Before I get fully into explaining how to do a keyword analysis and keyword research, I will first tell you what a keyword is and what it is for.
The usefulness of keywords is important to know, because, in this way, we can get more out of our website, content marketing, video marketing, and almost any digital marketing strategy that we are using for better SEO positioning.
I will not only talk to you about the concepts, but I will guide you step by step from researching new keywords, selecting the final keywords, analyzing the indicators to selecting the target keywords to use on your website.
Let’s get down to business!
What is a keyword?
Moz defines it as the ideas and topics that frame what your content is about. In terms of SEO, it is a relevant term or topic for your audience and for which you want to appear when a user performs a search on Google or any other search engine (that is, ranking by that keyword or keyword).
For example, if you sell embroidered bags and you are going to make a web page, one of your keywords to consider could be just “embroidered bags”, since surely you want that when someone searches for such products, your web page appears.
But it definitely shouldn’t be the only keyword you consider.
And there the story does not end …
Why keywords are important
When you have a company that you want is that the largest number of people looking for a product or service similar to yours, know about your company and can compete to win the sale.
But if your website doesn’t show up in search results, it’s unlikely they’ll find you, right?
In other words, your goal of ranking certain keywords on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your website. And those keywords by which positions will determine the type of traffic you get.
But be careful here! If you’re not careful enough, you could end up driving unskilled traffic to your page.
For example, imagine you have a computer accessories store and one of the products they buy the most is hard drives. So, you decide that you would like to rank for the keyword “discos”, the problem is that you could end up attracting people who are looking for a place to go dancing.
Or suppose you sell luxury cars and someone is looking for used cars. Surely you would not be interested in finding your page because it would not be qualified traffic. But what if you sell luxury used cars? So a keyword like luxury used cars could be a good option to consider.
In summary, keywords should be as relevant (qualified keywords) to your audience as to your content.
To achieve qualified traffic to your site you must understand the search needs of your audience and investigate how they are looking for it – even to consider the variants of the keywords of interest.
Why choose a keyword?
Considering the above, you already know that web pages contain information that a group of people (niche) is looking for. This means that while writing content on a particular page, you need to be aware of the terms those people will use in search engines to find certain information.
So defining keywords allows the right people to find the right page for their needs. And among these pages could be yours if you did good keyword research.
There is more than one classification of keywords, I will focus on two of them that I consider of utmost importance to understand in order to carry out effective keyword research.
The first classification is by the phase of the purchase process
Keywords for information search
The name says it all, right? When people make this type of purchase, they are still very, very far from the purchase.
The only thing the user is doing is looking for general information to find out about a topic, product, or service.
It can be positive to include these types of words if you are interested in capturing people traffic from the first stages of the buying process because it implies that when they go through the stages of the process, they can take your company into account.
For example, if they search for the keyword “embroidered bag marks”
With this type of keywords, the searches that are generated are focused on finding a specific site.
These types of users have already advanced a little in the purchase process and know where they can find the information, product or service they are looking for.
For example, if you were looking for “Michael Kors embroidered bags”
Here, the user is already in the last stage of the conversion cycle. And related keywords tend to show a clear intention to purchase a product or service or be much more specific and qualified. For example: “sale of embroidered bags”, “embroidered red gift bags”.
What interesting truth?
The importance of knowing these types of keywords is that, once you have the list of target kws, they can be grouped by these criteria and thus efficiently plan the SEO and digital marketing strategy.
The second classification is by the popularity index.
This keyword classification is based on Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory, in which he explains that few products concentrate a high volume of demand as well as a high sales index (head-tail).
But there are many other products that, although they present less demand or sales, if they are added together they all present a demand and sales greater than or equal to those of the first group.
So, we have:
Generic keywords or head-tail keywords.
The advantage of this type of word is that they usually have a lot of searches and demand.
The small detail is that they also tend to have a lot of competition and a good part of such searches will not be qualified.
