Is keyword research worth in 2017? Focus on strategies and tools

As we know, keyword research is the foundation of SEO and it should represent the first step when undertaking SEO campaigns. Keyword research is not only useful when doing SEO but it is also highly effective for PPC campaigns (AdWords) or social media marketing (SMM).

In 2017 keyword research has the same importance as it had in 2012 but the approach is different. Now it is more about the user intent and the quality of content in order to satisfy it. Search engines became more performant and want to provide individuals with the exact type of information they are looking for.

So, the focus is not on how often the main keywords appear in the text (keywords stuffing), but on related keywords. They have to be selected and arranged in a way that creates meaningful content and ranks well in organic search. Keyword research is part of a content marketing strategy.

To gain the right traffic for your site you have to make a list with niche keywords for your landing pages to provide details about your product/service. And in order to build it, use your brain to identify short and long-tail keywords (phrases with more than 4 words). These are the words your potential customers might search on the web.

Also, keyword research tools play a crucial role in assisting you to develop a strong list with suitable phrases and keywords. To complete the list, look at your competition to check their keywords and ranking. Keywords need to be organised by relevance on every page to provide users sufficient info and cover niche topics.

Focus on valuable and targeted content where niche topics are highlighted to provide feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment to your audience. Your customer’s journey on your site has to be smooth and pleasant to arrive at the key pages of your product or service and convert.

Think about niche topics that your target market is interested in and then try to find keywords that reflect them. Use a Word document to have everything structured and in its place.

For keyword research list, Excel is a good choice. You have to build different columns with details about competition, number of searches, title of the page/article and whatever details you find relevant.

When doing keywords research you have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, enter their minds and assess their behaviour to better understand their search queries. Build keywords list by considering the buyer persona profile for your business. Orientate yourself by observing their profile, anticipate what makes them happy, what their hobbies are, what their next move is, etc.

You should have this data that is part of your business and every detail about your customers is welcome when doing keyword research. Get educated about your clients! Keywords are power for SEO.

Select suitable keywords with Google Keywords Planner

A free and simple keyword tools to use for your research is Google Keyword Planner (GKP). It was created for AdWords campaigns but also it is very efficient for marketers when doing on-page SEO.

When using this tool, you have three options from which to select easily the most suitable one for your SEO campaign:

  • Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category
  • Get search volume data and trends
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords

From my experience to generate new keyword ideas I recommend the first option. Use a long-tail keyword and not a simple word to be listed powerful keywords.

Also, this option allows for the possibility to have a perspective on your competitors’ keywords by entering their site in the box. In this manner, the process of ranking is eased and simplified. Thus, it helps you as an entrepreneurs or marketer to focus on the keywords that have a lower competition. Keywords with lower competition possess a greater chance to appear higher in search results.

3 free and worthy keyword research tools for your site

To discover content ideas and keywords in your niche there are three free and worthy tools that can add value to your business:

  1. Answer the public is focusing more on the questions public may ask when searching the web, preposition, long-tail keywords in alphabetical order. So now you got the chance to see what users may be interested to read online. With this tool, you can easily start building authentic content based on audience’s curiosity.
  2. UberSuggest is used to gain body keywords ideas starting from one or two words entered in ‘suggest box‘.  You can then select a keyword suggestion from the list in order to expand it and generate more keyword combinations. 
  3. Keyword Tool is perfect if you as a marketer or entrepreneur search for unique long-tail keywords in order to complete the keyword research list. With this tool, you can find both keyword suggestions and questions but to identify their Search Volume, CPC or AdWords Competition you have to opt for a Pro plan. This is not a problem. There is a solution below.

After you are done with your keyword research list, get search volume data and trends using the second option of Google Keyword Planner. All you have to do is to enter the keywords found in your list or you can upload the file into ‘Get search volume data and trends’ and assess the results. 

In our example, we have related keywords and topic ideas for ‘online marketing‘ and its data for ‘Avg. monthly searches’ and ‘competition’. In case we are interested in starting a PPC campaign through AdWords ‘suggested bid’ matters.

As we can see, the keyword research strategy is more important in 2017 than it was in 2012. Now people search differently and algorithms have been adapted to the new requirements.

I hope this post inspires you to come up with smart ideas for your keyword research strategy.

Good luck with it!