Keyword research is an important part of a company’s search engine optimization strategy. This is because content created through this keyword research is one of the best ways you can attract reliable organic traffic to your website. This is where keyword research tools come into play. Read on to learn about what keyword research is, why it’s important, and how to conduct it using the best keyword research tools provided by Semrush.
What Is Keyword Research?
When you want to look something up online, think about what you would type into the Google search bar. When you consider a particular topic, some search terms used by people interested in that topic are more popular than others. Keyword research is all about finding what those popular search terms or keywords are. You have most likely seen some of these keywords show up in Google Autocomplete Suggestions when you begin to type in the search bar.
After finding the best keywords for your chosen topic, you can include these terms strategically within your content. This would bring up your content in search engine results pages (SERPs) since Google knows these search terms are popular among people interested in that topic. Such methods are known as search engine optimization, or SEO, techniques.
Why Performing Regular Keyword Research Is Important
Before you start creating content to reach your target audience, you need to know what they are interested in. Keyword research helps you understand what your target audience is typing into their search engines. This could be done by using online keyword research tools like the ones provided by Semrush. With that understanding, you can discover fresh keyword ideas and create content that draws your target audience towards you, which is a fundamental aspect of inbound marketing.
Identify Buyer Persona and Discover Marketing Trends
Keyword research helps you identify what problems your target audience is struggling with, and then create content that can provide satisfying answers to those problems. This can also help in identifying your ideal type of customer, or ‘buyer persona’, in order to devise ways of reaching out to them.
Keyword popularity changes along with the target audience, new improvements to search engines, and depending on how people use them. A keyword research tool can reveal these trends, allowing you to find relevant topics to cover on your website and understand how your audience is changing. This can help you tailor your content to take advantage of these trends.
Beat the Competition
By utilizing a keyword research tool to perform your keyword research, you can find strong keywords to optimize your content with so that it ranks higher in search engine results compared to your competitors. If you manage to do this, you’ve already won since most people will click on the first few results in a SERP without even scrolling down the page. Keyword research can therefore help you bring in more qualified leads and increase your sales.
Raise Brand Awareness
If your content is ranked high, you’ll get more visibility and get more traffic to your website. Using keyword research tools, you can begin to climb the SERPs, bringing more attention to your website. As you rise to the top of search engine results, your brand awareness will improve.
What Is a Keyword Research Tool?
A keyword research tool lets you enter a keyword that you’re interested in and returns useful data like search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword trends. A keyword research tool can also provide clues to what your potential customers are looking for and even show related keywords that can help you generate fresh content ideas.
While Google Search Console is capable of doing some keyword research, a paid keyword research tool will include many advanced features, like showing what effective keyword strategies are being employed by your competitors. This would allow you to come up with a content strategy that could outrank them and divert web traffic to your website instead. The keyword research tools provided by Semrush are some of the best in the business for this purpose.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Keyword Research Tools
When using a keyword research tool to do your research, there are a few concepts you need to be mindful of in order to understand what the keyword data is telling you. Relevance, search intent, authority, search volume, and keyword difficulty are some of these.
Relevance and Search Intent
Relevance is what Google uses to rank content. Google wants to show content that provides value for its users and will rank your content for a specific keyword only if your content matches the search intent. In other words, your content must be relevant to the search needs of the people Googling. The more relevance, the better the ranking.
If your website is a rich and trusted source of information, Google will consider you an authoritative source. High authority helps in SERP rankings. Keep in mind that simply featuring helpful information is not sufficient to become a highly authoritative website. Your content should be promoted to earn valuable backlinks from sources that regard your content as being of a high standard.
Monthly Search Volume (MSV)
Keyword research tools could help you find how many people are searching every month for a given keyword. If the monthly search volume for a keyword is too low, there’s no point in using it in your content, even if it gets you ranked at number one since nobody is searching for it. Keywords with high search volume are the ones that can drive traffic to your website.
Keyword difficulty, or keyword competition, is a score that keyword research tools like Semrush provide. It indicates how difficult it would be to rank a given keyword on the first page of Google organic search results. A few factors decide the keyword difficulty, such as domain authority, backlinks, content quality, and other competitors that are using the same keyword.
Use the Semrush Keyword Research Tools
Now that you’re up to speed on the basics of keyword research concepts, let’s try out the keyword research tools provided by Semrush and see how they can help improve your experience.
