4 Tips For Beginners Conducting Keyword Research in 2019

Written by neatly.io on 27th March 2019

Speechless. That’s what everyone is when you tell them about your clever business idea. “Why didn’t I think of that?!” they all exclaim. You know you have a winner. You’re so excited that you can barely sleep at night.

Fast forward six months and the business you put your heart and soul into has only made a handful of sales, and they’ve all been to your friends and family. There’s something you’re missing. Sure, you didn’t put too much thought into your online strategy, but could that really make or break an extraordinary product like the one you’ve designed?

Without keyword research, your audience may never find your website. Without traffic to your website, you won’t be able to get sales. You can have the best product or service in the world, but if your future customers can’t find it, you won’t make a sale.

1. Utilize Google’s Autofill

For many businesses, Google Analytics is the keyword research tool of choice. To start out, you can use Google’s search bar to find the most relevant searches for your business or content. This isn’t an elementary way of performing keyword research, either – it’s a technique suggested by the best of the best.

Odds are that you’ve used Google’s search feature before. As you start typing in what you’re searching for, Google will autofill suggestions for you. Since Google is phenomenal at what it does, these auto-fills are usually spot on. Google has tracked what people are searching for and has learned user behavior – it knows exactly what you want before you do.

Google’s suggestions are excellent when building a list of long-tail keywords to optimize for. If you don’t get enough from the search bar list, scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find other related search queries to consider.

2. Prioritize Search Intent Over Search Volume

Like with many things in life, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to keywords. Instead of paying attention to search volume, pay attention to search intent. Search volume for a specific keyword can be high, but if you’re not giving searchers what they want, click-through rate (CTR) is going to be low.

Search intent refers to what the individual wants to find when they’re searching for something, and it generally falls into four categories:

  • Commercial investigation: This includes specific attributes. For example, “running sneakers for women size 8.”
  • Informational: This is like “how to perform keyword research” or “what is the best type of keyword research for YouTube?”
  • Navigational: This means the queries are branded. The YouTube example above would fall into this category as well as “informational.”
  • Transactional: This includes words like “buy” or “download.”

Figuring out search intent may require trial and error. A good place to start is by seeing the top results for certain queries. Let’s say you want to optimize for “how to create a brand logo.” Search engines will likely return guides in the top results. That means you should create a step-by-step guide that explains to visitors how to create a brand logo. You wouldn’t want to point them to a services page, because that’s not what those people are looking for.

3. Perform Keyword Research Seasonally

The most relevant keyword research relies on context. What’s going on right now that your customers are interested in? “Seasonally” doesn’t have to specifically mean the season, though it can. It can also relate to specific holidays, happenings in the entertainment world, cultural interests (eco-conscious travel, for example), or a local event. Google Trends is a great tool for discovering what people are interested in at the moment.

Some businesses rely on seasonality for sales. For example, a travel brand may have sales spikes at certain times of the year, which will make this type of keyword research all the more important. However, even brands that aren’t reliant on the seasons or holidays may find context-specific keyword research important. It may guide their social media efforts or blog content. For example, a website design firm could utilize a hot topic, such as a musician’s world tour, for a blog post like, “10 Things We Can Learn About Marketing from Lady Gaga’s World Tour.”

4. Pay Attention to On-Site Search Queries

You’ve grown your website traffic, which means you now have the chance to study the behavior of your visitors. You want to check out what they’re searching for when they’re already on your website. According to the Neil Patel article referenced above, website visitors who use your on-site search feature are five times more likely to convert – it seems like using the search feature means they’re pretty intent on making a purchase. If you’re not yet monitoring what your visitors are searching for, it’s time to start – Google Analytics has this capability.

On-site search queries will tell you a few things:

  • What people are looking for because they’re having trouble finding it on their own.
  • The products, services or answers to FAQ you should be putting on your home page, front-and-center.
  • Which products or services people are most interested in, which can inform your email and social media marketing strategy.
  • Items or services people want that you’re not offering yet.

What you want to pay attention to here are trends. A one-off site search isn’t going to clue you into what your audience, as a whole, wants.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous ways to carry out keyword research. There’s not one, perfect guide that every single business can follow. Try out a few different techniques, continue using the ones that work best for you, and replace the ones that don’t work with new trials. Eventually, you’ll find the strategy that garners the best results for your business.