Keyword Research For SEO – Where to Start and Why

Keyword Research for SEOAt the start of any SEO campaign, solid keyword research is a must.  This article is meant to outline keyword research for SEO, where to start and why.  There is a plethora of information floating around and many business owners these days have at least passive experience with SEO, however, I see the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to keyword research.  Many people are most concerned with the most obvious keywords, while those may produce often times there are many long-tailed variations that you can approach and get faster results. Also, competition is a really important factor when deciding where to put your focus.  Let’s dive into this topic and hope that it makes sense!

Keyword Research – Consider the Competition

Generally, the highest volume keywords, meaning monthly search volume, are some of the most competitive on the web.  While of course, you are setting out on an SEO campaign to get as much exposure as possible, long-tailed variations can be much less competitive and if you glue enough of them together the search volume may be more than the single highly competitive keywords that you think would be best.

For the sake of example, a root keyword may be “electrician san diego”, which is bound to be highly competitive, whereas a long-tailed variation like “best electrician in san diego” may be a bit less competitive and have similar search volume.  As an SEO Company, we go after competitive search terms all the time, but we have endless tools and thousands of hours of experience to do this. On top of that, we have clients sometimes working with large marketing budgets to go after those competitive keywords and search terms.  For a novice SEO, focusing on long-tailed variations may be a much less daunting task than trying to approach super competitive search terms that may require a lot of knowledge, tools, and money to get results.

Keyword Research – Getting Ideas for Keywords

While there are tons of keyword research tools at your disposal, as an agency we often times use Long Tail Pro, Ahrefs, and a few other tools to complete this task.  If you are a new SEO or don’t have a budget for expensive SEO tools, this list of free keyword research tools, compiled by the team at Ahrefs is a great place to start.  

In addition to these free tools, just Google something and some of the more popular keywords are there at your disposal (see image).  Using recommended searches via the Google search box and then suggested searches listed at the bottom can be a really powerful tool when deciding what keywords you want to approach with your SEO campaign.

Wrapping it up

Not unlike anything else in life, a solid plan is a must to make it a successful endeavor.  SEO is no different and spending the time to facilitate a solid keyword plan will ultimately dictate whether or not your campaign is a success.  Hopefully, some of the tools and techniques listed will help with your SEO efforts!

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