Your keyword research methods could make or break your SEO campaign. But not all forms of keyword research are worthwhile for every site. Depending on the type of business you are running, the competition you face, and a host of other factors, the way you approach keyword research could change drastically.
Why Does Keyword Research Matter?
Keyword research is like plotting your course before you take a road trip. Even if you are relying on your favorite GPS app, you will probably at least take a look at the directions to see what sights you’ll be passing or how long you’ll be traveling for.
Well, trying to rank a website without proper keyword research is like not even opening the app at all. It’s like leaving your map at home and hoping you arrive at your destination.
Sure, you might make it. But it will probably be more thanks to luck than anything else.
Keyword research provides you with a clear set of goals to reach. That way, at any point on your SEO journey, you can easily measure how well your efforts are going.
Intimidated by the prospect of doing keyword research on your own? Let one of the freelance keyword specialists on Legiit do it for you.
Keyword Research Methods and Concepts
As we said, there is no silver bullet when it comes to keyword research. Here are some of the most important concepts to keep in mind when it comes to finding the keyword research method that works for you.
Search volume is probably one of the first factors that most people look at when choosing keywords. If you can rank for a term that gets 5,000 searches a month, for example, you will certainly bring in a decent flow of traffic.
But don’t make the mistake of discounting low volume search terms altogether. Often, they are more focused and easier to rank for. Ranking for 10 keywords with volume 100 will bring in the same amount of traffic as a single keyword with volume 1000, after all.
Another reason that you can’t measure the value of a keyword simply by it’s search volume is due to the intent of the user. For example, the term “LED lights meaning” gets about 4,000 searches per month, whereas “best LED bulbs” gets half as much.
However, the latter term is being searched by people who are obviously in the market for LED bulbs. They have “buyer intent”. Someone who is just looking to learn the meaning of LED lights could simply be doing a science project for school. They most likely have informational intent.
Now this doesn’t mean you should only target keywords with a certain intent. It just means that intent is one of the many factors you need to weigh against each other. Often, a good keyword research plan is centered around buyer keywords that are then supported with posts targeting more informational keywords.
Hand-in-hand with user intent is the profitability of keywords. This is about asking yourself “Compared to other search terms, how much more or less will this one earn me?”
Often, this is a question that affiliate marketers need to ask when they are choosing their niche. If they are trying to choose between two different products to promote, for example, and the keywords are mostly similar on other factors, it would make sense to choose the niche with higher prices or better commissions.
After all, it doesn’t matter if you are selling screwdrivers or power saws. You are going to pay the same amount for content, guest post links, etc. So if both sets of keywords are equally competitive, you are probably better off going after the power saws.
Of course, actually measuring the competitiveness of a keyword isn’t always easy. You usually have to weigh multiple factors. Here are some of the most common approaches:
Authority Metrics, such as Moz’s domain authority, and Ahrefs’ domain rating, attempt to assess the overall strength of a particular website. These numbers can be useful for getting a ballpark idea of what you are up against. Just keep in mind that people can manipulate these metrics in various ways, so they rarely paint the full picture.
Backlink Analysis allows you to see the number and authority of your competitors’ links. This is an integral part of keyword research because, in general, you are going to need to get more and better links than the pages you are trying to outrank. Of course, quality is more important than quantity, so don’t be intimidated by sites with hundreds of links from spammy sources.
Content Depth helps you determine approximately how good your content needs to be to climb up page one. If all of the ranking pages contain 3000 words of in-depth information, you probably won’t be able to rank well with a hastily written 500 words.
Long-tail keywords are the low hanging fruit of keyword research methods. These are longer, more specific search terms which are usually lower in volume but higher in user intent.
For example, “twin bed sheets” is likely a very competitive term with a wide range of intents. However the long-tail “reversible twin bed sheets for kids” is much more narrow in focus. It’s going to get less search volume, but that also means a lot less competition.
While it might seem unprofitable to target long-tails because of their comparatively low search volume, they actually account for 70% of all searches on the internet. That means when you target long-tails en masse, you are aiming at a larger share of searches with lower competition overall.
Let An Expert Do The Hard Work For You
As you can see, there are a lot of different factors to weigh when you are doing keyword research.
If you’re going to be building a lot of websites, or if you are going to be managing your own SEO campaign from start to finish, it is definitely worth learning these keyword research methods.
But if you are looking to get it done right the first time, it’s one of the easiest tasks to outsource. There are plenty of skilled keyword research specialists who offer their services on Legiit. Find the one that’s right for you so that you can get your SEO campaign underway as soon as possible.