A Step-By-Step Beginners’ SEO Guide: From Keyword Research to Keyword Strategy

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Understand how to effectively use the right keywords and launch your business to Google’s top rankings 


Want to learn what all the fuss is about keywords? 

What is keyword research, and how does it add value to your business? 

What’s the users’ intent, and how do you target your audience? 

Find out everything you need to know about keyword research with SEO Copywriting Agency’s Beginners’ Guide. From research to strategy, the following tips promise to help you outrun your competitors, rank higher on the SERPs, attract leads, and convert them into customers. 

Your business’s growth is just around the corner, and it starts with the proper keyword research and strategy. Keep reading to target your audience successfully, increase your ROI and learn all about Google’s search engine. So buckle up, and let’s unravel the unknown world of keywords!

Keyword Research Checklist 2021

What is a keyword, and how is it defined in digital marketing?


Keywords are topics and ideas that explain what your content is about. It is a word or a phrase that best describes the essence of your page or relevant post. To clarify even further, in digital marketing, the term keyword is used to describe a word or a group of words that the user would potentially type on a search engine while looking for a specific topic. 

Those words or phrases that the searcher would use are called “search queries”, and, added to the reasons that follow, they do have a huge impact on your website’s overall performance since they draw targeted traffic. Using the right keywords on your website helps Google better understand your page and give your visitors what they are looking for.

What is keyword research, and how important is it? 


Keyword research is the process of finding and categorically organizing words or phrases that people type on search engines, such as Google, Bing, Youtube, and many more. Analyzing those keywords in depth provides insights and generates data that can be used to improve your business’s website overall performance. Keyword research uncovers queries to target, their ranking difficulty, and their popularity. 

abstract illustration and text that reads: "Keyword Research, audience"

Why keyword research is essential and should be included in your content strategy?


Keyword research provides valuable insights into the queries that your audience is indeed searching on the engines. It is the only way to figure out what people are interested in and assume how they would type it. Knowing what keywords are popular with your audience can help you leverage your content and skyrocket your overall marketing strategy.


Keyword research is the only way to figure out what people are typing into search engines. You need to know this to avoid creating content about things that nobody is searching for. Many website owners make that mistake, and it’s likely a big part of the reason why 90.63% of pages get no traffic from Google, according to a study published by Ahrefs.

How do you analyze your keywords’ value proposition before crafting a content strategy?


Your keyword study helps you organize your content and formulate a strategy that corresponds to your audience’s needs and expectations. Answer the following questions, make decisions based on statistical data, and effectively drive your website’s performance to growth. 

  • What kind of content are you going to create first? 
  • What is the primary keyword depicting your exact niche?
  • How and where will you place your content?
  • What keywords are best suited to each of your pages?
  • Would your clients read a blog post, an article, or a landing page? 
  • Which visuals would better attract leads? Infographics? Videos? 


How does using targeted keywords contribute to increasing your organic traffic? 


Proper keyword research can lead directly to increasing your organic traffic. The research allows you to understand clearly what kind of search terms your audience uses when looking for your product or services. By listing these exact words or phrases and implementing them in your content strategy, you can optimize your website and offer high-quality content, thus targeting your buyer persona. 

It makes no sense to create content using keywords that your audience would never search for. The right keywords help your web page rank higher on the SERPs and increase your profit. But let’s break it down even more…what are SERPs?

What is the definition of SERP and how does it function in relation to keywords? 


SERP is an acronym used for the Search Engine Results Page. It is the page on which one lands after submitting a query on a search engine. Even though many factors contribute to your webpage showing on that list, keyword research is one of the main techniques you can use to better understand your audience’s intent – aka interest and expectations upon the search process. Remember that the keywords you choose determine the kind of traffic you get. So make sure you choose them wisely. 

How does the Google search engine work in relation to keywords? 


To put everything mentioned above into context and help you understand how keyword research contributes to your business’s growth, we’re now going to analyze how one of the world’s most important and probably most common search engines works. Let’s “decode” Google – well, at least one of its first layers.

illustration of a pc screen and scattered objects with the text "Keyword research"

According to Google’s Search Central, Google search functions in three stages: crawling, indexing, and serving search results.

  1. Firstly, Google searches the web with automated programs called crawlers, looking for new or updated pages that are related with the search query of the user. The process is called crawling, and the main method implemented is following links from pages that have been previously stored.
  2. Secondly, Google visits the pages it has learned about by crawling and analyzes what each page is about. In this stage, the content, images, and video files on the page are analyzed, aiming to understand what the page is about.
  3. Lastly, when a user performs a Google search, Google tries to determine the highest quality results. The “best” results have many factors, including things such as the user’s location, language, device (desktop or phone), and previous queries.

