Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find the actual phrases people enter into search engines like google when looking for something online.
Now, we have established that you are not a search engine optimization professional but you might be considering taking the cheap route and not hire one. Good for you, the best way to learn is to DO, so we will help you do both. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before trying out some fancy keyword research tool like the Google Keyword Planner or the Keyword research tool from Moz.
- What keywords are my competitors ranking for?
- What keywords should my competitors be ranking for that they are currently not ranking for?
- How many searches do these keywords receive?
Basically, if you can answer all these questions completely the job is half done. The keywords your competitors are ranking for will help you immediately determine what keywords and how much competition you will need to face to attain top position for said keywords, In a case where your competition is exactly like you and they have also been oblivious to the magical powers of search marketing – you need to expressly figure out the keywords they should be ranking for but are not ranking for.
This is where it gets tricky, how do I know what keywords my business or competitors should be ranking for when we are all not ranking for anything at the moment. Let us combine two basic things – Common sense and your business model. Let’s say you run a car repair business on the Lagos Island. Your business expressly caters to customers on the island alone and that is about it. Common sense will tell you that the first 2 keywords you should be targeting are “Car repair services in Lagos” & “Car repairer in Lagos” then comes the business model factor (Only catering to customers on the island) – This will essentially help you realize you should be ranking for key phrases around “Car repairer on the Lagos Island” “Car repairers in Lekki” “Car Repairers in ikoyi” and so on… But then again… there are so many places on the Lagos Island will I now list out all these places and then add “Car repairer” behind them?
An SEO expert coming in to take a look and audit your business will take a look and recommend you rank for keywords around “Best car repairer in Lagos” “best car repairer in Lekki”. Ha! I know! You didn’t think of that did you? Yes because that is why he is the expert and you are not. Here is the logic behind this; a simple day to day user of the internet will search for things like “Best”, “Most reliable”, “Trusted” and more loyalty related keywords. Because that is just how it works for us users. We want the best and the most reliable even if we can necessarily afford it.
So 2 lessons: 1. Don’t be stingy and let a professional fix your SEO and 2. You are still a newbie with so much more to learn.
We will continue this training on our next blog post titled “Why your SEO expert knows and you don’t!”