Spying on the Competition in 2017: SEO Keyword Research Tools

SEO Keyword Tools

Tools / July 12, 2016

keyword-researchWell, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn't.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is when people use keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The knowledge about these actual search terms can help inform content strategy, or marketing strategy overall.

I'm going to lay out a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting.

That way, you'll be able to establish and execute a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you actually care about.

seo-keywordsStep 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You'll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important to your business, and then you'll use those topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.

If you're a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they're the topics that come up the most in sales conversations.related-searches Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas - what types of topics would your target audience search that you'd want your business to get found for? If you were a company like HubSpot, for example - selling marketing software (which happens to have some awesome SEO tools ... but I digress ;-) - you might have general topic buckets like "inbound marketing, " "blogging, " "email marketing, " "lead generation, " "SEO, " "social media, " "marketing analytics, " and "marketing automation."

Make sense?

Step 2: Fill in those topic buckets with keywords.

Now that you have a few topic buckets you want to focus on, it's time to identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.

For instance, if I took that last topic bucket for an inbound marketing software company - "marketing automation" - I'd brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to that topic. Those might include:

  • marketing automation tools
  • how to use marketing automation software
  • what is marketing automation?
  • how to tell if I need marketing automation software
  • lead nurturing
  • email marketing automation
  • top automation tools

Source: blog.hubspot.com