Identifying Keywords

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In our last blog, we talked about keywords and why they are so important. But how do you know which keywords to target? In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the ways you can identify keywords.

To recap, keywords or key phrases are the terms that users type into search engines in order to find the information they need. Good use of a keyword lets search engines know what your page is about and which search terms it should rank for.

Last week, we discussed the importance of long-tail keywords. These keywords are usually at least four words in length and have a low search volume. Long-tail keywords also often take the form of questions as an increasing number of people are using voice search. Because of their low search volume, it can be difficult to find these keywords in order to target them. Luckily, there are several tools, which can help you to identify keywords. We appreciate that you may not want to spend money on identifying keywords so we’re going to focus on free tools in this blog.

Keyword Research

Before you can find long-tail keywords, you need to identify some ‘seed’ keywords in your industry. Seed keywords are broad search terms made up of one or two words. Think ‘dresses’ or ‘scented candles’. Trying to rank for either of these keywords would be extremely difficult but they’re a good place to start looking for less difficult keywords.

A good place to start with keyword research is Google. If you type in a short ‘seed’ keyword, Google will provide several suggestions based on what others have searched for. For example, if you type in ‘dresses’, Google will suggest ‘dresses for wedding guests’ and ‘dresses for the races’ among other things. These suggestions are long-tail keywords.

Keyword Research

Often Google will also show ‘People also ask’. This is a selection of questions relating to the keyword. As we mentioned earlier, targeting questions as keywords can be beneficial as an increasing number of people are now searching for them.

Another useful, free tool for researching keywords is Answer the Public. All you have to do is enter a seed keyword and the website will return a list of questions that people search for which include that keyword. If you can create content which answers some of these questions, then you could be able to rank highly for these searches. It also returns long-tail keywords containing prepositions and comparisons.

Once you have identified some potential keywords, enter them into a search engine and see what kind of results you get. If the results are dominated by well-known brands, then it will be hard to rank well. But if the results are mostly from smaller websites, then it could be worth targeting.

It is also important to look at the search volumes for potential keywords. While we want to target keywords with relatively low search volumes, we don’t want to target keywords with no searches at all. A lot of the tools which show search volumes are paid but our favourite free tool is a Chrome Extension called Keyword Surfer. Keyword Surfer will show you the monthly number of searches for a particular term. It also shows search volumes for the autocomplete results and suggests some similar keywords to the one you have searched.

In conclusion, keyword research is often a lengthy process, but it is an important one. Identifying keywords which you can rank well for can attract the right kind of visitors to your website and benefit your business hugely. There are endless tools which can help you to find keywords, but you don’t always have to spend a lot of money. The tools mentioned in this blog are completely free to use and can be highly effective.

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