Keyword Research, Finding Your Customers Voice

Keyword Research

Table of Contents

The Very Foundation Of SEO, Web Copywriting & Hierarchical Content Structure Is Keyword Research

Keywords, longtail keywords and semantic expressions are fundamental to the success of SEO campaigns and paid advertising. Keywords are terms with significance and relevance to your business, services or products. In total, there are nine different types of keywords.  

Our SEO technicians at Search4Local (Exeter’s leading SEO specialist and digital advertisement company) use sophisticated keyword research software that enables us to use search engines in reverse. Showing us how your potential customers use search engines to find businesses like yours. Geolocation can affect this terminology, and even spelling in some cases. This is why, if you’re doing a local SEO project, you complete geo-specific keyword research.

You should never underestimate the importance of trusting the software you use to conduct keyword research. If you start to build an SEO campaign on irrelevant or negative keywords, the project will most likely fail. We use a variety of trusted platforms to complete and cross-reference our research to ensure we are targeting the most relevant and strongest keywords for specific campaigns across all industries.  Throughout this blog we will discuss the ins and outs of keyword research, how important it is in the world of digital marketing and give advice on how to best write content for websites.  

If you are new to the world of SEO, and if you take nothing else away from this blog than this next point, please remember. Brand names and brand messages are not necessarily keywords.  

That’s not to say that your brand name or brand message is not important to your SEO campaign. It’s more to say, you’re better to weave brand messages into your content. Leaving the powerful hierarchal sections of your website, like the H1 on your homepage, for keywords.  

This is fully dependent on the popularity and awareness of your brand. For example, let’s pretend that KitKat are not a well-known brand, and their brand message is practically unheard of. It would be far more beneficial for their SEO campaign to focus on keywords like ‘chocolate biscuit’ This practice is called pairing keywords with brand.  

Users don’t search for ‘have a break’.

They search for KitKat. So, if KitKat was not as popular as it is, we would consider optimising the content for chocolate biscuits or similar.  

seo keyword search

The Nine Different Types Of Keywords

Without the right keywords, it’s questionable that there is even an SEO project at all? There are nine different types of keywords in total. Please see a brief description below: 

Short-tail Keywords   

As the name suggests, short-tail keywords are made up of three words or less. They can also be referred to as head keywords, and tend to attract a huge amount of search volume. Where users are concerned, they tend to be how users start researching a topic. They tend to be difficult to judge user intent. Let’s give an example, cake. Users could be looking to purchase cake, find out how to bake a cake, or how many calories are in a cake.  

Long-tail Keywords   

Long-tail keywords consist of more than three words and tend to be more specific than short-tail ones. Traffic wise, they get less traffic and tend to be easier to win SERPs for as the competition is less. 

Short-term fresh keywords

When we think of fresh keywords, we think about an event or product that receives a lot of attention and hype quickly. For example, a popular film, developing news story or event will receive a huge amount of attention and traffic for a very short time, and then almost none afterwards. You can use these types of keywords to win organic traffic, but expect to see a steep drop quickly. 

Long-term evergreen keywords

Evergreen keywords are search terms which remain relevant all of the time. Popularity can fluctuate but you never see extreme drop in traffic. The benefit here is from the moment you publish a piece focusing on evergreen keywords, you know there will be users searching and wanting to read the piece.  

Product defining keywords

These are keywords that describe or explain products in their most simple form. Users that are searching for specific products use niche search terms as they tend to know exactly what they want. Making product defining keywords valuable, and expensive if you’re running a PPC campaign. When a user searches in products, they tend to be at the early stages of purchasing. Making these search terms, in a commercial sense, exceptionally valuable.  

The most beneficial way to target products is to add detailed descriptions and brand names to products. Especially if you’re a third- party reseller of a product. For example, let’s say you run an online music shop specialising in drum equipment. A drummer may know the exact new cymbal they want to purchase, from a specific manufacturer. The product keyword would be Istanbul Agop Signature 23” Ride Cymbal. This is how it breaks down: 

Brand = Istanbul  

Product = Agop Signature  

Keyword = 23” Ride Cymbal  

Customer defining keywords

Customer defining keywords are your targeted persona. If you don’t have one, it would be a good idea to create an imaginary profile as a target audience.  

Ask yourself the following questions. Are they male? Are they female? Where do they live? What is their job and average salary / internet use / preferred ways of searching and which device? You would be surprised just how much a difference this can make, especially when you relate this to your target market.  

It’s very possible that a female in their early twenties living in Edinburgh uses the internet and searches differently then a male living rurally in Cornwall in their fifties.  


Geo-targeting keywords

Geo-targeting relates to local SEO and area targeting. Allowing local businesses to appear in their local SERPs. This is especially useful for smaller and local business wanting to expand into more affluent areas close by.  

Geo-specific keywords are one of the easiest to target. What’s more, if you already have an address visible on your website, you’re part way there, or better still have your Google My Business listing linked, this helps tell algorithms exactly where your business is based.  

