What Separates Good Keyword Research From Bad Keyword Research?
Doing keyword research is not simply the gathering of keywords that might bring you traffic. There's a lot more that goes into it. Austine Esezebor joins the SEO Rant podcast to share what he thinks good keyword research looks like:
Why finding terms with search volume is not keyword research
Why keyword research requires a multi-faceted understanding of various intents
The value of extensive niche familiarity for keyword research
How Do Keyword Research Correctly
Pulling a list of keywords based on pure SEO criteria is not keyword research. Does that sound a bit wrong? It might but pulling keywords and driving a business's organic search content strategy based on metrics like search volume and keyword competition scores alone isn't healthy. It's not even good SEO.
What Makes For Good Keyword Research?
Good keyword research starts with understanding the business and understanding its target audience. To me, keyword research is essentially opportunity hunting. Where is there opportunity and how can the site capitalize on it? Understanding the SERP as an ecosystem and understanding the keyword from a traditional SEO point of view is quite important. However, that is not where keyword research starts. You can't really understand "opportunity" without understanding what drives the brand and where it wants to ultimately go and of course where it currently is.
Further, you can't capitalize on opportunity without understanding the audience. I've seen it 100 times before - a keyword term has a high search volume but is a generalized term when speaking to a pro audience. Meaning, the term has a higher search volume but makes the site look like an amateur to its audience.
To that, understanding the niche itself is extremely important when doing keyword research. The SEO tools are great. They are very helpful when doing keyword research and to a large extent, it would be very difficult to do keyword research without them. However, you are best served by building up your intuition within the vertical. There is a level of nuance that a tool can't give you and that is only facilitated by your understanding of the niche topics the site speaks to.
For more of the SEO Rant Podcast check out our previous episode on: How AI Will Change SEO for Self Creators