How To Find Qualified SEO Leads and Guarantee the Success of your Business
- What are SEO Leads?
- How does SEO Help with Lead Generation?
- How do You Get SEO Leads?
- How to Convert SEO Leads into Clients?
What are SEO Leads?
How does SEO Help with Lead Generation?
1. Knowing your customer
2. Laying the path
Invest in Content Marketing
Invest in on-page SEO
Use social media to boost reach
Build content aimed at a goal
3. Breaking barriers
4. Being there for them
How to Convert SEO Leads into Clients?
Qualifying your leads
Automating your contact with them
Improving the finish line
Managing your results
Keyword research is the foundation of a solid search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, and knowing how to do it effectively is critical to your website’s search visibility. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of site creation or are building an SEO strategy to boost organic traffic, you need to know the keywords your customers are using so they can find your content when they need it.
This guide will cover how to do keyword research for your business. You’ll learn how to find keywords for SEO, analyze their potential, and choose the most effective ones to use in your SEO content strategy.
What Is Keyword Research?
- Find the search terms your customers are using
- Prioritize the ones you want to optimize for based on search volume, competition, and your business goals.
Why Is Keyword Research Important?
While you may already have some keywords in mind that you think describe your offerings, SEO keyword research helps fine-tune your keyword list and provides a reality check for your assumptions. SEO is less about forcing the terms you think are relevant into your content and more about determining what your target customers are actually searching for.
Your research might reveal that searchers don’t use the terms you think they might. You may also discover a variety of keywords you hadn’t considered, providing more opportunities for a targeted content strategy that will help you reach a wider audience.
How Keyword Research Boosts Your SEO Efforts
Keyword research ensures the language you use on your web pages matches user queries, so your pages rise in search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google won’t rank your pages for relevant queries unless they contain the keywords searchers use to find information users are looking for.
If you’re hoping to rank for a certain search phrase, you need it on your website. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million more times, but Google’s algorithms are content-based, and there is no skirting around the fact that if you want to show up for something, you need to be using that specific keyword or a variation of it in your content.
Once you’ve researched relevant keywords, you can integrate the phrases into helpful and informative SEO content. Unique and useful content is what’s going to keep a user on your website longer, building familiarity and trust. If you can produce the best content for a given search term, you’ll likely reap the benefit of increased organic traffic while building topical authority for your website.
How to Search for Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
1. Decide What Matters to Your BusinessThe most important step in building a keyword-driven search engine optimization strategy is determining where you’ll focus your efforts. If you engage in keyword research that covers every page on your site, not only will the research phase be overwhelming, it won’t be easy to implement such a far-flung plan. I recommend that the first thing you decide is which pages on your site can move the needle on your business goals with the benefit of added organic traffic. Focus your SEO efforts on those pages.
An important caveat: Your target audience might not be looking for the pages that are important to you.
It’s entirely possible that your keyword research will reveal that there’s no search demand for the pages you think are strategically important to your business.
It’s essential that you take your cues from search data rather than trying to shoehorn existing content into your SEO strategy if it doesn’t fit. Search engines will tell you what you should be focusing on, and this information can be invaluable to your business goals. In this case, your business will benefit from focusing your efforts where they can yield the greatest results rather than wasting resources on the Sisyphean task of trying to rank content that prospective customers aren’t looking for.
2. Brainstorm Topics
Start your keyword planner with a list of potential search terms based on your target pages. At this stage, the idea is to cast the net wide. Later, you’ll analyze the value of those keywords to prioritize which ones to implement.
Come Up With Keywords Internally
Get together with your marketing team and develop a list of keywords your target customers might use. Make a keyword planner list to refer to during the rest of the research process.
Begin with at least five or six general topics or content buckets. These seed keywords will “sprout” other keyword ideas.
I’m going to use the example of a fictional ecommerce cosmetics and beauty retailer called BeautyTrend to illustrate the keyword research process.
BeautyTrend starts their initial keyword list with the products they offer on their website. They want to attract potential customers who search for these terms with the intent to purchase:
- Eyelash extensions
- Nail designs
- Eyebrow shaping
The list also includes related information their customers might be searching for, such as:
- Makeup tutorials
- Beauty news and trends
These broad keywords are difficult to rank for because they’re so general. But once you identify higher-level topics, you can come up with more specific keywords to fill the buckets.
