Researching the right search terms to use is the most important part of any digital marketing campaign. Although it can seem complicated at first, there are many useful tools to help you discover the right words or phrases to target.
Using these tools is not as simple as finding the most searched words for a market and filling your content with them. This strategy is likely to have you competing for relevancy with bigger brands and is generally devalued by search engine algorithms.
When trying to increase your websites ranking, it’s much better to be patient and do proper research instead of trying to get a high volume with little effort.
The biggest scoring combinations or phrases are usually not very specific and are unlikely to attract an audience that will actually spend money with you. A top SEO company are masters of this process and can help generate leads for your business.
This is where research tools come in handy as they can allow you to hone in on the right search terms that will make your website rank higher in search results.
Below details some of the best keyword research tools available right now:
Google Adwords and Analytics
Since Google is the top dog in generating search results, it makes sense to want to use their tools in determining the best scoring terms and phrases.
Google Adwords is free and very simple to use for anyone who is new to search engine optimisation. This tool lets you type in the words or phrases you need data on and it will display the results. These results detail the search volume and usage of the targeted terms by competitors.
Even if you don’t find the data here specific or reliable enough, the terms it gives you are able to be researched and refined later on. Varying and processing these terms back through Google’s tool is a great way to determine their general performance.
With Google Adwords you can discover what search queries generate the most impressions and a good CTR (click through rate). Popularity and performance are important to distinguish here as the most searched terms are not necessarily the most successful in driving conversions.
Google analytics is another useful tool that can help narrow down search terms. It allows you to see what queries people are using to get to your business’ website. It also lets you see which terms people are using to search within your site. With this information you can better tailor your content to be reachable with the search terms your customers are actually using.
Both of Google’s research tools give incredibly valuable insight for anyone beginning their search for marketable search terms. While limited in some areas of accuracy, they are a great way to rule out search terms that have been optimised by competitors or are simply too general.
Moz’s Keyword Explorer
Moz’s explorer is another popular research tool that provides further insight into search term performance. The tool is highly visualised making the data easy to read and compare.
Moz stands out because it not only provides data on the search volume of a term, but gives a difficulty and opportunity score. The tool can also be used to find out which of the competitor’s websites and landing pages are using those terms or phrases.
These metrics all work to further filter out bad search terms and value the good ones against how the competitor is using them. A top SEO company will be using tools like this to determine the best queries to run a client’s campaign with.
SEMrush is another valuable tool in the quest for profitable search terms. It provides metrics for both paid for and organic search terms, including the ability to filter this data by a specific country.
SEMrush also has a fantastic bank of low volume search terms that get a minimum of ten searches a year. This can help to find terms or phrases that aren’t dominated by competitors in the market.
One of SEMrush’s most useful features is their competitive positioning map that gives you the ability to see where your competitors are in terms of search engine optimisation and which of their landing pages are most effective.
Using this tool means you can see and compare the pages a competitor is running specific search terms in. With this information you can replicate the kind of copy they are using to increase the CTR of your landing page.
With Google beginning to use CTR to help determine rankings, the quality of your meta-description is just as important as targeting the right search terms.
KWfinder is especially useful in getting highly detailed analytics on long tail search terms with a simple to understand user interface. Clicking on a result show what websites are specifying those search terms, the relevant backlinks and their social media performance.
Knowing this supporting data for a search term can be very useful in shaping your copy, especially if you are relying on content marketing. You can also filter terms by individual city and state which is helpful for smaller businesses that are targeting specific geographic areas.
Finding and refining search terms to target is not an easy skill to learn or carry out efficiently. According to SEO Shark, SEO company will be specialists in this field and work to generate tangible results for their clients.
The keyword research tools listed above are the only ones you will need to study the metrics of your targeted search terms. Although they all function similarly at a basic level they can each provide some unique insights into the results they display. The value you get out of them will largely depend on knowing the answers you are looking for.
For businesses that are just starting out, it is always better to try and target search terms that aren’t being used by major competitors. You may be able to optimise more profitable terms or phrases as your sites’ authority begins to rise.