13 STEPS TO FIND YOUR BEST KEYWORDS FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

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New to Keyword Research and Analysis? Here’s the smartest way to research and find keywords for search engine optimization.

Before you touch a Keyword research tool, there are 12 super useful steps to follow to obtain the best understanding of the keywords used in your company and industry. Conducting a quick Keyword Research with an easy and convenient tool like SEMRUSH has its place. However, if you are a content manager, creator or an SEO manager, when you start your SEO process, it is incredibly important to go about keyword research in a systematic way in order to do it right. If you follow the steps mentioned in this article prior to starting your SEO process, you will set your company for success.

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This process will help you and everyone in your SEO and marketing teams to refer back to the results of this systematic keyword analysis to gain understanding and to create the best content for your potential customers through the results you obtained through this methodical search for keywords for search engine optimization.

Prior to starting the process, there is one step you need to take:

Gather key participants in your business – owner, CEO, CMO, sales, customer service members 

This step involves all the key participants in your business. If this is a new business, this process will only involve you, your partner and/or your small team. If you are looking to analyse keywords for a large company, this step will involve key parties in your departments who deal directly with customers or clients. These parties may be aware or familiar with terms that your clients or customers use regularly. Block time in their calendars and bring them together to a meeting room.

Once this step is complete, it is time to get started with the smartest and most systematic process to find your best keywords for search engine optimization with the following 13 steps:

1. List of words that describe your product or services

Create a list of words to describe your product or services. Limit to 1-5 words/phrases

2. Identify synonyms

Identify words that have the same meaning of your products or services that could be used by your client/ customers

3. List of all related areas 

Create a list of all the areas, niches or categories of products or services that your company deals with.

4. Is your product a niche/subset of a broader category of products?

Does your product fall under a larger category of products?

5. Key phrases used in your current site

What are the market, company or industry specific terms that you have used in your website so far pertaining to your product? List them down.

6. Key phrases used by industry leader, association and industry specific media

List down all the phrases that are used by industry leaders or benchmark companies in your category, the lead association and the category specific media that covers industry related news in your sector.

7. List your brands

Does your product have any other allied brands under the same umbrella? If so, make a list of them all.

8. List all your products or categories and sub-categories

If you have a master sheet of all the products that you deal with, copy the list and add it to your analysis document.

9. Team to role play as searcher/customer

Email all members in your company and asking team members to assume they are customers. What would they type into search engines if they were looking for your product? Create a list of all the keywords

10. Gather unbiased views about your product from outsiders

Create a questionnaire meant for people outside your company to answer the question: ‘If you were looking for a solution for ‘XYZ’ what would you type into search engines?’

1. Family members of team:

Ask team members to get their family members over 18 years of age to answer as honestly as possible –  if they could assume they are customers of your company, what would they type into search engines if they were looking for your product? Create a list of all the keywords. 

2. Primary research – Strangers:

Using the same questionnaire, ask complete strangers on the street that fit your target market, if applicable. Or create Focus Groups that fit your customer demographic and ask them what they would type into search engines to find solutions related to your products or services.

3. Your very own email list:

Your email list is a great asset for research needs like this. Using the same questionnaire, create an email targeting your own list of subscribers / customers and ask them directly. There could be nothing better than this direct approach. This would be the ultimate way to gather this information. 

11. Use your Google tools –

Google Analytics or Search console – Use the tools in your arsenal to look for historical search results that will show you what searchers have been typing in to find your products. What are the keywords for SEO that bought traffic to your site? Did these keywords convert? If not, could the intent of searchers be different from the keywords that are bringing traffic to your site?

12. Look into all your competitors websites

Make a list of all the keywords for search engine optimization that they use to describe your products / services. 

  1. Are there any unique keyword variations or related synonyms that they use and you don’t? 
  2. Do they incorporate any shifting trends that you may have missed seeing in your market? 
  3. Have they written any comms or articles related to these keywords on their blogs?
  4. Have they used any non-brand terms in their website, articles or other communications?
  5. Has the industry specific media mentioned them or their keywords?

13. Use THE BEST Tools FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION to make your research complete

Semrush is one of the market leading tools for search engine optimization out there. Using a tool like Semrush can help you amplify your research and make it robust. Semrush’s Keyword Research tool for search engine optimization, helps you find the most apt keywords for your content. Analysing competition and search volume will help you zero in on the right keywords for search engine optimization to create content on.

Choosing the ‘Questions’ classification of keywords will help you find the questions searchers type in to find solutions to the problems within your space. Creating content around these questions will help your content rank for the questions on search engines. If successfully implemented your content will be instantly offered up as an answer result to searchers when they type in the questions. 

Semrush’s Keyword Gap Analysis tool is a great tool for SEO. It will help you identify all the keywords that your competitors are using and you have not identified yet. Create a list of all of these keywords and be visible among your competition when searchers look for these terms. 

Remember and make sure to always make your page more and more useful to solve or fulfil the ultimate intent of your searcher – not just the exact terms that they are searching for. 

If you follow this method to analyse your keywords for search engine optimization process, you will soon understand the keywords that you can use to gain advantage in the market and also gaps in main keywords that you may not be taking advantage of. 

This process could easily take more than a week to complete. But is a really useful exercise for keyword analysis to do paid ads and to create meaningful content for your customers. As the market changes, you can use this document as a basis to change keywords or add new ones to the list. This document should be reviewed every year  at least.