The Google algorithm constantly keeps updating, and spiders seem to be getting smart with every new update—all to improve Google’s user experience. A few years ago, using a few keywords here and there in your blogs was enough to start ranking on the search engines, but the game has changed now. Keywords are no longer just the terms your users are searching for on the internet, now, they have become an essential tool for SEO optimization.

Your SEO marketing strategy is ineffective without the right keywords that are strategically chosen to work for your business. Now is the time to put a lot more effort into finding the right keywords for your website content, but how do you go about it? We have got you covered; here is a simple guide on the right keyword research methodology for 2021.

Why Do We Do Keyword Research?

Before we go ahead with the guide, we must understand why keywords have become critical for website optimization. Using the right keywords can mean the difference between not getting enough traffic and being the top-ranking page on search result pages. Plus, keyword analysis and research is the only way you can figure out what people are searching for on the internet and target them specifically. Keyword research helps you answer questions like:

  • How hard will it be to rank with this keyword?
  • How much traffic can be expected with this keyword?
  • What kind of content is suitable for this keyword?
  • Will the people using this keyword be interested in my content?

How to Choose Keywords for SEO?

Now you know why keyword research is critical, so let’s move on how to do it. The most important thing you must remember for your keyword research methodology is that the power of keyword research lies in a better understanding of your target audience and how they are searching for content, services, or products on the internet. Here’s how you can look for keywords.

Brainstorm Seed Keywords

Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research methodology, but what are they? They are simple keywords that define your niche or brand in 2021. For example, for a car dealership, the seed keyword can be dealerships, car dealership, car showroom, etc. Seed keywords are easy to identify, just think what your target audience is likely to search on the search engines. Remember, seed keywords are just the first step, they are not worth targeting, and your page won’t show up on the search result pages if you do so.

Figure Out Competitors’ Keywords

Use a competitive intelligence tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer to find out what your competitors are ranking for. You can directly start targeting the best keywords to beat your competitors for SERP ratings, but we suggest you make a list of the most popular keywords along with seed keywords for further keyword analysis.

Find Your Keywords

Now, it’s finally time to find your keywords. You can use any keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, and Keyword Generator. Use any of these tools since they all offer an extensive user experience for keyword analysis. Just plug in your seed keywords, and the tool will pull hundreds of keywords from its database. You now have all the keywords you can use, but should you? You need to do a keyword analysis first.

How Do You Do Keyword Analysis?

This is perhaps the most crucial step of your keyword research methodology. All the previous steps lead to this final step, where, if you choose the wrong keywords, you may not get the desired result for search result ranking. You need to do keyword analysis to pick the right keywords that will work for your business and digital marketing goals. Here’s how you can do keyword analysis using various SEO metrics.

Study the Search Volume

Once you type the seed keyword into the keyword research tool, it will show you hundreds, possibly thousands, of keywords with a column on the side, mentioning each keyword’s search volume. Search volume is nothing but an average number of times a keyword gets searched into the search engines per month. The more search volume a keyword has, the more popular it is; in other words, the more the users search for a particular keyword, the higher its search volume ranking.

Remember, the user experience may vary with each keyword analysis tool, but the basics always stay the same.

Check Out the Clicks

While search volumes indicate the average number of times a keyword gets searched on search engines, it does not tell you how many times people actually visit the links that appear with that keyword. You need to look at the clicks the keywords get. If a keyword has a really high search volume but significantly low clicks, you should avoid those keywords; it is an indication that the search engine is providing information on the search results page itself. Choose the keywords with a high number of clicks that are closer to its search volume.

Check Keyword Difficulty

The keyword difficulty column shows how hard it may be for new websites to outrank the already ranking sites for a particular keyword. The higher the keyword difficulty, the harder it will be for you to rank. So, the best keywords are ones that have low keyword difficulty, along with having high clicks that are close to its search volume numbers.

How Do You Optimize Long-Tail Keywords?

Using keywords with low difficulty, and high search volume and clicks are good enough for ranking on search engines, but that’s not enough. Enter, long-tail keywords—keywords that are specific and not so popular. These keywords can significantly help you boost your SERP rankings along with using the right keywords.

One of the easiest ways of finding long-tail keywords is by typing the seed keywords into the search engine. The search engine will suggest search recommendations, which you can use as long-tail keywords in your blog. You can even use the “People also ask” or “Searches related to” boxes on Google search results for more long-tail keywords.

If you want to get technical about optimizing your long-tail keywords, you can use the above-mentioned keyword research tools and the word count filter to show keywords with three or more words. Once the results appear, use the same process as picking short-tail keywords to find your website’s most relevant keywords.

We can’t understate the importance of keyword research and optimization. Don’t make the mistake of picking any random keywords and hope to start ranking on search engines, that’s like shooting in the dark. Instead, use the right strategy and choose the right keywords to build a network of blogs and web content that share the keywords. Stay tuned if you want to know more about keyword research methodology and optimization for 2021.

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