SEO keyword research tips and strategies

Keyword research for search engine optimization (SEO) is not a one-off event. Rather, it is an ongoing exercise that can have a significant impact on how you attract traffic to your site and grow your business.

Integrating time-tested keyword research tips into your SEO campaign can help you make smarter decisions about your strategy, budget, as well as implementation.

We’ve compiled a few keyword research tips that can help you take your internet marketing campaign to the next level.

SEO keyword research tips

1. Build a list of localized keywords

Most businesses aim to target local clients who are close to their stores. One of the most effective keyword research tips that can help your business rank higher on Google is focusing on localized keywords and search phrases. You can best achieve this by creating content that targets localized keywords that potential clients might use to locate your business.

To achieve this, begin by identifying search terms that include your exact location.

An example would be something like “Dallas electricity company” or “Light company in Dallas.” Then, you can branch out to the surrounding areas that you can reach with your product or service. If your business serves clients in surrounding cities or states, then you need to perform keyword research for search terms that are commonly used in these regions. This way, you will be able to target clients throughout your entire area of service.

2. Find out the keywords your competitors are using

If you truly want to rank high on Google then it is imperative that you find out what your competition is doing. Finding out the keywords that your competition is optimizing is one of the simplest yet under-exploited keyword research tips. Keeping tabs on the search phrases your competition is using can give you a competitive edge and help you reach out to target consumers who are using these terms online.

#ProTip: Go for keywords that are less competitive with high monthly searches. These search terms are worth investing your resources and time in.

3. Make use of Google Suggest

Google is committed to providing the best search engine experience to its users. As a marketer, you can use this powerful search engine to find out the search terms your potentials clients are using online. And that is not all. You can also use Google Suggest to find additional search terms for your internet marketing campaign.

Google Suggest pops up when you perform a certain search. As soon as you type the search phrase, you will notice that Google provides a list of related search phrases below it. This can provide you with new keyword opportunities for your content creation campaign. All you have to do is begin with a general list of keyword phrases, type them in the search bar, and see what Google returns for potential similar search terms.

4. Find potential customer questions

You can also find keyword research tips in the questions existing and potential customers are asking and then creating content that addresses these questions. By pinpointing your customers’ questions and creating content that seeks to answer them, you can boost your chances of reaching users who are looking for answers on Google.

5. Take advantage of an SEO toolbar

There are several SEO tools and toolbars that you can utilize to identify the right search terms for your SEO campaign. With these tools, you can understand your audience as well as what they are looking for when searching online.

One such tool is MozBar. With this tool, you can instantly access and compare essential metrics across webpages on SERP. You can also use this tool to look up the page’s authority and domain rankings.

This tool also allows you to track both local as well as national searches in order to gain a better understanding of what internet users are looking for when searching for certain search phrases on Google. Finally, MozBar also browses and audits your website to identify the issues that might be hindering you from getting the most out of your search engine optimization efforts.

An SEO keyword strategy is crucial for developing a successful search engine marketing campaign. Your keyword research strategy should involve identifying and using high-performing keywords to attract relevant traffic to your website. Remember, utilizing the right keywords can make all the difference in your SEO campaign by determining how well your webpages rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

The best SEO keyword strategy relies on highly relevant keywords that best relate to your business or industry. Once you have identified the keywords you want to rank for, the next step in your keyword strategy should involve creating content that incorporates your keywords.

What is an SEO keyword strategy?

While keyword research in order to find out the right terms to optimize your content is necessary, what you do after this is equally important, and this is what makes up your SEO keyword strategy.

Your strategy contains the decisions you make based on the outcome of your keyword research exercise. This includes the content you are planning to create as well as how you are going to monitor the results in Google Analytics. In other words, your strategy involves how you want to target your keywords both presently as well as in the future.

SEO keyword strategies

Here are five helpful tips to help guide your SEO program initiatives.

1. Have a healthy mix of head terms and long-tail keywords

Primary keywords are also known as head terms. They are usually short and simple (1-2 words long). They are highly competitive. An example would be, “SEO strategy.”

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, usually contain three or more words. They are less competitive. An example of a long-tail search term would be, “top SEO keyword strategies for startup sites.”

As already indicated, primary keywords tend to be very competitive. As you can imagine, there are thousands of websites out there targeting “SEO strategy.” This makes it extremely hard to rank for this term.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are less competitive, and also less likely to be searched for. Thus, it is important that you understand your target readers in order to create long-tail keywords that best reach them.

The best SEO keyword strategy should have a balance of head terms and long-tail keywords. You will be better off if you do not have all your eggs in one basket.

2. Always avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when a website is overloaded with unnecessary or irrelevant keywords on a page, meta description or page title to manipulate ranking results. Some digital marketers master the art of exploiting SEO. However, Google is never too far behind them. It is always working on eliminating holes in its search algorithm that “black-hat” SEOs are taking advantage of. Always use ethical SEO practices to avoid website disruptions and penalties from Google.

Some websites tend to define an arbitrary keyword density goal in their SEO strategies. Often, this results in superfluous and redundant phrasing that compromises their content’s quality.

It is quite simple. All you need to do is naturally incorporate your keywords into your content. If you cannot do this then you need to get back to your research and select new keywords. Do not sound choppy or distract your reader just because you want your keywords to appear in your content. At all times, be sure to prioritize reader and user experience. That is what Google is looking for anyway.

3. Focus on what your readers are looking for

It is quite easy to lose sight of the big picture by focusing on the nitty-gritty of search engine optimization. You need to remember what is important: what your target readers are looking for online.

If you cannot imagine your target readers typing your current search terms on Google, then it is time to get new ones. Most importantly, be sure to create content that will serve a purpose for your readers.

4. Narrow your list down

Since internet marketers have the tendency of targeting too many search terms, you can probably benefit from narrowing down your list. If you are not sure about what you should omit, then quantitatively narrow down your list. You can use tools like Google Trends and Google Ads’ Keyword Planner to look up your keywords’ search volume. Try to narrow down your keyword list a couple of times per year.

5. Group your keywords

Perform keyword research as often as you can. This way, you will be able to come up with new search terms, get rid of the ones with low search volume, and create fresh content that meets your readers’ needs. It’s highly advised to build keyword segments or groups to help you organize your keyword strategy. 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that search engine optimization has evolved significantly over the years. However, keyword research still remains a critical part of any successful SEO campaign. By optimizing for the right keywords, you can place your content creation and brand in the best position to increase your visibility and gain a competitive advantage.

Take advantage of these keyword research tips and strategies in order to boost your content marketing efforts. 

Are you looking for an SEO consulting agency to help you optimize your keyword strategy? Learn more about Segment’s SEO keyword research services.

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