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Keyword research is still such a crucial aspect when it comes to modern SEO. My team at here at SEO Company takes keyphrases seriously when creating an seo strategy.

Unlike popular belief on the evolution of SEO that keyword research has been done with and is not as important as it was, good quality keywords are one of the easiest ways to get consistent, quality traffic to your website.

So what is Keyword Research?

It is the process of researching the common industry specific terms and phrases that are driving search traffic in SERPs.

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  • In other words it is the search for the words and phrases that people are using when they are searching for information within your industry on the internet.

    This means that these terms can be related to the product and services that are on your site. Once you understand your audience and what they are looking for you may have possibly hacked keyword seo!

    The Best Possible Out Comes You Could Get From Banking On Keyword Research

    1. Keyword Research could potentially bring you traffic. This is because you will be ranking for exactly what the people are searching for. This means that you would be giving them exactly what they want.
    2. High Conversion Rate– If people are looking for products and services within your industry that you are ranking for, this means that you will be getting more than just clicks to your website. You could generate sales, leads or affiliate earnings if you have a great strategy.
    3. You are sure about the exact keywords that you would rank for and can come up with a great target strategy for every one of your web pages.
    4. You will definitely identify your competitors. These are the people that would already be ranking for the keywords that are running your industry. You can also borrow a leaf from other aspects other than their Keyword SEO strategy.
    5. You get a rough estimate of the size of your potential audience , a metric that is useful in setting marketing goals and creating growth plans.

    The Different Types Of Keywords That You Will Come Across.

    When carrying out your keyword research you may come across the following types of keywords.

    Short-Tail Keyword.

    As the name suggests, Short Tail Keywords are short phrases that people input on the search engine. They are sometimes referred to as head keywords, seed keywords or focus keywords.  A short tail keyword can be a word as short as “car”. 

    With Short tail keywords you may not be able to place the exact intent for the search. It could actually be anything ranging from “ car hiring services” to “car mechanic services”. For this reason, it is hard to rank these kinds of keywords.

    It is however very important to note that audiences will usually use short tail keywords when they are at the very first step of researching for stuff.

    Here is an example of what a short tail keyword can look like.

    car hire search result

    Long-Tail Keywords.

    These consist of more than three words. This  makes them more specific compared to short tail keywords, with a higher search volume and low competitiveness also. 

    With Long tail keywords you are definitely able to pinpoint the intent of the audience.

    Here is an example of what a long tail keyword can look like.

    Screen Shot 2021 10 14 at 5.06.25 PM

    Short-term fresh keywords.

    These are keywords that come up seasonally, or keywords that have been hyped recently.

    They could come up from the release of a movie, a tragedy happening or something newsworthy that has the world on its toes happening.

    Short term keywords will usually end after the story is long forgotten so it is important to leverage on them as they happen to at least have some traffic to your website.

    Screen Shot 2021 10 14 at 5.08.23 PM

    Long-Term Evergreen Keyword.

    Evergreen keywords are keywords that remain relevant all the time.

    The search volume for evergreen keywords will usually sometimes fluctuate but this doesn’t usually cause extreme changes.

    This means that from the moment you put up articles or have long term keywords within your webpages there will still be users that will search and want to read about them wvwn two years from when they were used.

    This would then mean that for long term evergreen keywords you would need to write articles that age gracefully or better yet, you could keep updating these kind of articles and web pages just to keep them fresh.

    The best example of an evergreen keywords are the words that ring around educational and informative content.

    A good example is “ What is SEO.” This is a great example of an evergreen long tail keyword because there will always be someone that will want what SEO is about!

    Here is an example of a Long term Evergreen Keyword from Google Trends.

    The search volume for the word SEO over the past 90 days to show that this is indeed an evergreen key-word.
    search volume for the word SEO

    Product Defining Keywords.

