When I started blogging years ago, I didn’t know much about SEO, Keyword Research, and everything related.
I just wanted to write about things I love to do. At the same time, I wanted my work to be seen and read by people who were interested in the same kind of things I was.
I later discovered SEO and Keyword Research.
Today, Google Search receives more than 3.5 billion searches per DAY. This is HUGE, it’s more than 100 billion traffic in a month. Doing SEO & Keyword Research is a way to get some of this traffic — when it’s relevant to your audience.
Let’s start with the basics.
What really is keyword research?
In the context of SEO, users ask search engines to get an answer for their queries, so they can solve the problem they have at hand. Those queries are the keywords they use to get the results Google, Youtube, or Bing have found.
Well, what is the link with SEO keyword research?
When you have a website — be it a blog or landing page — and you want Google to send you some traffic you must position yourself on the keywords the users are typing on search engines to get a result.
Keyword research is the process of finding the words they are using to tell the search engines that the content you’ll write will address the topic those searchers are asking for.
If the searchers find it useful and valuable to them, Google will rank it at the top positions, and the content you wrote will get most of the traffic on the keyword you used.
This is a simplified version, but it maps out the global process.
So how do I find these keywords my audience is using?
First, you must understand where your audience hangs out online. It can be a Facebook Group, Reddit Channel, Linkedin Group, Quora, whatever. But remember that your focus is to see what kind of words they are using. Those words could be the keywords your readers are also using.
There’s another way to do it. It’s spying on your competitors. They usually have done this process before you. You can read their articles, the words they are using, and the comments of the readers. Sometimes it can help you address an issue they are not solving for the audience you are after.
Wait… It’s not finished yet.
You’ll want to know how much these SEO keywords get every month from Google. If you don’t do this, you are playing Russian Roulette with your content because the keywords you are using may have no traffic on search engines.
Be careful always to use keywords with search volumes per month.
To find the traffic for a keyword, you can use multiple tools, but to start, you can Google Keyword Planner. Put your keywords inside, and you’ll get the search volume.
You can also use Saia.ai you’ll get the search volume, the search intent, and a bunch of keywords you could use with their traffic associated. When writing, it keeps track of the keywords you used in your content.
The importance of long tail keywords
When you are in the process of keyword searching, you’ll see that there’s a big difference between keywords in terms of traffic.
Marketers made some categories, to distinguish between keywords with a high volume of searches and the low volume ones.
The categories are :
- Head Keywords: High volume keywords, general, very high competition, often with lower conversion rates
- Tail Keywords: Lower volume keywords, specific, lower competition, generally higher conversion rates
What differentiates the head and tail is the traffic, everything else is secondary.
In the tail keywords category, you have the long tails. They are generally a composition of many words, but it’s not what defines them.
You can have a long tail keyword with only two words — it’s less common — because the only requirement to be a long tail keyword is the volume.
But why are they important?
Head keywords are used by people broadly, in very different contexts, and need broader answers. That’s why the conversion rate is often lower on those keywords. Nonetheless, the volume is so high that A LOT of websites try to rank for these. But trying to position for these will take years and sometimes will even fail. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but it will be a hard battle to fight.
On the other hand, long tail keywords have lower volumes, lower competition, and higher conversion rates.
They are often very specific, like how to search within a website on google, the searcher has something clear in his mind, and he’s searching for an answer to it.
All you have to do as a content writer is to bring something of value to this query. However, don’t limit yourself to only one long tail keyword, you can use many keywords in one blog post, but it needs to be natural, don’t add them in a way that is completely out of place.
Search volume & Search intent
We’ve seen previously that search volume is very important for keywords.
Although this may be true, search intent is understanding what the search engine user wants, he uses the keyword.
How can you know that?
You can know that by using the SEO keywords in the Google search specific to the country and language you want to target.
When doing so, you’ll get the intent of most users skewing Google results.
If the users are searching for best keyword tools in search engines, what kind of results you think you’ll get back? Lists? Very likely. This is how the search intent work. If you try to position an article about how keyword tools work, you’ll have a tough time because you work against the searcher’s intent.
Solving for the intent is way more valuable today because it matches with the goal of every search engines and the reader alike. Unfortunately, not every content writer take this into account today, but it can be a massive opportunity for those who do.