Keywords can make or break your SEO strategy. That’s what I’ve learned in the past 25 years of optimizing a website. It was easier to get a site to position 1 with keyword spamming. That was THE SEO strategy when I and every one were just starting out.
It worked. You still have to use the right keyword though.
I’m not advocating for keyword spamming. It worked back then. It was distasteful. It doesn’t work now. Since Google came along, SEOs adapt and I think we are better for it.
So, what exactly is keyword research?
Keyword research is finding the words and phrases people use to search for information online. These words and phrases are the keywords that you want to target on your website to increase your visibility in search engine results pages (S.E.R.P.s).
Now, let’s get started on how to do keyword research for your website.
I will discuss some tips and tricks to make the process more effective. These tips and tricks are tried and tested by us, and I cannot stress enough how beneficial they are in improving your ranking and generating more sales.
Step 1: Brainstorm Topics
I always brainstorm topics relevant to my website and want you to do the same.
Think about the products or services you offer, and consider what your target audience would be searching for. Write down as many topics as possible, then break them into subtopics.
Focus on your target audience’s interest.
Understand your audience’s interests and try to put yourself in their shoes. Consider what questions they might have, what problems they need to solve, or what information they seek.
One helpful tip is to look at your competitors’ websites. Are they any keywords that stand out? What words do they use in their headlines? How about their content?
Step 2: Use Keyword Research Tools
Once you have a list of topics, it’s time to start using keyword research tools. There are many different keyword research tools available, both free and paid.
I use SEMrush. Many use Ahrefs. Pick one. It’s pricey. Unless you’re running a large enterprise, one tool suffices, IMHO.
Some people use Google Keyword Planner.
These tools will help you find each keyword’s search volume, competition, and other metrics. Interestingly, you can also find keywords you may not have thought of before.
In 2022, the search term “how to tie a tie” was searched more than 370,000 times on Google in the U.S.? Well, that’s a lot of neckties being knotted..
I know keyword research tools can be overwhelming initially, but they are precious when finding the right keywords for your website.
- Start with broad keywords: When using a tool like Google Keyword Planner, enter general keywords related to your industry or niche. This will give you a list of related keywords that you can refine and filter down to find the best options for your website.
- Look for keywords with low competition: Long-tail keywords often need to be more competitive and easier to rank for. Look for keywords with a low competition score to maximize your chances of ranking well.
- Consider user intent: When using a keyword research tool, pay attention to the “intent” of each keyword. Are people searching for information, or are they looking to buy something?
Make sure you’re targeting keywords that match the intent of your website visitors.
Step 3: Analyze the Competition
Next, you want to analyze the competition for each keyword. Look at the top results for each keyword in the search engine results pages (S.E.R.P.s). Analyze the content on those pages, including the titles, meta descriptions, and headers.
Imagine a scenario where you’re aiming to climb to the top of the search engine rankings, and you’re up against some established and authoritative websites. It’s similar to competing with a marathon runner in a foot race, and it’s certainly going to be challenging!
However, if your competition is more like a group of casual joggers, then there’s a chance for you to outrank them with your exceptional content.
Keep in mind analyzing the competition is an essential step in keyword research, but it’s also important to approach it with some nuance. To explore the competition effectively, follow these tips:
- Look at the entire SERP: Don’t just look at the top-ranking page instead look at the whole SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and see what other pages rank for the keyword. This can give you a better sense of the keyword’s competitiveness.
Did you know the average person spends only about 15 seconds on a search results page? That’s right, people have short attention spans, and they’re often looking for quick answers to their questions.
- Consider the quality of the content: When analyzing the top-ranking pages, pay attention to the quality of the content. Are the pages well-written, informative, and engaging? If you still need to, there may be an opportunity for you to create better content and outrank them.
- Look for gaps in the market: Sometimes, you’ll find keywords with low competition because no one has created content that matches the intent of the keyword. If you can fill that gap with high-quality content, you can rank well for that keyword.
Step 4: Choose Your Keywords
Once you have analyzed the competition, it’s time to choose your keywords. Focus on long-tail keywords, which are more specific and have lower competition. Long-tail keywords are also more likely to convert into leads and sales.
