords as your competitors. Most importantly, this approach ignores a very important fact – your customer spends 99.99% of their time online not searching for what you sell.
In other words, if you only target customers that search for the exact same product you sell, you’re missing out on hundreds of other opportunities to get in front of them. For example, I noticed that most of my customers are small business owners, so I went to forums and online communities where directors tend to hang out. That way I could see what my target customer searched for when they weren’t searching for ‘SEO Services’. I discovered that there are dozens of keywords that my ideal customer types in Google related to my products but had nothing to do with ‘SEO Services’. Some keywords are ‘On-page SEO’, ‘List Building’, ‘How to get more traffic’ and ‘Free SEO tools’.
And because I target these keywords, I get my business in front of thousands of my ideal customers every single day. Once my target customer is ready to buy, I’m the first person that comes in mind and Google. That’s the power of doing keyword research based on your customer persona and all you need to do for this step is to say my customer is X. For example, if you own an online flower shop you might say ‘My customer is a bride getting ready for her upcoming wedding’. That was easy right. Now that you’ve identified your customer persona it’s time to find topics that your customer is interested in. This leads us to the next step in my SEO Keyword Research Tutorial which is to find topics that your customers care about.
So how do you find the ideal content for your ideal customer? It’s simple. Go to where your target customer spends time online. Then look for topics that they tend to discuss and that’s it. In my case, my customers tend to chat at marketing-focused communities like https://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/ and http://wcrpforums.com/. In your case, your target customer may hang out in places like Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, industry blogs and niche forums. Once you’ve identified where your target customer hangs out, it’s time to keep an eye out for topics that are important to them. I noticed that link building was one of the most popular topics in the online communities that my audience spent time on. So, I wrote down link building as a topic and I kept digging until I found at least five topics that my target customers talked about in online communities. Now, you have at least five topics. It’s time to drill down into finding keywords. Here are my four favourite tactics for finding untapped keywords that your competition doesn’t know about.
First, we have Google Suggest. Go to Google and type your topic into the search box, but don’t press enter. Instead, look at the keywords that Google suggests for you. These are usually solid long-tail keywords that you can go after.
PRO TIP: Try putting a few spaces before your keyword. This will show you a completely different set of keyword ideas.
Next, Quora is a massive community of people that ask and answer questions on every topic under the sun. All you need to do is search for a topic on Quora and see which keywords tend to show up.
Our next method for finding keywords is Reddit. It’s a massive community of people that discuss every topic under the sun from pets to politics. To use Reddit for keyword research, simply head over to read it and search for your topic. When you find a thread on your topic, keep an eye out for words and phrases that tend to come up again and again. These make awesome keyword ideas.
We also have Google related keywords. To use this feature simply type a topic into Google and scroll down to the bottom of the results. Google then shows you other searches that are related to the keyword you just put in. These are usually great long-tail keywords that you can target with your content.
Finally, we have Wikipedia. What other site has in-depth articles for topics like the Lingerie Football League? The five-second rule to use Wikipedia for keyword research is to type your topic and check the entries the article links to. These are usually closely related topics and even potential keywords themselves. Also, make sure to check out the table of contents for that entry. Again, these are usually keywords that are closely related to your topic. Now, do you have a list of potential keywords? It’s time to choose the best from your list. How? – By analyzing each keyword commercial intent.
The search query intent
Paying attention to the keyword commercial intent simply means how likely someone searching for a given keyword is to buy from you. This step analyses how much commercial intent your keyword has. Go to Google Keyword Planner and type in one of your potential keywords and then check at the suggested bid column. This shows you how much advertisers are spending in AdWords on this keyword. Obviously, a higher bid means the more valuable that keyword is. In another simple way to size up commercial intent is to see how many AdWords ads appear when you search for keywords in Google. If you search for keyword and see lots of AdWords ads it means that people are chomping at the bit to bring those searchers to their site.
Table 1. Google Search Queries Summarised
|Navigational||To reach a particular site that the user has in mind.||airport of Chicago|
|Informational||To find information assumed to be available on the Web.||how to apply for passports|
|Transactional||To perform further interaction in a site.||printable|
Keyword traffic volume
Now it’s time for our last step which is to look at each keyword search volume. Back in the day, Google would show you the exact search volume numbers in the Keyword Planner. Unfortunately, this option is not available today unless you’re running an active AdWords campaign. Currently, the Planner shows you an extremely unhelpful search volume range. So how can you see how many people search for your keywords? Two freemium tools get the job done. The first one is SEM Rush. To find a keyword search volume, simply type the keyword and it will show you how many searches the keyword gets every month.
You can also use KW Finder. Again, just pop in your keyword to the tool and you’ll see the exact number of searches that it gets every month. Before we decide on a keyword, I would recommend one last step.
Bonus – Commercial value in Google Trends
This strategy is optional, but it helps you find the absolute best keywords for your business. Here you look at your keyword growth in Google Trends. Let’s say you found two keywords that have similar search volume and transactional intent, but you don’t know which one to pick. When you look at Google Trends you notice that one keyword is growing and the other is dropping in popularity. Obviously, you’d want to go with the keyword that’s growing.
A couple of years ago this step saved me… I was debating whether to target one of two keywords – ‘Google Keyword Tool’ or ‘Google Keyword Planner’. You see Google had recently renamed the Google Keyword Tool but still got 20 times more searches than Google Keyword Planner. That is until I looked at Google Trends. That’s when I noticed that searches for the ‘Google Keyword Planner’ were skyrocketing while searches for the ‘Google Keyword Tool’ was steadily dropping. Finally, I decided to go with the ‘Google Keyword Planner’ and it was a good move. I now rank in the top 5 for that keyword and it’s a keyword that’s growing in popularity every day.
OK, so that’s all there to my SEO Keyword Research Tutorial in 5 easy steps. If you follow the methodology, you should have a handful of excellent keywords that you can target in your content. Once you have this list, it’s a matter of creating landing pages and content optimised around those terms. If you liked this article, make sure to bookmark and follow my blog. Also, if you want exclusive SEO techniques that I only share with subscribers, subscribe to my newsletter. Or maybe you tried them already. If so you probably have a favourite step that works well for you. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.
READ MORE: Google RankBrain Explained
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SEO Builder is a thought leader in Data and Technology that empower our SEO and link building strategies, with clients in more than 10 industries. The company provides digital solutions and services to small and medium-sized businesses across the UK and internationally. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the company’s SEO and Digital professionals are trained and specialise in the latest digital marketing trends to grow your client base and revenue.