This article (Keyword Research - PDF File) aims to be a complete guide to Keyword Research for seo, blogs, youtube, niches, social media and virtually every medium where Keyword Research is required in order to understand the target audience of the content that you wish to create.
The way the internet and search engines work is by two factors:
If the content you are creating is relevant to what people are searching, and your content is actually useful and people are reading/watching it, you stand a chance of success with that piece of article or a YouTube Video.
When it comes to writing really helpful content, you need to hone the skills of how to write a helpful article and how to structure your content.
However, when it comes to relevance, you nail the relevance down even before you start writing an article. This is called Keyword Research and it is done using a Keyword Research Tool. The outcome of this practice of Keyword research is the following:
- Title - You will know what will be the Title of your article / Youtube video that is the most relevant to what users are looking for.
- Volume - You will be able to estimate the amount of people looking for the content that you are about to create.
- Difficulty - You will get the understanding of the amount of difficulty there is to actually rank on top for your targeted keyword(s).
- Should I even target this Keyword? To avoid wasting your time and energy, a Keyword Research practice before creating content lets you make sure that whether it is even wise to target a keyword for you based on the competition that is out there for a particular search query.
- Make a mind map of
- Price (under 100$, Cheap etc)
- Start typing your seed keyword and see the Google auto-suggestions
- Type a part of your target keyword and prefix (or postfix) a space to see related suggestions.
- To find Long tail keywords, search your broad keyword (seed keyword) phrase on google and scroll to the bottom and see other related searches suggested by Google.
- See what articles competitors are writing by using site: operator or browsing their website.
- Go to Quora/Yahoo Answers and search what are people asking
- Search for forums in your niche by using Google operator forums, + your keyword (forums, ____ )
- Use the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and type broad keywords of your niche separated by comma. Then click on Having Same Terms which gives a list of keyword ideas that broadly contain your target keywords.
- Reverse engineer topics driving traffic to your competitors websites.
- Type a part of your target keyword and see the suggestions from Google.
The Search intent (intention behind the search of the user) is one of the things that you should ponder over before you start targeting keyword(s) to plan your article.
A user searching on Google may have any one of the following 4 intentions.
Just need Knowledge on a topic
The user knows where they want to reach. End Destination is in mind.
Need information about something the user wants to eventually buy
Ready to purchase
Example modifiers: How, what, who, why, where, tutorial, tips, learn, guide, resource, help, ideas, examples
Example modifiers: Brand name, name of product or service
Example modifiers: Best, top, pricing, review, comparison, attribute of product like color, size etc.
Example modifiers: buy, order, cheap, price, coupon
Eg. What is Keyword Research
Eg. Ahrefs keyword explorer
Eg. best keyword research tool
Eg. buy Ahrefs subscription
Now you might be thinking why don’t I just target transactional keywords and get all those individuals ready to buy - on my ecommerce store or blog. Well, i thought of the same and later realized that if we do this, we actually miss out on a bigger audience that is your potential customer if we don’t cater to the customer in all their phases until they reach the Transactional phase.
Another big reason is that when you have a lot of informational content, you build a brand and a trust. So when your customer searches with a transactional keyword and lands your site, they already have some trust with you - which leads to higher sales.
Your customer knowing you or your brand name already can be the sole reason for them to choose you over your competitor.
Using a keyword research tool like Ahrefs, you can include all the modifiers of a particular type of user intent group to plan and structure your articles based on the Search Intent.
For example, in Ahrefs, you can first do a broad search of several keyword in your niche, and then further narrow down the keyword ideas as per Informational search intent by filtering to show keywords that include “how, what, who, why, where, tutorial, tips, learn, guide”.
An understanding of the Search Intent of the user gives us an idea of how likely your users are to buy from you. If you have thousands of visitors to your blog and all of them are flat broke - you won’t be able to monetize your traffic that would satisfy your goals.
Apart from the presence of transactional modifiers like buy, purchase and cheap - another way to understand the commercial intent of your target keywords is to look at the average PPC bid on that keyword from advertisers. If you search your target keyword on Google and see people showing ads in the search results, that is a good indication that the keyword you are targeting has some commercial value. The higher the suggested bid, the more valuable (and probably competitive) that keyword is.