You can get a quick analysis of a specific keyword done by heading over to the Keyword Research section in the Semrush interface. All you have to do is enter your chosen seed keyword into the search field provided and analyze it. Semrush will then analyze all the relevant keyword data and provide you with a dashboard view that summarizes all the key metrics such as monthly search volume data, the keyword difficulty as a percentage, keyword variations, and related keywords, to name just a few.
Keyword difficulty is shown on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the most difficult to rank for. This is a useful indicator since then you can decide whether you can easily compete for a given keyword or not. Your website’s domain authority will determine whether this is possible or not. When combined with search volume data, it could help you figure out what the keywords are that you can compete for that still drive website traffic.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the keyword trends graph, which shows the popularity of your chosen keyword over time. If the trend shows a decline, that keyword might not be worth using. If it’s rising, it’s a sign that your traffic will increase over time. The intent behind the keyword is also indicated as ‘informational’, ‘transactional’,’ navigational ‘, or ’commercial’.
The Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
The Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush will expand on the data provided in the Keyword Overview section. Like before, you can start by entering a single seed keyword to perform keyword research. Now Semrush will return with a long list of keywords, including related keywords, which you can quickly sort and filter using metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, and intent.
What makes the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool so powerful is the inclusion of Match Modifiers that allow you to broaden or narrow your keyword research as you see fit. Using these, you can easily find keywords that match perfectly, phrases that use your chosen keyword, and plenty of related keywords that match the topic on a broader level. These keyword suggestions can be a great source of inspiration, allowing you to explore keyword ideas that you may not have previously thought of.
Amongst all this keyword data could be long-tail keywords that you can utilize, which are more relevant to your niche and have lower keyword difficulty. The question filter can show question-based keywords, which usually drive lots of traffic.
Keyword Planning With the Keyword Manager
The keyword ideas you have while using the Keyword Magic Tool can be easily added to a list that can be accessed by the Keyword Manager. This works as a sort of keyword planner, to save your keyword ideas and keep track of what you plan on using in the future for your content strategy. It is also a way for you to compare keywords across different regional databases.
Furthermore, you also have the option of exporting this saved keyword research data to an XLSX or CSV file. You could also track their performance on Position Tracking.
Track Keyword Performance with Position Tracking
Using the fresh keyword ideas you generated through the Semrush keyword research tools, you can create content to drive traffic toward your domain. After this is done, you can observe how effective your chosen keywords are using the Position Tracking tool in Semrush. All you have to do is enter the URL of your site, and the location and add the keywords you wish to track.
Here you will be able to find what your top performing landing pages are, the best performing keywords, and which keywords had a positive or negative effect on your domain’s rankings for a given time period.
Advanced Keyword Research with Organic Traffic Insights
Now that you have an idea of the basic functionality of a keyword research tool, let’s look at an advanced feature provided by Semrush. The Organic Traffic Insights tool uses Semrush data, as well as Google Analytics and Google Search Console data, within a single dashboard to give you an overview of your domain’s organic search performance.
The integration with Google Analytics lets you obtain an even more accurate picture of keyword data, including ‘Not Provided’ keywords that Google doesn’t usually share. You can also review the performance of your landing pages and website by finding where these hidden keywords are bringing visitors to. When combined with Google Search Console data, you can get additional information on the number of impressions and click-through rates (CTR).
Perform Competitive Keyword Research with Semrush
Now that you’re well-versed in using keyword research tools like Semrush, you should have no problem with conducting keyword research and understanding what search volume data, keyword difficulty, and search intent mean for a given seed keyword. You should also be able to use related keywords and question-based keywords brought to your attention by the Keyword Magic Tool as keyword suggestions that you can include in your content.
This is not all there is to a keyword research tool like Semrush. When it comes to digital marketing, it’s always a great idea to pay attention to what your competitors are doing, and the best keyword research tools like Semrush include features that perform competitive keyword analysis. The Organic Research tool allows you to identify competitors that share a similar keyword portfolio and which pages on their website bring in organic traffic through keyword rankings. The Semrush Keyword Gap is a great keyword research tool that shows which keywords your competitor is using and you’re not.
If you’re ready to get started, check out the Semrush Keyword Research Tools.