How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research on a Budget


Any internet marketing campaign’s cornerstone is keyword research. With it, you can optimize your website and create content that reaches your audience.

The process can be challenging, though. You must understand your target audience and identify your goals to make it worthwhile. From there, you’ll need to determine what keywords are worth pursuing.

Identify Your Target Audience

Understanding your audience is one of the most important parts of conducting keyword research. This is the basis for a solid SEO strategy.

You need to know what your audience is searching for on Google to connect them with the information, products, or services that best match their needs. That’s why keyword research is the cornerstone of any digital marketing campaign.

Finding out which keywords your target audience uses is the main objective of keyword research. This can be done by looking at each term’s monthly search volume (MSV) and determining whether it aligns with your business goals.

Another factor to consider is the competition level. You want to pick battles you can win. Otherwise, you could blow your budget with little or no results to show for it. This is why assessing keyword difficulty is essential to the research process. It helps you avoid keywords that are too competitive and would require significant spending to rank for.

Determine Your Goals

Keyword research is a fundamental component of any fine-tuned digital marketing program. But it’s also a process that requires much ongoing work to monitor and optimize results.

To get the most out of your keyword research, it’s essential to establish clear goals from the start. Ideally, you want to find keywords to reach the most relevant people with your products or services.

For this, you’ll need to understand how search engines interpret each keyword or search phrase. This is a complex and highly subjective process that requires some judgment calls.

Some affordable keyword research tools make this easy by analyzing competitor keywords, search volume, and competition. But there are also plenty of free tools. These tools can help you identify what questions your target audience is asking to find your content and products. This helps you understand their intent and ultimately drive more qualified traffic to your website.

Make a List of Potential Keywords

Developing an effective keyword list is easier than you think. Start by brainstorming words and phrases related to your products or services, including jargon and slang, misspellings (definitely include your company’s name), and plurals. Then, use one of the many free and paid tools to generate a list of recommended keywords.

The next step is to review the results to identify search terms with the traffic potential and difficulty your business can handle that align with actual searches on Google. This can be done by plugging your initial keywords into a keyword research tool to search for the competitor websites ranking for those keywords. This gives you a list of keywords with real search volume that you can use as targets for PPC advertisements and content. It also helps you understand search intent, a critical element of effective SEO. This is an essential metric when analyzing your competition and planning future campaigns.

Perform a Competitive Analysis

Keeping an eye on your competitors is an essential part of keyword research. Knowing what keywords they target, how they rank for those keywords in search engines, and whether or not they are running pay-per-click ads can be helpful for your digital marketing efforts.

In addition to using tools, you can also use Google as an underrated tool for competitor analysis. Type a keyword into the search bar to see what results are displayed.

Compare the current results for those searches to your website. Look for gaps where your competitors have relevant content that you don’t, and create relevant content to fill those gaps. This helps ensure your content addresses your audience’s needs and search intent.


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