The inside scoop on where to start with keyword research.

Written by Andy Keyte

Understanding which terms your customers enter in a search engine is where research should begin

Words really are key

Understanding which terms your customers enter in a search engine is where research should begin. This information will arm you with the knowledge to drive traffic (and profit) in your direction. Keyword terms help the search engines to decide what each page of your site is about and where to rank it for any given search. They can then guide your marketing content strategy moving forward.

In the simplest terms, keyword research answers:

  • what people are searching for
  • how many are searching for it
  • the format they prefer to find information in.

Here are our top five insider tips on keyword research:

1. Define the boundaries

As with any research, before you begin it’s important to know the questions you want the answers to. Keyword research needs to be purposeful to be meaningful.

2. Know your customer

At Miramar, our number one recommendation is to start from scratch with facts you know to be authentic and true. Your customers are your richest source of insight. Use surveys and tools like ‘Answer the Public’ to identify the keywords that best describe the problems your customers are most keen to solve.

3. Quality, not quantity

The keywords that rank highly every month may not be as relevant to your business as the reason why they’re being used in searches. Rankings are easy to explore on the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

4. Sneak a peek over the fence

Using the ‘Start with a Website’ function of the Google Keyword Planner, you can enter your competitor’s website details and then receive a range of keyword ideas. These can then be narrowed down and you can choose the most relevant keywords with the lowest competition.

5. Googling it really does work

Google Suggest is a valuable resource when you consider the long-tail variations, synonyms and terms relating to the keywords you’ve identified. Google’s search engine itself is designed to learn user behaviour over time; it’s the best place to go for relevant and up-to-date information on search terms.

It’s important to always consider relevance, authority and volume when choosing keywords.

To get worthwhile results, keywords need to:

  • Be relevant

They only have value if they meet the searchers’ needs. They’ll be mutually beneficial to you and your customer if your content is the best available answer to the questions they ask.

  • Have authority

It’s important (to Google for example) that your site is rich with valuable content, not just populated with backlinks.

  • Represent volume

To drive traffic to your site, the best keywords to use are those searched on by a high number of users.

Another keyword research tip is reverse thinking; by making use of the keywords you don’t want in your campaigns, you could reach users that best fit with your offering. Surprising perhaps, but exploiting some of the low-competition keywords you uncover during your research can be really helpful.

The tools that help

The below tools are useful for getting data from, and for help with, finding keywords related to those you enter:

  • Conductor Searchlight
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Google Trends – visual illustrations and analyses that compare the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages over time.
  • (similar to Google Trends)

Keyword research pays great dividends. It’s a worthwhile and enlightening process and there are plenty of tools to guide you along the way. Research doesn’t always have to be tedious.

It’s important to always consider relevance, authority and volume then choosing keywords.

How Miramar can help you with SEO

Take a look at our range of SEO Services – they’re tailored to help different organisations to achieve their SEO goals.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about what we can offer you, please get in touch. And look out for more insider tips to come in our blog in weeks to come!

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