How to find relevant keywords for your website

How to do keyword research

Keyword research, or “Keyword research,” is one of the most popular topics in the world of web SEO.

Although there are several different ways to do it, I would like to share with you the “technique” that I have been using in my projects for a few years.

One thing you need to understand is that most SEO experts have different techniques, and there are also those who want to make you believe that there are ultra-secret strategies and that anyone who doesn’t use them is not a real web SEO specialist. Often, these people want to sell you a course.

Since I don’t have any products or books to sell (as I earn my living by offering my services), I use my blog to freely share my strategies, ideas, and theories regarding SEO.

That being said, you are free to use my techniques, try your own methods, or explore courses if that’s what you desire. Keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to do things, and I don’t believe I have all the absolute answers.

Why define keywords?

I truly believe that this is a crucial step in SEO strategy (and marketing strategy in general), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be simple.

Performing keyword research allows us to better understand the topic we want to write about. We can also identify competitors, the words and phrases that users enter on Google to find information, and most importantly, determine if there is sufficient demand for the topic.

This research will also help us plan the content in a structured way and address as many questions as possible. Remember that Google is becoming increasingly intelligent, and with updates like BERT, it can grasp the overall idea of your content and rank you for queries that you may not extensively cover in your content, but are closely related. You may have heard that using long-tail keywords is important in your SEO strategy, and if your content makes sense, you will likely rank for several of them. However, it’s important to note that adding a list of keywords to your website should never feel forced.

How to determine the most searched keywords?

To conduct our analysis and find new keywords, we will primarily use five tools:

  1. Ahrefs (paid)
  2. Ubersuggest (free)
  3. Google (free)
  4. Answer the Public (free/paid)
  5. Keywords Everywhere (free/paid)

Before starting to use a keyword research tool, it’s important to have a topic in mind for which you would like to gather more information. Firstly, we will search on Google for a keyword or phrase related to that topic.

This forms the foundation of our strategy. For our example, we will use the keyword “speed reading” (in French).

Recherche Google

Next, we need to analyze the top 5-8 search results using our tools.

If your plan is to target a different country or you want to get an idea of the type of pages ranking internationally, I recommend using the SEO Quake extension for Google Chrome. With it, you’ll be able to specify the country and language for your search.

SEO Quake

For example, you can see that when I change my location to France, Google displays an ad that is supposed to be shown to French users (also, the top results may vary slightly between Canada and France).

Extension SEO Quake

Ahrefs – keyword analysis tool.

This software is much more than just a simple keyword planner, but in this instance, we will use it for that purpose.

To begin, we will copy/paste the 5-8 URLs mentioned earlier (one by one).

To do this, we’ll need to use the “Site Explorer” feature. Then, click on “Organic Keywords” in the right-hand menu. This will allow us to find the keywords used by a competitor’s website, along with their monthly search volume (the number of times each keyword is searched on search engines).

Ahrefs pour recherche de mots-clés

Ideally, it would be best to choose keywords with good traffic potential and moderate competition.

I recommend creating a Google Spreadsheet or an Excel sheet for each project since we will start downloading all this data provided by Ahrefs in CSV format.

You will repeat the process with the top 5-8 results from Google and input the information into your spreadsheet. You will need the “Volume”, “Keyword Difficulty (KD)” and “CPC (Cost Per Click)” data. Also, pay attention to the “Traffic” column because a keyword with high search volume but low traffic potential may indicate that the keyword may not perform as expected.

Ahrefs’ Keywords explorer

Keywords explorer sur Ahrefs

In the main menu of Ahrefs, you can also find the “Keyword Explorer” which allows you to analyze a specific keyword in a more visual way and view other suggested keywords.

Keyword ideas

You will also see a new menu called “Keyword Ideas” that will allow you to identify other keyword opportunities.

Ubersuggest – a free tool

If you’re looking for a free keyword suggestion tool, Ubersuggest by Neil Patel is an excellent choice. The process is similar, you just need to paste the URL you want to analyze and click on “Organic Keywords.”

Ubersuggest

It should be noted that it is perfectly normal to see slightly different numbers on Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, or any other keyword planning tool. Each software uses its own algorithms, so the data can vary slightly.

Using Google as a keyword planner is a good option

Google is one of my favorite tools for keyword research, and I’m not referring to the Google Ads Keyword Planner. I’m talking about using Google for regular searches like any user would.

