Conducting keyword research
– [Instructor] A big portion of SEO is choosing the right keywords to organize your site around; keyword research will help you understand what people are searching for, and you can use this information to build your content, or even steer your business in a different direction; you’ll also use these keywords when you’re buying your paid ads. Now, to get an initial list of keywords, we’ll start by thinking about our target audience; let’s put ourselvesin their shoes, and visualize them sitting in front of their computer; what are they thinking?What are they looking for? We want to arrive at what words they might enter into Google, and this is the list that you’ll use as your starting point, and then we can work further; let’s say, for example, we’re selling carpet cleaning services; we have two strategies, first, we want to rank for terms related to our local office, so perhaps, that’s carpet cleaning Santa Barbara, or carpet cleaners Santa Barbara.
We might also want to write articles on topics that are most interesting to people, say, removing stains from carpet or furniture, and to really know what to focus on, we should explore the popularity of those terms; if I knew that 10,000 people were searching for steam carpet cleaning Santa Barbara, and only 1,000 were searching for carpet cleaningSanta Barbara, I would definitely spend my effort writing content around steam cleaning.Likewise, if red wine stains are more popular than juice stains, we would know where to start with our articles, so let’s look deeper into this concept; I’ll start by visiting Google.com, and simply typing in carpet cleaner, now, right away, when we start typing, Google is going to offer us suggestions, and this is incredibly valuable.
These suggestions are what people are searching for; these are the most popular searches related to what we’re typing, so we can see that the most popular search near me, is carpet cleaning Santa Barbara, and these results are local, meaning if you were to run this search on the east coast, you’re going to see very different results, so we have carpet cleanersSanta Barbara, carpet cleaner rental Santa Maria, machine, and various other cities. So let’s say I add a space, and now I type in the letter n; right away, I’m getting a variety of ideas that I haven’t even thought of before.
For example, carpet cleaner natural, carpet cleaner non toxic, carpet cleaner not spraying water; these are things that are incredibly important to my target audience; if I had a natural carpet cleaning solution, I might offer up a page on my website that targets that keyword; let’s start by typing in removing red, and right away, I see removing red winestains, removing red wine, removing red wine stain from carpet, and so on. As you can see, I can use this to start getting ideas for my articles; I could type in removing wine stains, and now I see it’s not just wine stains, but it’s from leather, from wood, from wood furniture,from clothing and so on; we can also change removing wine, to removing juice, and now I see juice stains from carpet, juice stains from couch, from leather and so on.
I think you’re getting the idea, here, so this allows us to start building lists around ideas that Google suggests; now, there are tools that can help automate this process, so for example, I can check out keywordtool.io, and I can type in removing juice, and simply hit search, and I’m going to get a ton of search results related to this; this goes on and on and on, and this is a quick and easy way to start generating article ideas and keyword ideas for your SEO efforts.
Now, you will have to pay to see the search volume data, but I’m gonna show you how to get that from Google in just a minute, so the next thing we need to do, is look at the actual results; I’m gonna go back to Google.com, and type in carpet cleaning Santa Barbara; we want to look at these results, we need to understand if they’re related; who are our competitors? What does it look like they’re writing in their title tags and their meta descriptions? We might also, just want to type in, say for example, steam cleaning; we need to understand if this keyword is relevant to what we’d be writing an article about, now, in this case, sure, the results are about carpet cleaning, which means that steam cleaning is likely related to carpet cleaning, but if we saw a ton of articles that were steam cleaning your appliances, or steam cleaning your clothing, we might not want to focus on that term,and we would remove it from our list of keywords.
So what we want to do from here, is take all of these keywords that we’ve generated, either doing that manually, through following auto suggest, by doing our own research, or using a third party tool; then, we’re gonna take that list, and put that data into Google’s keyword tool, and that’s available to you if you setup an AdWords account; I’m gonna get there, by going to adwords.google.com, and I’ll login with my AdWords account. Once you’re logged in, I’ll select the tools icon in the upper, right hand corner, and select keyword planner from the first column, and in this section, we have two areas; we have the option to find new keywords, as well as the option to get metrics and forecasts, now, the metrics and forecasts are helpful for AdWords, but what we wanna look at is this area, labeled Find new keywords.
Let’s type in a couple of the keywords that we looked at earlier, now, Google’s only gonna allow you to add up to three keywords at a time, but we’ll still see a ton of great ideas, and look at their search volumes; from here, I’ll choose GET STARTED; right away, we see a list of ideas on the right hand side, as well as a range of searches; I can sort this by selecting the column, so here, we see all of the low volume searches, 10 to 100 average searches per month, and this is going to be keywords that we likely aren’t interested in.
I can sort the other way, and I can see a ton of very, highly popular keywords, 10 to 100,000 searches per month; we also have the ability of seeing how competitive these terms are, this is another great way to look through this list and identify which keywords are not only relevant and valuable, but which ones are popular. Now, because Google has restricted this, to only allowing you to type in three keywords at a time, this isn’t going to be helpful for your entire list, so you might want to use a third- party tool, and Moz has one, called the Keyword Explorer, and you can find that at Moz.com/explorer; now, this is a paid service, but it works just the same; you can add a keyword or upload a list of keywords, and if you have an account, you’d be able to view the search volume for that keyword, as well as all the other keywords you provided; you can also use a site like SEMrush.com, and what this’ll do, is allow you to enter in a domain or a competitor’s domain, and see all of the keywords that they’re ranking for.
This is another great way to identify what’s going on in the search world, as either a way to create your pages, or your articles; remember, the more keywords that you’re trying to target, the more effort, so prioritize them based on where you see the biggest value, and start small; optimize a few pages, and then scale up as you find more and more opportunities.