SEO is your top priority when you have a website of any kind. SEO is how your site is found, and you want to make sure that you’re optimizing your site for what people are searching for. Along with more technical elements like having an SEO-friendly website design, your content and the keywords you use are critical.
Keyword research in simple terms is the process you use to find and analyze search terms that people use in search engines. These are the terms people input into search engines to find products, services, answers to questions, and information.
When you’re doing keyword research, it gives you insight into what your targeted audience is actually looking for. You can also use this research to determine the terms and phrases to target, how popular they are and how difficult they are to rank for.
Your goal is to create content that will then be the solution or answer your targeted audience needs and is looking for.
While some elements of keyword research and general SEO stay the same over time, there’s also a lot of evolution.
With that in mind, the following are some of the particular things to know about researching keywords for SEO this year.
Targeting Low Volume Keywords
Typically when it comes to choosing keywords, your goal is those unicorns, meaning they’re high volume and low competition. Of course, that’s ideal, but is it always realistic? Not necessarily. Not all of your keywords will both high volume and low competition.
A growing trend in 2022 due to SEO’s general competitiveness is going to target low-hanging fruit.
If you’re targeting low volume but simultaneously low competition keywords, these could be wins that add up over time.
When you use low competition keywords, and you’re putting them throughout your content in natural ways, you can rank across many different keywords, and you might be able to do so quickly. You can also increase your domain authority as you grow traffic on your site, allowing you to ultimately target more competitive keywords.
Something else you might look at as part of your research strategy in 2022 is choosing long-tail keywords but having a keyword within them that’s high volume. You may eventually get the high-volume keyword.
The term high-intent keyword is often used interchangeably with long-tail, but there are some more specific distinctions to make here as you’re researching and strategizing for 2022. High-intent keywords are very targeted terms that are more likely to result in a purchase.
The search volume is low since they are more specific, which goes back to the concept above.
When a consumer is searching these high-intent keywords, they might be poised and ready to make a purchase.
The more specific the keyword, the higher the likelihood that a purchase will happen. The particular keywords can indicate that someone who’s searching knows what they want, and as a result, they’re prepared to buy.
Conversion rates are high, despite search volume being low.
When you’re looking for high-intent keywords, along with using traditional keyword search tools, there are other things you can do. For example, use the Google autocomplete feature or the “searches related to” feature.
User intent is arguably one of the most essential factors in your ability to rank. This is probably one of the biggest and likely most enduring changes in SEO over the past few years.
You have to make sure your content and website address the problem someone searching intends to solve. You can’t just add a keyword into your content and hope for the best.
As part of identifying and using high-intent keywords, you need to think below the surface of your keywords. Put yourself in the position of someone typing it in.
Research Related Terms
If you’re not already searching for related terms, start in 2022. You might be having a hard time thinking of keywords that people could be searching for, so we touched on this above, but make sure you’re typing phrases in and then scrolling to the bottom of the Google results.
You’ll see suggestions for searches related to what you originally put in. This is a great place to get ideas, and Google is essentially telling you what people and it want to see in your content.
Use Research Tools
Along with Google itself, keyword research tools are a powerful way to come up with ideas. Make sure that you’re using at least one in 2022. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to zero in on what people are interested in without these tools.
What you think they’re interested in may not be what your targeted audience is looking for at all.
Think About SERP Features
There are SERP feature snippets Google will highlight if you use them correctly. Make sure when you’re researching keywords, you’re thinking about these.
For example, image packs are search results displayed as a horizontal row of images, and they appear in an organic position. If there’s an image pack for a keyword you’re targeting, write an image-heavy post.
Featured snippets, also called paragraph snippets, are short bits of text appearing at the top of Google search results. When you understand the intent and provide a quick and concise answer within your content, you might get this coveted placement.
List snippets outline the steps you would need to do something from start to finish. These are usually in how-to searches. You need to have posts with very to-the-point formatting and instructions to win this.
Mix In Fresh Keywords
Finally, something else to keep an eye on during your keyword research in 2022is fresh keywords. These are short-term keywords that might be getting a lot of buzz lately.
You’ll see keywords that might be peaking in their volume, but that will go down. These are good for getting more organic views, but you’ll have to create content with the realization that there will be a decline in the buzz surrounding the term. That’s okay because you can mix your site’s more up-to-date and time-sensitive content with evergreen content.