Keyword research is half the SEO. All your efforts would go in vain if you don’t pick the right keywords. They are the foundation of SEO, and you have to be extra careful and smart when doing research. 

You don’t just choose any keyword that has a high search volume. There are many little details that you have to consider. 

For example, you should know if two different keywords should be used in one article because they have the same meaning or should you create different pages. 

This is exactly what you will learn in this article. 

Use an SEO Proxy When Searching

Google uses user data to show results. This data includes cookies, history, and your location. It tries to show personalized results that best match your profile of information. 

You would get the results that are best suited according to your profile when doing keyword research. As an SEO expert, you have to consider the needs of your target audience and choose keywords accordingly. 

To avoid getting biased, you should learn how to use SEO proxies. They will enable you to hide your personal information from search engines and get keywords and corresponding results according to your target audience. 

Start with the Best Keywords

You always start by picking up the best keywords. By best keywords, I mean keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

You will have to use a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs for this job. There are also many other tools, but these are considered to be the most accurate. They also provide a lot more information than just the search volume. 

You should start to choose keywords that don’t have very high competition and good search volume. If you are working for a website that already has a high domain authority, you shouldn’t be much afraid of high competition keywords. 

Pick all good keywords and then you can shortlist them in the coming steps. 

Long Tail for Snippets and Voice Search

Long-tail keywords don’t have a high search volume. Still, all leading digital marketers emphasize that we use them. 

  • First, they have low competition, which makes it easy to rank for them.
  • Second, they enable you to answer an accurate query with a precise answer. 
  • Third, they help you get featured in snippets.
  • Fourth, most voice searches are long tail, and their answers are picked mostly from snippets. 

These four points should be more than enough to prove why you should not ignore long-tail keywords in any case. You can use them on a different page, or adjust them in a long article. It depends on the type of keyword. 

Categorize According to Buyer’s Journey

You should know that there are three major stages of a buyer’s journey. Prospects from each stage search for different kinds of keywords. 

When you have made a list of all keywords, categorize them according to each stage. You should know what a person in the “awareness” stage would search for and what he would search for in the “decision” stage. 

Source: HubSpot

Understand the Search Intent

Everyone searches keywords with an intention. Sometimes, you might not be able to pick the intent just by words. This is why you should know the types of keyword search intent and classify them accordingly. Some would divide them into three and some into four types of intent. 

  1. Informational
  2. Navigational
  3. Transactional
  4. Commercial

You can understand the meaning of each type by its name. Some keywords might be open to more than one interpretation. You should be prepared to do some search about your audience to find out the intent behind each keyword. 

Source: WordStream

For example, if someone searches “digital marketing”, he could be looking for ‘digital marketing services’ or ‘digital marketing tips’. 

Write Topics According to Pain Points

When you choose a topic according to keywords, you should consider more than just intent. You wouldn’t find one good keyword that has no competition. You won’t be able to beat the competition if you are doing exactly the same as what they are doing. 

To get an edge over them and really catch the attention of your audience, you should understand their pain points. They wouldn’t click your link among so many unless you have mentioned something in the title that describes their exact problem and solution. 

Create Audience Personas

Although it’s not directly related to keyword research, it does help you understand which keywords are most relevant and what might be the search intent behind them. 

An audience is a document with all important information about your prospects. For example, you should know their age, gender, and interests. You can also include things like their pain points, location, and interests to make the personas more detailed. 

Source: Social Sprout

Stay Up to Date with Trends

Trends are short-lived but they help many influencers and businesses gain new heights of success. It’s important that you always stay up to date with all trends related to your industry. 

As soon as you see a trend picking up, you should see what people are searching to learn about it. While many people ignore the keyword part when creating content for trends, they also give up the chance of getting traffic through search engines. 

The hype might not be as much but some people will still continue to search the trend long after it’s over. Your content plan should include space trends anytime they happen. 

Analyze Your Competitors

Your keyword research should start with your competitors’ keywords. Use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to see the keyword plan of your biggest competitors. 

You should be able to see strong as well weak pages. It could be difficult to rank higher for keywords where your competition is strong, but you can fight against their weak pages. 

They would have also done the research and brainstorming when picking those keywords. You should study their plan and create a much more efficient keyword plan for your website.