For many companies, their keyword strategy dictates how successful their SEO efforts prove. Indeed, quality keyword research can provide businesses with a clear plan they can use to improve their standing on search engines and boost their overall visibility online. Keyword research, though, is a nuanced process that involves lots of hard work and patience.

4 Tips to Conduct Keyword Research for SEO

Thankfully, these four tips will help your business identify keywords that will produce the most effective SEO results. Check them out here:

Start Broad

The first step to conducting keyword research is to examine your company and your industry. Determine four or five topics that are essential to your business. This could come from the products/services you offer, or from the problems you typically solve for consumers. As one might imagine, for some companies this will include very generic search terms like “divorce lawyer” or “wedding cake.” These phrases typically have a high search volume and are very competitive, but don’t worry –– this is just the beginning of the process.

Narrow it Down

Once you’ve established four or five broad topics that relate to your company, you can begin to look for long-tail keywords –– more detailed phrases that have less volume, but also lower competition for them. A long-tail keyword can refer to anything that specifies your product or service. So, to expand on our previous examples, some long-tail keywords might be “divorce lawyer for men,” or “customized wedding cakes.” These terms should reflect detailed aspects of your products/services, and, ideally, you should be able to rank highly for them.

Tangential Search Terms

Once you’ve exhausted broad and long-tail keywords, it’s a good idea to look for tangential keywords –– search terms that are somehow related to your original set of keywords. A tangential keyword might be a further modification on a long-tail keyword. Or it may be a related product or service that you provide, but haven’t optimized for search engines yet. One super easy way to find these potential keywords is by using an application like Keywords Everywhere, which is totally free! (These terms can make great topics for blog posts as well.)

Study the Competition

Every company’s product is unique. There’s a big difference between Retail Management Solution’s POS systems and every other POS on the market, just as there’s a big difference between Dr. Pepper and every other soft drink. If you’re struggling to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competition, you can study competitor websites and analyze their keyword choices. Simply by reviewing their blogs and web pages, you can determine what their keyword priorities are. From there, you can either challenge them directly or opt for a differing keyword strategy. That choice is up to you!

Final tip: remember that user intent is more important than exact keyword match. As such, the better you understand your customer base, the more effective your SEO efforts will be!