Choose keywords relevant to your website and have a decent search volume. You don’t want to target keywords that no one is searching for. It would be best if you also considered the intent behind the keywords. Are people searching for information or looking to make a purchase?
You can choose keywords by:
- Using multiple tools: Don’t rely on just one keyword research tool. Use various tools to get a complete sense of the most relevant keywords to your website.
- Considering search volume and competition together: Balancing search volume and competition is essential. Choose keywords that have a decent search volume but also have low competition.
- Targeting long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are often less competitive and more likely to convert into leads and sales. Focus on these types of keywords when possible.
Step 5: Optimize Your Content
After choosing your keywords, you optimize your content. Include your keywords in your content, but don’t stuff them. Use them naturally throughout your content, including titles, meta descriptions, headers, and body text. Optimizing your content for your chosen keywords is a critical step in SEO.
Here is how you can do it
- Use keywords naturally: Don’t force your keywords into your content. Use them naturally and in a way that makes sense for the reader.
- Optimize all on-page elements: Besides including keywords in your content, optimize all on-page factors, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
- Use variations of your keywords: Use a different keyword repeatedly. Use variations of your keyword to make the content more engaging and natural-sounding.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for SEO: While optimizing your content for SEO, don’t sacrifice quality in the process. Ensure your content is well-written, informative, and engaging for your readers.
Step 6: Monitor and Adjust
Finally, you need to monitor your keyword rankings and adjust your strategy. To do this:
- Use a tool to monitor your rankings: There are plenty of tools out there that can help you monitor your keyword rankings. My go-to is SemRush.
- Analyze your data: Look at your data to see which keywords are performing well and which aren’t. Use this information to adjust your strategy as needed.
- Stay up-to-date: SEO constantly evolves, so staying up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices is best. Read industry blogs and attend webinars to make sure you’re staying current.
ChatGPT might be a good tool for keyword suggestions
Have you used ChatGPT to get some ideas for your keywords?
I used it sometimes. But I’m not completely depending on it, at least for now.
And here’s why. While ChatGPT can provide insightful and valuable keyword ideas, it may not provide a comprehensive analysis of search volume, competition, and other factors that contribute to effective keyword optimization.
Use it as a guide for generating initial keyword ideas. As always, use it in conjunction with other keyword research tools and strategies to ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to keyword optimization.
To make the most out of it, you need to give ChatGPT some instructions.
- Define your topic and target audience.
- Ask ChatGPT for keyword suggestions based on your topic and audience.
- Refine your search by asking specific questions ( USE PROMPTS).
You now have a list of potential keywords for your content (but be careful not to overdo it).
You want to use your keywords naturally in your content to avoid being forced or spammy.
What is a ChatGPT prompt and how do I use it?
As easy as I can make it, a prompt is your starting point to generate text.
These prompts can be questions, statements, or incomplete sentences, and they give context and direction to ChatGPT. You can generate the most relevant and coherent response with the correct prompt.
For example, if you’re using ChatGPT to generate keywords for your topic, you might provide a prompt like “Generate the most relevant keywords for a new blog- The Power of Gratitude.”
ChatGPT will generate keywords relevant to your blog that reflect the content you plan to produce.
Learning to use prompts in ChatGPTt’s going to help a lot in improving your ranking. You will save the time and energy you put into finding the right keyword.
Keyword research plays a huge role in forming an SEO strategy. Finding the right keywords can drive more traffic to your website and grow your business. By following these steps and using these tips and tricks, you can find the right keywords for your website and optimize your content for maximum visibility and success.
Remember to put your audience first, find a tool that you can be good at, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. With time and effort, you can build a strong SEO strategy that drives your website traffic, leads, and sales.
If you’re facing challenges in expanding your business and have tried several SEO services that didn’t meet your expectations, consider giving us at My Local Start a try.
With over 25 years of experience of working together, our digital marketing team is reliable and dedicated to helping your business thrive. And even if you choose to go it alone, we’re happy to offer guidance and support in the right direction.