How To Do Keyword Research for SEO in 2024: Strategy & Tools

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

As an experienced digital marketer and SEO expert, I know that no search engine optimization strategy can be truly effective without first performing thorough keyword research. Regardless of how much or how good your content is or how many backlinks your website has, you’re going to struggle to rank if nobody is searching for what you’re writing about. That’s why I’ve put together a guide on how to carry out keyword research, along with a helpful checklist and template for you to follow. Quick Summary Keyword Research Basics Before showing you how to go about picking the most important and fruitful keyword ideas for your online business or site, let’s define what Keyword Research is and why it’s important for SEO. What is Keyword Research? Keyword Research for SEO is the process of finding and analyzing keywords that are most relevant to a particular niche and which can bring the most organic traffic to your site. This way, you can use those keywords to improve a website’s position in the SERPs. However, it’s not only about finding terms that will drive the most traffic but also about finding the right search phrases that will help turn organic visits into conversions. Why Is Keyword Research Important? Keyword research is important for a number of reasons. Before you create an SEO strategy, you should conduct Keyword Research first. Otherwise, you won’t know which search phrases present an opportunity to improve your website’s position in the SERPs. There are several reasons why Keyword Research is essential to your website’s growth… Keyword Research allows you to identify a list of keywords with decent search volume that are the most relevant and valuable to your business or website. Even if you have an idea of what internet users are searching for, guessing can only get you so far. By including the most popular keywords, you’ll be able to increase your website’s organic traffic. Thanks to Keyword Research, you’ll also understand which queries your competitors are ranking for and create a strategy to eliminate this keyword gap and overtake them in the SERPs. At the same time, Keyword Research can help you achieve the most results with the least effort. How? You might find keywords relevant to your niche that your competitors aren’t ranking for, in which case reaching the top spots in the search results pages and driving more traffic becomes even easier. Here are some more ideas to find easy keywords:  Lastly, analyzing your keyword ideas will help you answer some important questions like: Keyword Research Checklist Without understanding what keywords your audience is searching for, your site won’t rank anywhere near its potential. For those who want to know how to research keywords, we’ve put together a checklist outlining the core steps you should follow when carrying out Keyword Research for SEO. To complete this Keyword Research process, you will need: We’ll go through the template below using as an example. Get An Overview of Your Website’s Keyword Visibility The first step in this Keyword Research process is all about getting an overview of your website’s current keyword visibility – i.e., identifying which keywords your website is already ranking for. If you have a brand new website that isn’t ranking for any queries, you can either skip these steps or do them for your most important competitors to give you an idea of what keywords you should target. Raw Data Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool, click Organic Keywords in the left sidebar. Ensure that you see the keyword ideas for your target location (in this example, it’s the USA), click Export. Then, click Full Export (if you’re ranking for more than 1000 keyword ideas) > Start Export. Once exported, remove all columns from the spreadsheet apart from those that I have kept in the Raw Data tab of the Keyword Research template. Copy these keywords into the tab and sort the keywords by Volume. You now have a full list of keyword ideas that your website is currently ranking for based on search volume. Keyword Map The next step is to create a keyword map to see which URLs are ranking for which terms. Create a copy of your Raw Data tab. This time, order the columns so that you have the following: Now, sort the data by URL. So that your sheet now looks something like this: You’re now going to create a Pivot Table so that the keyword data looks more presentable. Highlight all of the data by clicking on the blank cell in the top-left corner. Click the Filter icon, Data > Pivot Table. Select New sheet, click Create. In the Pivot Editor, add in the rows in the same order listed above. Be sure to deselect Show totals. Call this Pivot Table, “Keyword Map” and hide your copy of the Raw Data tab by right-clicking on the tab and selecting Hide sheet. You can stretch the URL column to show more text. And that’s your Keyword Map complete – this is a more visually appealing and informative representation of the site’s keyword visibility. For example, you can perform useful calculations to see: Low Hanging Keywords More often than not, you’ll have lots of keywords ranking just outside of the first page (i.e. positions 11 – 30 in the search results). These are potential quick wins that you can target as a priority. To find your Low Hanging Keywords, go back to Ahrefs and this time, filter your keywords by Position, After clicking Apply, you can export, copy and paste the terms into the Low Hanging Keywords tab. Alternatively, you can create a copy of your Raw Data tab again and filter the terms by Position using the Filter icon. You now have a list of search terms that you can optimize to climb into the first page of the search engines. Long Tail Keywords The next step is to identify long-tail search terms. These keyword ideas often have a lower SEO difficulty and present traffic with good conversion potential. Long-tail keywords might have lower search volume than general keywords, but they usually have low competition and are more likely to interest the target readers and generate conversions. Essentially, you want to look for terms that contain words like: To do this, head over to the Ahrefs keyword analysis tool and type in the above phrases (separated by commas) into the Include text box. In the Exclude text box, click Any target, deselect URLs and click Apply. This will now show you the keywords that contain the above words/phrases. Export, copy and paste these terms into the Long Tail Keywords tab. Sort by Keyword from A to Z. You now have a filtered list of long-tail terms that your website is currently ranking for. These are great for answering questions that your target audience may have about your niche, business, or site. Potential Keyword Cannibalization A common problem websites face is when multiple URLs with similar or the same content compete for the same keyword – this is known as keyword cannibalization. Keyword cannibalization can really hurt a site’s SEO performance, so it’s important to ensure that there isn’t any internal competition between your landing pages. Here’s a quick way to spot potential keyword cannibalization using Ahrefs. Create another copy of your Raw Data tab and call it Potential Keyword Cannibalization. This time, you want your columns to be ordered with: Sort your keyword ideas from A to Z – this is a super important step! In the Cannibalized column, add the following Excel formula: =if(A1=A2,”Yes”,if(A2=A3,”Yes”,”No”)) This formula is checking whether there are multiple instances of the same keyword in the spreadsheet. Copy this formula across all of the rows in your spreadsheet so that it looks like this: Next, filter out the keywords that aren’t cannibalized. Click the Filter icon, click the icon under the Cannibalized? column, deselect Yes, then click OK. This will show you all keywords that aren’t cannibalized. Highlight them all and delete the rows by right clicking, Delete selected rows to leave you with just the terms that are cannibalized. Hopefully, your sheet will be empty at this stage (as you don’t want any cannibalization), but if not, it’ll look something like this… Remove the Cannibalized? Column and sort by Volume to identify the most important keywords that have been cannibalized. You now have a list of cannibalized keywords. To learn more about analyzing and fixing keyword cannibalization, check out this article. Finding New Keyword Suggestions & Ideas Up until this stage of this SEO Keyword Research process, we’ve only focused on the keywords that your website is already ranking for in Google’s SERP. In this chapter, I’ll show you how to find new keyword ideas to target by using the same keyword research tool (Ahrefs) and other methods. Identify Seed Keywords by Topic A great way to build a foundation of new keyword ideas is to brainstorm the key topics that define your website’s niche with seed keywords. Seed Read More Read More

The post How To Do Keyword Research for SEO in 2024: Strategy & Tools first appeared on Diggity Marketing.

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