    These are keywords that will usually talk about your product. Searchers looking for product keywords will usually be looking for something very specific and this means that this is one of the most important types of keywords to get right. See this Kitchen Appliances Case Study.

    showing product keywords

    When searchers are looking for product keywords, it is usually during the early stages of purchasing. This implies that you would need to be very specific and detailed with describing your product to stand a chance for a conversion.

    Just like long term keywords, product defining keywords will usually have a low competitive rate.

    Customer Defining keyword.

    These keywords target a buyer persona. Your buyer persona is the person that buys or will likely buy your service or product. They are in other words your target audience.

    The more in time you can be with their characteristics the better you can use this information to your advantage.

    Something like knowing your persona’s exact size and height if you are in the clothing business can be a great example of how you can use customer defining keywords.

    customer Defining keyword.

    A great place to start is using your customer testimonials that can tell them how your products can benefit them.

    Customer defining keywords will usually have a low search volume, low competitive rate, they tailored to specific people and address your customers

    Geo-Targeting Keywords.

    As part of your Local SEO strategy you can actually target a specific neighborhood, city or state using geo target keywords. These kinds of keywords can especially be used when targeting local customers to your storefront.

    local geo targeting keywords

    So now that we have learnt what keywords are about? You might be wondering, where can I start keyword research?

    We have a great breakdown of the tools that you can use for Keyword research.

    Google Tools Used In Keyword Research

    Google Search Console

    This is a free service offered by Google that monitors, maintains and troubleshoots your website’s presence in Google search results. 

    You can leverage on Google Console by using it to look for terms that you are thinking of bidding on.

    Here is an example of how Google Search Console works.

    An Image showing click results by Google Console for a bf suma website together with the most searched queries on the same
    Google Search Console as a keyword research tool

    Here are some of the best practices when using Google Console for your keyword research;

    1. You should always keep relevance in mind when looking for keywords using Google Console. Always ensure that the keywords align with user intent.
    2. Use the data insights provided by google console to record popular search terms in order for you to widen the scope of your advertising campaign.  

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Unlike Google Console, Google Keyword Planners offers in-depth analytics especially on the statistical trends of keywords.

    Google Keyword Planner in A Nutshell; 

    When you navigate to the “Discover new keywords” tab, you will need to enter a keyword in the search bar.

    Google Keywords Planner shows you a list of trending keywords that are relevant to your specified domain. It also shows some metrics on the keywords that you would need to know about as shown below.

    Image showing how the google keyword planner works in Keyword research.
    Google Keyword planner for keyword SEO

    Here are some of the metrics that you will find and what they mean;

    • Competition – A higher competition score indicates that  the keyword has been used by lots of people.You want to find keywords with lower competition scores, as it will be easier to rank with these.
    • Search volume – This is the number of monthly searches that are made online with this keyword. A high search volume tells you that this is popular among users, and could attract a lot of site traffic.

     Google Trends

    Google Trends
    Google Trends

    Google Trends is a free tool that shows you the popularity of specific keywords in Google searches. You can enter a keyword in the search bar, and the program will generate a graph that indicates the use of that keyword over time.

    Marketers can use Google trends to learn about;

    • keyword trends,
    • obtaining information on demographics,
    • similar topics,
    • and related search queries.

     Google’s “People Also Ask”

    If you are searching for questions people are asking, Google is a great resource. If you enter a query with your keyword, often a section displays called “People also ask”. It looks like this

    A snippet of Google' People Also Ask related to a searchers question on car hire services. This is a key word research tool that can direct you towards what people are also searching for.
    People also ask for For keyword research.

    Here you will see popular keyword queries related to your keyword that people have searched for on Google. The more “People also ask” entries you click, the longer the list will become. You can keep clicking selections until you have an extensive list of related questions. 

    Free keyword research tools

    Keyword Surfer

    Keyword Surfer is a new keyword research  tool that plugs right into the Chrome web browser. When it’s on, results automatically display on the right side of your results page each time you enter a search term.

