How to Do Basic Keyword Research
Basic keyword research is an important skill for content creators.
It should be part of your writing routine.
Proper keyword research usually takes a long time – unless you have a streamlined process.
Below, I’ll provide you a step-by-step guide for basic keyword research.
Step 1: The Setup
This is something you only do once. It’s not routine, but it’s necessary.
Define Your Industry.
Basic keyword research is important when it comes to writing content for SEO purposes. And your content belongs to one “industry” or another.
It could be anything, from sports to food, or even tech!
Defining your niche is important. You don’t want to pick keywords that belong to multiple industries…
Such keywords are highly competitive. You’ll need a long time to rank for them.
Also, they don’t target your market well. And you want keywords that focus on your market as much as possible!
Let’s say you’re writing an online “book review.” It could be a review on a dieting book, which puts it in the “food and health” industry…
Picking “food and health” is a much better choice than using keywords related to “electronic books”. The later won’t do you much good because it fits multiple industries.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Now starts the routine.
Basic keyword research is a never ending process. Especially the brainstorming step.
You should always update your keyword lists. This means you routinely brainstorm keywords.
You need to be familiar with keywords related to your industry. Keywords that are industry-specific will target your market well.
Knowing your industry’s terminologies will shorten the time needed to find good keywords.
How to Brainstorm.
Simple. Just read.
Spend time reading the content of your competitors. Read a lot of 1st page results.
Jot down words you see which are specific to your industry.
Make long lists of keywords that you notice. And test them on a research tool to check their viability.
Keep Records of All Your Niche’s Keyword.
Because keyword research is never-ending, you want to keep track of your keywords.
You’ll have hundreds of keywords the more you research. Narrow down your options into an organized list and store it on your computer for easy access since you’ll most likely be updating it regularly.
Also, a keyword tool that makes keyword research and storage easy is highly recommended.
(3) Use SEOBOOK as your Keyword Research Tool.
After the unfortunate fate of Google’s Keyword Planner, this is your best option.
It’s free, costing you next to nothing. And it also doubles as a brainstorming tool…
Here, you’ll receive many keywords depending on the original keyword you input.
You will receive the results in a table that you can sort, depending on a number of variables.
You can download the table as an xml file. You can then store your results into an organized excel file!
Organize keywords into a hierarchy of monthly searches. This makes it easier to pick keywords with high traffic potential…
Or, you can organize keywords depending on their CPC. This is assuming you want to setup ads on your website – where higher CPC means more income.
(4) Rules for Filtering Keywords.
There are 3 simple rules to follow…
1st, never pick keywords that are smaller than 3 words. Short keywords are too competitive for your business.
Instead, select medium to long-tail keywords, which are 3+ words.
2nd, make sure that the monthly search is at least 3-digits. The higher the better, but anything less than 100 is a waste of SEO efforts.
3rd, you can ignore CPC if a keyword brings in high traffic. CPC isn’t everything. Sometimes, you just want to attract eyes to your content…
It’s a bit complex, but it’s not rocket science. You can do keyword research in less than an hour per week, assuming you know your industry well.
The hard part is fitting keywords into content. Being a masterful content creator means providing quality, without compromising SEO.
That will be a different guide, for a different time!