In this video, SEO expert Meg Nanson discusses beginning keyword research. We've included the transcript below for your convenience!
Today we’re going to talk about keyword research, and I’m going to show you a few free tools that will help you both generate keyword ideas and then make sure that those keyword ideas are the best ones for your website.
At Volusion we use a whole set of tools. One that we use very, very frequently is Google Adwords. So the account I've logged in to here is just a free account, anybody can set one up. So let's go back to the "vintage belt" example from last time. I'm just going to start populating this with a couple of different keywords. Once I've seeded it with a few keyword ideas, I'm going to click, "Get Ideas". This is going to do two things for me: first of all it's going to generate a list of keyword ideas, and the other thing it's going to do is show me the search volume. There might be a keyword that I had not thought about that has a better search volume than one of the keywords I chose. The average monthly searches for "affordable vintage belts" and "buy vintage belts online" are actually pretty negligible, so I'm going to want to be searching for keywords that have a higher search volume than that. These leather keywords are pretty good. "Western" is great, and not something I had originally thought about, but "vintage western belts" could be a great keyword for my site. You can also go to "Ad Group Ideas", and this will group your keyword ideas by topic. So see we have "fashion belts", "ladies belts", all kinds of different keyword buckets, and within those, you have a whole new list of keywords that you can choose from. If you take a look over here at "Competition" and "Suggested Bid", those can kind of be important guidelines to consider, but we usually ignore them because that's normally for the PPC side of things. You might not want to bid on a keyword that's $30 per click, which would be insane, but you could try to incorporate it into your SEO strategy so that you can rank for that keyword for free.
Another site that I really like using is called Uber Suggest. It's sort of like Google's Auto-Complete function on steroids. Uber Suggest pulls all the different auto-completes for a certain word or search term. Let's try "vintage belts", and just see what happens. I'm going to hit suggest. Here's our full list. It goes alphabetically, and it'll give you some really popular keywords at the top, and then it will take you more granularly into the auto-complete. So we have "vintage belts and buckles", we have "vintage army belts", "vintage armani belts", and that's all just for the letter “A”. It takes us all the way through all these different letters. What's great about this tool is there are so many keyword ideas that it'll give you, and you know that this is based on actual searches. So I love using this tool for keyword searches as well, particularly as I get more and more "long tail", which means keywords that are less broad, but more targeted. So there might be a keyword with only a search volume of 10, like let's say, "vintage garter belts and stockings" might have a really low search volume, but if I sell those, chances are the persons or people who are searching for that is exactly what they want.
And the other basic way to do keyword research, not to ignore the obvious, is to actually Google your search term. Let's say that "affordable leather belts" was a good keyword. You can see that the people ranking at the top are fairly big, well known companies. We have Overstock.com, we have Old Navy, we have Amazon. None of that's great. Number one is Belt Outlet, which could possibly be a smaller shop, but it's so specialized so that's going to be really hard to outcompete. Once we get down to the fifth result or so, things get a little less competitive. It's not the worst idea to hang on to that keyword and try to rank for it, because you can get a little bit lower on the page, but you have to approach it with the understanding that we will probably not be number one for that keyword. What I'm really looking for is competitors that are similar to my shop size, preferably people with not-so-great SEO, because then I can outrank them really easily.
So that was an overview on how to find the right keywords for your website. Make sure to tune in next time so we can talk about how to choose the right content strategy for your website.