What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the first step to any successful SEO campaign. And it helps you identify the keywords and phrases people search online to find your business.

Then, you can incorporate those keywords on your website in places like your page titles, meta descriptions, and copy. This will help to boost your rankings in search results and ensures that your business shows up in more relevant searches.

But how do you go about choosing the keywords you want to target?

Informational searches

First of all, it’s helpful to think about each level of your purchasing funnel. This will help you to choose keywords and write content that reaches customers at each level.

Then, you can come up with a list of buckets from the purchasing funnel that keywords fall into. For example, you can sort your keywords based on informational and transactional searches. This can provide a roadmap for your keyword research and help you make sure that your website has a balance of different kinds of content.

Informational or top-of-funnel queries typically consist of common questions people have about your industry. If people are trying to find a new dentist, they might want to know “What to consider when choosing a dentist” or “Which dentist accepts my insurance?”

These phrases probably won’t result in a lot of direct revenue, but they can introduce potential customers to your brand and help increase traffic to your website.

Sites like Quora are great places to uncover keywords for informational searches because the topics and suggestions are completely user driven.

Transactional searches

On the other hand, transactional searches are conducted by people who have already done their research and are ready to purchase. In other words, this is your money maker category. So if you don’t target keywords this group is searching, it’s probably a good idea to start.

Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to choose keywords to target this group of searchers. And you can use Google’s estimated cost per click to determine purchase intent, and the long-term value behind each click.

If you don’t have access to keyword planner, other tools like Keyword Tool, and BuzzSumo are great options. And they can help you uncover the keywords people search when they are ready to purchase from your business.

Keywords Everywhere is another free tool that allows you to input keywords and see key metrics like search volume, cost per click, and competition level. This is extremely valuable because it allows you to determine the value of each keyword or phrase you target.

With Keywords Everywhere, you can bulk upload keywords and then export the information to help inform your content strategy.

Longtail keywords

When choosing keywords to target, it’s also important to consider long tail keywords.

Today, there are so many major players and international brands in the SEO game that it can be hard to stay competitive in search results. But long tail keywords can help!

Long tail keywords are specific, detailed search queries. For example, if you’re a dentist, you might want to target the phrase “best family dentist in your location” as opposed to just “dentist” or “family dentistry.”

Long tail keywords tend to have much lower search volume than short, broad keywords. But they also have much lower competition and higher conversion rates. This is because long tail keywords demonstrate a much more specific search intent.

You can use the same keyword tools we talked about earlier in the video to find longtail keywords. And you can even use Google’s autocomplete feature to learn more about the longtail phrases people actually search online.

Start by entering a generic keyword into Google search. Sticking with our dentist example, you can type the phrase “dental services.” Then, instead of hitting the enter button, take a look at Google’s autocomplete results. This will give you a good idea of some longer tail keywords you can target to help people find your practice online.

How much does it cost for SEO services?

Keyword research is usually the first initial expense, and will depend on how many keyword areas you want us to investigate. The reputation and link building part of the service depends on how competitive your keywords and phrases are in your industry, and how long you want your keyword phrases to take to rank on Google. Off page SEO can be tailored to fit your monthly budget, however. In other words, a lower budget will allow for so much work and will be slower to get results, while a larger budget will get faster results. The best thing is to tell us your monthly budget and we will assemble a plan to suit that.

What you would need from me?

As part of the plan, we may be getting you to do specific tasks that complement and facilitate what we do our end, unless you would like those tasks outsourced to our team. These may include writing website and blog content, populating social media pages with posts, getting reviews from customers, and other things along the way.

How many keywords and phrases can you accommodate?

As many as you want really, although it should ideally be limited to focusing the SEO on no more than 3-4 related phrases per page. You would need to stay within the scope of optimising for keywords you can realistically compete for within your budget. The higher the competition, the more time and effort is involved of course.

How do you measure the success rate of SEO?

We measure success in terms of how high up the search engine rankings your website gets for your best keywords, how much authority and reputation you are able to gain online, how sustained and lasting the rankings are….and of course, ultimately in terms clicks through to your website.

Is there a way to see what is working for other businesses like ours?

Yes, it is possible to look at certain things that your successful competitors are doing, such as niche keywords, use of Google products, quality and abundance of content, how good their on page optimisation is, how many back-links they have etc. We can provide a competitor analysis report.

What kind of strategies do you use?

Good quality SEO campaigns mimic a natural process, and typically include high quality link acquisition, guest posts, local citations, social bookmarking, press releases, social media, content creation, video creation, article, infographic and document distribution, business associations, and industry related promotions etc. In addition, many of Google’s own products can be used to raise your profile and tie that in with search engine activity.

-Do you suggest keywords for us?

The initial and most important phase of SEO is in-depth keyword research, so yes…we suggest keywords based on and informed by that research. We only want to target phrases that people are typing in in real life. We use both manual techniques and cutting edge tools to assess a number of parameters including search volume to competition ratio, and viability.

-What’s the reasoning behind your 6 months minimum advice?

Firstly, it is super important that an SEO campaign be as gradual and organic looking to the search engines as possible, and they are very vigilant about sudden or volume influxes of SEO efforts. Secondly, Google needs time to re-crawl a website when changes take place. It can take as long as 4 months before a site’s pages are fully updated by Google’s search index. Your own site – and the sites from which we create links pointing to your site – will be subject to this.

-Do you think 6 months is enough?

In our experience, this time framework gives a good solid SEO foundation, and doing it for any shorter period is potentially a waste of money. After the minimum period, more competitive industries and locations will usually need to continue at full budget, while less competitive ones would require a less expensive top up SEO after the initial period.

-How will your SEO benefit us?

We have a good track record of getting competitive keywords to the top page of Google. We rank a variety of clients across a range of industries.

Want to learn more?

If you want more information about how My SEO Stars can help you launch a custom SEO strategy complete with keyword research, feel free to contact us today to talk with a strategist.