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STEP 4: WIX SEO COURSE - Understanding keyword research!
What is keyword research?
It is the process of understanding what your potential customers search on Google to find the products or services your company provide.
Why is keyword research important?
It is the foundation of a good, structured SEO plan. If you get the keyword research wrong, you might be targeting phrases that nobody searches for. You might not understand what your potential customers are searching to find the products or services you offer, so you will be wasting your time. Therefore, it is fundamental to the success of your SEO campaign to do solid keyword research.
How does keyword research fit into a content plan?
If you create content pieces that users WANT to read, and NEED to know, it will receive greater impacts.
How many times have you been on a website and read a piece of content and thought…?
‘Well, this is providing absolutely zero value to me. What is the point in that content being on that website?’
There is just no point at all writing and publishing content that nobody wants to read or does not provide any value. The internet is jam packed full of content that nobody reads because it provides zero value.
Make sure that the keywords, phrases and questions you are targeting are based on what your customers and prospects want to read and need to know.
Exploring the keyword research tools
The top 7 (free) keyword research tools:
Google Keyword Planner (requires at least one paid campaign) - https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
WordStream Keyword Tool - http://www.wordstream.com/keywords
UberSuggest - https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
Keyword Tool - https://keywordtool.io/
Wordtracker - https://www.wordtracker.com/
Keyword Discovery - https://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html
Google Trends - https://trends.google.co.uk/
And another free keyword research tool is Ahrefs Keyword Generator (https://ahrefs.com/keyword-generator).
I like this tool because it gives Keyword Difficulty scores, which gives you an understanding of how difficult it would be to get ranked high for that keyword.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is very simple to use:
Add your main keyword.
Select your target Country/Area/City/Town.
Add your website URL.
Hit the ‘GET RESULTS’ button.
NOTE: Google will ask you to setup a campaign before you gain access to this tool. Set one up and pause it straight away, so you are not charged.
What that will do it will give you a list of keywords based on that search criteria, but you have to understand that the purpose of the Google Keyword Planner Tool is for setting up paid ad campaigns. It is not an SEO (organic) keyword research tool. As such, Google hide a lot of keyword data as they want you to spend your money. It shows you keywords that enable Google to make money.
Another thing to be mindful of is, the competition level (low, medium, and high) stated is based on all the companies bidding on those keywords. It is not a difficulty score based on how hard it is to get ranked organically for those keywords.
Google suggests is probably one of the best and most unused ways of finding keywords.
What is Google suggest?
When you go to Google’s homepage and start typing in a keyword, you will see a list of suggested keywords appearing as you start typing.
Why should you consider using the Google Suggest tool?
Google have suggested these keywords based on all the related phrases people actually search, which include your main keyword.
Once you have performed your search and arrive at the search results page, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will also see a list of related keywords. These are based on the most searched keywords and phrases related to your main keyword.
So, the Google suggest tool is in two parts…
You have got the drop down as you start typing at the top of the main search page.
You also have the related keywords section at the bottom of the search results page.
To understand your target industry, one of the best free resources you have at your disposal is Google Trends.
It allows you to simply analyze the search trends of any keyword or phrase, as long as the trend is large enough to trigger.
I suggest that you take the Google Trends tool for a spin and add variations of your main keyword to see which has the highest trend. This tool is also great to see if your target industry has any seasonal peaks and when those peaks are. You can also analyze the singular and plural versions of the same keyword to make sure you are targeting the correct audience.
Question based keyword research
Question based keyword research enables you to understand what questions your potential customers are asking relating to your industry.
Why is this important?
If you fully understand what pre-sales questions your potential customers are asking, you can create a fantastic frequently asked questions page on your website answering all those questions. Your FAQ page (when you gain enough authority and trust from Google) has the potential to appear within the search results page whenever someone asks those questions.
What question-based keyword research tool do you suggest I use?
One of the absolute best questions keyword research tools I have personally used is AlsoAsked (https://alsoasked.com/). Unlike similar tools, AlsoAsked aggregates, organises and displays “People Also Ask” data that appear in Google search results.
How do you use the AlsoAsked tool?
It is extremely easy to use…
Type in your top-level keyword (such as ‘Wix Website Design’) in the ‘Search term’ field.
Select your language.
Select your Country.
Hit the Search icon.
You will be shown questions that people have asked which relate to your main keyword.
If you click on any of the questions, the tool will then dive into questions relating to that specific question.
It is good to note that the AlsoAsked tool is just that. It is structured in such a way that people who search ‘How much does Wix charge to design a website?’ also ask ‘How much does a website cost per year?’. If used right, you can not only come up with a great list of questions but get to understand the psychological thinking behind your customers.
Paid keyword research tool
Over the past 20 years working within the SEO industry, I have tried every keyword research tool going and must say that Ahrefs Keyword Explorer (https://ahrefs.com/keywords-explorer) is always at the top of my list.
