Keyword Research Basics . Literally, start here!

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords … Everybody wants keywords!!!

What you can learn:

1) fundamentals of keyword research
2) exactly what keyword research is
3) why it’s important for SEO)

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of optimizing content around those terms.

Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

Keyword research impacts every other SEO task that you perform, including finding content topics, on-page SEO, and outreach and promotion.

That’s why keyword research is usually the first step of any SEO campaign.

Put another way:

Keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress.

As a bonus, researching keywords help you figure out the thoughts, fears, and desires of your target market. That’s because keywords research gives you tremendous insight into what potential customers searching for… and the exact words and phrases that they use.

In fact, keyword research is just market research for the 21st century.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors that go into any site’s success with SEO, including content, on-site optimization, link building and technical SEO.

But the #1 factor that contributes to any site’s traffic growth is, and will forever be keyword research.

So How Do I How to Find Keyword Ideas?

Brainstorm a List of Topics

Here’s where you come up with topics that your target customer is interested in.

For example, let’s say that you run a digital banking software provider like Alkami Technology or Q2.

Well, you’d want to ask yourself: ”What topics do people search for that are related to my business?”

Some topics that come to mind would be things like:

Digital Banking
Mobile Banking
Digital Banking Solutions
Mobile Banking Platform
Banking Platform Integrations
Cloud Banking Solutions

Note: These topics are not necessarily keywords. They’re broad topics that you’ll ultimately use to drill down to specific keywords. However in a small niche like banking platforms it’s ok to use these broad topics.

Use Google and YouTube Suggest

Now that you have a list of topics, type each one of them into Google.

And see what terms that Google Suggests to you.

These are great keywords to add to your list.

Why?

Because if Google suggests a keyword, you KNOW that lots of people are searching for it.

But you don’t need to stop with Google Suggest.

You can also find keyword suggestions with YouTube Suggest:

Searches Related To

Another cool way to find keywords is to check out the “Searches Related to” section at the bottom of Google’s search results.

For example, let’s say one of your topics was “content marketing”.

Well, you’d want to search for that keyword in Google.

And scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll find a list of 8 keywords that are closely related to your search term.

Just like with Google Suggest, these are keyword ideas that come straight from Google. So you don’t need to guess whether or not they’re popular. Google is literally telling you: “Tons of people search for these keywords.”

Wikipedia Table of Contents

Wikipedia is an often-overlooked goldmine of niche research.

Where else can you find articles curated by thousands of industry experts… all organized into neat little categories?

Here’s how to use Wikipedia to find keyword ideas.

First, head over to Wikipedia and type in a broad keyword:

That will take you to the Wikipedia entry for that broad topic.

Then, look for the “contents” section of the page. This section lists out the subtopics covered on that page.

And some of the subtopics listed here are awesome keywords that would be tough to find any other way:

You can also click on some of the internal links on the page to check out the Table of Contents of other, closely related entries.

For example, on the coffee entry we have a link to “Coffee Preparation”:

When you click on that link, you’ll notice that the table of contents for the Coffee Preparation page has even more keywords that you can add to your list:

So there are a couple to get you started. My next blog SHOULD be about keyword research tools, so stay tuned!

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