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Keyword Research and Mapping for SEO – Lil Assistance

Keyword Research and Mapping for SEO

by | Sep 17, 2022

🎯 What’s the goal?
Find keywords with significant estimated monthly search volume, that are easy to target and which suit your website’s niche.
⚠️ Why does it matter?
Keyword research is the most important SEO task. A great keyword/content strategy can give you a competitive advantage in Google ranking, determine what to work on next, who to hire, and how much to invest. You can use your keyword strategy to improve the structure of your site and even define your content marketing calendar.
🏁 What’s the result?
Creating a content strategy you and content marketer(s) will be able to use in the months to come.
⌚ When do you do this?
Before you create/redesign your website, then on a regular basis ( at least once a year). Always before rolling out any SEO or content marketing strategy.
✅ Any special requirements?
Before starting we highly recommend you to check the article “What are Keywords? A Simple Keyword Definition” by SEMRush to get a better understanding of what Keywords are.
🙋‍♂️Who should do it?
Owner of the website/ someone in charge of managing it.

👉 Where this is done: In your browser, in a keyword research tool, as well as in a spreadsheet that will help you organize all the keywords you find.

⏳ How long will this take? about 3-10 hours

Let’s start our research – it is time-consuming but crucial for success!

Environment setup:

  • Access to MS Excel, Google Sheets or any other similar tool.
  • Sign up for KWFinder (there is 10day free trial for new users).
  • A lot of patience.

Want to use “Google Keyword Planner” instead, please check this new SOP:
SOP060 – Keyword Research using Google Keyword Planner

Creating KWFinder account

  • Fill in with your email address(1), come up with a password(2) and then confirm the password (3).
  • Check “I’m not a robot” box and click on “Create my Mangools account”.
  • Now you should check your mailbox for a confirmation email.
  • Open the confirmation email and click on “Confirm my account”.
  • Your 10-day free trial will be activated. After 10 days if you want to continue using KWFinder you will have to choose a paid option that suits you best.

Run an in-depth keyword research

For the purpose of this SOP, we used a fictional Gym in Brighton that is just building their website and wants to make sure anyone will find them when searching Google for gyms in the area. 

Consequently, the entire SOP is created around the same idea, just to give you an example of how a keyword research and mapping process should look like. 

  • Think of what your future clients would search for to find your business. For the purpose of the examples in this SOP, we will imagine we are looking at GYM in Brighton and start from there.
  • Set your business’ location using the box in the middle of the page (this is set by default to “Anywhere”(1), but you can change it by clicking on it and entering your own desired location). 
  1. Our suggestion is this: use a broader location (country)(2) in the beginning – you can narrow it down by using a specific search term (e.g. “GYM Brighton”, the primary keyword we used in the example). Doing this will help you find more keywords (both general and location-specific).
  • Enter your search term in the box “Enter keyword”. 
  • In our case, this will be the “gym brighton” keyword.
  • Click on “Find keywords”.
  • A list of keywords will appear on the page. Next to each of them, you will see the number of average monthly searches (in the “Search” column), as well as the difficulty score of ranking for that particular keyword (in the “KD” column). To generate KD of each keyword, simply click on the “magnifying glass” icon.
  • You can sort the results using different method:
  1. By “Keywords” (relevancy)

This is the default (and actually recommended) sorting method; it will sort the keywords based on how relevant they are in relation to the primary keyword you searched.

  1. Search” (volume)

Select this sorting method only if you are interested in pure volumes (this tempting sorting method, but usually with high volume comes high difficulty, ultimately takes both volumes and search intent into consideration).

  1. PCC” and “CPC”.

Those are sorting methods to get an estimate of the Cost Per Click / Pay Per click in Google Ads. It’s a good way to measure the competition for that keyword, and its difficulty.

  1. KD”.

Finally the last method is by Keyword Difficulty. 

This difficulty is based on the number of Backlink each website ranking in the Search Engine Result Page for that keyword are getting. The more average backlink these websites have, the more difficult it is to rank for that keyword.

To generate the difficulty score (KD) for each of the keywords you are interested in, you’ll have to individually click on the magnifying glass icon for each keyword.

  • Select each of the keywords you find suitable for your website. Pay attention to the search intent (what you think the users wanted to know when they searched that particular term), the search volume (the average monthly searches), and the difficulty of the keyword.
  • Once you are done selecting desired keywords, click on “Add to list”.
  • Every time you start new research you should create a “New list” and name it. Then click on “Create list & Add keywords”.

You should always go in-depth with your research. Do this by taking each of the keywords in the list and perform the search the same way as above but instead of your first keyword, you should use each of the suggested keywords.

  • Once you are done with the “Related keywords” tab (the default tab), repeat the same research process on the “Autocomplete” tab. 

This will display a list of results similar to what Google would with their Autocomplete feature (e.g. when you search for a piece of information and Google ends the search phrase for you).

  • Repeat the same keyword research process with the “Questions” tab. This will pull a list of question-based search terms. The keyword phrases you will select will most likely be excellent ideas for blog topics, so you should add the relevant ones to your list as well.

Remember, patience is key in this process. You’re doing this only once a year to prepare your content marketing strategy / roadmap.  So we recommend that you take a good afternoon working on the Keyword Research for each project.

Map your keywords

  • Once you have created a list of keywords, export them to your computer. You can do this by clicking on the “Export” button at the end of the KWFinder list (right next to “Add to list”). You can copy the list to the clipboard or you can export it as a .csv file.
  • Open the .csv file in the spreadsheet tool you are using.  For this SOP we’re using Google Sheet, you can do this by opening your spreadsheet software and importing the keyword list into it (go to File -> Open and then select the .csv file ).
  • Format your spreadsheet in a way that allows you to focus on the most important data (for you). Delete irrelevant columns, resize existing ones etc.
  • Add a filter to your columns and sort the entries by “Search Volume”.
  • Now you should group our keywords in smaller groups with the same search intent. In our case, we can separate keywords that are related to boxing in Brighton and searches related to gyms more broadly.
  • Once you separate your keywords in groups, we highly recommend you to fill the cells with different colours for each group (in our case 2 groups) so you can easily differentiate those groups. Then place all groups in the same column again. This time your keywords will be also divided into those groups.

These groups will constitute the foundation of your content strategy. 

The next step is to understand the search intent for each group by doing an audit of SERP (Search Engine Result Page) to find the right content ideas to produce.

You may not be able to include all of them, but they will give you a very good idea of what your site needs to look like and what keywords you should prioritize.

From now on you can use your keyword list for planning your business proceedings and decisions. You can add some rows and start to check how many monthly clicks each keyword or a group of keywords have. Then based on that data you can decide in which direction your blog / business should go. Those data and parameters will vary depending on your needs but now you have a fundamental tool to organize all of that.

Keywords research is a never-ending process, there will always be opportunities in search. Search intent change. Trends change. Keywords change as well. Your SEO strategy should adapt to new trends. This is why it is crucial that you go through the same research and mapping process again, on a regular basis.

Keyword Research and Mapping for SEO

🎯 What’s the goal?Find keywords with significant estimated monthly search volume, that are easy to target and which suit your website’s niche. ⚠️ Why does it matter?Keyword research is the most important SEO task. A great keyword/content strategy can give you a competitive advantage in Google ranking, determine what to work on next, who to […]
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