A beginner’s guide to keyword research

A beginner's guide to keyword research

If you work in content writing or e-marketing, there is no doubt that you hear a lot about “keywords” and their importance for improving the search engines of your site, and saving more money as they are an important way to appear in the first search results and reach the target audience, so what are the keywords? Why is it so important in content marketing? These questions and more are answered in this article.

table of contents:

What are the keywords?

We can define keyword research as the process of analyzing and finding a list of keywords with the aim of writing SEO -friendly content or ads. A keyword is a word or phrase that is used to match your content (whether an article or an advertisement) with the terms that people are searching for, and the correct use of keywords helps you in Reaching the target audience, where keywords describe the content of a page. Usually , sites compete in using keywords to appear in the first results of search engines and to bring in visits .

For example: If you work in the field of fashion, then the keywords for this field may be: men’s clothing, women’s clothing, children’s clothing, sports clothing for women, and so on.

The importance of keywords

First: the search engine optimization of the site

The correct use of keywords allows your site to appear in the first results on search engines for free, and thus it contributes significantly to the marketing process, reducing its budget and raising the return on investment , and this is one of the most prominent advantages of keyword research.

Second: reach the target audience

Keywords are important because they represent the link between the content you provide and what people are searching for online, and the main goal of using them is to achieve higher rankings and appear on search engines. When we write specific content, we focus on visitors and potential customers, so we use the keywords that they are looking for, and if we use the wrong keywords, we lose the connection with the user, so using the correct keywords helps us reach the target audience.

Keyword selection criteria

There are a set of characteristics and criteria for choosing keywords, including:

1. Search volume

The first criterion for choosing keywords is the search volume for the keyword, as it provides us with the number of times the keywords were searched for and the average monthly search for them, and thus the amount of potential visits to your site when using a specific keyword. This means that investing in a specific keyword gives you the ability to attract the largest number of visitors, but the most important point remains the level of competition for a specific keyword, and here we move to the second criterion for choosing keywords.

2. Competitiveness

No matter how large the search is on a particular keyword, the amount of competition must be taken into account, the more popular the keyword, the higher the level of competition for it by sites. There are many tools to measure competition for keywords, which we will cover later in this article.

3. Price (CPC)

Each keyword has a specific price, and the cost is summed up in the amount that the advertiser will pay for each click when searching on a specific keyword, so it is important when setting a marketing budget that the cost per click is evaluated when using certain keywords.

4. Word count

By the number of words, we mean those that are included in the phrase, such as “apartments for sale” is a keyword consisting of two words, while “apartments for sale in the Administrative Capital” includes four words, and keywords consisting of more than one word can be more effective in targeting customers accurately.

Types of keywords

There are several types of keywords:

1. Keywords in terms of length

Keywords are divided in terms of length into three sections:

  • Short keyword: It consists of one or two words and is called general keywords, which are the most searched, but what is wrong with them is that the visits to your site will be from a general audience who may not be interested in the product or service you provide, such as: pets.
  • Medium keyword: consists of three or more words, for example: pet food.
  • The long keyword: It consists of the most three words, the search volume on it is low, but it is very specific in terms of reaching potential customers, and it helps in achieving the site distinct from competitors, for example: methods of raising pets or how to raise pets at home.

2. Geographically defined keyword

It is a keyword specific to a geographical location, for example: a dentist in Cairo, or apartments for sale in Agouza, and others. This type of keyword is very useful for business owners and service providers on a local level.

3. Negative keyword

These are the words that you do not want to target in your content. For example, if you work in the field of sunglasses, then you do not target “prescription glasses”, and if you only sell Adidas shoes, for example, “Nike shoes” is a negative word, and so on.

4. The market sector keyword

They are keywords specific to a specific industry or brand, for example: running shoes.

5. The keyword specified by the customer

Search words that identify a specific subset of customers and audiences. Example: women’s running shoes.

6. Brand keywords

They are terms related to a specific brand and the offers it offers, as it refers directly to the company or brand, for example: Carrefour offers on White Friday, Adidas discounts, and so on.

Keyword selection steps

There are a set of steps that you must follow when choosing keywords:

1. Study your current location well

The first step to choosing keywords is to study the current point at which you stand, understand more about your specialty or field of work, and the market in which you operate, and get inspired by new ideas that you can market through, talk to your existing customers and get to know them better, and study the content they are looking for, words and terms. that they use to describe your industry or product and then use it in your content marketing plan.

2. Think in terms of potential customers

It helps to think from the perspective of your customers when writing the content for your site, take advantage of social media and forums, read more about everything your audience needs and explore their strengths and weaknesses.

3. Set your goals

After studying the current location of your business, determine your goal accurately, know the points that distinguish your brand and the things that you will present to the public, and this step is very important, as it will determine the direction of your marketing strategy. Write down these goals accurately and the mechanisms for applying them, because they will serve as a compass on your next journey.

