Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by Social SEO Team
Keyword and competition analysis and research are one of the most important tasks for optimizing your website. Without proper keyword and competition research, you won’t be able to create strategies for outranking your competitors. A keyword analysis is all about finding the best Search terms your potential customers are looking for to find your product or service, and also to spy on your competitors to find the keywords they’re using to create strategies to outrank them for the optimum keywords.
We’ve created this comprehensive keyword research and analysis guide to help you choose the right keywords for your website. Before getting fully involved in explaining how to do keyword analysis and research, I’ll first go through the basics of what a keyword is and why it’s so important for any online marketing campaign.
It’s very important that you select the right keywords to get most out of your website, content centric SEO, or any other online marketing strategy you’re planning to use.
Not only will I discuss the concepts, but I will guide you step by step from the research of new keywords, the selection of the final keywords, the analysis of the indicators for the selection of the objective keywords that you will use on your website.
Let’s get started!
What is a keyword?
Keywords are words and phrases that you should frame your website content around. In terms of SEO, it’s a term or topic relevant to your audience, and for which you’d want to appear on top Google results when a user performs a search on Google or any other Search engine.
For example, if you sell USB flash drives, and you are going to create a website, your main keyword could just be “USB Drives”, since you want your website to appear on the top of search results when someone searches for that type of product. However, not every person uses the same keyword, and that’s why it shouldn’t be the only keyword you should consider.
However, the story doesn’t end there.
Why keywords are important
When you own a business, what you want is that as many people looking for a product or service similar o yours know about your business, so that you can compete with other businesses offering similar services to win a sale. To achieve that goal, you must appear on the first page of Google, the higher the better, and if your website doesn’t appear on the top search results, it’s very unlikely that your target audience will find you. ?
In other words, your goal of ranking certain keywords in Search engines through search engine optimization is to bring organic traffic to your website and what keyword you target will determine the type of traffic your website will get.
You must take caution when doing keyword research, as if you select the wrong keyword, you could end up getting unqualified traffic to your website. For example, let’s say you have a computer accessories store, selling USB drives if you select the wrong keyword for example “CD players” or “USB Webcam” it’ll attract people who are interested in music, not USB drives.
Or suppose you sell luxury cars, and the person is looking for a used car. Surely, you don’t want that person on your website there is no chance of him converting to a qualified sale. But, what let say along with new ones, you sell luxury used cars? In that case, a keyword like “luxury used car” would be a good option to consider.
In summary, the keywords must be as relevant “qualified keywords, for your audience as for your content. To achieve qualified traffic to your website you must understand the needs of your audience and investigate how they are using search engines to find what they need. Every person uses language differently, and likewise, they use different keyword variations to find a product. This makes investigation and analysis to find the best variation of very important.
Why choose a keyword?
Taking into account the above, you already know that websites contain information that a group of people (your target audience) is looking for. This means that while writing the content for your website or product pages its necessary that you take into account the terms that people will use in search engines to find the information you’re offering.
Right keywords allow people to find the right website for their needs, and with good keyword research, yours could be among the top.
There is more than one classification of keywords, I will address two of them that I consider of utmost importance to understand in order to make an effective keyword research.
Informational (know) keywords:
These types of keywords usually don’t bring sales directly. The only thing the user is doing is looking for general information on a topic, product or service. However, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. if someone finds your website when using an informational keyword, and find the information on your website to be good quality and helpful to their needs, then, there is a good chance they’ll return to your website when they finally make a decision to buy the product (e.g. luxury watches).
Navigational (go) keywords :
With this type of keywords, users are generally trying to find a specific product, service or brand. These users have already advanced a bit in the purchase process, and know where they can find the information, product or service they’re looking for (e.g. Rolex luxury watches).
Here, the user is already in the last stage of the conversion cycle. And the related keywords ten to show a clear intention to buy a product or service( (e.g. “Sale or luxury watches”, or, “luxury watches for the gift”).
What interesting truth?
The importance of understanding all these types of keywords is that, once you’ve created a list of target keywords, you can group them by different criteria to properly create the best content marketing and SEO strategy to maximize the qualified traffic to your website.
Keyword Classification: Popularity index
This classification of keywords is based on the theory of “Long tail” by Chris Anderson in his NYT bestselling books “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More”, in which he explains that as due to rise of e-commerce, the cost of production and distribution is falling rapidly, it doesn’t make businesses to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all contains. Because of lack of constraints on physical shelf space, and other bottlenecks of distribution, the economy and society is moving away from a focus on relatively small number of mainstream products, which are on the top of the demand curve, to a large number of niche products. Due to this, nowadays products and services can be financially attractive to businesses as the mainstream product.
So, we have:
Short-tail or Head keywords:
The advantage of these types of keywords is that they tend to have a high amount of demand and searches. However, the drawback is that they also tend to have high competition, and the majority of visitors won’t result in qualified sales. They’re usually 1-2 word long and can be very generic.
For example, “Watches” or “luxury watches”.
Broad match or mid-tail keywords.
This type of keywords tend to present a little less search but may even be more recommended than head-tail because they generate more interaction than a generic term.
In addition to this, they almost always present intermediate competition. A middle tail keywords strategy usually presents a pretty good performance.
This type of keywords tends to get fewer searches, and low competition when compared to short-tail keywords. However, they generate more interaction than the short-tail phrases. They usually present good value for the investment.