For example, a person could search for “bag” (head-tail) but may only want to see photos or search for “embroidered lady bags” (middle tail).
Keywords of broad concordance or middle tail.
These types of keywords tend to have slightly fewer searches, but they may even be more recommended than head tails because they generate more interaction than a generic term.
In addition to this, they almost always have intermediate competition. A middle tail keywords strategy tends to perform quite well.
Imagine someone looking for “red ladies bags with flower embroidery”, that would be considered a long-tail keyword.
This implies that you will surely have much fewer searches but also much less competition.
A good SEO strategy will regularly integrate the three types of keywords in a balanced way.
Search for keywords or keyword research
Here begins the fun.
Well, the first thing you should do is brainstorm all the terms and phrases with which you believe that people would search for that particular product, service, or topic.
Suppose you have a gift store and are planning to venture into the online world with an online gift store.
So you come up with an initial list of keywords:
• Gift shops
• Online gift shops
• Online gift shops • Buy gifts online
• Gifts for women
• Gifts for men
• Gifts for mom
And that was all you could think of.
The good thing is that there are tools with free options that can help you broaden your ideas and determine which ones should be used.
Once you have your initial list, you can now use Google’s own suggestions a bit to get ideas for related keywords.
I don’t know if you noticed that when you Google something, while you’re still typing it shows you a listing below the text field.
Those suggestions that it shows you are searches that other users have made. And therefore if other people are looking for it, it might be a good idea to consider it in your list of keywords to analyze them later.
You will notice that the more you type in the search field, Google will give you more related keyword ideas and they will be getting closer to the long tail type, with which you can focus on micro-niches.
Note that as you write more words, it shows you different suggestions, based on what you continue to post.
You can even put a part of the keyword using an asterisk before or after the term or a part of the phrase and you will get new suggestions.
This also works with YouTube, you put a term and it gives you suggestions. Sometimes you can find useful and different suggestions than Google shows.
And now with this search engine, one last trick. Place a search term like “gifts for mom.” Scroll to the bottom of the results page and you’ll have access to new related search ideas.
So, until now, you should already have a very interesting preliminary list …
Keyword search with Ubersuggest
This is a very practical tool. All you have to do is enter the keyword you are interested in, see suggestions.
It gives you a list of approximate search volumes, CPC, and competition. Here between “us”, I confess that I always pass these suggestions on to the Adwords Keyword Planner tool to be sure that the numbers obtained are correct.
Research your competition for your keyword research
Oh yeah! This is getting exciting!
What would a keyword analysis be if you didn’t dig a bit into your competitors’ sites? Especially those that appear on the first page of results.
Here the key is to look at what they are trying to position in their optimization. You can take the title and alt tags as a reference, as well as the URL terms.
For example, when searching for “gifts for mom”, the following site comes up first, and examining the URL and title, we also have another keyword idea: “gifts for mother’s day”
t is also convenient to briefly review the source code looking for titles, headings, anchor text, and alt attribute of the images. In Chrome, if you press ctrl + F you can write the term you are looking for in the code. In this case, I put the title and it shows me:
In this way you can also write for example h1, h2, etc. and you can find how else your future competition is placing the keywords.
There are also tools with free features such as X-Ray, Screaming Frog, Keyword density Analyzer that automatically throw this information at you.
I only explained the “difficult” manual part, since with the tools you can get more information much more quickly. ALTHOUGH, you have to pay for them and they don’t always yield totally reliable data, so you have to be very careful when they are used.
Keywords research with Google Adwords Keyword Planner
This tool is a “must”, I could say that all professionals in the SEO and digital marketing sector use it for keyword research.
There are two good reasons to use it:
1. Get new keyword ideas and complete your list of previous stages
2. And get relevant data from search trends, which you will need in the next stages of your keyword analysis.
In this article, I will not explain how to create an AdWords account (which by the way you will need to use this tool) but I will tell you that in order to use it you need to have a paid campaign active.
You find it in the main menu of your Google Adwords account, in the tools section.
