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How to do keyword research the easy way

So, you need to find SEO keywords for a website?

Hop onto Google, key in ‘How to do keyword research’, and see what comes up. 

‘Definitive Guides’, ‘Beginners Guides’ and processes galore. And that’s just page 1.  

Without YouTube. 

Daunting, isn’t it?

If you’re feeling a little queasy, we get it.  Still, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Thorough keyword research digs deep

Really deep.

At Digital Bridge, we get the importance of finding the perfect SEO keywords. The type that will drive traffic to your website and convert into sales. That’s why we recommend you dedicate a good chunk of time to do your own keyword research, or if that's not possible, outsource it to someone who knows exactly what they're doing.

Quality keyword research takes time (lots), effort (lots) and patience (lots more). If you’re keen to learn and can fit it in (without it distracting you from your business) you’ll find plenty of detailed advice online. However, if you want your business up, running and drawing a crowd fast, our advice? Pass the job to a reputable expert. Seek recommendations from your peers (be wary of anyone who guarantees first page results!!) and apply your unique talents to other areas of your business.  

How to find keywords if hiring expertise is a no-go

If your budget is tight and time precious, there are some simple, quick and (relatively) painless things you can do to keep abreast of your competition. Enough to do a reasonable job, get your copy written and your website up.

Let’s get started.

What are keywords?

In the process of optimising your site pages, you choose a keyword (or keyword phrase) to target for each page. Your keyword phrase is the topic you want to rank for. 

For example, ‘residential electrician Melbourne’ or ‘lawn mowing Ballarat’.

How to find keywords for your website

Time to get down to the nitty-gritty. How do you know which keywords you want to rank for and where can you find them?

Start here:

a) Ask your network

Yes, ask people you know which words or phrases they would type into Google (Bing or Yahoo) if they were searching for a product or service like yours. 

If you sell say, promotional products, people might search for terms like:

  • promotional products
  • corporate gift items
  • promotional goods for events
  • cheap branded merchandise for sports clubs
  • promotional giveaways for conferences
  • find a promotional products distributor in Australia

Notice how they go from words (known as primary keywords) to phrases (known as long-tail keyword phrases)? 

Make a list of primary keywords and long-tail keyword phrases.

b) Look on forums, groups, reviews and more

You’ll find SEO keyword ideas anywhere your potential customers hang out. Facebook groups and online forums are great because people chatter naturally. They use their language — everyday words and phrases that you (as an expert) may not have considered.

Customer reviews (like Amazon) are great sources of inspiration, not only for keyword research, but market / competitor research too. Check them out and keep building your list.

c) Search on… search engines

While each search engine differs slightly, the process is similar. Let’s focus on Google here. Type your words and phrases one-by-one. As you type, a drop-down list appears. These are other popular terms (related to your product or service) that people often search for. 

Using our ‘promotional products’ example, we discover other ‘long-tail keyword phrases’ including, ‘Promotional products Australia no minimum order’.

Add them to your list.

d) Now, find even more

While you’re on Google search results pages for your phrases, scroll right down to the bottom of the page. Google shows you ‘Searches related to…’

Sticking with our ‘promotional products’ example, we see other related searches such as:

  • ‘cheap promotional products Australia’
  • ‘promotional items Australia’
  • ‘promotional products Melbourne’

Add them to your list too. 

e) Search for synonyms

Synonyms are a great way to find low competition (making them easier to rank for) keywords and phrases. Type the word ‘product’ into an online synonym finder and other useful recommendations appear. Like, ‘goods’ and ‘merchandise’. 

Again, using our promotional products example, we may have an opportunity to rank for:

  • ‘promotional merchandise’ 
  • ‘promotional goods’ as well as our existing
  • ‘promotional products.

Get the picture?

Using synonyms in website copy also helps search engines find you because it gives your web-page context by helping to build a picture of exactly what your page is about. They help to narrow down the competition so people find exactly what they’re looking for—and you get the right people to your website. It’s a win-win.

Big list. What next?

Now you’ve gathered a sizeable list of primary keywords and keyword phrases. You can incorporate these into your website copy, choosing a couple only per page. But first, you need to refine your list and narrow it down.

Google Keyword Planner is the tool for the job. Check out the link. You’ll find it’s well-explained and easy-to-use, even for beginners. 

SEO copywriting: write for humans first, search engines second

Now you have a nice, meaty keyword list. Remember to focus on writing for the people who’ll read your site. Your words need to engage, hold attention and encourage action.

While it may be tempting to stuff in your keyword phrase repeatedly, Google will penalise you for this sneaky tactic. But most importantly, if your writing makes no sense or sounds a little ridiculous, the very people you want to read your website will click away. Fast. 

When writing about your topic, concentrate on writing good quality content. You’ll naturally use the keyword phrase, related keywords, and synonyms. Once you’ve written your draft, go back through and add in your keyword phrase a little more if necessary. 

Remember, choose one or two keywords / phrases per page only, and incorporate synonyms. 

Produce quality, well-optimised content and release it regularly

Apart from existing page content, consult your keyword list and write blog content, information updates and more (using one or two keywords only. We might have mentioned that before?). Release it regularly. Whether it’s once a week, once a fortnight or once a month, just make sure it’s useful and engaging for your target audience and, release it regularly.

Regular updates like these can really lift your search-rankings and make a considerable difference over time. 

And next… be patient

It takes time for Google to crawl your site so it starts appearing in search results. Three months is not an unrealistic timeframe, although it varies.

It’s worth mentioning that you can expect to be tweaking and refining your keywords over time, it’s on ongoing process. As other websites tweak and refine theirs, you’ll need to do yours too. 

But for now, breathe…

Isn’t there more to search engine optimisation than keywords?

Oh yes, there is indeed. 

Our next post is all about ‘how to optimise your website’ with 5 SEO basics, cunningly timed to coincide with the completion of your new swanky keyword list!  

Digital Bridge is a Melbourne-based digital agency that speaks on ideas and is low on jargon. We specialise in designing, developing, and managing websites and web-based applications for people like you and businesses like yours.