4. Select relevant topics

The third step is to make a list of relevant topics related to your brand. If your brand is for cosmetics for women, the relevant topics will be as follows:

  • Hair care cosmetics.
  • Skin care cosmetics.
  • skin lightening cream, and so on.

Provided that those topics are deeply relevant to your product and that your customers are looking for.

5. Create a list of keywords

Now that you have finished identifying the topics related to your product or site, it is time to make a list of the keywords that your audience is searching for. Select the initial keywords because they will become the cornerstone when searching for keywords in each topic, then the long keywords that contribute to improving the SEO of your site . .

6. Use the keyword tool

This tool will give you a lot of details about the keywords, type the keyword in the search box and you will get several alternative keywords including prepositions and questions related to the search word. Google Keyword Planner also helps you get search volume for specific keywords and estimate traffic for them.

7. Study the purpose of the research “the intent of the audience for the research.”

Search intent is defined as the reason or purpose behind people searching for a particular term. Is the user searching for a specific answer? Or a specific site? Or for the purpose of buying? Put yourself in the place of your target audience and try to understand the purpose of their search, whether to buy a product or obtain specific information and solve a problem they face, and once you are sure of a good understanding of that, you can get keywords that match your goal.

Algorithms of search engines are constantly evolving to better understand users’ traffic on websites, providing them with results close to search words that include misspellings or questions, for example if you search for “Adidas shoes” and type “Adidas” incorrectly, the search engine will show you the close results. and adidas when spelled correctly, the same applies when a user searches for a specific question.

8. Select long-form keywords

It is easy to select short keywords, while selecting long keywords requires more effort, but they help you reach the target audience, for example “chalet for rent” is an initial keyword, but “luxury chalet for rent in the North Coast” is a long keyword that helps you reach the audience you want He is looking for a chalet on the North Coast, not in Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, Matrouh, etc., and so on.

Remember: you choose keywords to reach a specific audience, and thus cast the net in order to catch a specific fish and not all fish. There are a group of errors when searching for keywords that some fall into, including choosing keywords that attract an audience that is not related to the product or service provided.

9. Study your competition

Study the keywords used by your competitors accurately, and monitor and use keywords with low and medium competition. There is a set of tools that help you study competitors, including: Keyword Tool PRO, the paid version of which enables you to analyze the competitor by entering its URL, once this is completed Steps You have accurate keywords that express your product and help you reach the target audience.

The question now, after selecting keywords and preparing their list, where do we put them? If you do not have enough time to study the competing sites for you and prepare a list of keywords, you can use the services of freelancers on the Fiverr platform.

Placement of keywords in the article

There are a group of places to put keywords in the site, which are:

1. Page title

Put the main keyword in the title of the page, the title is usually the first thing that attracts the eye of the reader and the first thing that appears when searching on Google, so it is preferable to include the keywords in the title of the article or page.

2. Subheadings

Subheadings are usually used to clarify the text and put the reader at ease. It is best to use keywords in one or two headings depending on the length of your text. You can also include subheadings within these headings.

3. Introduction

The introduction is the first paragraph of the content you provide, and it is responsible for providing a quick overview of it to the reader or to Google. So, the best place to put your keywords is in the topic introduction.

4. Text used with images

When your content includes a set of images, we usually need text to identify them. Take advantage of this point and find a natural way to include keywords within the text used to define the image.

5. Description of the meta

A meta description is the text that Google displays in search results, and is a brief description of what a user can find on your page. So you can include primary keywords in your meta description.

Keyword research tools

You can search for and obtain keywords either manually or through keyword research tools to improve the search terms you use. Here is a set of keyword research tools that mitigate the obstacles of keyword research, including:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Soovle

Soovle has the advantage that it allows you to get keywords from more than one search engine, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, YouTube, and others.

  • Google Trend

You can use Google Trend to know the trends and forecasts, this tool enables you to know the latest trends in a country and the most important topics and trends, thus understanding the working mechanism of keywords from time to time according to the audience. What distinguishes this tool is that it enables you to choose a specific country to search, and you can specify the search for images, YouTube, news, and others.

  • Keywords Everywhere

Available on Firefox and Google Chrome, this tool enables you to get search volume for specific keywords, competition data, CPC, and more.

  • Google Keyword Planner

This tool will give you a lot of details about the keywords, type the keyword in the search box and you will get several alternative keywords including prepositions and questions related to the search word. Google Keyword Planner also helps you get search volume for specific keywords and estimate traffic for them.

