Are you looking to increase your traffic and brand awareness? Well then, it is undoubtedly crucial that you understand SEO.
In fact, 40 percent of website traffic initially starts with a search query. That is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so critical.
Yes, there is no denying the fact that the mechanism behind SEO has changed over the years, but “keyword research” still remains the foundation of a high-performing SEO strategy.
While, it is true that Google algorithm updates are designed to put more emphasis on the quality of content, but to get results, users still need to type something in the search field.
Keyword research is what SEO professionals swear by to improve the search ranking for a website.
No wonder, an obvious question arises.
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Table of Contents
What is Keyword Research
Keyword research is the method of finding popular search terms that people type into a search engine (like Google) to get the appropriate answers. Content marketers include them strategically in your content so that it is visible on a higher rank on the search engine results page (SERP).
Keyword research makes you familiar with the kind of phrases that people are using to search for something online. It also helps you understand the context behind those terms so you can optimize your content accordingly and fix your reader’s problem.
Here are 12 advanced keyword research techniques that you can implement right away to boost your search traffic and generate better leads for your B2B business.
Getting more visitors will help you convert more people into customers—and isn’t it the end goal after all?
1. Run a Complete SEO Audit on Your Website
In the context of SEO, auditing is an amalgamation of several techniques that will help you attract and retain customers to your website.
It is the process of closely examining the overall site performance, creating goals based on the findings, and implementing strategies to achieve those goals. In a way, an SEO audit helps you make the best use of your existing content by fixing all SEO-related issues.
Here are a few popular techniques that you follow:
- Add proper meta titles (60 char) and descriptions (50-160 char) to all your website pages.
- Optimize all webpages based on SEO keywords.
- Keep URLs simple, short, and easy for a search engine to understand what the page is about. For example https://www.unboundb2b.com/blog/marketing/importance-of-brand-storytelling/
- Format all blogs properly. Some examples include using h1 and h2 tags appropriately, avoiding long, complicated sentences, bolding important pointers, or adding a call to action.
- Add keywords in the ALT tags for all images.
- Include both internal links and external links to your content.
2. Analyze Your Current Keywords
If you already have a list of keywords for your website that you have been trying to rank, the first thing you need to do is run an analysis to determine how they are performing.
Tools like Google Analytics and Data Studio let you do it for free, provided yours is a small basic site.
Find out the ranking history and search volume for these keywords. Next, find out those keywords on which you are already ranking. Separate the performing keywords from poor-but-worthwhile ones.
The latter are those keywords that have sufficient search volume and impressions but do not excel in ranking and/or click-through rates.
Your objective here is to create a keyword performance baseline that you can use to expand your keyword universe.
3. Formulate Your Goals
Keyword research may help you find the most performing and high-ranking keywords, but if they do not attract visitors to your product or service, there is no point in working on those keywords.
Having the end-goal in your mind will give you a sense of direction. The following are a few pointers that you should keep in mind:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the unique value proposition of your product or service?
- What are the pain-points you want your customers to help with?
- Is there any secondary need you want to highlight?
Understanding the answers to these questions will help you stay focused on the keywords that relate to your business.
4. Create a List of Local Keywords
If you are a small business that wants to rank higher on search engines, go for localized keywords and phrases. By going local you can attract customers who are close to the location of your physical stores.
For instance, you can start with keywords that include the exact location like “New York tailors” or “tailors near me”. If need be, you can also branch out to nearby areas.
In conducting keyword research, you may find that keywords targeted to specific areas appear to receive less overall traffic than wider, generic keywords. But don’t let this drive you away from targeting your content with local words.
While they may have less traffic than broader search phrases, these keywords allow you to position your brand message with much better traction in front of your local customers.
5. Review Your Competitors
Your competitors are one of the best sources to find keywords for which you should rank. They have probably uncovered and capitalized on many more possibilities if they have been in the game longer than you. Why not leverage those data and utilize their content strategy framework?
Here are a few ways how you can conduct competitive keyword research.
By using the power of Google
Google is one of the simplest ways to identify your top online competitors. Start by searching the kind of product or service you deal with and identify who comes up in the top search results frequently.
Also, search for any alternative names by which customers may search your product. Later, go for a Google site search for each product and its competitor’s alternative domain name.
By using a third-party keyword tool
You’ll need a third-party tool for more advanced competitive research.
Some even allow you to enter your competitor’s domain name and find out what keywords they rank highest for.
6. Target Long-Tail Keywords
You should also work on keywords that belong to a particular niche, also known as long-tail keywords. For example, if you are targeting the word “training”, it can mean anything, from athlete to dog training.
You need to optimize your keyword for the right audience. Try to be more specific wherever you can. For example, “sales training” is a good way to put your message out. But “B2B business training” is even better.
Remember, long-tail keywords usually have lower competition and it increases the chances of higher page ranks in Google.
7. Use Variations
There are several free keyword research tools designed to help marketers choose keywords that are powerful and reliable.
Ubersuggest is one such example. It is a suggestion tool where you can type in a generic keyword (e-commerce security) and the tool will generate a list of potential keyword variations (“security threats in e-commerce”, “e-commerce cyber security” etc.).
8. Identify Areas of Opportunity
The Google Adwords Keyword tool is another awesome tool for free keywords. Although officially used for pay-per-click campaigns, you can also use it for organic searches.
You can evaluate the search volume and classify which keywords reflect the best opportunities by plugging in different phrases in the search area.
9. Leverage Traffic Analytics
Tools like Google Analytics can also assist with your SEO content plan’s keyword selection process.
For example, you may analyze the traffic trends to identify the type of keywords that are driving maximum visitors and produce the right content based on those trends.
10. Take Advantage of Google Suggest
Google, as one of the most popular search engines, aims to provide users with the best search engine results.
So, why not use Google while searching for brands like yours to find out what customers are looking for?
Especially, if you are a small company, Google Suggest offers the best keyword research suggestions to find additional phrases.
When you search for a certain keyword on Google, it suggests a list of related and appropriate search terms below it.
This is an excellent way to take advantage of a variety of new keyword choices.
- Get yourself a list of general keyword terms.
- Type into the Google search toolbar.
- The search engine offers a list of similar keyword phrases.
11. Identify Key Metrics and Sort Them Out
Create a list of all the keywords and create columns for key value and cost indicators, such as:
- Average search volume
- CPC bid price
Yes, CPC isn’t exactly an organic search metric, but it can serve as a good indicator of how competitive the keyword is.
The greater the CPC, the more competitive the keyword is, and the more difficult it will be to rank it organically.
You may also want to look at other metrics like:
- How has a certain keyword performed over a period of time?
- Is it growing in search volume?
- Has its CPC grown or fallen?
12. Find Common Customer Questions
One of the best ways to achieve higher SEO rankings is to produce content based on the most commonly asked questions or concerns of your target customers.
You will increase the chances of reaching customers who are searching for answers on search engines by discovering the most commonly asked questions and creating content that works to answer these questions.
Once you have a list of the popular question keyword phrases, you can use the Google Keyword Planner to identify the keyword frequency and churn out the high-performing ones.
These keyword research tips will help you discover new keyword opportunities that can do wonders for the visibility of your business. However, remember keyword research is only a tiny piece of the search engine optimization puzzle.
There are other factors too, that can affect SEO like, how you use the keywords inside your content and how friendly your website’s interface is.
If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to read those in the comments section below.