Keyword Analysis or Keyword Analytics
A keyword or keyword phrase is a term entered into a search engine to find what the web user is looking for. The search engine results display web pages SERPs which are most relevant to the keyword used. It is important to do your keyword research to identify and utilise keywords effectively on your web pages to improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help you get found.
Keyword Analysis – A Short Guide
What is Keyword Analysis ? It is about doing the research to find out which keywords or search phrases can attract visitors to your website through organic or through paid search. You are looking to find out which terms are being used by potential customers or shoppers. It is also about studying your competitors websites to find out which keywords and phrases they focus on, to attract the same potential customers.
Every page on your website should be optimised for one keyword or key phrase. In order to let Google know which keyword or key phrase you wish to optimise your page for, it is critical that this keyword or key phrase is used in a number of places on the page. See our On Page SEO Guide here.
Different Types of Keywords
A single Seed Keyword – a seed keyword is a one word keyword that is a noun or entity such as ‘painter’. These are usually the easiest to come up with. Just add the ones you think of and ask your team or customers, which words or terms would they use when searching for your service or product.
Variant Keywords – a variant keyword is a keyword that uses a different suffix or prefix but is still related to a seed keyword such as “Painting”
Adjective Based Keyword – an adjective-based or descriptive keyword is a keyword that pairs with an adjective such as “Best Painter” or “Professional Painter”
Interrogative Based Keyword – an interrogative-based keyword is a keyword that pairs with an interrogative or question with who, what, when, where, why, and how, such as “How to be a painter”
Location-Based Keyword – A location-based keyword is a keyword that pairs with a location. An example would be “Dublin Painter” or “Donegal Painter”
Keyword “Modifiers” is a term for any word that helps modify the head-noun or entity of a keyword such as size, location, colour, etc.
“Long tail keywords” is a term for any phrase that contains a keyword, paired with adjectives, interrogatives, locations, etc.
This a simple guide with some keyword analysis tools and tips.
Keyword Research Tools – FREE and Paid
The best place to start is Google, so start by making a list of the keywords or keyphrases that seem to be logical to you or your client. These are the seeds of your starting point.
Now go to Google, type in the first key word or key phrase and watch as Google suggests words or phrases. For this example lets search ‘web design agency’. Google actually tells you what people are searching, as in, the most common keywords or phrases. In this case it is ‘web design agency dublin’ and ‘web consulting agency’ and ‘web design agency donegal’. That is simple and free. Plus, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, Google will show you ‘Searches related to web design agency’ which shows ‘web design studios’ and ‘web design sligo’. These are the related or other terms that are most popular in search in the location where I am searching as in sligo today. This varies on your perceived geographical location – see the bottom of the search page to see where Google thinks you are.
Sticking with Google you can use the Google Keyword Planner to fine tune your results and find out how many searches are done on a monthly basis for any key word or term. You do need to be logged in to Google and create an Ads account, so you will need to add your credit card details. There is no charge for this tool, but Google does want you to be in a position to use its Ads platform when you are doing the research.
Look out for ‘phrase match’ in Google Ads or keyword planner?
This is a keyword matching as Google matches your proposed adword or ad against keywords that include the phrase you designate. You may put in ‘Painter’ and it may suggest matches such as ‘painter in dublin’ or ‘house painter’ etc.
Some other FREE Keyword Analytics options include:
Ubersuggest which is a tool from Neil Patel offering a lot for little or no money. He is looking for the big companies or agencies, so he is offering this platform to attract a lot of users and become the go to option of the experts. People will learn to do keyword analytics using this tool and will want to use it wherever they go as they progress in their career.
Ahrefs Keyword Generator – A useful FREE tool. They also offer a more complex tool from $89 a month.
Answer The Public This pulls aggregated data from a multiple of search engines like Google, but critically it is not just Google and makes suggestions for you to use.
Keyword Sheeter A new kid on the block, which will grade the difficulty to rank for a keyword or term. for a way of getting suggestions on your term.
Also Asked which tells you what else people searched that relates to your term. It is a bit different to Answer the Public which spews out data rather than suggestions. You can even select your country for more refined results in your own market. Or pick another target country if you plan to export.
Surfer SEO is a paid tool however it does offer a useful Chrome extension which throws up some good stats on search volumes
Keywords Everywhere – Another FREE Chrome or Firefox extension that gives you trends and related keywords. The paid version starts at $10 for 100,000 credits.
Question Database – A Free and paid tool. Their pitch is “Find Ideas that Traditional Keyword Tools Miss”. However to get any decent results you can expect to pay at least $15 a month.
Remember that as you start typing any term in a Google search, it will start showing you suggestions. And at the top and/or bottom of the page it will show you ‘people also asked’ showing some related terms that have been searched by others. This is a good start for many people when doing initial keyword analysis.
Tip: Look at your competitors websites to see which keywords they are focusing on. Pick a competitor and do a ‘site:’ search as in go to Google and type in site:https://meanit.ie/ with the colon and you will get a list of all the pages on that website. You will also see the Page Titles and Meta Description for each page which will tell you a lot about the keywords and phrases being optimised by that web design company.
