SISTERHOOD SESSIONS: WEEK 6 | PREVIOUS WEEK

In today’s SEO session, we’ll be going through keyword research.

SEO keywords will inform the direction of your content, ensuring that the content produced will be relevant and easily searchable on Google. And that is, in summary, what keyword research is all about.

It’s usually a pretty time-consuming task and involves a lot of effort to pour through details, numbers, and comparing long lists of keywords. But it’s incredibly important to do it well. A thorough keyword research will be the foundation of your SEO strategy and content development.

Keyword research is defined as the activity of analyzing and finding a list of valuable keywords for the purpose of SEO copywriting. The keywords, or search terms, often become a guide for the direction of your content and marketing strategy.

A keyword can consist of a single word but more often than not it’s made out of several words. For example, “keyword research” is a keyword, as is “best keyword research tool“.

Keyword research will help you craft a good SEO strategy. With a good strategy, you can then create a detailed plan of action to achieve your goals.

How to do keyword research

Before you figure out what are the best keywords to optimize your page, it’s best that you start by diving deep to learn more about your topic or niche. It can give you out-of-the-box ideas and help discover angles to your marketing and SEO strategy that you might not have thought about before.

Here are a few ideas on how to study your niche:

  • Talk with your existing customers and get to know them better. Find out the terms that they use when describing your brand, company, product or service.
  • Try to think from the perspective of your potential customers. If you were to share the brand’s offering to a friend, how will you talk about it?
  • Get involved in your topic or niche’s online communities, like forums and social media networks. Read the discussions and find out any pain points that are mentioned regarding your niche.
A plan needs to always begin by defining the end goal. But before that, you should ask important and introspective questions like: Who are you? What is your brand about? What makes you special? What is your website about? What promises do you make on your website? Once you have effectively answered these questions, then you need to specify what is your brand’s mission. Do you want to increase the number of subscribers? Or do you have a sales target by a certain date? It’s important to define your goal because it will provide a direction for your SEO strategy and plan. The search terms that you will eventually use should be aligned to your goals, ideally segmented into different content marketing funnels. Your goals will also inform the purpose of your SEO copywriting and content. Write down your goals. Draw charts. Document them. These will provide the framework and direction needed for your top-level content and online marketing strategy.

Based on your the main category of your brand and the goals you aim to achieve, break it down to smaller topic buckets. Make a list of all the topics related to your brand that you want to rank on Google.

For example, if you’re an brand specialising in women’s personal care products, some topics that are related to your brand can be:

  • women’s skincare
  • perfumes & deodrants
  • hair growth and hair removal

They need to be topics that are important to your business and related to your buyer personas. Think about what type of topics will your target audience search for on Google? These topic buckets can then later be broken down to keywords that are related to those topics.

Now that you’ve broken down your main category to different buckets of sub-topics, you can start creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords need to be related to your various topics, and more importantly, are terms that your target audience might be searching on Google.

Seed keywords, or focus keywords, are important as they will become the foundation of your keyword research. They define your niche and identify your competitors.

If you’re wondering how to find the seed or focus keywords of your brand or product, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. All you need to do is describe your offering as simple as possible and brainstorm how other people might search for it on Google.

You might assume, “shouldn’t keyword research begin with using a keyword tool?” There’s no right or wrong answer there, to be honest. But there is an obvious advantage to researching search terms from your brand or business perspective first and foremost.

It avoids you from getting too bogged down with keywords and helps you gain a wider perspective for your content and SEO strategy.

Once you have identified your goals, topics, and a list of seed keywords, it’s time to use keyword research tools to further refine your search terms.

One option is a tool like Keyword Tool. It will give you a lot more details and help you narrow down on the right direction for your search terms. On top of that, it can also give additional ideas on related keywords.

All you need to do is type in the topic (or seed keyword) into the search box and it will give you a list of alternative keywords, including those that contain prepositions and questions

Google’s machine learning search algorithms compare search terms with user queries to learn about search intent.

Search intent is defined as the intent or reason behind why people search for a specific term. There are many driving factors behind people’s search habits, such as:

  • Why are they searching?
  • Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer to that question?
  • Are they searching for a specific website?
  • Are they searching because they want to buy something?

Try to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Why would they search for your topic? How will they key in the terms? Are they looking to buy something? Or are they looking for a service to solve a specific problem?

Once you have a good idea of the search intent behind potential readers or customers, you will be able to use it to fine-tune your keyword research. Getting a list of high-volume keywords related to your brand or topic is great. But finding keywords that directly match your target audience’s search intent is even better.

Seed keywords are often shorter search terms that are closely related to your brand’s main topic or category. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are more descriptive and often related to your brand’s smaller buckets of sub-topics. Matching your target audience’s search intent to long tail keywords is far easier compared to seed keywords.

For example, if your website published content about fitness equipment reviews, using long tail keywords like “what is the best fitness equipment for abs” will attract a more relevant audience compared to the seed keyword “fitness equipment

Long tail keywords usually get fewer clicks, but since they are focused on a specific topic or product, they often get a higher conversion rate.

Doing keyword research on Google about your brand alone is not nearly enough. You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. The better you understand the content landscape of your industry, the better it will be for your SEO.

Understanding the competitiveness of different keywords will also allow you to identify search terms that might be too difficult to rank. But most importantly, you will be able to find keyword opportunity gaps. These opportunities occur when you find related keywords that are related to your brand or industry with low to medium competition level.

  • MOZ SEO Tools
  • https://www.wordtracker.com/
  • https://keywordtool.io/google
  • Google Trends is a great free product created by Google that helps to find the relative popularity of keywords. It is an excellent alternative to Keyword Planner for keyword popularity comparison. With Google Trends, you can see how interest and the relative number of searches for a keyword changes over time.

    Using Google Trends, you can also see the relative popularity of a keyword in a given country or region. The tool allows you to compare the relative popularity of up to 5 different keywords at the time.

NEXT SESSION

In our next session we’ll be creating content using Photopea (Free, online photoshop alternative) and an app called In-Shot.

YOU WILL NEED ACCESS TO A LAPTOP FOR PHOTOPEA AND I WILL RECORD AN IN-SHOT DEMO AND POST IT HERE. 

Before the next session please download In-Shot on your phone- https://inshot.com/

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Rozina has over 12 years content creation experience and is here to help you through your course needs. Her areas of expertise are visual design, strategy and content marketing.

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