The skincare category, for example, could include phrases such as “moisturizer for dry skin” or “hydrating skin mask.” Informational terms might consist of basic search terms combined with words like “how-to,” “guide,” or “step-by-step.”
Check Out the Competition
Your competition is a critical source of keyword information. Begin by identifying key competitors and find the keywords they rank for in SERPs.
Consider companies that are selling to the same audience as you. If you rely on local customers, pick competing businesses in your area. A corporation with an international presence has an entirely different set of competitors.
Find competing businesses by plugging the keywords and phrases you’ve brainstormed into Google and look at the companies at the top of organic search results.
To get a sense of how your competitors perform in search, run their URLs through a keyword research tool such as the Ubersuggest Chrome extension or SimilarWeb. You’ll want to note how many organic keywords the sites are ranking for, monthly traffic, backlink profiles, and domain scores. You can analyze the content itself later.
Find Your Competitor’s Keywords
SEO tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer let you examine a domain’s top-ranking pages. You can see your competitors’ most popular pages and the best keywords that generate the most organic traffic for them. When you find a search term that also applies to your business, add it to your keyword planner.
This type of review can turn up SEO keywords or niche questions you’re missing. You’ll use what you learn to develop valuable, authoritative content that will increase your ranking in SERPs and help you attract more organic traffic.
Get to Know Your Customers
Another way to generate keyword ideas is to study your customers to see what they’re interested in. Browse social media, forums, discussion groups, and Q&A sites such as Reddit to see what questions your target audience is asking online. This can help you uncover other keywords and craft content that addresses their needs.
For example, a BeautyTrend marketer might notice that online discussions about wrinkles include questions about anti-aging skincare routines and products with natural ingredients. Add relevant topics like these to your keyword planner.
3. Analyze Specific Keywords
After using SEO tools and competitor research to fill your topic buckets, it’s time to drill down and figure out the keywords that will work best for your site.
Many factors come into play when analyzing the value of a keyword.
Search VolumeMonthly search volume, or MSV, is a metric that shows how many people search for a particular keyword or term. The MSV gives you an idea of how many people might see your search snippet when it lands on the first page of SERPs. Keywords with low monthly search volume aren’t as frequently searched as other keywords, meaning the sites that rank for them are pulling traffic from a smaller group of potential searchers. Low MSV isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A low search volume keyword that converts a large percentage of a small set of searchers might still be strategically valuable for your business. This is what I would call “low hanging fruit” and it should never be overlooked just because the number isn’t as big and shiny as others!
ClicksThe number of clicks is a measure of how many people click a search snippet link after searching for a specific term. You can use the Ahrefs Keyword Tool to see how often a site ranking for a keyword gets clicked each month and compare this data to the number of times the term is searched monthly to estimate the click-through rate. As explained by Moz, some searchers may have a low click-through rate because questions are answered directly on SERPs by the Google featured snippet or knowledge panel.
Traffic PotentialHow much traffic are you likely to get from a keyword? You can estimate traffic potential using monthly search volume and click-through rate data. A keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer also shows how much traffic top-ranking pages are attracting for a specific keyword.
Keyword DifficultyKeyword difficulty (KD) estimates how hard it is to rank in the top ten organic search results for a keyword. Different keyword research tools will arrive at this value in different ways. In Ahrefs, KD is a straightforward average of the number of websites that link back to the content ranking in the top ten positions for that term.
4. Narrow and Group Keywords Within Your List
Once you complete your preliminary brainstorming, you’ll likely have more potential keywords than you could possibly use. Now it’s time to narrow down which keywords to focus your SEO strategies on.
There are four main types of keyword data to consider when finding new keywords. Each one is important for different reasons, so you’ll need to weigh the factors against each other.
- Relevance. Keywords should be important to your customer and naturally fit into your content.
- Authority. Compare the authority of your website to currently ranking sites for that keyword. Determine the time and resources it may take for your site to land higher in SERPs.
- Search Volume. Decide if high search volume keywords are worth pursuing or if you’ll stick to medium and low search volume terms that are easier to rank for.
- Difficulty: Consider a mix of low, medium, and high difficulty keywords for each topic category so you can see progress over time — results from more accessible search terms first and harder search terms later.
Organize Your New Keywords
Sorting your keywords into manageable batches makes it easier to spot opportunities for how and where you’ll use them. When you group related keywords together, you might see how to combine broad and long-tail keywords into themes that will work together on a page to help it rank in search results.