For this, we can utilize its autocomplete feature (Google Suggest), which means using the suggestions that appear in the search bar as we start typing our query.

I trust these suggestions because they are based on actual searches that people have performed numerous times. Google has learned that these are common queries related to the topics being searched. In other words, it’s Google’s way of telling you, “Here are the keywords that are popular or relevant to your search.”

What’s interesting is that if you analyze many of these keywords in the aforementioned tools, the search volume may be very low or almost nonexistent. However, I still use them because Google considers them relevant, and it could help you rank for other related keywords.

I also recommend taking a look at Google Trends, a statistical tool that shows the popularity of specific search terms over specific periods. It’s used to discover trends and patterns in search volume and the popularity of various keywords.

People also ask 

People also ask

This section of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) shows us the questions that users ask Google about the topic. Answering these questions in our content ensures that we are providing users with all the information they need.

Additionally, by including these questions as subheadings and answering them with clear and concise sentences, Google may choose our content to provide answers to these questions in the same section.

Answer the public 

To find other questions that the audience asks about your topic, Answer the Public is the perfect website.

Answer the public

Keywords Everywhere 

Keywords everywhere Keywords Everywhere is another excellent tool for getting keyword suggestions with their data directly on the search results page. It is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox, and you can disable it anytime if you ever get tired of seeing keywords everywhere (lol).

Keywords everywhere 

Google Search Console 

If you have access to the Google Search Console for the website you’re conducting keyword research for, you can see the queries for which the site is currently appearing (impressions) and the number of clicks each query generates. This information is valuable because it allows us to identify keywords with significant potential for which the site is not well optimized. This way, we can focus our efforts on optimizing the pages of the site that can more easily target those specific queries.

The Google Search Console is a powerful tool, but many people don’t think of it when it comes to keyword research.

Mots-clés suggérés par la Google Search Console

Keyword intent

This is an extremely important concept. Whenever we create content, we need to consider the intent behind the person’s search (keyword intent). For example, when someone searches for “computer,” are they looking to find the best computers? Or are they searching for a store to purchase one? Are they interested in learning about the history of computers, or perhaps they are looking for a reviews page to help them decide which one to buy?

Understanding the keyword intent will give us a better chance of ranking on the first page and maintaining that position for a long time.

I’ve experienced situations where I’ve ranked certain articles that didn’t align with the keyword intent, only to see them drop to the second, third, or fourth page within a few weeks.

This is logical because if people don’t click on your page or if they click but immediately leave (resulting in a high bounce rate), Google understands that the content doesn’t match what people were looking for, and it will gradually “suggest” it less.

What I mean is that if the keyword intent of a particular keyword is “transactional,” and you want to rank an informative article, it might be a bit more challenging.

Initially, even Google was unsure of what users wanted when they searched for the term “computer.” But over time, it learned and adjusted to better understand user intent.

Additionally, it’s essential to understand the type of content that is ranking for a specific keyword. If the top results are long blog articles and you’re trying to rank a short landing page, it’s unlikely to work.

How to add keywords to my website

Now that we have chosen the best keywords to use, we need to place them on our pages. It is necessary to create a keyword mapping for each page to make the task easier. This way, we will know which keywords will be used on each page.

According to on-page SEO best practices, keywords should be present in titles and subheadings, in the alt text of images, and in the body text. However, we need to be careful not to overuse a keyword as Google may interpret it as “keyword stuffing,” which means over-optimizing the page.

Although it is not a ranking factor, it is beneficial to use keywords in the meta description and page title to attract clicks in search results.

It is essential to always use the chosen keywords naturally within the text. Do not force the insertion of a keyword in a place where it doesn’t make sense. Google is smarter than you think, and even if the main keyword is not used multiple times in the text, the search engine will understand the overall idea of the text and properly rank your content.

Conclusion

Today, with the increasing popularity of the Internet and social media, everyone is looking for a way to get noticed and be heard. Even if you have a blog or a website, it can be challenging to generate enough traction to attract new visitors. One of the ways to achieve this is by creating content that people are searching for online.

Keyword research is a powerful tool to help you determine what people are searching for on the internet. If you want to succeed in your SEO strategy, the first step is to choose the right keywords.

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