Tips for using keywords

SEO experts know very well how to use keywords to get the site up for the first results. Below we offer you a set of secrets for the correct and effective use of keywords within the site:

1. Think from your customers’ perspective when choosing your keyword list

Type in the keywords that your customers are searching for, then the sub-keywords they are interested in searching for, for example if you sell sportswear, you can start with men’s sportswear, women’s sportswear, children’s sportswear, then you can use sub-keywords like kids’ swimwear and so on.

2. Determine your keywords

Do not make the keywords that you use general, but specify them, for example: if you work in the field of real estate, then the word “apartments for sale” is a very general keyword that does not help you reach your target audience, but the more specific you are, the better. You can use, for example: apartments for sale in Giza, apartments for sale in Dokki, or apartments for sale in the New Capital, and so on. Avoid making your selection too narrow, as this also prevents you from reaching your target audience.

3. Use general keywords

This does not contradict the previous paragraph, as general keywords help you reach a larger number of audiences, but what is wrong with them is that this audience may not be related to the product you offer or have high competition from competitors, although we cannot ignore them. Select a set of general keywords closely related to your site, then use Google’s Smart Bidding.

4. Group similar keywords into one group

When conducting an advertising campaign, it is better to put similar keywords in one group, and to complete the previous example, you can run one ad campaign about apartments for rent and the other about apartments for sale. In the first campaign, you can use sub-words duplex apartments for rent or furnished apartments for rent, and so on, and with the second, use the words Key luxury apartments for sale.

5. Find new search words

We always need to improve the keywords we use, through the Google Keyword Planner , which provides you with search rates for each keyword, and also shows you additional keywords that you can include for the keywords you use.

6. Use the search terms report

When conducting an advertising campaign, we need to modify and improve it to perform the desired goal, so we need to know the things that people are looking for when visiting the ad, and from them we can come up with indicators about weak keywords and we can replace them with strong ones.

7. Use keywords sparingly

Use enough keywords, but do not stack them in one place so that the content does not become spam, remember that you are talking to the reader and not to the Google robot, use them with appropriate frequency, it is preferable that the number of keywords reach from 1 to 2% of the total article.

8. Use keywords naturally

No matter how many keywords your article contains, you should use them naturally so that the reader doesn’t feel like there is a cacophony between sentences. Therefore, the keyword used must be a main and essential part of the sentence while using it logically and coherently, do not impose it on the text so that it is meaningless or does not add value to the readers.

9. Distribute it well within the text

Make sure to distribute the keywords within the text from the introduction to the conclusion, do not make them accumulate in one part only or put them all in one paragraph, work on a good and appropriate distribution of keywords throughout the text.

10. Use appropriate match types that will get you a higher conversion rate

When choosing keywords, Google gives you more than one option to match them in the search results, and depends on the matching method that you will choose, such as determining the audience to which your content or advertisement will be displayed. Among these options are:

  • Exact match

The ad will only appear on searches with the same keywords used in the same order. For example, if the ad keyword for your ad is “black soiree dress,” then the ad will appear only to those who type this exact keyword, so the exact match method is the most specific and restrictive method.

  • Phrase matching

In this case, your ad appears on searches that include the meaning of the keywords used. When you select phrase match, your ad is shown to customers who search for your keywords or variants close to them, which include:

  • plural and singular forms
  • Spelling mistakes
  • abbreviations
  • Dialects
  • derivatives
  • Prepositions
  • conjugation
  • Rearrange the words with the same meaning

If the keyword used is evening dress, your ad will be shown upon query at:

  • Evening dresses for occasions.
  • Evening dresses for the wedding.
  • Engagement evening dresses.
  • The best evening dresses and so on.

But your ad will not be shown when you search for a blue evening dress, for example. Phrase match does not result in higher traffic, but it will be of higher quality and more likely to convert.

  • Broad match

When choosing this type of match, your ads will appear in searches related to the keywords you used, so that the ad appears in proximity searches, which makes the chances of appearing very high for your site, as the default match is the type that reaches the widest range of audience, but its problem lies at its high cost.

Broad matching involves using keywords and variants close to the keyword, because broad matching is matching keywords to the widest possible searches.

  • Use negative keywords

When we advertise on Google using pay-per-click, we don’t want traffic that is not relevant to the ad, which increases the cost in vain. So, you can use negative keywords to prevent potential customers from visiting your site, for example: if you only sell women’s clothing, you can use “men” and “kids” as negative keywords.

Using negative keywords improves targeting. Using negative keywords with broad match has been shown to help you reach your target audience, more than exact or phrase match.

In conclusion

In this article, we discussed keywords, their role as a SEO tool , and the goal of keyword research, and we answered the question: How do you find keywords for your site? Through a set of simple steps that the SEO expert takes in order to bring visits to the site and reach the target audience. But remember that choosing keywords and placing them in the article is not the final step. You must review the keywords that you use at least once every three months, review their ranking and add the most popular keywords to your content, as search engines are constantly evolving.

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