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The Guide To SEO Keyword Research Success in 2023

You can’t utilize your SEO marketing strategy if you aren’t using the best keywords. But keywords are much more than just words that relate to your brand. With our NEW Beginners Guide to Keyword Research, you’ll have the know-how and resources to choose the best keywords for your business and brand.

What are Keywords Anyway?

If you’ve done any SEO research, you have seen the term “keyword” all over the place. That’s because the right keywords are the key to SEO optimization. Keywords are the words and phrases that describe what your content is all about, and they’re the things your target audience will be typing into the search bar. The keywords you choose to incorporate on your site and in your SEO practices will determine where and when your page will appear in Google’s SERPs. When a user searches for something in Google’s search bar, Google shows them the best results for their search, which are determined by the keywords of different sites.

Why Do Keyword Research in 2023?

We have already established that keywords are critical to the success of your SEO strategies and, in the same way, your business. So it only makes sense that keyword research is necessary to ensure you aren’t wasting your time.

To show up on the SERPs for your target audience, you need to include the keywords they’re searching for in your content and links, which are some of the top-ranking factors for your SEO. Keywords and SEO are so closely linked that you’ll want to ensure you have a list of keywords matching your users’ search. A well-thought-out keyword list can mean the difference between a site visit and a resultant sale, so it’s well worth your time and resources to ensure you have a stellar keyword list that you’re implementing in your SEO.

To know your audience, your competition, and your market, you can’t just guess which keywords will best benefit you. You need to do research and both before you build your site and afterward, as well, to see how well your keywords are serving your SEO.

Is Keyword Research Still Relevant in 2023?

Knowing how important the right keywords are to your SEO success tells you that keyword research is still important. However, keyword research doesn’t look the same way it did at the inception of Google.

In the old days of SEO, you could focus on one or two keywords on your page. With all of the online content and the advances in Google’s algorithms and web crawlers, you have to be more original and specific than that.

And it’s with that in mind that we say yes, keyword research is still relevant. In fact, it’s more relevant than ever. With all of the work that goes into strategic SEO and site design, users have no hope of finding you if you aren’t using relevant keywords. Keyword research and tools help you know for sure what will drive traffic to your site, and you won’t have to make your best guess about what words, phrases, and topics will work for you.

Keyword Research Methodology?

Depending on who you ask, there are as few as just a couple and as many as 18 (or more!) keywords for you to utilize. We’ll outline four common keyword types and explain how each can boost your rankings and optimize your SEO efforts.

Understanding Keyword Types

Short-Tail Keywords – As the name suggests, these keywords are short, usually three or fewer. These are more generic and are used to bring a variety of users to your site.

Long-Tail Keywords – These keywords are longer and more specific than short-tail keywords. Use long-tail keywords to draw in a more targeted audience looking for specific products or services that you offer.

Fresh Keywords – Fresh keywords offer an explosive search volume surrounding a popular word or topic. Fresh keywords don’t remain relevant for long, so you’ll need to monitor their effectiveness and make changes after the hype surrounding the keyword has died down.

Evergreen Keywords – Evergreen keywords are relevant all of the time. Even a few years after you publish an article focused on an evergreen keyword, it will still be authoritative, even if it might need some minor updating now and then.

What Makes A Perfect SEO Keyword?

Choosing that perfect keyword is difficult, if not impossible. We’ve outlined eight key components of the perfect SEO keyword. If your keyword doesn’t fit all of these points, it’s ok. Find a balance, incorporate that keyword, then do follow-up research to ensure it’s helping you get the traffic you want.

  1. High Search Volume – You want to ensure you’re choosing keywords that are being searched for. Using the right tools and doing your research will help you know which keywords have a high search volume and can bring the most visitors to your site.
  2. Relevance – The keywords you choose need to be accurate. That is, they should reflect what you offer.
  3. Strong Conversion Value – Ultimately, your keywords should lead to a sale. Choose words that will attract an audience ready to make a purchase or, at the very least, visit your page.
  4. Reasonable – Just because a keyword is high-ranking doesn’t mean you should choose to focus on it on your site. Some keywords are so overused that you’ll have no chance of ranking with them. Be realistic and choose keywords that you can expect to rank with.
  5. Specific – Choose keywords that are specific to what you have to offer. For example, if you sell handmade shoes for children, don’t focus on “children’s shoes.” By being specific, you have a better chance of targeting users who are ready to buy.
  6. Audience Appeal – At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you think of your keyword if it’s not attracting your target audience. Think like a user. What do they want? What do they need? Formulate your keywords and phrases with them in mind.
  7. Competitive – Study your competition. What keywords are they targeting? Take notes, then formulate your keyword lists based on their actions. This helps you see what you might be overlooking and will help you broaden your list.
  8. It’s Proven – Don’t stop evaluating your keywords once you publish. Using keyword research and analytic tools will help you see if your keyword choice is effective.

How To Understand Keyword Intent

When you’re doing keyword research and formulating a strategy for your SEO, one of the most important jobs you have is understanding the searcher. Why are they searching the keywords that they are searching for? Understanding the thought process of the searcher will help you better meet their needs and pull them onto your site by using keywords and phrases that will provide the solutions they are looking for.

What Do Searchers Want?