If you do not have an active AdWords campaign you can create a very basic one by placing a minimum budget, pause it and it will allow you to use this tool with all its features.
So, let’s go step by step …
Using the keyword multiplier to get new ideas
Perhaps when making your preliminary list of keywords you noticed that sometimes similar terms appeared: “gifts for women”, “gifts for women”, “gifts for women”. And that, logically, those variables would also be repeated in the schemes “for men”, “for boyfriends”, among others.
So with this tool, the first thing we will do is concatenate terms to form new words. The first thing you should do is select the option “Combine keyword lists to get new keywords”
And right there it will display two list boxes 1 and 2. If you require a third list (as in this case) you only have to click on the x on the right and the following box will appear.
Important: Make sure before clicking, to segment in the desired country or geographical area.
In this example, what I did was put in list 1 the variables that I observed appeared in the preliminary keyword research for the term “gifts”. For example purposes, I’m only putting those four.
Ideally, incomplete keyword analysis, you put everything you found (relative to the same term).
For example, you would not put “what to give” along with “gifts” on the first list, because the terms you would get would not make sense.
The next thing after typing the right words in the three lists would be to click “Get search volume”
The planner will show you a result like the following:
The trend graph will not serve you properly for the keyword research, but it will serve to analyze the behavior of users in terms of searches for these terms. For example, by briefly observing it shoots up in May, surely because they are looking for ideas to give away May 10, which is Mother’s Day (in Mexico).
What concerns us at this moment, is to see that the tool has already concatenated the terms and launches new keywords with the monthly search average. Those keyword columns and average monthly searches will be very useful later in your keyword analysis.
In the image, you will notice that there is a column that says “Add to plan.” This functionality will allow you to select those terms that interest you to enter your list of keywords and place them in an ad group.
Just select the desired ad group and click on the arrow that appears in Add to plan.
In case the desired ad group does not appear, you can click on the + arrow and enter the name you need.
Recommendation: Create groups that integrate very semantically related terms, for example, everything that is gifts and gifts for women. Both plural and singular. Another for moms, another for men, etc.
When you have finished your selection, just download the file and save it with the appropriate name.
You will need to repeat this same process for all the possible variables that you need to concatenate.
Similarly, you can use the option to “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. To find new variables and terms.
It is one of the star functionalities of this tool since you can search for suggestions by placing a term, or by some web page -which may be that of your competition- or by the classification of product categories that Adwords shows you.
This whole process can be a bit laborious, but the result will be worth it.
Better to invest time before carrying out a project than to lose money after having done it halfway.
Once you have finished researching the possible terms and variables for your keyword list, it is important that you put them together in an Excel to make way for search volume analysis.
The more detailed your lists are, the more likely you are to discover some little-used micro-market niches. And from time to time, you will discover some lost treasure …
How to perform keyword analysis
At this point, your keyword list should already be complete. Now, the next task begins keyword analysis.
For the analysis you will have to consider several factors, the first of them is popularity.
By popularity we understand -for SEO purposes- the tendency to search for a term or phrase, that is, the more you search, the more popular it is.
Here comes the detail, how do we get this data? This is just the second reason that the keyword planner tool is a “must”. It arrives and will “save your skin”
Using the word planner to get the popularity of keywords
At this point, your keyword list should already be finished. Now, you have to start the keyword analysis.
In the same option of Adwords tools, the keyword planner, you will find the option of “Get data and trends in search volume”
You will only have to copy your list or upload a file and click on the blue button.
Remember to segment by the desired geographical area.
We will obtain a result that will show some graphs and several columns of data. For keyword research, we will only consider two of them:
Once you have them, download the file for later analysis steps.
Decision making in a keyword analysis
Okay, so far:
• You brainstormed
• You researched more keywords using different methods
• You searched for the search trend of your final listing
Select the final or objective keywords.
Surely you ended up with a huge keyword listing. We will agree by saying that you would not start working with all of them. So you must choose those keywords that will allow you to achieve your positioning objectives.