Taking all the above into account, one can conclude that training Google’s algorithm to your advantage is not an easy task to fulfill, nor easily understood. However, the proper keyword usage can play a significant role and help your page rank and appear on the SERPs as wished. 

Researching keywords helps you better understand your target audience and give you exact insight into what your users seek. Consistency, relevance, and authority are vital factors contributing to your keyword ranking – as planned on your content strategy. 


What is the users’ intent, and how to capture it by using the right keywords? 


Finding the right keywords is, in fact, key to your content strategy. Understanding your audience’s intent and predicting their expectations while tackling their needs will help you generate content ideas and formats that provide solutions to their problems. But what are the right keywords to use, and how do you use them properly on each page? 

“First: focus on searcher intent. This should underpin all of your activities—research, creation, and distribution. What is the searcher really trying to achieve, and how is your content helping them reach this goal?”

— Simon Ensor, SearchEngineWatch.com

Study your audience! As Eugene Schwartz said in 1960, relating to and deep-diving into your audience’s preferences is the crux of the matter for your success. Start by digging further into your audience’s queries. Deciphering the user’s intent is pivotal when aiming to rank high on the SERPs

Make sure you fully understand and relate to your buyer persona. What would people type on the search engines when looking for your services? What would they expect to find? Would they relate to the quality of your content? And if yes, why?! 

“One hour a day, read. Read everything in the world except your business. Read junk. Very much junk. Read so that anything that interests you will stick in your memory. Just read, just read, just read… There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use”. –  Eugene Schwartz 1960

How to conduct keyword research and craft a keyword strategy?


Conducting basic keyword research upon starting your own business and before crafting your content strategy is a step not to be overlooked. You can begin simply by doing it yourself to see the first results. However, keep in mind that SEO is a constantly changing and complicated territory. Therefore, a professional’s help would always come in handy to ensure your content’s adaptability to your audience’s needs and the SERP’s current standards. 

illustration of messaging bubbles and scattered text that reads: "Topic Ideas"

If you’re still ready to brainstorm and give it a try, let’s start! Discover the 10 following steps to come up with ideas. Choose the keywords that correspond accurately to your niche and your audience’s expectations. 

  1. Start by making a list of topics relevant to your business’s services & products
  2. Craft your buyer persona to engage with your audience and get in their shoes 
  3. Study your niche in-depth and browse through different kinds of content 
  4. Brainstorm and create a list with relevant keywords and sub-topics 
  5. Organize and categorize these topics accordingly in terms of generic buckets 
  6. Split the topic buckets to match with specific keyword ideas related to your business
  7. Study, analyze and try to understand your audience’s intent and expectations
  8. Invest some time in reading your competitors’ content and highlighted keywords
  9. Think of how and if the selected keywords affect the users’ intent
  10. Research related terms, synonyms, phrases, or potential queries 

If you feel like diving deeper to better identify and sort your content into topics based on your selected keywords, train yourself even further or consult a copywriting expert to guide you through the process. 

Additionally, you can follow the extra 5 steps for better audience targeting:

  1. Get inspired by Google or Youtube “Searches Related To” section
  2. Consult Google Trends and see what your audience actually searches for
  3. Familiarize yourself with advanced keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs 
  4. Discover free-to-use keyword generating software, such as Keywords’ Explorer 
  5. Link your business to Google Console and get insightful data regarding queries

Bonus Keyword Research Tip: When you type in your query and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions. From there, you can generate ideas on what people usually search in relation to your content in your city or country. Use those ideas to your profit – it’s literally Google telling you that people have previously been interested in these exact phrases, topics, and references. 

Consult the experts in the field and trust us to craft a keyword strategy that exceeds your expectations. Let us help you re-determine your mission, research your keywords, analyze your competition, and craft pages that accurately correspond to your customers’ needs. 

Even if you have successfully applied all the above, remember that there are various factors contributing to your pages’ overall performance. Merely conducting research or adopting a ready-to-go keyword strategy is not going to bring the expected results. Keeping up with the current SEO trends is a never-ending process: repeating it regularly is essential to stay up-to-date!

It’s time to skyrocket your pages to the SERPs’ highest ladder! 

Start by downloading the beginners’ checklist to keyword research today. 

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