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SEO Keyword Research 2021 – The Essential Guide

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Australian Businesses

What are the Benefits of SEO?

When it comes to promoting your business online, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a must. It can help increase the search visibility of your website, making it easier for the right people to find you, at the right time. Thus, increasing your odds of generating more organic traffic, leads, conversions, and ultimately sales.

Most importantly, by claiming the top spot of the search engine results page (SERP), you can be found at, pretty much, any stage of the sales process; whether a customer is just browsing, or ready to buy a certain product or service. This way, you have greater control over when and how people find you, and what their first impression of you will be.

As a result, you’ll have a greater chance of being seen as an expert in your field, one who is trustworthy and credible. You’ll also have an easier time convincing potential customers that your product or service is right for them. Best of all? SEO is surprisingly affordable. Unlike PPC (Paid Per Click) and paid social media campaigns, where you pay a small fee each time a user interacts with your ad, with SEO, you only need to invest your time and resources into your campaign. You don’t need to pay a third-party to rank and maintain your ranking on a search engine.

Plan for Success

With that being said, you have a lot of crucial choices to make, if your SEO campaign is to be a success.

What keywords and phrases will you target? What factors will you take into account when choosing them? Search volume? Competitiveness? Relevance to your product or service? Search intent? And how will you know which keywords will appeal to your audience the most?

These are just some of the many questions you will need to ask yourself if your SEO campaign is to work for you.

To help make your life a bit easier, we’ve created this handy guide. In it, you’ll learn all there is to know about: defining your target audience, keyword research, long-tail keywords, and content optimisation. You’ll also learn a bit about the benefits of outsourcing to an SEO agency, if you wish to pursue that path.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Define your target audience

Before you start searching for keywords, you need to know who your target audience is. More specifically, what it is they want from you, why, and the steps they are willing to take to get it from you.

To do this, you should create one or more ‘buyer personas.’ This is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. They’re not a real person. But they sum up the characteristics that best represent what you’re looking for in a customer.

To demonstrate this for you, here is an example of a buyer persona for a fictional home renovation business:

  • Age – Anywhere from 30 and 60 years+
  • Relationship status – Married or de-facto
  • Yearly income – $175,000+ combined household income
  • Years living in current home – Anywhere from 3 to 5 years or more
  • Reasons to choose your product or service – Want more living and storage space, want to update the look and feel of certain rooms, increase resale value of the property.
  • Geographic location – (Whichever local state, territory, and suburbs is relevant to the business owner)

Granted, this is just a rough example of a buyer persona, but you get the idea. Based on this information, there is a bit we can unpack from it.

Firstly, their yearly combined household income is about $150,000. This tells us the customer is able to afford a home renovation. They will likely be approved for a loan, or save up enough money to pay for it themselves. Secondly, we know why they want a home renovation, which means we can focus on these selling points in our sales copy and blog posts. Lastly, they’re conveniently located in our area, so we can work closely with them to achieve their dream renovation.

Remember, if you offer multiple products and services, feel free to create multiple buyer personas. This can help expand the number of target audiences you reach with your SEO campaign, as you can personalise each social media status, blog post, and landing page you create.

Now that you have a clear idea as to who your target audience is, we can move on to keyword research.

Need Help Defining Your Target Audience?

Google Analytics turns assumptions about your target audience into solid facts. Under the Google Analytics Audience tab you can quickly understand who your customers are and where they are located along with a plethora of other stats.

2. Perform keyword research

Keyword research is choosing keywords and phrases that your audience is most likely to use when they do a search on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!

There are many free and paid versions of keyword research tools you can use online to perform this task. Most of them function the same way, but they differ in terms of the extra number of features and benefits they have to offer.

Some keyword research tools are especially good at helping you narrow down relevant keywords as they relate to your local suburb, while other tools are better at helping you find the latest trending keywords on different social media platforms.

Overall, these tools are an easy and effective way to find the right keywords for you, without requiring you to spend lots of (if any) money.

Below is a quick round-up of some of the most popular keyword research tools out there:

Google Keyword Planner

This is Google’s freely available keyword research tool. In it, you can type in potential keywords and phrases to find out what your odds are of them helping you rank.

The kind of information you get includes: keyword competitiveness (how many of your competitors are trying to rank for the same keyword), number of monthly search queries (how many people are actually using that search query), and other useful information like the cost of each click for a PPC campaign.

Overall, the Google Keyword Planner gives you a broad overview of what the landscape is like for your particular keyword range, and how likely they are to work for you.

Google Keyword Planner Example
Google Keyword Planner

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

As a paid keyword research tool, the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer is a bit more comprehensive than the free Google Keyword Planner.

On the surface, you get similar information like the monthly search volumes, keyword competition, number of clicks, and the cost-per-click for a PPC campaign. On a deeper level, though, the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer goes further, by sharing with you relevant questions and semantically related terms that people use to perform a search query.

