Keyword research is by default, the most vital part of any SEO campaign.
Being able to find the right keywords for a website and semantically map them into themes and clusters is essential for the SEO success of your project/client.
When I refer to Keyword research, I refer to the process of discovering keywords through multiple sources. Some of the sources are:
The keywords then get grouped (mapped) based on the intention of the query and the similarity of the keyword. You would want to group:
Once you learn how to do proper keyword research, everything in SEO becomes easier.
Proper keyword research will help you with:
Even though keyword research is critical, I see that many SEOs, especially in the affiliate area, are getting it wrong. Let's see the common mistakes that SEOs are doing when it comes to keyword research.
Seed keyword research is an excellent way of discovering new keywords. However, since the advancement of new and improved tools, we can use them to take advantage of our competitors and find similar ones.
What you can do to make your keyword research more effective:
Use Ahrefs Site Explorer to search for your competitor's URLs organic Keywords.
Sort the keywords by volume and filter only the keywords that are ranking from position 0 to 20. Now you have your competitors' keywords, and you can easily choose which ones you want to target as well.
If you're going to take this one step further, you can research their PPC keywords (I recommend SEMrush instead of AHREFS for this).
If someone is bidding on keywords, it means that this keyword generates revenue, so it makes sense for you to incorporate it into your keyword research.
Another error that SEOs make is by not mapping their identified keywords. This means that they end up with a list of 100s or 1000s of keywords that cannot be used effectively.
This often leads to poor content development management. The result of not correctly mapping is ending up with thin articles or missed opportunities because of fake metric observation.
Understanding the concept of keyword mapping. There is no right or wrong approach when it comes to grouping keywords together, but you need to develop your strategy and follow it.
Perform a Google search with the keyword and check what the ranking websites are doing. If they have standalone articles, then this is a good sign that the keyword could be a cluster on its own.
However, if generic articles are ranking such as "Best Kayaks," it means that this keyword could be used within the main article to extend the length and increase the relevancy.
Many SEOs focus only on Keyword Volume and Keyword Difficulty to decide on a keyword.
However, this could be catastrophic for your keyword research.
Metrics such as Estimated CPC, Serp Features, Paid Vs. organic share could be a great help for your keyword selection.
Considering the following:
Source: Google Trends
By avoiding these mistakes, you will find that the keyword research hours you're putting in, will finally all make sense.
Don't continue to take a stab in the dark. Understand your competitors, avoid their mistakes, and write better content that hones in on keywords you're aiming to rank.
Patrick Babakhanian is a serial entrepreneur with an extensive background in search engine optimization, website development and domain names.
A few years ago he started his first SEO business SERPchampion, providing monthly links to companies that were looking for a traffic boost.
This venture turned out to be successful, leading to an even bigger team and two offices (Netherlands & United States) as well as worldwide reach.
The company has been featured on Social Media Today, Lion Zeal SEO, Neil Patel and YouTube.