With keyword research, you have a good basis for specifically planning the content that you want to create in your online shop. As part of the keyword research, you don’t just specify the topics on which you want to create content. For each topic, you also define a keyword set for which a certain page should be found in the search engines. Please note that the keyword optimization of texts no longer works as it used to.
In order to be represented high in the Google rankings, it used to be sufficient to optimize the texts for a single keyword. The rest of the text was almost irrelevant, the main thing was that the keyword was represented often enough (keyword: keyword density).
The search engines are now so good at evaluating page content that they can no longer recognize just a single word (the keyword) in the text. Instead, they are able to evaluate contexts and understand semantic relationships.
If a text appears relevant to a search query, Google & Co. even expect certain words in the text that are semantically related to the search query. In the course of this, you should not specify one keyword per topic/page, but a complex keyword set with secondary keywords, synonyms and other words. These are thematically part of the focus keyword to which you primarily align your text. This set then forms the basic framework for your content.
Tip: Document your keyword research clearly in an Excel sheet. You can add further key figures to this at any time and, for example, use it to monitor the keyword rankings. The filter option in Excel allows you to limit the data to certain areas. This makes it easier for you to get an overview or to carry out evaluations.
In our step-by-step guide, you will learn how to go about finding a topic and defining a keyword set.
Step 1: Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Even if it is now facing great competition from other tools: The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is still the number 1 port of call for keyword research. Because it is the only tool to provide reliable data on search volumes. This means that you can see how often a word/phrase is searched for on average per month.
You can see user interest from the search volume. You can therefore ideally search for topics with the Keyword Planner or check whether a topic is interesting enough. For example, if on average only 10 users are looking for it per month, you can safely put this topic at the back for now. If you enter “accounting” in the Keyword Planner, you will get the average search volume per month for this word. It is at 18.
On the other hand, the tool suggests keyword ideas for the entered word “accounting” that fit thematically. This list gives you further possible topics or keywords that you can consider for your content. Make a note of all the keywords that have a high search volume and are therefore of interest to the users. “High” is to be seen in relative terms. Depending on the target group, industry and topic, a high or much more interesting search volume is quantified differently. In the B2B area, search volumes are generally low. Keywords with search volumes of 100 or more are interesting here.
Tip: When doing keyword research, keep thinking of your target audience. If you can specifically name them, e.g. small business owners, students, dog owners, then ask for combinations of keywords with the target group. Depending on the target group, you will receive specific search volumes in the Keyword Planner and can already narrow down your topics.
Also, keep in mind that searches are done differently in the B2B area than in the B2C area. The search volumes are always significantly lower here. In the B2B area, as in the case of “accounting”, keywords with a search volume of 110 or 120 are interesting.
Step 2: A Longtail Keyword Tool
With long-tail keyword tools, you can identify combinations that are being searched for in connection with a topic or keyword. Two of these tools are keywordtool.io and answer the public. They spit out phrases and sometimes even complete questions. This makes the picture of what needs users have for a topic even clearer. Keywordtool.io spits out combinations with the word “accounting” sorted alphabetically. At answer the public you get a word cloud around the entered term “accounting”.
Step 3: A W-question Tool
In order to receive specific questions from users, in the third step you use a W-question tool such as the tool from Kai Spriestersbach or the question finder from term labs. In contrast to other tools, the Questionfinder searches the entire web and gives the source for the questions. So you can comfortably look at the content. The term labs question finder can be found in the “Brainstorming” area. In order to better scan the numerous questions, you can have keywords highlighted in colour. In addition, you can see the source of the questions in the right column and you can access them directly via a hyperlink. On the source page, you can deal with user needs and also get inspiration for your own text.
Step 4: Rate Keywords
With the Keyword Planner, you should also determine the search volume for those keywords that you have found with other tools. Simply enter the words and phrases into the planner and transfer the respective search volume to your Excel spreadsheet. So you already have a good overview of the potential of the possible keywords or topics.
In addition to the search volume, there is another variable that is relevant for the evaluation: the intention behind the search query. A distinction is made between information-related (also: informational) inquiries, in which the pure information search is in the foreground, and transaction-related (also: transactional) inquiries in which the user is looking for offers (to buy).
Why is this distinction so important? To decide which type of content a topic is suitable for. Because with a keyword behind which Google understands an information-related search query, you will find it very difficult to rank a shop page and vice versa. The search engines want the best result for the user: If he is looking for answers, he will not be satisfied with product offers. Therefore, you should definitely check what intention Google and Co. understand behind the words and phrases entered by the users. Just google it yourself and take a close look at the search results: Who is ranking on page 1 of the SERPs? If it is only information pages such as advice or tips pages, you will have a hard time placing a shop page in the top 10.
The keyword “accounting” is informational. In the top 10 on Google, 8 out of 10 pages are info pages, only 2 shop pages can be found on the first search results page (see the illustration at the end of the article).
Check the keywords and note in your Excel spreadsheet whether it is an informational or a transactional search intention. Now you can evaluate very well which keywords you are producing content for and what type of content you are creating. You can sort the search volume in the Excel spreadsheet and filter the keywords according to their potential. In addition, the keywords can be divided into two groups, informational and transactional.
Step 5: Keywords Clustering
Many of your keywords will be thematically related. As already mentioned, you shouldn’t produce your own content for every keyword. Therefore, group the keywords into topics by forming word clouds with all semantically related words and phrases. This is how you create your topics, for which you then create a keyword set from the words and phrases of the word cloud. First, define the respective focus keyword. It’s the one in your cloud with the highest search volume – usually a term that’s more generic than the rest. You align your content primarily with this and use it most often in the text. The focus keyword should also be in all important SEO elements:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- H1 main heading
- Upper third of the text
The other words and phrases from your cloud (these are usually more specific and longer) then become secondary keywords. So you build a keyword set for every page – regardless of whether it already exists or you are building it from scratch. This serves as the basis for the search engine optimization of your content.