Knowing what keywords your customers use when they conduct their searches can place your brand in the right place at the right time. If your business is visible in their searches, it will just be a matter of time before they arrive at your website or business page.
This is why it’s essential to know how to do keyword research and keyword targeting for your business.
Do you know what words your potential customers are using when they conduct their searches? What keywords are they typing in Google to find the products or services they are looking for?
According to Moz, . It involves finding out what words and phrases people are using in Google and other major search engines so you know what to target and rank for.
But it can take more than selecting and using the right keywords. Search engines take into consideration a lot of factors in ranking the web pages, which is why an SEO campaign should start with keyword research and keyword targeting.
Whether you’ve opted to hire an agency that offers , or you’re implementing your campaign on your own, it’s key to know these 6 points on how to go about with keyword research and keyword targeting for your business.
1. Know your audience and understand their search intent
Graphic by DigitalMarketer
First, you need to know who your audience is. What kind of information do they want to know? What are they interested in?
Next, you would have to then factor in the intent. Some users are not looking to buy services or products. Some of them just want to learn something. Others may simply want to be entertained. Looking into the ‘why’ is therefore important, maybe as much as determining the actual keywords.
Without researching intent, you’ll miss a crucial step in the keyword research and keyword targeting process.
Backlinko reports that RankBrain (Google’s algorithm) looks at how Google searchers interact with . For a specific keyword, it changes the weight importance of several items like backlinks and domain authority. From there, it checks to see how the changes affect user interaction.
So make sure that the modifiers added to your keyword are appropriate to your user’s intent. If they are looking for information, add ‘what’ or ‘how’ your product works. If you think they are ready to transact, include ‘how much’ or ‘order’ in your keywords.
2. Identify broad topics and keywords that are relevant to your business
Graphic by HubSpot
Now that you know who your audience is and how they think, what’s next? It’s important to understand how will they notice you. Take a look at cases of badly targeted sites that have little to no audience. It all boils down to the fact that they weren’t able to capture the attention of their market.
Below are some suggestions on how to study your target niche that will guide you on how to do keyword research and keyword targeting:
- Communicate and get to know your customers better. Find out which words they use to describe your product, service, or company.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you were to share your product with them, what are the words you’ll use to describe it?
- Check with blogs, comments, and social media networks. Read the forums. Find out any common problems occurring in your market.
With a broader understanding of the situation, you develop more insight into their experience. You’ll also be able to gather more keywords to associate with your original target keywords.
3. Analyze your competitors’ sites for the keywords they are targeting and performing well on
Clearly, conducting a keyword analysis for your company alone is not quite enough. You can very much learn from your competitor and their efforts as well. Top marketer Neil Patel is an advocate of .
Learning the competitiveness of various keywords will help you to determine keywords that might be too hard to rank for. It will also help you discover the keywords where you will have a good chance of ranking for.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be afraid of going after competitive keywords. You just need to be aware that it could be tougher to get to the top of the search results.
4. Choose a mix of primary and long-tail when conducting keyword targeting
Graphic by Moz
Make sure you are using a good balance of head keywords and long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords usually have four or more keywords and are more specific with the intent of your consumer. While it targets a more specific topic or product, it usually garners lesser clicks. But take note that it’s very valuable as it has more chances of getting a higher conversion rate.
Head keywords, on the other hand, are shorter and more generic and may have multiple customers intent. They’re more likely to have more competition and high volume but lower conversion rates.
It’s good SEO practice to have a mix of primary keywords and long term keywords. This way, you’ll have a keyword strategy that’s well suited for long term goals and short-term wins.
5. If you are using Google Ads: add negative keywords in your keyword research
If you can target a specific keyword, then you can also target NOT to show another keyword.
The ultimate goal of using negative keywords in AdWords is to lower the number of irrelevant visitors.
Google defines as a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Also known as a negative match, your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. is one of the best keyword research tools you can use to collect a list of negative keywords.
6. Formulate your keyword strategy and how you plan to use them
When you’re done conducting keyword research and keyword targeting, then it’s time to create a keyword strategy.
By now you already know how to do keyword research: you’ve discovered your user’s intent, your competitor’s performance, and other information that may affect your keyword. Your strategy will then be coming from these data.
Yoast defines keyword strategy as in your keyword research project.
Keyword strategy determines how you use keywords in your web site or campaigns. Without a keyword strategy, a company might lose a lot of money on paid advertising, or it may just go after any keyword without understanding its value.
Ultimately, keyword research and keyword targeting require a proper understanding of your company, your users, your competitors, and search engines. By doing your analysis through the best keyword research tools available and developing your keyword strategy, you ensure that your SEO efforts are directed properly.
Learning how to do keyword research and keyword targeting for your business is your preparation to meet your customers online. It aligns your brand’s language to that of your potential clients so it will be easier to help them along the buyer’s journey.
Because these SEO tasks can take some time and effort, most companies benefit from enlisting the help of an agency that offers SEO services. Their professional advice can prove useful in keyword research and keyword targeting.
To talk about the keyword strategy for your business, .