When it comes to SEO there is nothing more important than keyword research.
Learning how to do keyword research yourself is a valuable skill and one that you must master to gain unpaid traffic to your website using SEO.
In this guide are the exact steps to uncover the best keywords for your business using SEMRush.
Keyword research isn’t just a buzzword in the world of SEO and digital marketing; it’s a pivotal strategy that serves as the foundation for driving organic traffic and understanding customer behavior. At its core, keyword research involves delving into the specific terms and phrases people use in search engines when seeking information. By harnessing this data, businesses can align their online content with user intent, unlocking a host of benefits.
TL;DR: Keyword research is crucial for your website and blog strategy because it significantly boosts your online visibility by aligning your content with what your audience is actively searching for. It leads to higher quality traffic, better engagement, and increased conversion rates. By understanding the right keywords, you can create more relevant and effective content, stay ahead of the competition, and ensure your marketing efforts have a stronger impact. In simple terms, keyword research is the key to connecting with your target audience and improving the overall performance of your website and blog.
To kick things off I like to start with a quick overview of how the business is running. Depending on how much traffic you are getting is a factor when deciding which keywords to go after.
To begin, simply launch the report tool, enter your chosen keyword into the search field, and initiate the analysis. This process provides a holistic view of how your keyword performs in various aspects of digital marketing, enabling you to make informed decisions about whether or not to incorporate it into your SEO and content strategies.
The Keyword Overview is particularly valuable because it condenses complex data into an easily digestible format, allowing for quick yet thorough analysis. Whether you’re looking to enhance your website’s SEO, refine your blog content, or optimize your paid advertising campaigns, this quick analysis is an indispensable starting point.
Understanding and leveraging search intent is critical when it comes to success in SEO. When users enter keywords or phrases into search engines like Google, they have a specific intent or purpose behind their search.
Such as if you Google ‘Lawn Mower Hire’ (Commercial Intent, indicated by the yellow ‘C’ in the image below) and you are only met with articles on how to best cut your grass, you are going to be annoyed and leave Google.
Google understands this and puts a huge emphasis on only putting forward content that matches the ‘search intent’.
Search intent refers to the underlying reason for a user’s search query. By identifying and targeting the right type of search intent with your content, you can increase the relevance and value of your website to your audience. There are four main types of search intent to consider:
The two very important ones I want you to focus on are Informational and commercial intent.
Informational intent keywords are best for blog posts while commercial intent keywords are best used on your webpages selling in your services.
Begin by brainstorming a list of seed keywords that you believe are relevant to your business and that you’d like to rank for. This step involves thinking about the terms and phrases your potential customers might use when searching for your products or services. Consider a mix of broad and specific keywords, including long-tail keywords (more specific, less common phrases that are often easier to rank for and have higher conversion rates). This list should reflect the various aspects of your business, the needs and questions of your audience, and any unique selling points you have.
“You have to be careful when asking the client for important keywords. Great example — car dealers love to say ‘pre-owned vehicles’ cause it sounds nicer, but it has got less than a tenth the search volume of “used cars” (how people actually search).” —Greg Gifford.
Now, it’s time to play with SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, your magic wand for keyword research. Using the seed keyword you brainstormed earlier, this tool helps you delve deeper into your niche. It’s like having a crystal ball that reveals a plethora of related long-tail keywords, which are more specific and often less competitive. These keywords are neatly organized into subgroups based on topics, making your research more focused and efficient. Think of it as uncovering hidden gems that are perfectly aligned with what your audience is searching for.
For more detailed guidance on using the Keyword Magic Tool, visit SEMrush’s guide: How to Use Semrush for Keyword Research.
When choosing which keywords to focus on, it’s crucial to understand that not every keyword in your list will achieve high rankings immediately. This is where the concept of ‘Keyword Difficulty’ comes in. Represented as a percentage (1–100%), this metric indicates how challenging it will be to surpass your competitors in organic search results for a particular keyword. A higher percentage means greater difficulty. This valuable metric, denoted as KD% in SEMrush reports, guides you in prioritizing your efforts effectively by estimating the effort needed to rank organically for specific keywords.
Competitor keywords are the terms and phrases your business rivals are targeting to boost their search engine rankings and attract more online traffic. Identifying these keywords is crucial for several reasons:
Remember, competitor keyword research isn’t about copying your competitors’ strategies verbatim, but rather about understanding the landscape of your industry and finding opportunities to enhance your own SEO and content approach.
“I wouldn’t use many time-saving hacks — unless it’s aggregating data to then manually go through. When you automate keyword research, you lose to the people who spent the time to do it more in-depth.” —Ryan Jones.
Performing a competitor keyword analysis is a strategic approach to enhance your SEO efforts and can be broken down into several steps:
By following these steps, you can effectively analyze and leverage competitor keywords to improve your website’s SEO, attract more traffic, and ultimately achieve better online visibility and engagement.
Keyword mapping is a strategic SEO process where you assign specific target keywords to different pages on your website and document these decisions in a structured format, often called a keyword map. This approach is designed to ensure that each page optimally satisfies the search intent behind the keywords it targets, thus improving its chances of ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs).
To create a keyword map, follow these steps:
This process helps in systematically aligning your web pages with relevant keywords, ensuring a cohesive and effective SEO strategy.
By implementing a thorough keyword mapping strategy, you ensure that your website’s content is strategically aligned with user searches, enhancing your SEO performance and overall online presence.
Once you’ve chosen the keywords for your keyword map, implementing them effectively across your website is crucial. Here are key places where you should incorporate these keywords to enhance your SEO:
Effectively implementing keywords from your map across these areas will contribute significantly to your website’s SEO performance, helping to increase both the visibility and relevance of your content in search engine results.
Caitlin Christensen is an expert in digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Owner of Creative SEO Coach. She specializes in optimizing websites built on popular web building platforms Showit and WordPress. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, Caitlin has helped countless small businesses and organizations improve their organic visibility on search engines.
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