The Best Ways to Use SEMrush for Keyword Research on Your Business Website

by Corey Philip
January 4, 2021

100+ Hours Using Semrush

40+ Websites Monitored

6 Tools Featured

20 Industry Experts Consulted

Visitors and recurring customers find your business through search queries in this digital age. That's why your competitors are spending more on keyword research to tailor their content with keywords that'll match what their target audience is using.

Back in the day, we used to style our website and increase the ease-of-use of the page to yield more traffic. But nowadays, that isn't enough. Your website needs to have content that the audience is looking for, and you need to keep searcher intent in mind to rank higher in page results.

Why do we need keyword research?

As marketers, we need to know what keywords will click and what won’t. Here's where keyword research comes in. Keyword research is a tried and tested strategy to figure out what people are going to search for. This tactic involves analyzing, studying, measuring, and prioritizing the optimal keywords for your website.

Keyword research will help you uncover the questions clouding up your mind when doing search engine optimization. It will teach you how hard it is to obtain a higher rank for a specific keyword, how much traffic you could potentially generate, and how many people are willing to buy when they use that keyword. Successful keyword research will also help you find relevant content to publish, improve your marketing and brand awareness, and even increase your sales.

A quick rundown of search queries

Organic presence is the most vital aspect of search engine optimization. You can achieve this organic presence through ethical keyword usage and research. This strategy is what most people call "white hat" SEO tactics. Their fundamentals are:

  • Awareness stage. This is also known as an organic search that occurs when users search for a product in your niche. This stage mostly benefits from brand awareness.
  • Evaluation stage. This stage involves refining the user's query to what they want and specifies search queries to their liking. At this stage, it's good to have good SEO visibility to convince the user to buy your product.
  • Preference stage. This involves honing the search into something ultra-specific. Brand awareness is usually the first thing that comes into the user's mind when searching for something. Having good brand awareness will increase the likelihood of the user buying your product.
  • Purchase stage. This final stage involves the user buying something. Having good SEO visibility will make the user perform an action and open your product page.

Knowing these stages will help you personalize the keywords you're going to use on your website.

SEMrush Tools That Streamline Keyword Research

Keyword research is a long, grueling process that takes hours of work if you don't use any tools and the valuable data they provide. Luckily, SEMrush has an array of tools that cover keyword research from top to bottom, which makes research as hassle-free as it can be.

Topic Research Tool

From the get-go, topic research is the stumbling block for most content creators. This early in the process of keyword research, brainstorming is the key. If you're already in the business of a niche product, it's easy to think of topics but you may be limited to a handful of content ideas.

This is where SEMrush's Topic Research Tool comes in. With this easy-to-use tool, you get lists upon lists of content ideas that are sure to get users to visit your site. To use this tool, enter any keyword that your website might cover in the Topic Research search bar.

The Topic Research Tool also displays headlines, the common questions people are searching for regarding the topic, and related searches. The insights available are sure to jumpstart your brain and start keyword research.

Keyword Overview

Manually searching your chosen keyword on search engines can show you what type of results you’d typically get and how many results the term returns, but the process can be tedious and slow. Plus, you won't get the data you need for more in-depth research. With the Keyword Overview Tool, you can see the value of a particular keyword.

The insights available come in the metrics of volume, keyword difficulty, competition in paid-search, ad copy, top-ranking pages, and more. With these data, you can examine if the keyword you're going to use can truly help with your website ranking.

This tool also shows an Ad History Report that gives you insight regarding the keyword's advertising trends. The data contains the ad traffic price, total number of ads, and the amount of ad traffic to let you know the advertising potential for your keyword. Like Google Analytics, this tool can tell if your keyword will do well in certain seasons of the year.

Keyword Magic Tool

Brainstorming "seed" keywords are the bread and butter of keyword research; without it, you can't start your research in the first place. The hard part is finding the relevant keywords of your "seed." But with the Keyword Magic Tool, all you need is to input your "seed" keyword and which country you are in. After a few clicks, a master list of keywords is available for your perusal. Like magic!

What is a seed keyword?

A seed keyword is a short keyword that is usually made up of one or two words. It will serve as your starting place. Keywords that have modifiers, on the other hand, are called long-tail keyword phrases. "Keyword" is an example of a seed keyword. "Keywords businesses should target" is an example of a long-tail keyword phrase.

Organic Research Tool

Finding keywords relevant to your niche can be quite tricky. But through the use of the Organic Research Tool, you can get a detailed report on your competitor's keyword website rankings, organic competitors, top position changes, and which keywords has the most traffic. All of your competitor's organic ranking data is available in the tool's tab and contains vital insights such as common keywords, search engine keywords, traffic, cost, and paid keywords.

With this tool, you're no longer unaware of your competitor's ranking in search engine results, and you'll know why they're ranking that high.

Keyword Gap Tool

Manually comparing each of your competitor's websites to your own is a hassle. You have to research each website then you have to use another program to tabulate and compare the results. However, you can easily compare different websites side by side in one window with SEMrush's Keyword Gap tool.

To compare websites, all you have to do is enter the competitor's site and choose the types of keywords you want to analyze. It can either be organic, paid, or PLA keywords. There's also an option to explore keywords on their page's exact URL, root domain, subdomain, and subfolder. Once you've entered the data, click compare. The tool will generate a report of all the keyword data they use. You can even see overlapping keywords websites in the same industry use.

Organic Traffic Insights Tool

SEMrush's Organic Traffic Insights Tool is probably the most advanced in this list. This tool provides an all-in-one platform for your website's search performance. This tool contains all your Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMrush data. With this tool, you can quickly analyze the traffic your keywords have grouped by landing page. This tool also carries out analysis for all devices, bounce rate, CTY, sessions, new users, etc., so you can see which keyword brings you more yield in traffic.

While there are more SEMrush tools, the list above provides the main tools you're going to use for your keyword research. All the tools are useful on their own, but combined, they offer powerful insights for search engine optimization.

What to Do After Your Keyword Research

Tools are available to streamline the process, but they won't do everything. It would help if you still put in work when you want to take advantage of the keyword research data you gathered from all the tools you used. Once you finish your keyword research, you should monitor how the keywords progress weekly to check any spike in your ranking.

To get better "seed" keywords, we suggest for you to create a buyer's persona. Getting to know your target audience will give you vital insights into their search query personalities. By creating a buyer's persona, you'll know what they're attracted to, and you can incorporate keywords naturally. Remember, the better you know your audience, the better keywords you'll use.

Search engine optimization isn't a one-time thing. Search engines continually change how they rank pages, and we must move along with them lest we'll get left behind. New tools may arise for us to use and benefit from, but right now, the tools listed above are your best arsenal in the war of page ranking.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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