Keyword Research Tips
Marketing Intelligence

5 Keyword Research Tips for SEO Pro’s

by Limor Barenholtz , Director of SEO at Similarweb 5 Min.
July 2, 2020 | Updated August 4, 2022

Picking the proper keywords is one of the most important steps in creating a successful SEO strategy. This is for two main reasons:

1) Employing the “right” keywords will increase your website’s organic traffic.

2) Choosing keywords that match your target audience’s search intent will attract the “right” target audience.

search intent

For example, if the product you sell is geared towards professionals, you would want to target complex keywords. Opposingly, if your product is aimed toward beginners, your keywords would need to be much simpler. Makes sense, right?

So, how do you go about creating a keyword list that will drive high-quality, organic traffic? It’s actually easier than you might think.

Tip 1: Think Like Your Target Audience

Of course, you don’t have to belong to the demographic you want to target, but you do have to know how to think like them. A critical part of conducting effective keyword research is getting inside your target audience’s head. This means that you must think about phrasing your audience would likely use, and how those terms relate to your business. The next step would be to then create content that targets those exact keyword phrases.

Think Like Your Target Audience

If you were a large department store like Walmart.com, and you wanted to increase traffic to your lawn and garden department, consider which products would your audience be most interested in and why. For example, with summer kicking off, you could assume, based on age-related interests, that parents with young children might be searching for the keyword sprinkler while parents with teens might be more likely to search DIY firepits.

Tip 2: Audit Your Website (And Your Competitors)

It’s as simple it sounds, but many marketers fail to look over their own website to find crucial industry keywords to target. To do this just read over blogs, feature descriptions, product pages, white papers, and even customer reviews to take stock of language that is being used in positioning your company in its industry. Once you’ve gone through your own site, repeat the same process for your competitors’ sites so you can also target the industry keywords from which they’re winning traffic.

Tip 3: Google It!

Take all the keywords you found by following the first two tips and figuratively put yourself in your audience’s shoes by Googling the keywords yourself. Then, scroll through the first few SERPs (search engine results pages) for each query, and add any additional important industry terms to your keyword list. This is important not only because it allows you to add more keywords to your keywords list, but because it uncovers what your target audience sees when they search your keywords, which in turn helps inform your SEO strategy.

As you can see in the screenshot below, a query for summer toys shows headlines that include the keyword phrases best toys for kids, best outdoor toys for kids 2020, and toys for kids.

Google the keywords

To get the most out of this process, run your search queries in incognito mode because search platforms like Google will suggest common searches as you type in their search bars, which can give you keyword phrase inspiration. Since your search history influences what Google suggests, it’s best to do this in incognito so your own search history doesn’t influence the results you see.

Tip 4: Expand Your Keyword List

Once you have completed your preliminary keyword research, you need to dive deeper into your list. Using Similarweb is a top-notch way to research the terms your competitors use to win traffic, and you can further refine that research with Similarweb’s Keyword Generator Tool in order to compile a detailed keyword list related to any seed keywords you previously found. These tools will give you keyword inspiration and help you find additional keywords to target.

Tip 5: Balance Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords

Short-tail and long-tail keywords serve very different purposes in an SEO strategy, so it’s crucial to check your keywords list and ensure you have a balance of both. Long-tail keywords typically contain 3+ words and are less competitive because they are geared towards more specific searches. This means they target people who are searching for something very specific and therefore it’s highly probable that they are close to the buying stage of the process.

On the other hand, short-tail keywords are more competitive and harder to rank for because they are broader searches, thus making them necessary in bringing brand awareness to your website. By integrating both types of keywords into your SEO strategy you’ll have a better balance of short-term and long-term wins.

For example, which of the terms below do you think would help brand awareness, and which do you think would drive high-quality traffic?

Kids Toys

Outdoor Summer Water Toys for Kids

[If you picked the first term as the short-tail keyword for brand awareness and the second as the long-tail keyword that drives traffic with high purchase intent, you’re right!]

Balance Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords

Tip 5: Balance Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords

Short-tail and long-tail keywords serve very different purposes in an SEO strategy, so it’s crucial to check your keywords list and ensure you have a balance of both. Long-tail keywords typically contain 3+ words and are less competitive because they are geared towards more specific searches. This means they target people who are searching for something very specific and therefore it’s highly probable that they are close to the buying stage of the process.

keyword blogs

More Keyword Research Tips & Tricks to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Strong keyword research is the cornerstone of any worthwhile SEO strategy. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will give you a jump start, but of course, there’s a lot more to keep in mind when building a comprehensive international SEO strategy. To learn more about how to conduct proper keyword research download our keyword research template and set your SEO strategy up for success.

 

This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

Wondering what Similarweb can do for you?

Here are two ways you can get started with Similarweb today!