There are a few types of keyword intent:

  1. High Intent – The user wants to make a purchase immediately or shortly. You’ll see terms revolving around purchases, deals, shipping, etc.
  2. Informational Intent – The user is looking for more information on their search. These users aren’t typically ready to pull out their wallets, but they make great leads for future purchases.
  3. Transactional Intent – Transactional intent users are the happy medium between the two users mentioned above. These searchers want more information before they decide to buy, but they are in a prime position to find out which product is best for them and then purchase it.
  4. Navigational Intent – When searchers use brand or specific company names, this is called navigational intent, and these users usually know exactly who they’re looking up and what they want. Your job is to make sure you make their journey to your page and to the product they want as easy as possible.

10 Keyword Research Tips

Keyword choice should never be just a guess. Here are ten tips to help you think more critically when considering your keywords.

  1. Know your audience’s problems – Your SEO efforts aim to bring traffic to your site and show your users that you have the solution they’re looking for. But to do this, you need to know what they need. Figure out your audience’s problems, then use related words in your keyword list to draw them in.
  2. Use their language – Unless you’re focused on a niche item that attracts users familiar with industry jargon, don’t use it. Speak the language of your audience, using terms they’ll understand.
  3. Understand the important topics – If you’re providing a product or service, you need to be an authority on what you have to offer. Know the topics related to your products and use relevant terms to attract users. Being well-versed helps your SEO and makes you a better resource for consumers coming to you for help and information.
  4. Use negative keywords – Negative keywords are words you don’t want to target. By adding negative keywords, you ensure that your site stays off of the SERPs that don’t necessarily apply to you.
  5. Capitalize on local business – If you’re a small business, you have a special SEO advantage that others don’t. Target local buyers with localized keywords and phrases. The most effective way to do this is to do keyword research to determine what other local businesses are focusing on as far as keywords are concerned.
  6. Scope out the competition – Your competition can be one of your site’s greatest sources of information regarding keyword focuses. Analyzing their keyword usage is one of the easiest—yet most undervalued—ways to perform research.
  7. Choose low competition keywords – Keywords that are so common that everyone is using them will do you no good. Choose keywords with lower competition, about 1,000 searches per month, and you’ll have a better chance of getting ranked and clicks.
  8. Search like a user– Most of your users go to Google to find what they need. Google’s algorithm has created predictive text in the search bar to better serve users and get clicks. To see what folks are searching for, do a search yourself. Enter in a keyword or phrase you want to focus on in your SEO and see what pops up. This can help you get new ideas for your keyword list from an entity that knows its users very well.
  9. Know trends – Seasonal trends can greatly affect your keyword strategies. If you have a product or service that’s seasonal, or if you can market it as such, utilize keywords that play into seasonal sales, like “Christmas,” “Mother’s Day,” “Independence Day,” “Summertime,” etc.
  10. Take advantage of tools– There are many tools specifically crafted for SEO to help you conduct legitimate keyword research. Take advantage of them! They’ll take out a lot of the guesswork of keyword choosing to help you know what works and doesn’t.

How to Expand Your SEO Keywords

Sometimes, you have to think outside the box to make an impression. Here are seven unique yet effective places to boost your keyword lists.

  1. Your competition – We’ve mentioned this before, but do not neglect to scope out your competition! They’re a minefield of valuable keyword information and can help you expand your lists.
  2. Google –Google itself can help you broaden your keyword lists. Instead of only using the predictive text as we mentioned above, input your keyword followed by “most popular site/articles.” You’ll stumble upon the best-of-the-best sites using your keyword. See what other keywords they’re using, then add them to your arsenal.
  3. Amazon – Amazon is a fantastic place to discover what users are searching for. Input a product related to the services or products you offer. Then peruse the product description, FAQs, and even other ads to get ideas for new keywords.
  4. Wikipedia – Wikipedia is an encyclopedia created and used by the very people you’re trying to market to. Search for your niche, then see what keywords and phrases are used on the information page.
  5. Quora – Quora is where everyone gets their questions answered, no matter the topic. You can type in your specific industry or product, look over questions and answers, and see what people are asking. Plus, you can even answer questions yourself, providing a way to get your name out to the people who could be potential customers.
  6. Search other than Google – Google is the king of search engines. No one will dispute that. But they aren’t the only engines out there. Check out Bing, Yahoo, and anyone else and utilize their predictive text algorithm to see what people are already searching for. You’re tapping into a different market of users, so you’re bound to get different keywords that you haven’t gotten from Google.
  7. The Thesaurus – Users’ approaches to searching are as varied as they are. Input keywords into a trusty thesaurus to see what comes up. You’d be surprised at how many ways you can say the same thing once you start researching.

Best Keyword Research Tools in 2023

One of the best ways to carry out keyword research is to take advantage of the tools specifically created! You have a ton of options for research tools, but we’ve narrowed the list to give you our top five.

  1. Soovle – Soovle gathers suggested keywords from many different search engines all in one place. It’s super user-friendly, so it’s perfect even if you’re new to the SEO game.
  2. Google Keyword Planner – You trust Google for everything else, and they have a tool to help every SEO need, including keyword research, so why not utilize it? It’s super simple, but it’s an incredibly accurate data source.
  3. Jaaxy – In addition to being a keyword generator, Jaaxy also gives you data on each keyword generated, so you can know the how and why regarding keyword effectiveness.
  4. SEMrush – Comprehensive and a self-proclaimed “All-in-one marketing toolkit,” SEMrush provides a concentrated list of keywords instead of a more expansive list like other tools. This can help you focus on your target audience and attract buying folks.

Keywords are essential to your SEO strategy, as we’ve emphasized over and over. This guide gives you all the info you need to optimize your keyword research and see real SEO results in 2023.