keyword research basics featured

How many times have you hopped on Google to search for something you were looking for? By typing in a few words related to what you need, you have access to an endless amount of websites that pertain to the words you typed in. This is what makes search engines so useful.

Searched engines are used millions of times a day by users all across the world, but have you ever wondered how they works? How does Google, or any other search engine, know how to take the keywords that are typed into the search bar to give users the most relevant websites related to the keywords? And as an online business entrepreneur, how can you capitalize on this formula to make sure your website shows up on the first page of web results?

In these three easy steps, we are going to teach you why researching keywords can be a game changer for your website!

Step 1 – Think of Topics Related to Your Business

First, you will need to think of all the topics that are related to your business. This will give you an idea of the different phrases that users may type when searching for a website related to your business.

topics related

Let’s use baseball as an example for your online website. All of the following topics are associated with baseball:

  • Baseball Equipment
  • Famous Baseball Players
  • Baseball Records and Statistics
  • Baseball Team Names
  • Major League Baseball
  • Minor League Baseball
  • Little League Baseball
  • World Series
  • American League and National League

Now that you have a list of baseball topics, you need to narrow these down to a list of baseball keywords related to each topic. You have now begun the keyword research process. This brings us to step #2.

Step 2 – Keywords Associated with the Topics

We won’t bore you with all of the examples of keywords for each topic, but we will pick one of the above topics to use an example to give you an idea of how to apply this to your keyword research.

Create a keyword list that is associated with your chosen niche. Let’s use baseball equipment as a topic example.

Here are some keywords that are commonly associated with baseball equipment:

  • Baseball equipment for sale
  • Used baseball equipment
  • Baseball equipment bag
  • Baseball equipment list
  • Baseball equipment store
  • Baseball equipment brands
  • Baseball equipment checklist

Step 3 – Create Head Terms and Long Tail Keywords

See that list of keywords above? The keywords are pretty basic, short, and to-the-point. These are known as head terms. Head terms are a few words (usually around 3 or less) that a user will type into a search engine to access a results page related to the keyword(s).

keywords selection

However, sometimes it is necessary to write a full blown sentence for Google or another search engine to understand what you are looking for. These sentences are known as long tail keywords, and long tail keywords are just as important as head terms.

Have you ever changed your search phrase on a search engine to ask a more in-depth question, only to see the exact answer you were looking for on the results page after adding a few more words? Google understands how to take the keywords searched on search engines to find them in your blog or website to bring your website to the top of the results page. Therefore, it is important to include long tail keywords in your posts.

Long Tail Keyword Examples

We will use the same baseball equipment example above to create our list of long tail keywords.

  • Where can I find baseball equipment for sale near me?
  • Can I sell my old baseball equipment?
  • Best brand of baseball equipment
  • Cheap baseball equipment for sale near me
  • Where to donate my old baseball equipment
  • Who makes the best baseball bat?
  • What size baseball glove does a 6 year old need?

Now, you don’t need to write these long tail keywords word-for-word in order to show up on the search engine results page, but you do need to include them somewhere naturally within the post if you want to increase your chance of ranking on the SERP.

Including both head terms and long tail keywords into your website or blog is a great combination for SERP ranking success.

Put it All Together

While we have used baseball equipment as an example, you should get the gist for how this works.

You will need to think of topics related to your website niche.

Once you have made a list of topics, think of keywords that are commonly associated with the topics.

(Pro Tip: If you are unsure of some keywords, take advantage of Google’s autocomplete predictive search to see what others are searching for.)

Now that you have a list of keywords, think of long tail keywords that you can incorporate into your post. Not everyone searches the same way. While the younger generation may understand that all it takes is a word or two to receive relevant results on a search engine, an older generation may feel the need to ask an entire question. (Remember Ask Jeeves? You can blame him for this.)

Regardless, by knowing both head terms and long tail keywords and incorporating them into your website, you are more likely to show up on the search engine results page, which is exactly what you want.

Don’t skimp out on researching keywords related to your website niche or blog post. Unless someone has your direct URL to the post, the post will only be found through being searched online, so you need to make the most of this important marketing strategy.

Check Out the Competition

After coming finding different search terms and search queries, it is important to see how your keyword ideas are ranking online. Look at some of your competitors sites, what words or phrases are they using? Will these words help with your search engine optimization? Are they linked to social media? Do you believe that these words generate traffic to this site? Add these words or phrases to your keyword list and you now have an idea of the type of content you need to create to rank higher.

Just because your competitors are doing something or using a keyword doesn’t mean that you should. Make sure that the keywords found in a competitors content are related to your target audience and to what your site is about and if it would be realistic to use them in your content. Aside from manually typing in each keyword there are more advanced sites that allow you to search how keywords are ranking. Read more about this in our advanced keyword research post.

Things to Remember

  • Make a list of topics first
  • Make a list of keywords related to each topic
  • Think of both head terms and long tail keywords for each possible keyword search
  • Checkout the competition. Determine the words and phrases that are helping their site rank high on different search engines
  • Incorporate these words naturally into your blog post. These keyword phrases and ideas are important for you to generate content that will rank higher on search engines

These are the basics for keyword research. Stick around to read our guide to advanced keyword research for your website or blog!

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