The In’s and Out’s of Keyword Research

authorShannon Correia dateDecember 15, 2021

Keywords are just that: words that are key. Key to being found on the internet, that is. Without search, finding specific content online would be both limiting and challenging. Thankfully, we have keyword strategies to help us out. In this article, we’ll be providing an overview of the required research you need to conduct for SEO - and yes, it goes beyond finding a few search terms. 

Why Keywords Matter

Keywords say a lot. The reason they’re so important is that is it the crux of what online search is all about. These are the identifying words and phrases that indicate the intent and desires of the searcher. Marketers conduct research on these in order to cater to them adequately. The research you conduct therefore extends to the customer, your business, and your competitors since you’re vying for the same spot on the first page of search engines. To put it plainly, keywords showcase what is important to searchers. 

Not only do you need to know what people are searching for, but also analyze the associated figures, like search volumes, prominent formats, and the density of these terms. 

Types of Keywords

There are three types of keywords, namely:

  • Head keywords: Single, highly searched words
  • Body keywords: Specific short phrases
  • Long-tail keywords: A similar group of phrases with less search volume searching for a similar topic

Keywords Research and Analysis through Loupe on Old Paper with Blue Vertical Line Background.

SEO Strategy 

SEO strategies often include a mix of the above, with businesses aiming to gain traction wherever possible, in a way that is natural for and valuable to the viewer. When you’re creating content, the aim is to satisfy the various searches that your audience may be conducting. This way, you can build a portfolio of content. This is especially important when it comes to content marketing, which is a long-term marketing strategy. This is because it takes time for search engines to crawl, index, and rank content. 

One of the ways you can boost your SEO strategy is to put your keyword research into practice. Once you identify themes relating to search terms, you can create topic clusters. This ensures that your content is created with a purpose, instead of just for the sake of it. This will help keep your site relevant and improve SEO by avoiding an overflow of information that will become outdated and prove to be time wasted. Content needs to be relevant and valuable to rank well. 

According to HubSpot, “matching keywords exactly isn't as important as it once was. What is important is establishing your expertise on relevant topics by creating lots of high-quality, helpful content.”

This echoes the move away from keyword stuffing that doesn’t read well for audiences. SEO is designed to provide searchers with the best possible experience after all. This is complemented by changes to Google’s AI systems that look at phrases instead of exact matches. Finding themes and topics to work with can provide searchers with more relevant content since it takes more information into account. 

You can create topical content by using pillar pages. These are long-form content pages with overviews and links to other pages or posts that contain more detailed segments. This way, you have in-depth information available, and a site that is more organized. This, therefore, makes it easier for search engines to scan, and shows that your site has a wealth of information relating to the topic that would satisfy the searcher’s query. 

Conducting Keyword Research

There are many ways you can go about conducting keyword research, but here are the basic steps:

  • Understand who your audience is and what they want
  • Determine which topics you’d like to have related to your business
  • Analyze the online searches occurring online 
  • See what’s in demand (with search volumes) and which keywords your competitors are using
  • Create topic clusters that you’ll base your SEO content creation on

Putting Keywords Into Action

Once you have completed the keyword research, you’ll have a framework that you can organize your content and SEO strategy around. You will need to create various types of content that match these keywords. However, for it to be successful it will need to be high quality and provide value. It should also include a unique element to it - see what you can improve upon relating to the content that already exists. This will provide you with a USP and draw customers to your content. 

If you’re just starting out, or working on improving your current content offering, be sure to consider the inbound methodology and the buyer’s journey. This way, you’ll be creating helpful content for various stages of a customer’s journey, which means you’re better able to nurture them through the sales cycle. 

The Final Word

That wraps up the in’s and out’s of all things keywords. These remain a critical part of SEO efforts and activities. By conducting thorough keyword research and tailoring your content accordingly, you’ll have better-performing content. Remember, this needs to be updated on an ongoing basis, as customers and their needs change. 

Need help with your SEO? Speak with us at Nexa. We’ve got a range of SEO services to boost your presence and performance online.