The choice of SEO keywords and their precise distribution on the page is one of the most important elements that determine the success of your site in organic search results.
A well-conducted keyword analysis helps in many subsequent processes and is the basis for effective website promotion. So it is worth spending some time looking for the right phrases, because you will return to the results of this analysis many times.
What are keywords?
Keywords are search queries that users enter into the search box of search engines. Key phrases can consist of any number of words – from one to several. The goal of every online business is to rank high in organic search results for as many keywords as possible related to the products and services offered. The higher the position in Google or Yandex, the greater the site traffic, which, in turn, should translate into sales.
The selection of relevant keywords is the foundation of the search engine promotion process. A careless approach to the selection of key phrases leads to the absence of the desired results, which means a waste of time and money.
Types of keywords to look out for
Before you start choosing the keywords that will help you market your business, you need to understand the basic types. There are several types of keywords, each of which performs a different function. The type of passphrase you type also determines the potential customer who enters it.
Depending on what is typed into the search engine, it may have different intentions and should receive different information. This is why keyword planning is so important.
These are the most popular phrases about your company, 1-2 words usually describe the topic. They do not reveal the user’s detailed intent, so it is not clear what the person was looking for by typing such a word in a search engine. These phrases are the most searched, but in most cases they have the lowest conversion rate.
Compare, for example, the phrase: dresses. The person who enters such a keyword is not looking for anything specific. Many people enter this query into Google, but only a small proportion of people do so because they want to make a purchase. Most likely, the person is looking for photos.
Long tail keywords Longtail
Long tail phrases consist of several words. Typically, the intent of the crawler can be determined based on their content. Longtail is characterized by a small number of searches for one phrase, but such phrases related to the same topic can be the most effective.
Long tail traffic is more valuable to your business. Even though the main phrase that describes your business has, for example, 6,000 views per month, 50 long phrases with an average frequency of 200 impressions gives you 10,000 views. In addition, these phrases more accurately describe what your customers need, which means an increase in the conversion rate (increased sales).
Most clothing store shoppers are not swayed by common phrases (dresses). A much more common case is the use of long-tail phrases, which are searched more often than general phrases, but occur in different variations, for example:
- black date dress
- red wedding dress
- green dress for new year
- navy blue prom dress
- yellow prom dress
The number of combinations of such keywords is almost infinite, and detailed queries are characterized by a high degree of variability. However, you need to learn most of these phrases and notice the possible patterns through which you will create a website that will attract more customers.
Branded searches are a special type of long-tail phrases. Their content also includes the name of the company, manufacturer or product. A person entering such a keyword tells you which company they are interested in.
Examples of such phrases:
- Nike shoes
- black nike sneakers
If you have a store that sells shoes from different manufacturers, you should optimize your site for such phrases. Even if it’s not your brand.
Local phrases, that is, words with the name of the city, for example, “Lawyer Kiev”. We choose such phrases for local businesses. These can be service companies, hotels, restaurants, as well as stationery stores and so on.
Phrases that describe the user’s problem or questions
These are expressions that describe a specific problem. It may happen that the user is looking for information that will help him solve the dilemma, so it is worth giving him this information and at the same time presenting your products or services. Some people will be interested in your offer even if they didn’t search for it directly.
Different words have different levels of competition. By competition, you should understand the number of companies that are competing for the best positions in search engines. Determining the competitiveness of a word is important in the promotion process, the higher the competition, the more difficult it will be to take the best positions in the TOP search engines.
It’s difficult to accurately determine the competitiveness of a given keyword, but you can test it with parameters such as your Google Ads CPC bid. In many cases, a high bid means that a large number of companies are participating in the auction. Although Google Ads has nothing to do with SEO, CPC bids can be useful and help you determine the competitiveness or difficulty of a given phrase.
In addition, tools like Ahrefs can evaluate the competitiveness of each keyword. The values given are not always accurate, but they should be taken into account.
Search frequency is a parameter that tells you the average number of searches per month for a given keyword. You can check this in the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Depending on the frequency, they are:
high frequency (HF);
low frequency (LF).
Seasonality of searches
There are many industries that are seasonal, of course, this is reflected in the search process. Some phrases are more popular in summer or winter, during certain holidays or during events in a certain period.
Keyword Analysis Tools
There are many tools that will give you keyword suggestions. You can use the basic ones for free, but unfortunately you have to pay for professional keyword analysis.