Note: Sometimes Google delivers content from the top of the web page in SERPs rather than the actual Meta Description you specifically created. So they should read the same more or less. Again Google is trying to deliver the best result here too.
Tip: Lots of people target a very short or generic keyword or keyphrase such as ‘Financial Advice’ or ‘Solicitor’ and wonder why they do not rank in their area. Targeting the right search terms for your industry in your geographic area is critical to get found for the service you offer, where you offer it. Focus on long tail keywords/phrases such as ‘Financial Advice Waterford’ or ‘Solicitor in Athlone’. Or get even more focused such as ‘Conveyancing Solicitor Athlone’. Back this up by having great content on each page, explain what you are offering in simple terms, ask and answer any common questions. Add case studies or testimonials and reviews on how you delivered this service for other people. This is your social proof. Give as much price guidance as you can. Finally add one clear call to action to let people know what to do next.
Paid Keyword Analytics or Keyword Research Tools
When you are ready to get serious with keyword analysis, to do battle with the competition, you can invest in more powerful tools for your company or agency. Any FREE tools are always limited. Or they are there to get you hooked on a platform, so that they can upsell you to a paid version. Paid options include:
SEMRush – Based in Boston, it sells online visibility and marketing analytics software subscriptions from around $100 a month minimum for one user. It allows you track your performance and that of any competitors. You can do website audits to get suggestions. And you can use it to find backlink opportunities or see which backlinks your competitors have to their website.
Majestic -This is ostensibly a backlinks checker from €47 a month. It does not give a guide on keyword difficulty or search volumes or anything else.
KWFinder – This popular keyword research tool from $29 monthly from Mangools
Mangools – helps find long-tail keywords with supposedly low SEO difficulty, much like Ubersuggest. The price starts at $29 a month, but expect to pay $79. This Mangools suite also offers SERP analysis, Backlink Checker and Website Analysis as well as Rank Checking.
Ahrefs – A competitor of Mangools, this is a toolset for backlinks and SEO analysis. Starting at $99 per month it offers an alert functionality to let you know when you move up or down etc.
Keywordtool.io -This has a FREE version and a paid version from $159 a month. It uses Google Autocomplete to generate relevant long-tail keywords for any topic
SpyFu – Shows the keywords that other competing websites buy on Google Ads as well as the keywords that websites are showing up for within search results. Literally spy on your competitors.
Serp Stat – From $69 a month. Try it for free with no credit card required.
The list goes on, so do a search if you want more. Even ChatGPT can be used to do some of the tasks that you will want to do.
Keyword Mapping Tool
Next steps If you want to practice, pick a suitable key word or phrase and do a Google search to find out where you rank currently or who ranks on page 1. Then optimise your website page to improve your ranking for the key term. Use a simple Keyword Mapping Tool or Spreadsheet to measure performance. We developed our own proprietary version which we customise for each of our SEO clients.
You do not need paid tools to do this research, but they are useful if you are doing this work as a professional in an agency setting. Stick with the FREE tools until you can use them to a point where you feel you need serious tools, then invest a few hundred dollars a month, but be prepared to work. They are ‘tools’ and require time to master and use in order to make the investment worth it.
This is all a part of your overall SEO or Search Engine Optimisation strategy – if you want to read more about SEO see our comprehensive What is SEO Guide here.
Competition – You can do a search for a keyword or keyphrase and see who ranks on page 1. Pick one of these listings that is of interest to you and visit the site to see why they rank so well. You will be able to see how they structured the url and the headings, the number of words they used, the number of images and any video. You can do a word count to determine how long the article is. You can do a word search to see how may times they use the keyword or phrase and their various synonyms. In order to rank higher, all you have to do is create a better page, more words, more images, more links whatever. Just be better to rank higher. Give the new post some time to rank, it is not immediate. You will also have to promote each new post, possibly sharing the direct link in posts in your social media channels. Encourage shares and likes when you post.
Bottom Line – There is no secret to doing this, it just takes time to do. If you use a Keyword Mapping Tool or just create a list of the obvious keywords and key phrases you want to rank for. Then use Google autocomplete or one of the tools listed to find any related keywords or phrases and any snyonyms. Decide which ones you want to rank for and then create an article or post for each one. Create some useful high quality content and build out a better more valuable page than the competitors who rank higher for each of these keywords or phrases.
Yes, “keyword research” can seem like a lot of work, however this is content marketing. It might seem quicker to simply pay Google for Ads and it is. But there is no long term future in this pay per click ads strategy, as it will get more and more expensive as other people start to compete with you, increasing the bid price for each term. Also there is no long term optimisation benefit from paying for ads. Albeit, the short term benefit is very real, if you can advertise and convert, whilst maintaining a profit.
Tip: Paid ads is a quick way to get some traffic to your website. It is not a great long term plan of action as it will become the expensive option. And if you do not keep yhe target audience very tight you will end up spending a lot of money advertising to the wrong people.