This information helps give you a better idea of the intent behind each search query; instead of just telling you what people are searching for, you get a deeper understanding of why they are searching for it, and how they are going about doing it.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

SEMrush

SEMrush is another paid keyword research tool with a ton of great features.

SEMrush tells you not just the search volume of a keyword, but also the search volume that your competitors are already achieving with the relevant keywords. This helps you see the kind of results that your competition is already achieving, which can enable you to either: try to compete with them, or try to target other related keywords (where the odds of success are higher).

On top of this, SEMrush reports are incredibly easy to read and make sense of, enabling you to make informed choices based on reliable, hard data.

SEM Rush Keyword Overview
SEM Rush Keyword Overview

Google Trends

As opposed to being a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ keyword research tool, Google Trends is designed specifically to do one thing: give you a clear visual representation of the different trends in people’s search behavior.

Simply enter a specific term or topic into the search query. Then, you will get a visual representation of the level of interest (search volume) on that specific term or topic over the past year. You also get a breakdown of the level of interest in that query based on location, breaking down search volume numbers down to each individual state and territory.

Furthermore, you also get ideas on relevant related topics and related queries, which can help you discover what other terms and phrases are using to find different types of information.

Want to save time and money on creating and monitoring your SEO campaign? Learn more about our SEO strategies.

Google Trends

3. Target Niche and Long-Tail Keywords

Regardless of which keyword research tools you use, remember to focus on the end goal; narrowing down your selection of keywords, to the ones that are most relevant to you, and that you have the best possible chance of ranking for.

One of the best ways to improve the success rate of your SEO campaign is to focus on niche and long-tail keywords.

What do we mean by niche keywords? These are keywords that relate specifically to your industry, and the relevant terms and phrases that people use to search for products and services that relate to your industry. Furthermore, long-tail refers to keywords that have more words in a given phrase than short-tail keywords.

For example, for a business that specialises in home renovation, you would want to target a broad range of topics related to that sector. Some examples may include:

  • Bathroom renovation
  • Kitchen renovation
  • Second-storey additions
  • First floor extensions
  • Garages

Of course, you would only pick keywords that relate to your specific service offerings, but you get the idea.

The purpose of choosing these keywords is to focus on customers that are looking for very specific products and services. In relation to home renovations, you would target one of the above topics – and relevant keywords – so as to get the interest of people who are after a specific type of renovation.

If, however, you were to target a more general phrase like ‘home renovation Melbourne,’ you might have a tougher time ranking for that keyword and standing out from the pack, as the term itself is quite broad and generic.

Therefore, by targeting very specific keywords and phrases, you are more likely to get the attention of people who are further down the sales process than people who use a more ‘general’ search query. They know what they want, and how they want it. They just need to find the right business, one who can deliver that extra special something that no one else can.

4. When to target more broad keywords

In saying this, there is one benefit to targeting broader keywords and phrases.

If you want to target people who are still early in the buying phase (i.e. they have not set on exactly what they want yet, but are more ‘browsing’), then you can help ‘plant the seed of curiosity’ in their mind, by providing them with valuable hints and tips via SEO blog posts.

These are long-form written pieces designed specifically to help your website rank for certain keywords and share valuable tips, advice, and information with potential customers.

By doing so, potential customers who read these articles are more likely to remember your business. Then, when they have narrowed down their next purchase, they may return to your website to make that purchase from you.

You can even take this strategy further by targeting broad and niche keywords. This way, you will rank well for the more broad search query, followed by the more specific search query the user does later on. Thus, you stay at the forefront of the customer’s mind from start to finish.

5. Implement Your Keywords in a Seamless and Natural Way

Stuffing dozens of keywords into your web content and sales copy is a recipe for disaster.

Search engine providers like Google punish websites that resort to spammy tactics to help them rank, by greatly reducing their search visibility and online reputation. As a result, these websites are harder for people to find, since Google has flagged them as untrustworthy (and rightfully so).

To avoid this happening to you, make sure your keywords and phrases are incorporated into your content in a seamless and natural way.

You want the keywords to be present just enough, so that the search engines can find them. But you also want the content to be easy to read, accessible, and engaging to your audience. Most importantly, you want your content to read like it was written by a human, not for the sole intent of satisfying a search engine algorithm.

This way, your content is more likely to establish a genuine connection with your audience, and please the search engine overlords at the same time.

Of course, if writing is not exactly your forte, you can always enlist the help of an SEO agency and copywriting service. They can help give your business a unique voice, one that will resonate with your target audience. And they can choose then implement the right keywords into your web content and sales copy. As a result, your website copy will work hard to generate real results for your business, while, at the same time, helping your business be seen as a trustworthy authority in your field or industry.

Ready to plan, launch, and grow your business online? Talk to Apple Advertising today, and see what we can do to help you get noticed and transform your website into a lead-generating machine.

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