It goes without saying that keyword research is the most fundamental part of any SEO campaign. The results of it should be taken into consideration when deciding the structure of your website to your alt text and everything in between. In this guide, we’re going to reveal how we at Gorilla SEO Manchester find out exactly what keywords a market is typing into the web & then how to analyse the websites ranking for those terms.
- The Tools We Use
- The Metrics & What They Mean
- Starting With Your Seed Keywords
- Seeing What Your Competitors Rank For
- Traffic Potential & Keyword Difficulty
- Keyword Groups
FREE SEO AUDIT
- Search Volume. The number of times a keyword is searched for online (often displayed p/m).
- Rankings. The position of the website in the organic results.
- Organic Traffic. How many visitors a site receives per month from search engines.
- Backlinks. Links from other websites. Read our backlink guide here.
- Referring Domains. The number of websites that link to a site.
- Page Authority. A Moz metric that uses inbound links to a page to determine the strength (and likely ranking probability) of that web page.
- Domain Authority. A Moz metric that uses total links to a domain to determine its authority (and likely ranking probability).
- URL Rating. A metric from Ahrefs that measures the strength of a web page and the likelihood that webpage will rank.
- Domain Rating. Domain Rating is a metric from Ahrefs that shows the strength of a target website’s total backlink profile.
- Trust Flow. A metric from Majestic that predicts how trustworthy a page is judging by how many topically related websites are also linking to it.
- Citation Flow. Citation flow is a metric from Majestic that predicts how influential a webpage might be based on the links going to it.
Now that we have familiarity with the SEO tools and their respective metrics, the next step is actually looking at the keywords we want to rank for. To begin, we first start with our ‘seed keywords’. These broadly define the niche and competition – they will be the foundation of your keyword research. From them, we then can look for ‘child’ and ‘long tail’ keywords which are also being searched for by our potential customers.
As an example, if we were looking to sell face cream online, we would first create a table that looks like the one below:
|Seed Keyword||Child Keyword||Longtail Keyword||Search Volume||Google Position 1||Google Position 2||Google Position 3|
|Face cream||21 000||Competitor A||Competitor B||Competitor C|
|Best face creams||8 000||Competitor C||Competitor A||Competitor B|
|Best face cream for wrinkles||900||Competitor A||Competitor C||Competitor B|
|Best face cream for men||780||Competitor A||Competitor B||Competitor C|
|Best face cream for over 40’s||600||Competitor A||Competitor B||Competitor C|
|Best face cream for crows feet||450||Competitor C||Competitor A||Competitor B|
|Best face cream for scars||320||Competitor C||Competitor E||Competitor B|
|Best face cream for dry skin||600||Competitor D||Competitor B||Competitor D|
|Best face cream for African skin||70||Competitor H||Competitor D||Competitor C|
Once you have your seed keywords, there are multiple tools and methods to assist you in finding the child and long tail keywords that you can optimise for.
GOOGLE AND BING
You can use the search engines themselves to find keywords and phrases that people are typing in when looking for your product or service. Simply start with your seed keyword, scroll down to the bottom of the page and make a note of the related searches. Then look at the related searches of the related searches and so forth, until you have found as many as applicable.
GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
Google provides a keyword planner for their AdWords customers which we can use for SEO purposes. Simply create an AdWords account if you don’t have one already. Once logged in, the keyword planner is available under the ‘planning’ subheading in the toolbar.
From here you will need to select the ‘find new keywords’ option. Enter in the keywords on your list that you found through the Google related searches and save the new keywords that Google suggests. Be sure to then run all these keywords through the ‘metrics and forecasts’ tool also found in the Google Keyword Planner to find out their monthly search volumes. Ideally, you will also want to do a Google search of each of the keywords and make a note of the top 3-5 ranking URLs – we will be using them later.
ANSWER THE PUBLIC
Answer the Public is a great tool that generates questions based around your root keyword. Great for finding new keywords opportunities which you can also put into Google and look at the related searches for.
GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS
If your website is already established, then chances are that you are already ranking deep in the index for loads of long tail keywords that your content isn’t properly optimised for. With a few minor tweaks, you could see a big jump in your website rankings and traffic.
AHREFS & SEMRUSH
Use Ahrefs and Semrush to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for. Simply input the URL of their ranking page into the organic research section and then add any new keywords they rank for to your spreadsheet. Be sure to then run them through a Google search for related keywords and keep repeating the process over and over and over.
Now that we have together a comprehensive list of keywords that we need to optimise for, the next step is doing competitor research. During keyword compilation, we will have put together the top ranking web pages for each of our keywords. We now want to put together a second, separate table for our competitors that looks like so:
|Competitor||Domain Rating||URL Rating||URL Trust Flow||Links to page||Top 3 rankings||Words on the page|
Once we have populated the list above with our competitors, we’re then able to make good judgement calls on what is required from a content and SEO perspective going forward. We also want to be looking closely at our competitors’ pages that rank top 3 for multiple keywords and use that as a blueprint to improve upon for our webpage.
The higher the domain authority and trust flow of your competitors, the more you’re going to need to do from a backlinking perspective. Be sure to make a note of the anchor text ratios of your top competitors too, we will want to match these percentages as closely as possible. You can read more about backlinking in the Gorilla Backlinks Guide.
After carefully looking at the layout, content and site structure of your competitors – as well as having your full keyword list at hand – it is time to group your keywords together to plan your content pieces. Be sure to group them by their parent topic and ensure plenty of LSI keywords are together to stop cannibalization. Furthermore, you want to ensure that ‘intent’ focused keywords such as ‘buy’ and ‘best’ are grouped together as much as possible. Carrying on from the example of a ‘face cream’ content piece, our content groups would look like this:
As you can see from the diagram above, the main content piece is going to target ‘best face creams’. Within the content, we want to ensure that we have headings that have our LSI, child and long tail keywords in them. Create and link to separate pages that expand on the topics in greater detail in the content below these headings.
In the example above, we have just announced the winner of the ‘best face cream for men’ in the main content – but would link to the ‘top 10 men’s creams’ as a child page that would look to rank for the term ‘face cream for men’. As you can see, just through proper research and then planning the content from it, we’re not only more likely to rank for ‘best face creams’ due to it answering so many different searchers needs – we also have child pages that are going to be picking up long-tail traffic too!
So when starting your SEO campaign please do not underestimate how important keyword research is and spend the appropriate time on it (and then some more!) – it is literally the biggest difference between success and failure in the search marketing industry. We hope our guide has helped you find some killer, profitable keywords and if there is anything that we can help you do to rank for them then please get in touch!