How to Do Keyword Research
Keyword research can make or break an SEO strategy. There are plenty of “data-dump” tools for keyword research that provide more than enough information to do effective keyword research. However, even with the best keyword research tool, someone still needs to evaluate that information for you to use it effectively. Here are our tips for differentiating the best keywords from the ones that aren’t worth your time.
The intent of the searcher is the most important factor to consider in your keyword research. High intent keywords include terminology like “solution” or “platform.” Especially in the B2B SaaS space, these are indicators that the searcher has already narrowed in on the type of product they’re looking for. Low intent keywords like “what is ___ software” suggest the searcher is still very high up in the marketing funnel, so these kinds of keywords aren’t as crucial.
Here are some terms you can look for to help you discern search intent:
- Pain modifiers signal that the searcher knows they have a problem but they don’t yet know how to solve it. These kinds of searches typically include a verb that indicates the searcher’s desired outcome (increase, improve, automate, etc.) as well as a noun phrase that indicates what they want to change (customer engagement, SEO, sales, etc.).
- Solutioning terms tell you that the searcher knows they have a problem and they know what type of product they need in order to solve it, but they haven’t decided on a specific product yet. These searches usually include words like platform, service, consultant, or tool.
- Industry modifiers help you identify your intended audience. Just because someone is entering search terms that are related to your content doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a prospective customer. For example, they could be a student or someone else working in your industry simply researching the same kind of technology your business offers. To sort these searchers from the potential buyers, look for self-identifying phrases like “for [your industry]” that indicate a specific audience.
Search volume, or how frequently a keyword is being searched each month, is another critical keyword element. The ultimate aim of your keyword research is to attract more traffic to your site. So, it’s only logical to target the keywords that are being searched most often by the highest numbers of people. However, you may want to consider keywords with a moderately high amount of traffic (i.e. 100-1000 searches per month) as a sweet spot for higher traffic and lower competition. If you find a high intent keyword or keyphrase with a significant search volume, then you’re probably onto a prime candidate for your keyword list.
While intent and volume are excellent indicators of a keyword’s popularity, make sure you don’t lose sight of your business goals. The keywords you use should align with your business’s priorities so you attract your intended audience. You may find keywords that look great because they suggest high intent, have a high search volume, and are relevant to your industry, but also consider whether they’ll further your current business objectives.
You can use these tips to improve your keyword research for blog posts, lessons, guides, FAQs, or whichever kind of content you want to generate more organic traffic. Whether you’re using a keyword research tool or not, remember to consider search intent, search volume, and your business’s current priorities and you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best keywords.