SEO Keyword Research in 2021: A Beginner’s Guide
There was a time when you could install a free Chrome browser plug-in, scrape off all the competing keywords you need, throw them in an article a dozen times, and then immediately rank for search terms at high volume after you publish your article. In 2021, things have changed a lot and so have Google’s algorithms.
- 5 Best Keyword Research Strategies
- As a full-service digital marketing agency owner and blogger on the subject for several years, I share with you my top five keyword research strategies to help you start ranking sooner:
- Step 1: Choose your search tool
- While there has been free software available for SEO keyword research, to my knowledge, there is none left that is competitive with paid services. Pretty much every SEO specialist I know uses one of the following paid tools, all of which are great choices:
Do your homework to find the one that best suits your goals and budget. I have used all of these tools at one time or another, and have no affiliation with any of them.·
Typically, all of them offer free one-week trial promotions.
Step 2: Run a Google audit·
Your next stop is the Google Search Console (GSC), which is every SEO’s best friend. GSC provides a ton of free value by educating you on:
• Which pages are currently ranking for specific search terms.
• Search terms that generate the most website visits.
• What devices are used to visit your website.
• Advanced SEO metrics such as click-through rates and average positions on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The goal here is to find the near misses your website currently has (if any) and build from there. If your website is already doing well in a particular content topic (for example, you’re ranked 25th for “Best Italian Recipes”), you’ll have a starting point for creating additional content.
Step 3: Create your seed keywords·
Once you have identified a shortlist of seed keywords (i.e. five to ten seeds), you can use your keyword research tool to insert your seedsIf you are still new to the SEO game (i.e. your website has a domain authority score below 40), change your search options to filter results with a KD above 50.
Anything above this mark will require hundreds of backlinks to be in the top 10, so your best bet is to focus on less competitive search terms for now.
Using the previous example, “Best Italian Recipes” gives us the following content ideas based on our starting keyword when connected to a keyword research tool:
You will notice that keywords with higher volume tend to have higher KD scores. Your goal is to try and strike a balance between managing difficulty (i.e. keeping KD below 50) while not wasting your time on keywords that no one is looking for (i.e. i.e. a volume less than 100).
For each seed keyword, you should be able to extract at least 10 long tail keywords.Step 4:
Link Your Pages TogetherYour website should be neatly organized with links that help readers navigate to other useful and relevant content.
Remember that Google’s primary mission is to improve the Internet user experience (UX). If your website makes it easy for visitors to find other content that you’ve posted that can be of value to them, Google will reward you for the effort.
That’s why I also include a minimum of four or five internal links in my blog posts posted to other relevant pages on my site.
This way there is enough cross promotion between my pages and readers can maximize the value they get from my content.
This often requires you to go back and edit old posts to add new links as they become available.Step 5:
Build From HereMy final tip is to use the Google Suggest tool to find other content ideas that can be used as keywords for stand-alone articles, or to use as seed keywords that you plug into your search tool.
SEO.Start by searching for a relevant query in Google and scroll to the bottom of the results page.
Creating Creative Keywords:
The Key to SEO SuccessThe success of an SEO strategy really depends on the keywords selected. So choose them wisely.
I highly recommend trying a reputable keyword research tool for generating long tail keywords from seed keywords and then using Google Suggest to find other content ideas based on that. that has already worked for you.
From there, you can rinse and repeat, inserting new content ideas into your search tool as your content grows.