Keyword research is one of the crucial steps in the journey of website optimization. In this phase, you need to analyze which keywords are relevant to your business and have the potential to be targeted keywords for ranking on search engines.
What Is Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of conducting research to discover keywords frequently used by users when searching on search engines. This practice is carried out to identify popular keywords that will be used to create articles or content and generate relevant content.
In keyword research, it's not just about finding keywords with high search volume; here, you will obtain targeted queries, search volume, keyword difficulty, and more.
All of these factors are taken into consideration when performing SEO optimization that can benefit a business.
The Purpose of Conducting Keyword Research
The purpose of conducting keyword research is to discover the keywords used by users when using a search engine. Additionally, here are some objectives of keyword research:
1. Identifying Content Topics
Through keyword research, you can determine the topics that are of interest to your audience. This helps you create content that is relevant and engaging for your target market.
2. Increasing Organic Website Traffic
By selecting the right keywords, you can attract more organic traffic to your website. Users who search for relevant keywords are more likely to click on your links if the content meets their needs.
3. Understanding User Search Intent
Keyword research also helps you understand the intent of users when they are searching for information. This allows you to create content that is more aligned with their intent, such as informative, commercial, or transactional content.
4. Competing in the Landscape
Through keyword research, you can see the keywords used by your competitors. This can help you identify opportunities to compete in the same search results.
Types of Keywords
When conducting keyword research, it's important to be aware of the different types of keywords based on user search intent:
- Informational Keywords: Users perform searches with the intent of finding answers or acquiring information. These keywords are often used when users are looking for knowledge or solutions to their questions.
- Navigational Keywords: Users conduct searches with the intent of visiting a specific website or obtaining particular information. Navigational keywords are used when individuals are trying to find a particular web address or locate a specific online resource.
- Commercial Keywords: Users conduct searches to investigate specific brands or services. Commercial keywords are often used when people are in the research phase of their buying journey and are looking for product reviews, comparisons, or pricing information.
- Transactional Keywords: Users perform searches with the intent of completing a transaction, such as making a purchase. These keywords are used when individuals are ready to take action, such as buying a product, signing up for a service, or making a reservation.
Understanding the different types of keywords and aligning your content with the appropriate search intent can help you create more effective and targeted SEO strategies.
How to Conduct Keyword Research
As mentioned earlier, conducting keyword research is not just about finding keywords with high search volume but also about how those keywords can have a significant impact on SEO optimization. Here's how to conduct keyword research:
Create a List of Important and Relevant Topics for Your Business
First, brainstorm the topics that are important and relevant to your business and that you want to target for search engine rankings. You can create a list of 5 to 10 topics that you consider crucial.
Next, use these topics as a starting point to find specific keywords. To make it easier to find the right keywords, put yourself in the shoes of a user. For example, if you are optimizing SEO for a coffee business, some relevant topics might include:
- Types of coffee beans
- Coffee brewing techniques
- Coffee bean brewing methods
Understand User Intent Using These Keywords
User intent is a crucial factor in keyword research. Try to understand what users mean and what their goals are when using these keywords. This is essential for increasing the potential for website ranking and traffic.
For example, in the context of the coffee business mentioned earlier, the keyword "coffee types" could mean various things, such as the different types of coffee beans available. Understanding the search intent will help you create relevant content.
The most effective method for discovering the appropriate user intent associated with your chosen keywords is to let Google do the work for you. It's as straightforward as performing a Google search using your targeted keywords and observing the type of intent that emerges.
As shown in the image above, it's evident that the intent behind the keyword "medicine for headache" doesn't involve a single product for purchase; instead, people are seeking options. Therefore, it would be challenging to push your page selling headache medicine to rank for this keyword. In such a scenario, the optimal approach is to create informative content that aligns with the user's needs.
Populate Your Topic List with Keywords
Based on the topics you've identified, create a list of keywords for each topic. These keywords are the specific terms you will target to rank in search engine results because your target audience may search using these keywords.
You can leverage various tools for keyword research. For example, for the topic of "types of coffee," you might find keywords like:
- Coffee types (volume: 6,600)
- Types of coffee in Indonesia (volume: 800)
- Coffee bean types (volume: 720)
Research Related Search Terms
In the keyword research process, there's a creative aspect involved for SEO specialists. You can use this approach if you're having difficulty understanding the meaning and determining relevant keywords for a topic.
What you can do is look at related search terms that appear at the bottom of search results. Below the search results, you can find several search suggestions provided by the search engine. These can serve as ideas for finding relevant keywords.
Additionally, make use of the "people also ask" feature on the search results page.
Utilize Keyword Research Tools
To find and research keywords effectively, make use of various tools. Using these tools offers several benefits, such as discovering potential keywords, viewing search volume, researching competitor keywords, and much more.
Some keyword research tools you can use include Ahrefs, SEMRUSH, and Google Keyword Planner.
When conducting keyword research using tools, pay attention to aspects of relevance, authority, and search volume
Mapping the keywords
Mapping keywords is a crucial step in the keyword research process, helping you organize and categorize the keywords you've gathered. Think of it as creating a roadmap for your SEO strategy. Essentially, keyword mapping involves assigning specific keywords to corresponding pages or content on your website. This not only helps search engines understand your content better but also ensures that your website is relevant and user-friendly.
To begin, you'll want to analyze each keyword you've collected and group them based on their relevance and intent. Keywords with similar themes or user intent should be grouped together. For instance, if you have keywords like "best running shoes," "top athletic footwear," and "running shoe reviews," you'd group them under a common theme like "Running Shoe Recommendations." This grouping process provides clarity and allows you to create targeted content for each keyword cluster. Once you've established these groups, you can assign them to specific pages on your website. This alignment ensures that your content is strategically optimized for search engines and provides a seamless user experience, as visitors can easily find the information they're looking for based on their search queries.
Furthermore, keyword mapping isn't a one-time task; it's an ongoing process. As you create and optimize content, new keywords may emerge, and existing ones may need to be reevaluated. Regularly revisiting your keyword map and making necessary adjustments is essential to maintaining a strong SEO strategy and staying competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. In summary, keyword mapping is an integral part of effective SEO, helping you structure your content and website in a way that aligns with user intent and search engine algorithms. You can read more about keyword mapping here