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Keyword Research Service Pointers: 6 Tips for Targeting
January 19, 2020

Keyword Research Service Pointers: 6 Tips for Targeting

If you rely on organic searches for a majority of your website traffic, then you were likely caught off-guard by Google’s recent algorithm update. Google regularly changes the way it evaluates and ranks sites to ensure that users are getting the best content.

Although the company claimed its most recent change was just a routine update, it wreaked havoc for many website owners and content creators. Many website owners reported a 40% drop in traffic

Unfortunately, Google didn’t offer any insights about what changed or how users can respond. However, there are things you can do to make sure your content continues to reach the right audience. One of those things is performing keyword research. 

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Google will continue to update and change its algorithm, but one thing that has stayed consistent in inbound marketing is the importance of keyword research. A keyword is a specific word or phrase someone will enter into a search engine to find answers to a problem they’re trying to solve. 

That’s because user intent is one of the most important ranking factors Google uses. In order for Google to recommend your website to someone, you must address a problem that the user intends to solve. 

Using the right keywords in your content is the best way to reach your target market, show up Google, and drive traffic to your site. Targeted keywords will not only help potential customers find you, but it’ll also help you avoid the wrong kinds of traffic.  

Recommended Keyword Research Service Software

If you’re learning how to conduct keyword research, then it’s a good idea to use a keyword research service. There are numerous keyword research services, and many of these options are free. 

Using one of the following services is the best way to ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords. Doing this will give your audience the best chance of finding your content.

  • Google Keyword Planner: This free keyword planner shows you the average monthly searches, how hard that keyword is to rank for, and the average cost per click.
  • Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a free keyword planner from content marketing expert Neil Patel. This keyword planner shows you what websites are already ranking for a particular keyword, which can help with your competitor research.  
  • Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a paid keyword tool that gives you more in-depth information about your keywords and what you need to do to rank in Google search results. 

6 Tips for Laser Targeted Keyword Research

If you want to learn how to do keyword research for content marketing, then you must understand your audience and what they’re searching for. In addition, you’ll also need to understand the type of format they prefer. 

Now that you have some ideas for both free and paid keyword research services let’s examine how you can utilize this software.  Listed below are six tips for how you can improve your keyword research. 

Develop a List of Localized Keywords and Phrases 

One of the best ways to find targeted keywords is by developing a list of localized keywords and phrases. Local keywords are especially helpful if you run a small business and are attempting to attract local customers.

Start researching keywords that include some variation of your location. For instance, if you’re a marketing agency located in San Francisco, you could search for “San Francisco marketing firm” or “marketing agencies in San Francisco.” If you conduct business in nearby areas, you can use those cities in your search as well.

When you use localized keywords, you’ll get less traffic than more broad search terms. However, this is a good thing because the user intent will be higher.

Utilize The Idea of “Negative Keywords”

SEO beginners may not be familiar with the concept of negative keywords. Negative keywords are any words that you don’t want to be targeted in your ad campaigns. 

Negative keywords help you narrow your search and only target users that want your product or service. It’ll also save you money since you’re not using up your ad budget marketing to customers who aren’t going to be a good fit for your service. 

To get started, identify any search terms that are similar to the keywords you already have, but could attract the wrong type of customer. Let’s say you offer a paid membership site for your customers. Then the word “free membership site” would be a negative keyword because you’re not trying to find people looking for free services. 

Use Google Auto Suggest To Your Advantage

One of the best ways to increase your organic search traffic is by using long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific, so they are easier to rank for and can help you generate the right kind of traffic.

For instance, “blogging” is a very general keyword that’s hard to rank for. But “how to start a blog in 2020” is more specific, and will give you the kind of targeted traffic you’re looking for. 

But the question is, how do you find the right key phrases? One of the best ways to do this is by using Google Autosuggest. 

When you’re typing a new keyword into Google, you’ll notice that the search engine attempts to fill in the rest of the phrase for you automatically. And these suggestions are often very specific. All the suggestions are based on actual search history, which can be a great way to come up with long-tail keywords.

Determine The Keywords Your Competition is Targeting

One way to come up with new keywords is by seeing what your SEO competitors are already ranking for. An SEO competitor isn’t necessarily the same thing as competition within your industry. 

In fact, you probably have multiple SEO competitors that are outside of your industry or niche. And many of these competitors could be ranking higher than you in Google.

To get started, you should make a list of who your main competitors are and their overall SEO strength. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Domain authority
  • Number of backlinks
  • Traffic volume

From there, you can use a keyword research service like Ubersuggest to see what they’re ranking for. Doing competitor research will give you ideas for keywords and help you come up with future content. 

Research Frequently Asked Questions in Your Niche

A good way to come up with SEO-friendly content is by using frequently asked questions in your niche. You may already know some of these questions just from interacting with customers on a regular basis.

If you aren’t sure what the most frequently asked questions are, then the best place to start is with your current customers. Find out what led them to start using your product or service and what information they needed prior to purchasing. You can do this through surveys on social media or through email marketing. 

Use Google’s “People Also Ask” Area

And finally, a great way to discover user intent is by using Google’s “People Also Ask” section. When you enter a keyword in Google, the search engine will automatically give you a list of commonly asked questions about that keyword. 

For instance, if you Google “keyword research,” here are a few commonly asked questions you’ll see:

  • What is keyword research?
  • What is the purpose of keyword research?
  • How do I choose keywords?

These are all questions you can answer in your content. By addressing the subject thoroughly, you’re providing more useful content for the reader, and you will likely rank higher in Google. 

Our Final Pointers

Conducting keyword research can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. By choosing targeted keywords, you’ll increase your organic traffic and encourage the right audience to visit your site.

Improving your ranking in Google will take time, but by utilizing the right keyword research service, you’ll continue to make progress. Be sure you follow standard SEO best practices, like using negative keywords, doing competitor research, and incorporating long-tail keywords. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is keyword research?

Keyword research involves coming up with a targeted list of words or phrases that people will be searching for in Google. If you’re able to rank for that keyword, you’ll be able to increase your organic traffic and bring more customers to your site.

What is the best keyword research service?

There are many free and paid keyword tools available so it really depends on what you’re looking for. Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner are great free options. If you’re looking for more detailed information, you might try Ahrefs.

How can I come up with targeted keywords?

One of the best ways to come up with targeted keywords is by doing competitor research. You can see what your competitors are ranking for and capitalize on some of their traffic. You can also use negative keywords so you aren’t marketing to the wrong type of customer.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].