This is the million dollar question. Once you know what keywords people are using online, you can create content that uses those keywords, and solves every problem people have.
Keywords are crucial because your audience may use different words to describe their problems than the way you describe your own business. Finding out what keywords your audience uses on search engines like Google is your first step.
Let’s ease into our keyword research process by picking words you already use to describe your business, products and services. These will be your seed keywords. By entering your seed keywords into keyword research tools you’ll discover the number of monthly searches – known as volume, and any similar keywords. For example if you’re an interior decorator you might pick seed keywords like ‘interior decorating’, ‘home design’, ‘living room design’ and so on.
During this initial keyword research phase you can focus on keyword variation (we’ll worry about how many people are searching for these topics later – known as volume). Before you narrow your focus, it’s crucial you’re covering all the ways people search for businesses like yours online.
Once you’ve entered your seed keywords into your chosen keyword research tool (scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of easy-to-use keyword research tools we’ve collected for you) you’ll be able to see related topics, similar questions, and other keywords that might be useful.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber who specialises in emergency plumbing repairs.
Type ‘emergency plumber’ into a keyword research tool and you’ll discover similar phrases people are using to find plumbers. For example:
- ‘Emergency plumber near me’
- ‘Is a leaking sink an emergency’
- ‘What are plumbing emergencies’
- ‘How much does a plumber charge per hour’
These are highly related terms you would have missed if you’d tried to optimise your website for the keyword ‘emergency plumber’ without doing a little keyword research yourself.
OK, let’s mention volume now. A keyword brings little to no value if there are ZERO people searching for it. Keyword volume is measured as a monthly figure, with higher amounts representing the most popular search terms.
As you follow the above roadmap and find similar questions, queries and topics you’ll notice the monthly search volume varies. It’s a rookie SEO mistake to pick keywords with the highest monthly volume and try to optimise for those. While 10,000 monthly visitors would be nice, a keyword with that many monthly searches is HIGHLY competitive. If we stick with the example of an emergency plumber, you’ll be competing for those keywords with national brands who have been running SEO campaigns for years (with big budgets to match).
Smart Kiwi businesses are aware it may be a strategic victory to target searches with lower volume per month. Yes, there are less people searching for these keywords on Google, but there’s less competition too.
A sound SEO strategy is to identify a mixture of high volume AND low volume keywords for your website. Remember, it’s better to be seen by a small number of people interested in your products and services, than going for a big crowd and not being seen at all.