But how do I select them?
Well, we already talked about the popularity factor.
You could “go with the feint” and want to work with those words that have more searches. But this could be a mistake.
It is important to consider keyword difficulty, qualification, and search trend.
Ok, how do you beat that?
Previously I had commented that it is important to choose the words that will really attract the target audience you are looking for. For many searches that have some terms if they are not appropriate for your product or service, you will have a huge bounce rate.
In theory, if you have already made a good selection from your keyword list, you should have no problem with this point.
Just to remind you: the number of people searching for a specific keyword
This beautiful term basically indicates how difficult it will be to position or rank in the first place for a keyword. This is closely related to the number of pages that talk about the same topic and that are optimized with that keyword.
It could be that you find some keywords with many searches, but when evaluating the trend you discover that it has been decreasing dramatically over the years or months.
Or you could make sure that a term still has relatively few searches but has a positive growth trend.
Which one would you bet on?
You can analyze this with the Google trends tool. In which you can place the term, select a period of time, and choose a geographical area.
You can also define the evolution in Google images, news, shopping or YouTube. And even compare search terms.
Keyword difficulty in SEO
Once you are clear about all of the above. It’s time to analyze the difficulty of the keywords.
Determine the number of competitors
This value is achieved very easily. You only search for the keyword of your interest in Don Google and it will indicate an approximate number of results that include that keyword.
With this, you must be very careful and choose the geographical area in which you plan to compete. You can do this in Preferences> Advanced Search
If you forget, will the results you get in the analysis not be completely accurate?
Once you have selected the country of your interest, in case your positioning approach is not global, you will get a result that will indicate how many results approximately contain the keyword.
That number, you must write it down in your Excel, in a format like the following:
Remember: These results will be different by language and country, so preferably always use the Google TLD that corresponds to the format of the country of interest and select the desired language. For example “google.es” or “google.com.mx”
You can make the language settings in the Settings area of Chrome, although I prefer to specify all these elements in Preferences> advanced search
Now, with the same country and language settings, you will have to do a search with 3 footprints, with each of the keywords and write the results in your excel:
1.- Allintitle: with this option, the results of pages that have the focus keyword in the title will be shown.
2.- Allinurl: with this footprint, Google will show you the pages (and their approximate total) that have the keyword in the URL.
3.- Allinanchor: and finally, with this command, you will be able to obtain the pages that receive an external link whose “anchor text” has the term of your interest.
What your keyword analysis file would look like:
Calculation of quantitative indicators of organic competition.
Once you have the first part of the indicators of interest, you can calculate new indicators that relate to the popularity of the keyword to the associated competition.
What is this for?
With these new data, you will be able to see which most popular keywords have less organic competition.
Translated: you will have less difficulty positioning.
This indicator relates popularity (monthly searches for a keyword) with the amount of associated competition (that is, the results in the SERPs).
With this indicator, a high value means that there is an interesting area of opportunity because it is a “sufficiently” searched term with little relative competition.
This indicator is calculated:
KEI = Monthly searches kw / SERP Results
This data will give you an idea of the qualification of your competition since it takes as a reference to the pages that have the keyword of your interest in their title.
KFI = Monthly searches kW / Allintitle results
Likewise, this indicator will give you more information about the area of opportunity that exists, since it values the qualification of the competition because they use the keyword in their url.
KMI = Monthly searches kW / Allinurl results
And finally, the KOI, which provides you with information about the opportunity or difficulty that a keyword has to work with link building later.
KOI = Monthly KW Searches / Allinanchor Results
Ok, if this is your first approach to keyword analysis, surely you have WHAT face ?? !!
You already got here, breathe, because you are a few steps away from having all the data for your final analysis.
To make my life easier, what I do -if I do it manually hehe-, is to already have the formulas in an Excel or Google spreadsheet and only fill in the keyword fields, # of searches in the SERPs, Allintitle results, Allinurl and Allinanchor results.
