Keyword Research is important to any business with an online presence. They are the words that help you tell your story. The words that describe your business or services. While keyword research can be very technical, even small businesses and new bloggers benefit from routinely doing some basic research.
SEO and the way we think about keyword research has changed quite a bit over the last few years. Practices like keyword stuffing and single word searching are antiquated ways of ranking your blog or website.
What is keyword research?
According to Wikipedia:
Keyword research is a practice search engine optimization (SEO) professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject.
In other words, keywords are phrases and words your target audience or customers are using to find you or someone like you.
The good news?
When you do keyword research, you are also doing market research!
That’s right! All that market research you are continually doing to understand your audience and customers needs and pain points can be applied to keyword research.
When you understand what your potential customers are looking for, you’ll understand their:
The research will also give you new ideas and inspiration when it comes to creating content for your blog or social media. Your research may inspire engaging questions to ask your audience on Facebook or Instagram. Even without expensive paid tools, you can learn a lot through simple research online.
What is the alphabet soup method?
Everyone I’ve ever introduced this method to didn’t realize they were already using it! When you reframe the way you think about your Google searches, you’ll find keyword research can be a little fun.
Also, this method is free. (That’s a big deal when you don’t have a budget for the cool tools!)
Let’s say you are a food blogger and amazing baker you want to write a post about fondant. (Um, it’s totally possible this is directly related to attempting to decorate a cake with my daughter.)
This is where Google’s suggest feature becomes very helpful.
Start typing a title you think someone looking for instructions on working with or making fondant might need. For this example, I used how to make fondant.
You’ll type in your phrase plus a letter in the alphabet.
How to make fondant a.
Google will autosuggest phrases based on popular searches given those parameters. You can go all the way through the alphabet depending on what you are looking for.
It really is that easy to get started! Keep a list of phrases as you search. They may inspire other blog posts or content ideas for the future as well.
Free Keyword Research Tools
Answer the Public
There are other free tools available online that provide similar information. Another free tool that uses a similar method to the Alphabet Soup method is called Answer the Public. The downside to this site is it limits the number of searches you can do in a day before you are required to pay.
If you are more advanced and ready to start considering search volume (how many searches per month) and ranking difficulty, you can try a tool called Ubersuggest. It gives you considerably more data, and you can begin to think more analytically about your searches.
If you often find yourself doing keyword research, I also recommend Keywords Everywhere. It’s a fantastic Chrome extension that tells you the search volume and cpc (cost per click) as you Google words and phrases.
When you start to think about keyword research as another way to do market research, you take a difficult task and turn it into a positive business building exercise.
And you find awesome new content ideas at the same time.
The next step is implementing basic SEO practices on your blog or website to optimize your content for the terms you searched.
Still feel overwhelmed? Shoot me an email and let’s talk about how I can help you implement these practices.