Google has been rolling out algorithm updates over the years. To keep up with the ever-changing landscape, you need to optimize your website to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). As such, leveraging keyword research has never been more important.
At its core, keyword research is the process of analyzing and selecting search terms based on what people actually enter into search engines to find brands, products, or services.
Finding the right balance between keyword difficulty and search volume is a basic of keyword research. By putting together a strategic list of keywords, you can create relevant content and get them in front of the right people at the right time.
The whole process of looking for the right keywords to target can be challenging as it requires in-depth research and data analysis to satisfy both your target audience and top search engines. The complexity that comes with building a list of the best keywords may also be time-consuming, but there is only so much time you can give to researching keywords.
Indeed, the tons of things you need to do other than keyword research may leave your hands full. Thankfully, the following five keyword research hacks can help you cut down the time you spend on optimizing your page ranking, while getting your content in front of your target audience.
#1 Let Google help you do the work
Google’s autocomplete feature and list of related searches are helpful in making keyword research a lot less tedious.
Notice how, as you type in the first few words of your query on the search bar, Google tries to help you out by suggesting the most common searches done by other people relevant to your query?
Say, you’re looking for content related to SEO and you entered “SEO basics” into Google. Before hitting enter, you’ll see suggestions below the search bar as seen below:
Aside from the suggestions to your search query, you’ll also find a helpful list of related searches located at the bottom of the page.
By including primary keywords from both Google auto-complete and related searches, you get to build a list of the best keywords to use.
#2 Define your main objectives
As you establish your primary goals, you’ll have a better idea of the content you’ll need to create and decide on the most suitable strategy for your website.
More often than not, your objectives are to rank high on SERPs and increase website traffic. Since you already know your main purpose, you can now paint a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Ultimately, you may uncover the best strategy for your business.
Before moving forward with setting your goals, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with your current traffic, conversion, and revenue metrics. You can then use the data as your benchmark to guide your strategy and pace in setting realistic targets.
#3 Study your direct competitors
Gather and analyze competitor data to see what works for them and what doesn’t.
Say you’re managing a startup with a newly launched website. You’ll need to identify competitors who offer similar products and services as you do. Your competitors will also have the same target market with yours.
Once you know your competition, you can work on identifying the primary keywords they’re targeting. Check if there are keywords you’re not using yet based on ranking, difficulty, volume, audience, and conversion rates to determine whether or not they are worth creating content for.
By focusing on viable keywords used by your competitors and curating relevant exceptional content, you can fill the gap in your SEO strategy and boost website traffic while outranking similar brands and keeping them at bay.
#4 Find popular listicles that are ranking well
SERPs are known to prioritize listicles, which is why building on popular published ones can be one of the best ways to help you rank well on Google.
Look for industry-related listicles on Google. Afterwards, select the ones with keywords you want to target or topics you think your target audience might find interesting. Subsequently, you’ll need to work on either updating the listicle, building on the existing data, or adding a new angle or twist to the listicle.
For example, if you find a list of 10 Must-Know SEO Trends on Google, try to build on it and publish a listicle with, say, 15 Biggest SEO Trends.
In similar manner, you can work on top-ranking articles that use keywords with high volume searches, and make better versions of them. You may update the information such as the trends and statistics mentioned in the article. Since Google wants you to keep updating your content, coming up with a more recent article may help you beat the competition.
#5 Focus on low competition keywords
Targeting keywords with little competition can give your website traffic a boost.
You may be tempted to fight head to head with the big dogs, but trying to rank for the same broad and competitive keywords they’re targeting may not be the right strategy for your new website. Doing so will ultimately be a tough battle.
For example, if you’re offering SEO services and target the keywords “SEO agency,” you’ll be going against established, well-known companies currently dominating the market. This strategy may give you little to no chance of getting your newly built website on the first page of Google search.
By contrast, finding and targeting low competition keywords may enable you to rank well on SERPs more easily as you won’t have to fight against industry competitors. Instead, you’ll be competing with businesses of the same size or stage as your company.
Focus on What Matters to You Most
The process of keyword research can definitely be a laborious task—but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Amplify your SEO with these tried and tested hacks. Rather than spending endless hours trying to find the best keywords, use these time-saving hacks to help you focus on curating top-notch content that ranks well and generates promising leads.