Google Keyword Planner
The Keyword Planner is a tool available in the Google Ads system, but it also works well in finding potential keywords for SEO purposes. It is available for free to anyone with a Google account. With it, you can check the number of search queries or the seasonality of words.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an analytics tool for measuring views and clicks on your website on Google. If your site is already listed in a search engine, the data it contains will be very helpful in keyword analysis. Thanks to it, you will know what words were used by potential users who viewed your page.
Google search suggestions
Google Suggestions is a feature of the search engine itself that proves to be very helpful when choosing keywords. You’ll find related searches below the list of search results, which will let you know what else your prospects are typing.
Serpstat has a built-in word search tool, you can search for them based on your own definition (word combination, match type, etc.).
Ahrefs has its own keyword search tool called “Keyword Explorer”. This advanced tool will help you quickly find a large number of key phrases used by potential customers.
Keywordtool.io uses Google auto-suggestion to generate a list of other phrases based on the main keyword. This mechanism is easy to see by typing something into Google, usually Google suggests additional phrases.
This is a free tool that will offer you answers to questions related to your chosen keyword. The tool is very easy to use. After entering a keyword and selecting a language, a graphic is created on which we can see all the questions and phrases that users use when searching for a given word.
Intention hides behind words
You must remember that everyone who asks Google or Yandex about something has a special need: they want to get information, find a specific website, buy a product or order a service. The very content of the keyword says where the user should be. This is important in terms of the next and last step in word analysis.
For example, users entering general phrases related to a product group should be directed to a page for that product category – those searching for a specific product name should go to the product card to purchase it. People who are looking for a solution to a problem will not be satisfied with a product that solves that problem. Generally, potential clients who are looking for solutions to their problems should go to the manual pages or blog where they will find an explanation. Your clients will certainly appreciate your help, and thus you will win their trust.
When analyzing keywords, your next task will be to find all the key phrases that potential customers could use to contact you.
Why all? Because you never know how clients might be looking for you. For example, if you’re in the business of making custom-made furniture, it’s not enough to be noticed by the phrase “custom-made furniture.” Of course, this is an important phrase, but your customers can search for you in a thousand other ways.
It’s worth showing users at every step of the buying process or when they’re just looking for a solution to a problem. A person looking for inspiration for decorating a particular room may choose your services after reading and seeing the results of your work.
It is possible that someone will buy a service from you, even if they planned a different solution in advance. He will do this only because he came to you in search of inspiration. The more keyword phrases you find that can describe potential customers, the more opportunities you will give yourself to sell your product or service.
How to search for keywords?
You need to know all the words that your customers use before you start SEO audit. Creating a site will also largely depend on keywords.
Start with your website’s visibility
The starting point will be the phrases found in Google Search Console and Serpstat (or other similar tool).
Words should be pre-screened and anything not related to your business removed. Leave only those words that, in your opinion, can be used by your target audience to search for products or at least indirectly show the interest of customers.
Check competitors’ domains
Serpstat will show you all the keywords for which your competitors are visible. Export to Excel, choosing the most interesting phrases.
Depending on the business and the volume of your offer, your table of selected keywords should contain from several hundred to several thousand key phrases. In online stores with a wide range, these will be tens of thousands of key phrases.
This amount of data can be huge. So the next step is to group phrases based on the intent behind those words. A user who enters a keyword into a search engine always needs something, this need is the intent.
One intention can be described by several different key phrases. For example, consider the following key phrases:
- product price
- product cost
- how much does the item cost?
- what is the price of the item?
Each of the phrases above always means the same intention – the buyer wants to know the price of the product, and therefore all such phrases should be included in the group with this intention.
You will need to create as many groups as you can determine individual intentions. Depending on the business, groups can range from a few dozen to even a few thousand – in online stores.
If you have a large number of keywords that your potential customers are looking for, they still need to be properly structured and linked to specific pages on the website. This is an important step to avoid the problems of duplicate content and keyword cannibalization.
Keyword cannibalization is a condition where two or more pages compete against each other for a given query in a search engine. Remember that one group of phrases (topic) must be assigned to one URL that will be displayed in the results.
Preparing the URL structure and keywords takes time, but thanks to this you will be able to identify, for example, missing pages or even entire groups of pages.