Yes, it is paid, but you can start with a seven-day trial for just $7. At that price, if you make the most of those seven days then cancel, it will be worth every dollar investment.
Why pay for Ahrefs?
Let me explain why the investment into this specific paid tool is worth every dollar.
Keyword search criteria…
Main keyword: Wix
Country: United States
Research criteria: Having same term
This resulted in a list of keywords including…
Wix logo maker
Wix promo code
In total the paid Ahrefs tool found a total of 294,854 keywords which include the word ‘Wix’.
What is obvious straight away is ‘Wix’ also relates to ‘filters’, so not all the 294,854 keywords listed within the tool will relate to ‘Wix’ the website builder. Any unrelated keywords you can disregard straight away.
Filter your keyword list
You now want to filter your keyword list to find those ‘golden nugget’ keywords.
What is a golden nugget (my own terminology) keyword?
A keyword which has a low Keyword Difficulty score but a good amount of search volume.
Now, you have a list of keywords which will be achievable to get ranked high for and will bring in some decent targeted traffic to your site.
Finding the true organic search volume
Another reason I love the paid Ahrefs tool is, it allows me to work out the ‘true’ organic search volume. Are you a little confused? Let me explain.
For this example, I have searched the keyword ‘Web Design’ in the United States. The tool states that this keyword gets searched an average of 55,000 times a month by people located within the United States. This is around the search volume figure most of the free keyword research tools would give you and you would base all your decisions on this one figure believing it to be true and accurate.
However, this is not the ‘true’ organic search volume potential of the keyword ‘Web Design’.
Let us look at what extra data the paid Ahrefs tool is giving us…
Monthly search volume: 55,000 - The average number of times per month ‘Web Design’ gets searched within the United States.
With clicks: 46% - Only forty-six percent of the people searching ‘Web Design’ click on any of the results. Yes, 54% of people searching this phrase never click on any of the results.
Organic clicks: 38% - Out of the 46% of people who did click on a result, only 38% of them clicked on one of the organic results.
Now, let us do the maths…
55,000 x 46% = 25,300
25,300 x 38% = 9,614
As you can now see, the actual organic search volume potential for the keyword ‘Web Design’ within the United States is not 55,000 but it is 9,614. Massive difference hey!
Understanding keyword difficulty scores
We have already mentioned ‘keyword difficulty’ a few times, so I want to explain what keyword difficulty is.
A keyword difficulty score is a number out of 100 that gives you a guide on how difficult it would be to get your website ranked high for that given keyword.
To give you some examples of keyword difficulty scores, so you can relate, I have pulled together a few different scores based on different industries…
Keyword > Country > Score
Web Design > USA > 63
Car Insurance > USA > 84
Website Design Florida > USA > 47
Dentist in Chicago > USA > 26
Florist in Portland > USA > 36
Bakery in Charleston > USA > 14
Although there are many things that could impact this, I have put together a very rough timeline of how long it would take to secure a top ranking relating to your specific keyword difficulty score if you had a solid SEO plan in place…
Keyword difficulty score > Number of months to secure a first page ranking
0-10 > 3 months
11-20 > 4 months
21-30 > 5 months
31-60 > 6 months
61-100 > At least 12 months of solid constant work
Again, please let me stipulate that many factors impact this, and it all depends on where you are ranking now and how trusted your website is by Google.
Creating a keyword map
What is keyword mapping?
Once you have completed your keyword research and have your list of search phrases, it is the process of grouping all keywords that have the same intent and assigning each group to an existing page with the same meaning. If a page does not already exist, then you need to create one.
How to create a keyword mapping plan
I always believe in ‘simple is best’ so I just use a spreadsheet to add all the relevant information. Just open a new spreadsheet and create two columns…
Now, add all your page URLs in the URL column and go through your keyword research list and assign one of your keywords to the page URL that most relates to the intent of that keyword.
Whilst doing this, you need to be mindful of something especially important…
>>> Never duplicate the ‘intent’ on more than one page. <<<
The keywords ‘Wix SEO Course’ and ‘SEO Course For Wix’ mean the same thing. Never assign these two keywords to multiple pages.
‘Wix SEO Course’ will be your main keyword and just naturally mention ‘SEO course for Wix’ within the content on that same page.
STEP 4 ACTION POINTS!
1. Research your industry.
2. Using the various tools mentioned above, create yourself a big list of phrases (keywords) people search to find the products or services your business provide.
3. Filter your keyword list in order of 'easiest to rank for' to 'hardest to rank for'.
4. Create yourself a keyword map.
5. If you do not have any keywords assigned to a specific page (URL), do more research to find the best phrase/keyword that matches that page intent.
6. If you have any keywords left over, these will form the basis of your content creation plan moving forward.
DO YOU NOW UNDERSTAND KEYWORD RESEARCH?
Great! Move forward to step 5...