How Does Keyword Research Work?

Keyword research is an essential step in any search engine optimization (SEO) process. You can start the keyword research process by asking a few questions about your audience. Your audience and their needs are going to be the cornerstone of your keyword strategy. Behind every keyword are real people typing into Google looking for specific results. As you gather information from research tools, remember to take a few things into account, such as your audience, your audience’s problem, and how you can provide a solution. 

Why is keyword research important?

When you conduct a keyword search, it will return a list of popular keywords related to your industry. However, these keywords are not always relevant to your desired audience. When you are a beginner in the world of keyword research, it’s important to understand how to recognize the correct keywords from the research tool. 

Most software designed for Google keyword research will show you a long list of phrases similar to the phrase or word you’ve entered. However, the software doesn’t know your business as you do. You will need a framework to determine which keywords are relevant to your content.  

This framework will be the backbone of your keyword research methodology. To build a keyword framework, ask yourself who you’re trying to attract to your content and identify the problems that those people are trying to solve. Then, consider how you are going to help them solve those problems.

1. Who are you trying to attract?

The keywords you select should match your target demographic. For example, consider how big are the organizations you are targeting. Are they big or small? If you’re targeting small businesses, then a keyphrase like “software for small business” would probably attract smaller or local businesses, whereas a phrase like “enterprise software” would be more likely to attract larger enterprise customers. Who you are trying to attract is going to influence which keywords or keyword modifiers you should prioritize.

2. What problem are they trying to solve?

You also need to consider the intent your audience has searching for certain keywords. Always remember that behind every keyword datapoint, there is a real human with a problem that needs solving. Before deciding which keywords to target, spend some time understanding the existing solutions your audience is already searching for. For every problem, there may be several possible solutions, especially in SaaS. To capture your audience, you can’t just think about the keywords that define your product, but you have to consider the keywords that define your audience’s problem. There may be topics that are tangentially related to your product that is full of ideal customers, so be thorough and expand your horizons.

3. How are you going to help them solve their problem?

Once you know exactly what kind of people make up your target demographic and what kind of problems they’re trying to solve, then consider how your business can solve those problems. When someone searches a keyword, why is your content the best result that pops up? Answering this question will help you provide value to your audience and increase organic traffic.

A great SEO strategy begins with great keyword research. After you understand who’s searching, where they’re searching, and how to provide value, then you have completed keyword research for your SEO strategy. This will result in a narrowed-down list of keywords that are not only high-performing in your industry, but also highly relevant to your business and your customers. This list reflects the objectives of your current business goals, and keyword research will have to be done again once your objectives change.

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