    The data delivered by Keyword Surfer includes:

    • Keyword ideas with their volume
    • Cost per click (CPC) for each search term
    • Pages that rank for the term you entered
    • Traffic to pages ranked 1 through 10 for that term

    Answer The Public.

    AnswerThePublic is a great place to see raw search insights. After you enter your search term(s), it displays the questions people are asking related to that topic. The results are shown in a graphic display with all the who, what, where, when, why and other questions users ask.

    It’s a powerful way to generate keyword ideas and see what your potential customers actually want to know. You can download the data as a graph or a list.

    Search on Car hire zeroing in on Kenya using Answer The Public's free version. Answer the Public is a keyword research tool.
    Car Hire search using Answer The Public.
    The results from searching on car hire in Kenya using Answer the Public a Keyword research tool.
    Results from searching on car hire

    There is one con for this tool: With a limit of 3 free searches a day, you have to be thoughtful about each phrase you search.

    Keyword Sheeter

    Keyword Sheeter pulls autocomplete results from Google. It delivers real-time data on what people are typing into the search engine.

    If you want to generate a long list of keyword ideas fast, Keyword Sheeter is an excellent choice. It pulls about 1,000 ideas per minute, and exporting your list is free.

    It’s a simple and powerful resource to identify ideas for blog topics. However, the free features of Keyword Sheeter do not include search volume or data on how competitive it is to rank for a phrase.

    A snippet of how Keyword sheeter works, showing the search results for the word :" Car Hire Nairobi"
    Keyword Sheeter results for ” car hire Nairobi”

    Freemium keyword research tools

    A few of the premium paid websites offer free tools for limited use.

    You get the same outstanding services provided by the premium services for a limited number of searches or fewer features. Even so, they are comprehensive free keyword research tools.

    SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool

    Semrush Keyword Magic Tool is one of several free tools offered by SEO giant Semrush. To access their free tools, create an account and select Skip Trial. You can always sign up for the paid service down the road if you’d like.

    The Keyword Magic Tool gives you access to more than 20 billion keywords from over 120 geographical databases.

    Screen shot showing a keyword search for Car Hire in Nairobi during the last month using SEMrush Keyword Magic tool.
    Keyword SEMrush tool for keyword research.

    Ubersuggest

    Ubersuggest provides a wealth of information with its free version. When you enter a search term, it displays the search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, and CPC.

    Immediately beneath that display, it identifies the number of backlinks you would need to rank on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase.

    As you scroll down, you can view lists of keyword ideas and page content ideas.

    The list of page content ideas displays related blog titles. At a glance, you can see how many people click on and share each article. You can export most of your data reports to CSV to save and sort. Ubersuggest provides a free Chrome extension to see data right on the SERP easily.

    The free version limits your use to a single website and 3 keyword searches per day.

    Keyword research results from searching the word Car Hire using the keyword research tool Ubersuggest by Neil Patel.
    Uber suggest ‘Car hire’ Keyword result.

    Moz Keyword Explorer

    Moz Keyword Explorer is an attractive and well-laid-out keyword research tool. You can see monthly volume, organic difficulty, organic click-through rate (CTR), and a priority score for each search term.

    The organic CTR displays how many people who use the term follow through and click on one of the results. The priority score aggregates the difficulty, opportunity, and volume to show you in a simple score how likely you are to rank for that keyword phrase.

    Keyword Explorer delivers a long list of keyword suggestions for each term, with monthly search volume and relevancy.

    An Overview of the serps analysis on Car hire in Kenya done by Moz Keyword Explorer.
    Serps Analysis on Car Hire In Kenya done by Moz Explorer.

    SUMMARY;

    Getting your Keyword research correct can go a long way in ensuring that you get indexed for keywords that people are actually using. You need to always ensure that you look keenly using the tools at how keywords keep changing and coming up. This together with other SEO strategies will have you at the top of all SERPs.

    The best 5 Keyword tools
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