Thanks for joining me for this tutorial blog on SEO Keyword Research.
We hope that it will make it easier for you to understand and to follow along, especially if you are optimising your own pages at the same time.
Let’s get started with our SEO Keyword Research Guide…
What are SEO Keywords?
Your SEO keywords are the words and phrases within content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
A site that is effectively optimized for search engines will “speak the same language” as their potential visitor or customer base. In other words, the content on the site will have been developed with relevant SEO keywords to enable the search engines to identify and point the most suitable visitors towards the site.
How to do SEO keyword research?
Before you get started with SEO Keyword Research, you need to choose a weapon.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about actual weapons. I’m talking about SEO research tools.
Of course, the functionality of these tools is limited without a paid subscription. With that said, the free versions should be enough to get you started.
How to choose SEO keywords?
When it comes to figuring out how to choose SEO keywords that you want to use, it can be a little mind-boggling!
A simple way to get started, is by looking at what is already working for other sites.
Can you identify a competitor website in your space and figure out which pages drive them most traffic?
Let’s look at an example….
One of our own websites operates in the Health and Safety niche. If we take a look at competitor websites using Ubersuggest, we can see that the UK’s Health and Safety Executive attracts massive traffic volume.
As you can see in the image above, one of the top pages it ranks for is around the subject of ‘Risk Assessment’. If you know Health and Safety, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise.
But it does confirm that this subject-matter is of great interest to those searching for information in this area of knowledge.
As you can see from the image opposite, we can also check the specific pages that rank for the SEO keyword that we have identified.
If you look at the top 3 pages for this competitor website, it appears that ‘risk assessment’ is a keyword in two of them.
From there, we can start drilling down a little more.
Check out the dropdown list on the following image. We are then able to look at the specific keywords that each of these top pages is getting traffic from.
The information includes the current search engine ranking position, estimated visits generated per month etc.
At this stage, we should be able to decide if the search terms are suitable for our own content and the products and services that we are able to offer.
Just remember, there is little benefit in ranking for terms that have no relevance to what you can offer your customer.
We usually don’t worry too much about the finer details around competitiveness etc. until we have identified a few suitable SEO keyword candidates!
Once you have completed the process above for some of your competitors, you can then dig into the detail of which keywords to choose for the content you are producing.
How to find SEO Keywords
Of course, you can’t optimise a webpage if you don’t know exactly what search terms you want it to be found for.
This step is crucially important.
Once you have completed the initial steps above on how to choose suitable SEO keywords in your niche, you will be able select some more specific terms to dive deeper on.
For this demonstration, we’ll look at the term ‘on page SEO’.
This is an interesting one. Notice that the phrase can be spelled ‘on page SEO’ or ‘on-page SEO’. One has a hyphen, the other doesn’t.
Should this make a difference? Let’s see.
Before we move on to comparing SEO keywords, check out our video lesson on selecting SEO keywords.
It will help summarise what we have discussed so far in this guide to optimising on-page SEO for your own site..
If you do have any questions on getting set up with your SEO plugin or selecting the right keywords for your niche – please don’t hesitate to drop us a message via the Chat Tool or the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Comparing similar SEO Keywords
For new websites (such as ours!), it’s better to target less competitive keywords. These are usually long-tail phrases i.e. multiple words – as you can see below, the term ‘on-page SEO’ with a hyphen, is rated as 25 (Easy) for difficulty to rank for. This is a good sign.
It’s also worth noting that the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) is £3.14, which means there is some inherent value in ranking organically for this key phrase.
Now, let’s compare the almost identical term ‘on page SEO’. We can see that the search volume of 880 per month (UK only) is similar.
Not huge, but enough to get substantial numbers of visitors with the Focus Keyword and other, related keywords.
Can you see any significant difference’s in the rest of the keyword overview?
As you can see from the snippet, they are not exactly the same. The SEO difficulty is even easier (20/100) for the term without the hyphen, though it is searched for a similar amount of times. Notably, the CPC value is £8.79, which is really quite high, suggesting this is a valuable term to compete for.
To put this into context, if we were starting a new site and trying to compete for the term ‘SEO’, how much more difficult would that be?
Should you chase the top SEO keywords?
As you can see, the search volume is very high for this high-level keyword.
Unsurprisingly, it is very competitive (57/100)! You can also see that the search term is highly valued (£10.69 CPC).
I know, it’s very tempting to go after a SEO keyword of this nature.
It’s SEO FOMO (fear of missing out), and completely normal.
For younger websites, it makes little sense to compete for these key terms until your establish some traffic and credibility, otherwise the chances of ranking highly are pretty slim!
It makes more sense to build relevant content around the key term, by focusing on closely related long-tail keywords – such as, in this case, the phrase ‘on page SEO’ looks quite promising, so we will use that as our ‘Focus Keyword’.
Over time, your site may put itself in a strong position to compete organically for the most competitive keywords.
Additional SEO Keywords
Once you’ve got to grips with the SEO keyword selection process, it’s relatively easy to add some more long-tail keywords that you would like to incorporate into your content.
For example, in this post, we have identified a few other phrases that we will be using repeatedly and for which we think we can compete over the long-term.
You can see from the image that these are – ‘SEO optimisation’, ‘on-page SEO’, ‘SEO keywords’ and ‘SEO’.
As you can appreciate, it takes some time to establish which of these additional SEO keywords should be targeted. An extra bit of research via your keyword research tool will help you with this. If you don’t have a keyword research tool available, just try this…..
Google Search SEO Suggestions
A very simple and much less technical way to check on page SEO opportunities is to use your trusty old friend Google.
Just type in the beginning of the search term to immediately see longtail keyword variations that may be relevant for your content. If you like, you can use these suggestions to go back into your keyword research tool and check the search volumes, competition and cost-per-click etc.
Using this simple method, you can narrow it down to the terms you think will be most relevant to your content, easiest to compete for and most valuable.
Et voila, you are off to the races.
Would you like to recap on what we have just discussed relating SEO keyword comparison?
Check out our 5-minute video which summarises the elements that we have just covered.
That’s it for our SEO Keyword Research Guide.
We hope it helps you tackle the challenge of getting your site ranking organically.
Let us know if you have a questions or comment below – if you would like some help, don’t forget Ranki’s SEO Services for Business.