5 tips to improve your keyword research


From getting started with researching keywords to choosing the right ones, we’ve answered five common questions when it comes to keyword research so that your strategy can become a little more confident and polished.  

Don’t forget to catch up with the rest of the SEO Like a Pro series if you need a refresher.

q. how do I get started?

Start by defining your business and brainstorming adjectives for your brand and business (this is also called a seed list).  Seed lists can have as few as 10 keywords and as many as 100 — the number is up to you.  Then, use a keyword research tool or a competition tool using your seed list and investigate popular and related keywords that are also very applicable to your business.  Remember, you don’t want to start throwing out popular keywords that don’t relate because that will just confuse Google and negatively affect your rankings.

Read: Establishing Authority, Trust, and Relevance.

Q. How can i narrow down my list & pick the right keywords to use?

Do your best to answer the following questions in relation to your brand, business, product/service, or idea:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are they searching for?
  • What are you selling (idea/product/service)?
  • How would your target audience benefit from what you are selling (eg, what problem of theirs is your website solving)?
  • If your audience were to use the keywords and land on your page, how satisfied would they be?
    • Even further, what would YOU be looking for if you were the potential buyer of your idea/product/service landing on your webpage?

Those might seem complicated to answer when we are simply talking about keyword research, but knowing your audience and knowing your brand really is the key to having a successful SEO strategy.

Q. How many keywords should I use on a webpage?

No more than maybe 5-7.  Keyword stuffing is a no-no for search engines, so you do not want to overdo it.  In fact, some even recommend really aiming for 3-5.  Of course, this is just for on-page optimization.  Off-page optimization is different depending on the channel (a topic for another post). 

Q. What type of competition should I focus on for my keywords?

High competition keywords are the ones used most often and are therefore more expensive to use when paying for search engine advertising.  For example, “insurance” is listed by Wordstream as the #1 used keyword and is there for about $54 per click.  To contrast that, those low competition key words are priced around $1-3 per click.

Therefore, you will be competing with a lot of bigger businesses if you use high competition keywords and that will negatively affect where you are located in the search results.  Focusing on medium and low competition is usually a better strategy.  In addition, using long-tail keywords help you to further target the right audience.

Read: How to perform keyword research.

q. how long should I have my long-tail keywords?

In short, let’s leave you with this: the number of search engine users using 2-3 word phrases is decreasing while those using 4-8 word phrases is increasing.

Want more numbers? Roughly 70% of users are using long-tail keywords in their search queries.

Why? Because they have a specific intention when they log on to a search engine and they want to get their answer quickly.  In other words, they want to have pretty darn perfectly matching (relevant) results that are presented to them based on their search terms.

Did we miss anything?  Comment and let us know.
If you have any further questions, we would be happy to chat with you!