Analyze the Top 10 Search Results
This is a very important step in Keyword Research.
Once you have decided on a keyword (or a set of related keywords) that you want to target, you now have the subject of your next article that you will publish on your website.
However, you need to make yourself aware of the competition if you want your hard work on this article to pay off.
Titles - Look at the titles of the top 10 search results for the keyword query that you wish to rank for.
- Search Intent - Are the results Informational, Navigational, Commercial or Transactional? This will give you the idea of your Content format - whether your content is going to be a blog or a product page.
- Understand the Difficulty - From your favorite KR tool, see the number of domains that are linking to these top 10 pages
Understanding the Difficulty
When you create content, your goal is always to rank on top of search results whether it is Google or YouTube.
You are always playing this mental game where you are on the lookout for a topic that hundreds of thousands of people around the world are searching for, however, the difficulty is low so you can quickly gain all those users to come to your website, or watch your video on YouTube.
In order to understand how difficult (or easy) it is going to be for you article or video to rank for a particular keyword, you need to understand and get the following two values of the top 10 websites that rank for the keyword:
- Domain Authority
- Referring Domains
Domain Authority is basically a number (0-100) that is developed by a company called Moz, which gives you an idea about how big that website is. You can check your DA from here.
Referring Domains are the “other” websites that are linking to these top 10 competitors of yours. These are called backlinks. If another website is mentioning a page of your website in their article, this counts as an endorsement (a backlink) to you, and makes that page more stronger in terms of authority because other websites are mentioning that page.
Since you are just about to write an article, you will have zero backlinks for that article in the start.
The general idea of understanding the difficulty is that your DA should be in the same range as the top 10 websites that show up for your target keyword in order for you to have the chance to rank for that particular keyword.
Deciding the Title of your Article or YouTube video
If you title your blog posts or videos correctly, they are going to match with what people are searching on Google or YouTube.
If you title them irresponsibly, no one is going to be able to find your content because you chose the phrase that no one is actually searching.
Optimized Article: When you have your target keyword phrase in the Title of your article.
Highly Optimized article: When your target keyword phrase is in the URL of your article.
If your target keyword is missing from your Title and the URL, and the target keyword is just a phrase that is present in your article content, then that is not really an optimized article.
If you have two keywords in mind and want to choose the best one for your title, use Google Trends and put these two keywords in this tool to see the historical use of the phrase to understand which one has a higher popularity and which one is trending down.
Check how many pages on the internet have exactly the same keyword phrase in the body of their article. You do this by putting your keyword within double quotes when you search on Google.
For example, targeting the keyword dream interpretation, you would do a phrase search as “dream interpretation” on Google. The result is more than 3 million pages have this phrase in their article.
Check how many pages on the internet have exactly the same keyword phrase in the Title of their article.
In order to know how many Titles of the pages on the Internet exactly match the keyword phrase you are targeting, use Google's intitle: operator and keep your target keyword phrase in double quotes.
Based on the above result, we see that there are more than 2 million web pages that have the exact title as the keyword phrase we aim to rank for.
Check how many pages on the internet have exactly the same keyword phrase in the URL of their article.
In order to know how many web page URLs on the Internet exactly match the keyword phrase you are targeting, use Google's inurl: operator and keep your target keyword phrase in double quotes.
Based on the above result, we see that there are about 1.4 million web pages that have the exact url as the keyword phrase we aim to rank for.
Reverse Engineer competitors articles
You can use Google's site: operator to see all the pages that have been indexed by Google for any of your competitor websites. You can read through the titles and get an idea of their content all in one search result.
Free Keyword Research Tools
Freemium Keyword Research Tools
Commercial Intent (also see Search Intent) - It is the measure of how likely the users (that type your target keyword) are to buy something from you.
Search Intent (also see Commercial Intent) - Search intent is an attempt to understand the intention of the person who is searching for a keyword on Google.
Seed Keyword (also called broad keyword) - A seed keyword is a very generic and broad keyword of your niche and is usually just 1-2 words long. If your niche is pet care, then your seed keywords might be pet,pets, dog, dogs, cat, cats, etc.
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