A crucial factor to remember is hierarchical structure, and when you should use geo locations and when you shouldn’t. Geo locations can be paired with long-tail phrases and semantics. Too many locations and you are in danger of keyword stuffing.  

LSI keywords

LSI (latent semantic indexing) are thematic phrases that are closely related to your  main keyword.  

Again, let’s go back and use our drummer wanting to find new parts for his drum kit, but this time he has spare cash but doesn’t know what he wants to buy. The user intent changes, and so does the keywords he uses. For example:  

Drum kit – Main Keyword, short-tail & Long-term evergreen 

Percussion instruments – percussion instruments for drum kits 

Types of drums – snare drums – brands of snare drum 


LSI keywords tend to have low competition and work well for content strategies and internal link building. 

Intent targeting keywords

When a user searches a query, intent falls into three categories. This is because users want general information on specific items and topics. Intent targeting keywords tend to appear in informational contents, aiming to educate the reader. For example: 

What Is are Vanilla Pods?   

How Do Vanilla Pods Grow?   

What To Look For When Buying Vanilla Pods?   

Answering these types of questions quickly helps build your websites expertise on a subject. Which leads to a greater number of users trusting you as a resource.  

To Geo Locate, Or Not?

Learning when and where to use geo locations in keywords relates to content structure, user intent and type of keyword. There are designated places in a website that are best to position your keywords, as a rule of thumb our SEO copywriters produce copy for users first and search engine algorithms second.  

If you are carrying out a local SEO strategy for a business targeting a specific area, geo specific keywords are going to help you win page one SERPs quickly, and map pack listings as there is a link between your Google My Business and website.  

It is also important to include mentions of geo locations in meta data, title tags, SEO titles and certain headings.  

Different Tools For The Job

Using a trusted source to complete keyword research is paramount to the success of your entire content strategy. If you base your content on misleading or incorrect data you, your entire campaign is compromised and weak.   At Search4Local, we double  double double-check our keyword research, for all clients and campaigns. To ensure we use correct geo-located search for your specific industry and target market.
We audit competitors to find gaps in the search market, examine page structure and keyword density. Giving us the best possible chance of success with our SEO campaign.   Certain third- party software like Ubersuggests, SEMrush & Keywords Everywhere are all reliable sources. However, none are more reliable than the Google AdWords Keywords Planner tool.   Google AdWords data is taken directly from the search engine. Users can select the date and geolocation to complete the research, another huge advantage for local SEO keyword research. 
seo tools

Long Form Content & SEO

Long-form content is anything with a word count of more than seven hundred700 words for the main site. Anything over one thousand five hundred1500 words is long form content for blogs and case studies. Search engines prefer long-form as it tends to be more detailed.  

Long-form content should develop when there is a need for it. Increasing wordcount by repeating yourself is bad for SEO. Having a larger word count full of related and relevant details is good for SEO.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing can happen by accident but is nonetheless black hat SEO. It relates to keyword density, the number of mentions and where the keyword is positioned. There are theories and studies into using multiple keywords (more than two) in a single piece of content, including semantics, and analysing how this affects ranking.  

Keyword stuffing is hugely dependent on the length of the content. Long-form content, like this blog, will naturally have more mentions.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Finding the best keywords is a by-product of understanding the aims and objectives of a website, industry, and the type of clients or enquiries needed. We use the latest software to get accurate geo specific keyword data. Programs like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggests & Semrush to name a few.  

Keyword research is very important for SEO, paid ads and digital marketing as a whole. Entire campaigns are based on the reliability of data we gather. Think of keywords as the foundations of house, where the structure is built.  

Keyword density is a term used to measure the percentage or number of specific keywords, semantics or longtails in a single page. There is a happy median relating to hierarchical content structure you need to hit to be as effective as possible.  

Hierarchical content structure is a way of mapping content, including main site content and blogs. It ensures the most important and relevant information is given priority positioning, for both users & search bots to crawl. Think of it as a flow chart, with the most important content of highest SEO value sitting at the very top before expanding.  

Keywords are best positioned in on-page content, slugs, metadata, SEO titles & anchor links. Remember that relevance is key and too many mentions could be seen as keyword stuffing, which is detrimental for SEO.  

Measuring Success & Seeing Results

You can measure the performance of a piece of content using Google Search Console, clicks VS keywords and impressions. However, none of this is going to be more reliable than incognito tab searches for keywords you are targeting and recording the results, say every month or so. This way you see honest and progressive timescale data. Note the changes you make and apply the same content structure techniques to whichever performs the best quickest.

Get More Organic Traffic To Your Website

To find out further details on keyword research and to start beating your competition online, please get in touch with us. Our in house digital marketing team consists of SEO technicians, copywriters, website designers, front end developers & paid advertising experts.

Call us today on 01392 409159  or email customerservices@search4local.co.uk. 


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