Imagine someone searching for “Rolex luxury watches for men” This keyword would be considered a long-tail. It implies that even though the keyword has a low number of searches, but also less competition. These keywords are usually easiest to rank on search engines, and a good SEO strategy would be to integrate all three types of keywords in the content and marketing campaigns in a balanced way.
Keyword research process
Here begins the fun part of the whole process.
First stop to any keyword research campaign is to write down the ideas of all the terms and phrases that you think people would look for your product or service. For example, you have a watch store and are planning to venture into the online world with an online shop.
First, you need to think of all the keywords that people would search on Google. Here are some examples:
These are the phases we’ve come up with as seed keywords. Now we need to use these keywords to find better-targeted ones. The good news is that there are online tools with free options that can help determine which ones should be used.
Once you’ve created your initial list, you can now use Google’s Suggestions to get ideas for related keywords. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that when you search for something on Google, it shows you related searches while you are typing your query. Those suggestions shows queries other users have made, and therefore if other people are looking for it, it might be a good idea to consider them in your list of keywords for detailed analysis.
You’ll notice that the more you type in the search field, Google with show you more ideas of related keywords, mostly long-tail type, which are good for focusing microniches.
Note: As you type more words, it’ll change the suggestion based on your keyword phrase. If you want more suggestions, you can put asterisks(*) in your keyword phrase and Google will give you more suggestions.
You can use this on Youtube too. Just type the term and it’ll show the suggestions. Sometimes you can find suggestions that are different from what you get on Google.
When it comes to search engines, here’s one last trick, put a search term like “watches for men”, and scroll to the bottom of the search results. There you’ll find new related search ideas.
If you’ve followed all the steps so far, you should have a pretty extensive preliminary list to work on.
Search more keywords with Ubersuggest
This is a very practical tool. All you have to do is place the keyword you are interested in, see suggestions, select language, and voila.
Ubersuggest is a very practical tool. All you have to do is enter your keyword and select your language, and it’ll return an extensive list with data on search volume, CPC, Competition, etc. However, to make sure that the data is correct always double-check in the Google keyword planner tool.
It’s a very simple tool to use, and once you’ve generated your keywords and gathered search volume data, you’re ready for the final stage of keyword research.
Analyze competition for your keyword research
Oh yeah! This is getting exciting!
Appearing on the first page of Google search results. Here’s you need to find out what exactly are they doing with respect to “Keywords” to achieve such ranking. The factors you should take into consideration are Title tag, Meta description, URL, alt tags on images, heading tags, and keywords in the main copy of the web pages.
For example on searching “Watches for men” in Google, it shows Macy’s Nordstrom, and Amazon as top three websites. By analyzing just the title and description of the websites, we’ve found a new keyword “Men’s Wrist Watches”.
There are many free webpage analysis tools that you can use to get keyword data from your competitor’s websites. Tools such as Screaming frog, keyword density analyzer, Keyword Spy, helps you analyze your competitor website and find the best keywords. The free version of these tools will give you important data, however, for in-depth analysis they ask you to purchase the paid version. That’s why you should learn to do keyword research manually. However, there are tools like Market Samurai, that allow you full keyword research for free.
Keywords research with the Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Google keyword planner is a “most important” tool that all professionals in SEO and online marketing use for keyword research. Even the majority of keyword research tools use this tool to show you the data.
Here are two reasons you should use it:
1 – Get new keyword ideas and complete your list of seed keywords.
2. Get relevant data on search trends, which you’ll need in the advanced stages of your keyword analysis.
You’ll find this tool in the main menu of your Google adwords account, in the tools section.
How to use Google Keyword Planner?
1) First, to access Keyword Planner, you need to have a Google Adwords account. Create your account or log in here.
2) After making your registration, you will be directed to an area to fill out your personal information (starting with the e-mail).
3) Complete the signup and go to your account dashboard.
4) Now you are ready to start keyword research.
On your Adwords account, in the top menu, access the “Tools” section of the menu, and you’ll find the keyword planner there. The keyword planner will help us find the best keywords for use in our marketing campaigns.
Now, in the Keyword Planner tool, simply enter your main keyword in “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” field. If you click Get Ideas, it’ll show you all the related keywords to your main keyword.
Sort the keyword list by “Search volume”.
You now have a huge list that relates to your main keyword. By clicking on the field “average searches per month” you can now sort them from High to low.
On the top of the list, you’ll find the keywords with the highest search volume. Achieving top ranking for these keywords is quite impossible for a new website. The keywords at the bottom of the list are the ones with low search volume. These are mostly long-tail keywords.
In the middle of the list are the keywords that we’ll target. These mid-tail keywords bring good enough traffic and they are easier to rank. You can also check the competition and the pages ranking on top.
You should take note of the fact that Google keyword planner is an Adwords tool, the competition doesn’t refer to the organic search competition, but for the Advertisement. That’s why it’s very important that you analyze the websites ranking on page one and page two of Google to figure out the ranking difficulty.
The keyword research is a tedious and time-consuming process. But believe me, following this path will save you from problems in the future, and you’ll save a lot of time and money. I’ll leave it here. If this post has been useful to you, you can help us by sharing it with your friends on social media. If you have any questions or make a contribution to what I’ve already shared, post it in the comments!!