With the formulas in Excel, will you get the other data automatically?
And you would have something like the following:
Determining the quality of organic competition
There are other indicators that “diagnose” the quality of the competition, associated with a certain keyword.
With these indicators, instead of using popularity (monthly kw searches), you take into account the number of results in the SERPs.
The formulas are:
Allintitle competition = (Allintitle results) ² / SERP results
Competition allinurl = (Results allinurl) ² / Results SERPs
Allinanchor Competition = (Allinanchor Results) ² / SERP Results
Likewise, is it enough to put the formula in your Excel so that it throws the data at you?
What do these results tell you?
If you look closely, you are taking into account the results of the competition that uses the keyword in its title or url, or that has a link with the anchor of the keyword pointing it in relation to the total results in the SERPs with that keyword.
What this implies is that these indicators help us to know what proportion of the total competition for this keyword is more qualified. The higher the value, the more qualified competition there is.
Summary: In these Allintitle, Allinurl and aAlinanchor proficiency indicators, you should prefer those with a lower value.
Interpretation of the data obtained
Well, it is one thing to obtain numbers, another to know how to interpret them so that they serve you as something lol.
I leave you two key points that will help you with this:
- Keep in mind, in which indicators a high value is preferable and in which a low value.
- Give preference to keywords that have a good balance according to the budget you have.
Unless, of course, you have the resources to enter and fight on very competitive terms. (That even with resources, is not always the best strategy).
Target keyword selection and niche detection
At this point in the process, you should already have all the terms of your keyword research organized in your Excel template with the indicators of quantity and qualification of competence.
Keep in mind, that there is no exact formula to choose which is best for you to choose, but the data you have will make it easier for you to make an informed decision and not blindly “hit the road”.
For example, with the three keywords with which we work the indicators, we obtain interesting results.
As you can see, I pointed out the following:
- In red, the KOI and Allinanchor competition indicators for the kw “gifts for mom”. For my taste, the KOI of that word is not high enough in relation to the other keywords. This implies that you will have relatively greater competition with links that contain the anchor text, in relation to the monthly searches for the keyword. Likewise, when analyzing Allinanchor competition, I reaffirm that in addition to having a greater competition with links, many of these competitors have this SEO optimization, so my link building efforts should be greater.
- In light green, I marked two values that, without being the highest, present an interesting index of opportunity, so I could consider the keyword “gifts for Mother’s Day”
- In strong green, I pointed out, in the first instance, the high values of KFI and KOI for the phrase “what to give to mom”. Both values are significantly high, which implies that they present quite an attractive degree of opportunity.
- Also in strong green, I pointed out, competition values Allintitle and Allinurl, intermediate for “gifts for mother’s day”, which reaffirms that I could get interested in that keyword.
- And finally, in strong green, low values of the third keyword in the competition indicators Allintitle, Allinurl, and Allinanchor.
In summary, the third option presents a greater degree of opportunity. However, the number of monthly searches (one thousand for this keyword) must also be taken into account.
Here, if your strategy was to work with micro-niches relatively easy to master, that would be the perfect option.
Remember that initially, before your keyword research, you defined the type of keyword you would work with. Either by the point of the buying process or by the popularity index (which is regularly grouped by both) and a specific strategy is chosen.
In this article I will not delve much into this point, the important thing is that now you already know what keywords are, how they are classified, how to do keyword research or keyword research, how to do manual keyword analysis ( hehe there are tools to simplify this process, but they are paid and they are not always so right) and finally how to interpret this analysis.
It is a tedious and laborious process. But believe me, having the course you are going to define will save you a lot of future headaches and above all, a lot of money and effort.
If you got to this part of the article, you probably already have a dry brain.
Have you earned yourself some revitalizing water?
Okay, I’ll leave it up here. If this post has been useful to you, can you help me by sharing it?
If you have doubts or want to contribute any data that has been overlooked, share it in your comments!