Keyword research doesn’t need to be complicated. With the right mix of curiosity, analytical thinking, and tools, you can become a keyword research pro.
Keyword research meaning
Keyword research is the process of discovering which words and phrases your potential customers are using to search for websites and information online.
A short-tail keyword consists of one or two words, but long-tail keywords can take the form of a longer phrase or even a complete question.
What is an example of a keyword?
Let’s take the topic of planning a 30th birthday party. Here are several examples of keywords related to this topic:
“birthday party” “30th birthday party” “birthday dessert recipes” “what to do for a 30th birthday” “where should I have a birthday party in Chicago?”
Types of keyword research
Bulk Research. One approach to keyword research is to write out all possible keywords, short-tail, and long-tail, that may be relevant to your business. This approach is a good starting point but can result in a long list and will usually require some winnowing and grouping to be useful.
Competitive Research. Tools like DemandJump can analyze the domains of your top competitors to tell you their top keywords so that you can compete. Quality SEO keyword research tools will also identify this in reverse, giving you top-ranking domains for your requested keywords.
Intent Targeting Keywords. With intent targeting, you will match your topic and keywords to the stage your customer is at in the marketing funnel. This generally falls into three categories: informational, commercial, and transactional. In informational, your reader is gathering basic information and may have no intent to buy yet. In commercial, your reader has a buyer interest and is researching providers or services. In transactional, your reader has made up their mind to buy but is comparing prices or the “how” of purchasing.
Informational example: “30th birthday ideas”
Commercial example: best places for a “30th birthday Chicago”
Transactional example: “arcade bar party cost Chicago”
Top Keyword Research Tips
Find your top 10.
At a minimum, identify your top 10 priority keywords that your marketing and website teams can incorporate into your ongoing content and that you can share while onboarding any new agencies or team members.
Think about speech patterns and misspellings.
Many top keywords and questions reflect how people speak, including colloquialisms and even grammatical errors. If your top keyword or brand name is misspelled often, you may want to look at common alternatives.
Select a good keyword research tool.
Free or “freemium” tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest will give you a limited snapshot of search volumes and keyword suggestions. For the best long-term SEO results, look for a tool that will provide you precise search volumes, competitor analysis, content tools, and marketing attribution insights.
How to do keyword research for a blog
To conduct keyword research for a blog, start by making a list of basic topics, keywords, and phrases related to your business, services, and industry. From there:
Run your initial list through a keyword planning tool to learn the search volume and competitiveness for your keywords. A good keyword planning tool will also suggest additional keywords and questions.
Choose keywords for your list that have healthy search traffic—at least 50 monthly searches—and medium to low competition.
Organize your keywords into groups of 5-8 keywords that go together under a primary keyword or question.
Use a group of keywords as a basis for your blog post. You can use some keyword phrases in your headline or sub-heads. Others can be worked into your body copy, just make sure that you’re incorporating them in natural ways.
Be sure to include keywords in your metadata such as page descriptions and alt text.
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