Before you begin keyword research you should know what your goals are. Do you want to make more sales? Do you want more visits to your website? Do you need more donations for your cause?
It is a must to know what your goals are before doing keyword research. Here are a few examples below.
You have to make sure that your goals align with the searcher’s intent. If your goal is to sell drywall then keep in mind that when you do your keyword research take a look at each keyword phrase you come up with and ask yourself this question.
If someone typed in this phrase into the search engine are they looking to buy drywall?
You don’t want to concentrate on rankings that involve people just looking for images of drywall.
Brainstorming your Main Topic
Say you have an eCommerce store and you sell drywall. What is your main topic for the keyword research? The main topic would be to sell drywall from your website so always keep that in mind.
It will be a good idea to add subtopics to your website as well. For example answer questions people have about drywall on your website. Once you help them they may be more likely to purchase the drywall from you. An example of this is people looking for certain information like how to install drywall. Generally, people will search for this before purchasing drywall and if they ask this question online and your website pops up then they can get the answer and are more likely to purchase from you. Especially if you offer free delivery!
Examine the SERPs
If you goal is to sell drywall and you type in ‘buy drywall’ into the search engine what comes up are SERPs. What are SERPs? SERPs stand for Search Engine Results Pages.
While examining the SERPs do people call drywall gypsum board instead? Or do they call it sheet rock? It would be best to go with what is most popular in the SERPs. Is the word ‘drywall’ in the domain name? Is the word ‘drywall’ in the page name? How is it highlighted in the SERPs? Are there related questions that have to do with drywall? Are there videos in the SERPs?
What is Trending?
Do your goals line up with what is trending right now? You can view what is trending about drywall by visiting Google Trends.
At the time of this writing if you follow the Google Trends link you will find out that the trending search that has to do with drywall is how to remove wallpaper from drywall. Of course, if you provide the answer to that on your website it will not be a phrase to entice buying drywall from you so you will want to pick something else.
The one nice thing about answering the question on how to remove wallpaper from drywall on your website is that it will improve the EAT (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) of your website. Once you have established your website as an authoritative website the ranking algorithms will take that into factor when deciding what position to rank your website on for keyword phrases.
Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
The keyword phrase ‘drywall’ would be nice to rank for but it is extremely difficult to rank for and it really does not match your goal of selling drywall does it? When people just search for ‘drywall’ maybe they are looking for images of it.
That is where long-tail keyword phrases come in. Long-tail keyword phrases are longer versions of the main topic keyword phrase. As an example, ‘buy drywall’ is a long-tail keyword phrase of the main topic ‘drywall’. The long-tail keyword phrase ‘buy drywall in Escanaba, MI’ is even longer and easier to rank for. Long-tail keyword phrases are good for when you are looking for specific niches.
Funnel Keyword Phrases and Placement of Them
When you do your keyword research and you want your goals met it is important to utilize funneling of the keyword phrases and placing them in the correct areas.
What does this mean?
It means that the main topics of drywall are on the hub pages (main pages/parent pages) while the long-tail keyword phrases are on the spoke pages sub pages/children pages).
A good example of this would be Rapid River Knifeworks. On this page there are several articles that have to do with knives. On that page there are sub-topics such as knife creation, sharpening guides, how to use a knife, and miscellaneous articles. Funneling the pages and the location of your keyword phrases correctly will help the search engines index and crawl your website easier and deeper.
For placement of keyword phrases there are several places to place your keyword phrase. In the header navigation, footer navigation, content of the website, table of contents, reference pages, etc. Each location has a different value of importance in the search engine’s eyes. For example a keyword phrase in the footer navigation will not do as well as if your keyword phrase is located in the content of a website.
Do you think you would meet your goal of selling more drywall if it is mentioned in the footer section, content, or navigation of the website?
How often are the keyword phrases searched for?
Using drywall as an example again you will want what people search for the most when looking for drywall. Drywall is also called Sheet Rock, Gypsum Board, Gyp Board, Wall Board, and Plaster Board. So which one is searched for the most? You would want to concentrate on the keyword phrase of the synonyms that would bring in the most traffic to meet your goals.
What about location? Are located in the northern states? Do people call it something different in the northern states rather than the southern states? Everything is a ‘coke’ in the southern states but different regions of the United States also call it ‘pop’ or ‘soda’. You have to take this into consideration as well to determine where you target audience is from and to market to them specifically.
How Competitive are the search terms?
In order to reach your goals you have to find out if you can beat your competition. Is it easier to rank for ‘drywall near me’ or ‘gypsum board near me’? Or is it easier to rank for ‘buy drywall in escanaba mi’?
When doing keyword research you have to find out how competitive the keyword phrases you want to rank for and determine whether or not to try and rank for them.
Do the keyword phrases your competitors’ rank for make them money? Will it make you money if you ranked for them and meet your goals? There is SEO software out there that can tell how how effective keyword phrases are to your competitors’ websites.