Use keyword research to find out what your organization should be talking about
Keyword research provides a reliable basis for effective keyword marketing and content creation.
Keyword research is used to determine what terms or keywords people use when searching for information related to a specific topic. Keyword research helps your organization to find the right keywords for targeted search engine marketing and for content creation that speaks to your audiences. What is more, keyword research tells you how you and your competitors rank in search engines.
When and why should you conduct keyword research?
Conducting keyword research is almost always a good idea. The advantages gained from the research are great in comparison to the amount of time spent on it.
Keyword research is beneficial especially when you are launching a new service or product. It helps you identify the potential your new service or product has in terms of search engine marketing and organic visibility. Based on the research, it’s easy to optimize your launch-related content creation around the most important keywords.
Even with no new launches on the horizon, you should still conduct keyword research at least once a year. It helps you keep your content, search terms and keywords up to date. Keyword research is also a great way to identify the easy wins in search engine marketing – the ones that can be implemented with minimal effort.
Reserve ample time to go over the results of your keyword research and always keep an open mind. At times, the research can yield surprising results. For example, some of the terminology or words used could actually be harmful, and it might be better to stop using them.
Asking for help is a good idea when you are thinking of conducting keyword research or interpreting the results. At Paper Planes, we conduct keyword research for many of our customers every year, and can lend you a helping hand when it comes to doing the research and interpreting the results.
How can I conduct keyword research myself?
There are about as many tools to use and ways to conduct keyword research as there are people doing it. Here you can find our tried-and-tested approach and start mapping out keywords yourself. We recommend you conduct your research in the following order:
- Get the needed tools
- Analyze your current state
- Pretend you are the target audience
- Test and check
- Make an action plan
1. Get the needed tools
To conduct keyword research, you are going to need a few tools. We recommend the following:
Google Search Console tells you how many searches have been made with keywords that correspond to the organic content on your site. You’ll also learn how many clicks each word gets.
Google Ads Keyword Planner shows the potential organic visibility for selected keywords. The tool also suggests new keywords.
SEMRush offers keyword rankings and historical data on search engine positions for your search terms.
2. Analyze your current state
Open Google Search Console and see what search terms visitors use to find your site or your product. Compare the words and terms to the structure and content of your site. If you identify words that work particularly well or have potential, note them down. A spreadsheet application like Excel or Google Sheets works well for this.
Next, open SEMRush and check the Keyword Research section. How are the rankings of your keywords? If you see a clear drop or find a search term that is important for visibility but has a bad ranking, note them down on the same spreadsheet.
3. Pretend you are the target audience
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and pretend you are looking to buy. What do you search for? What search terms do use? Where do you search from? Does your customer use professional jargon that you haven’t yet used as a keyword or in your marketing and content creation? Note down all your findings. Remember to also visit your competitors’ sites and see what kind of keywords they use.
4. Test and check
During the testing phase you should use a service like Google Keyword Planner (requires a Google Ads account). It allows you to see the search volumes of important keywords and the potential visibility for a specific timeframe.
Upload the list of keywords you have put together into the system and set a region for your search – Finland, for example. Now you can run the report. As a result, you’ll get the search volumes for the listed keywords, a search volume forecast, as well as a list of potentially suitable so called long-tail keywords. Go over the lists and draw conclusions based on the results.
5. Make an action plan
Once you have created a list of keywords, searched for potential long-tail keywords and identified the potential search volumes of your keywords, it’s time to make an action plan.
Did you identify words that fit your existing content well but that you haven’t yet used in your marketing? The next step would be to create a campaign or an ad group for those specific keywords or themes. This can be done directly through Keyword Planner.
Did you identify potential themes from your keywords? Ones that are part of your offering but have no content yet? Incorporate these keywords into your content strategy and create content and a landing page for these themes.
Once your action plan is ready, it’s time to execute it. The best possible outcome usually requires the efforts of an entire team. And it’s best to do the work thoroughly and meticulously if you really want to excel in search engines. These days, the competition is tough especially when it comes to popular search terms.
You can always turn to us if this resonates with you and you would like some help. At Paper Planes, we are experts in search engine optimization and marketing. What is more, we know content creation like the backs of our hands.
So, don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask for a quote!