The 3 point keyword research checklist to pick the right keyword for seo

By | December 2, 2015

keyword research checklist

Picking the right keyword is very essential to reach the goals of your SEO efforts. Whether you need ad clicks, or signups or sales, everything needs the right kind of traffic and enough traffic.

This post outlines the basic points to consider when picking up keywords for your next post or piece of content.

1. Check search volumes – Are people searching for that term ?

This most obvious part of keyword research, that is to find terms people are searching for. In order to get people to visit your site using a keyword, there must be sufficient number of them searching for that keyword.

Use tools like Google keyword planner to check the traffic volumes for the keyword you wish to target. Try different variations, and related phrases to see what the potential traffic could be incase you are able to land on the first page for that keyword.

2. Check keyword competitiveness – Can you rank easily for that search phrase ?

Having picked up a nice keyword that you would like to target, its necessary to check first, if you can rank for that keyword without effort beyond your capacity.

There are simple and easy ways to do so and it gets easier as you get more experienced.

Search Google and check results

Search for the term on google and see what kind of results popup.

If the top 10 spots are occupied by pages that have written “very very” specifically about the same topic and those sites are pretty big, then you know that there are more players in the race.

However if you notice that the pages coming up are not so relevant to the topic and are from random sites like forums, or social sites etc, you can assume that it would probably be easy to rank for.

Now those were the 2 extreme scenarios. But most of the time the “competition” would be somewhere in between. That is, you can rank, but with some effort.

Analyse top 10 competitors

Analyse those top 10 comeptitors in greater detail and see if it would be possible to compete against them. Along with your own judgement, use metrics like backlink count, page rank, social share count etc. There are plenty of tools that make the task of analysing competitors easier.

One such tool is SeoStack.

Go for long tail keywords

When it comes to finding low competition keywords for ranking fast and easy, long tail keywords are first choice. Long tail keywords are multi word search phrases that have 3-4 or more words in them.

Long tail keywords are generally seen to have lower competition compared to generic short keywords.
This makes it easy to rank for them with much less seo effort.

Further more, long tail keywords also have a stronger and specific search intent than generic keywords. This makes them ideal to target buyer audience.

Long tail vs short tail

“web hosting” – Short tail and very generic. Does not indicate what the user is looking for.

“best web hosting for wordpress blog” – Long tail AND very specific. The user is probably looking to buy web hosting for a wordpress blog.

3. Does the keyword indicate the necessary intent

What intent does the search term indicate ? Is it a buyer keyword, or an information seeking keyword.

If you are selling stuff on your website, the keyword should have enough buyer intent. Without so, you might be able to rank, pull in visitors, but might not be able to generate sales.

Buyer vs Information keyword

“how to make a ice cream” – This is an “information seeking” keyword. Such keywords are ideal for how-to blogs and personal blogs where you just want traffic or want to sell some kind of educational material or an ebook.

“best ice cream maker under $100” – This keyword indicates that the user is interested in buying something. Ideal for affiliate sites selling physical products.

So make sure to pick the right kind of keyword that fits the needs of your goal.

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