Any content marketing strategy not based on data gathered from keyword research is bound to fail. Such plans are based on the “set and pray” mindset. That is, you post whatever comes to your mind, then you pray that readers find it on their own. That’s a true recipe for failure if you ask me.
The importance of keyword research to content marketing and SEO cannot be overemphasized. See, you could be thinking “right” while your prospects are thinking “left”.
If you want to be found, you have to be where their thoughts lead them — Google’s first result page for most people. But for you to appear on that first page, one of the many things you need are keywords. Keywords that are relevant to your business as well as the searcher’s needs. In other words, keywords that match your prospects’ intent.
By the end of this article, you would have learnt the basic steps you can take to get the right keywords to rank your health and wellness business’s website for.
How to Research for Keywords
- Brainstorm seed keywords.
- Find related keywords.
- Use keyword research tools.
- See what’s trending.
- See what’s working.
- Don’t forget industry forums.
Hey, as a busy healthpreneur, you don’t have to do all these by yourself. If you need a health and wellness SEO copywriter that will get you the most profitable keywords and create copies that rank and convert, I’m your guy. See my healthcare copywriting services or contact me.
1. Brainstorm Seed or fat-head Keywords.
Seed keywords are short, between 1 to 3 words long, phrases that often describe an entire industry. And they happen to occur in search phrases most of the time. They include but are not limited to phrases that describe your product or services in general.
For example, say you’re a Naturopath in the UK, and you produce a wide range of products — including essential oils, CBD oils, herbal mixtures, skincare creams, and hair creams. You might have the following (and more) as your seed keywords:
- Essential oils.
- CBD oils.
- Alternative health.
- Alternative medicine.
- Herbal mixtures.
- Organic skincare
The list is a long one but let’s stop here. You should try as much as you can to exhaust your range of products or services groups while making the seed keywords list. For example, your eczema cream and acne cream will both fall under Organic Skincare products.
How else do you fill your keyword list?
2. Find “Related Keywords”.
Related terms and autocomplete on Google and Bing are excellent sources of keyword ideas. You can’t afford to miss out on them. The words auto-filled by google when you type into the search bar are born of previous searches by real humans. And so are the related search terms.
Here are the suggested keywords from google when I typed “alternative health” into the search bar:
And these are the related search terms for the same phrase:
Did you notice that the related searches are different from the suggestions in the autocomplete? The best part is that you can click on any of these related searches (list of alternative medicine, for example) and check their related searches as well.
Microsoft’s Bing brings different suggestions in its autocomplete:
And different related search terms:
One more way to get more (and better) keywords:
3. Use Keyword Research Tools.
Keyword research without keyword research tools is not impossible. But it’s a perfect analogy for trying to pick a slice of meat from a hot oil while it’s frying. It’s not impossible (I’ve done it before, many times), but it comes with its miseries.
With keyword research tools, you can
— Discover new keywords and get fresh ideas.
— Discover keyword search volume.
— Discover keyword difficulty.
— Prune the existing list of keywords.
— Focus on a particular location for keyword research.
So which keyword tools will you be using?
There are both free and paid tools you can use for keyword research. Google keyword planner is free while Ahrefs and Moz are paid. While these tools may overlap in functions, each one has a few features that set it apart from the other. And of course, there are several other keyword research tools out there. Free and paid.
For this guide, I’ll be using Google Keyword Planner. The GKP is located inside the Google Ads platform. And you can’t access it unless you have an Ads account.
While creating an Ads account, you’ll be required to set up an ad campaign and fill in your billing details. You do that. But make sure you cancel the ad as soon as you’re signed in. Else, you’ll run a dud ad, and Google will charge you for it.
Once you’re signed in, your Ads dashboard should look something like this:
To access the Keyword Planner tool, click on “Tools & Settings” on the top bar. This should bring up a mega menu.
Select the keyword planner tool from the first list by the left-hand side. That should load the GKP dashboard, and it looks like this:
Select “Discover new keywords” to load this form (ignore “Get search volume and forecasts” for now):
Here, you’re served two columns — start with a keyword and start with a website — but we’re only dealing with the keyword part.
Type any of your seed keywords into the search bar; you can type more than one keyword in this box, especially if they’re closely related. For example, you can type Cannabidiol and CBD oil as different keywords.
You can change both the language and the location to your target location. You can, in fact, change the target to a city rather than a country.
The “Enter a domain to use as a filter” field is useful if you want to see the variants of a particular keyword a webpage is ranking for. It’s useful if you want to spy on a competitor or any website ranking for a keyword of your choice.
For this article, I typed in “Alternative health” into the keyword box, changed my target location to The United Kingdom, and I got these results (and hundreds more):
Obviously, if you’re running an Alternative health business, there are a few keywords you might want to pay attention to on this list. But a very large percentage of the results indicated that people who use this keyword are looking for information about Alternative health rather than products.
The keywords “alternative health care” and “alternative medicine near me” are from people looking for a business like yours. On the other hand, keywords like “alternative medicine meaning”, “alternative medicine degree” and many others in that fashion aren’t useful to you.
So, being a business, you want to focus more on product keywords. I re-queried with “CBD oils” and “Cannabidiol”. And I discovered that those keywords have been removed from the Keyword planner, so no luck there.
Performing another search with the keyword “organic skincare” brought several keywords that fall in line with our cause. Examples include “natural skin care products”, “organic skin care products”, “organic products for skin”, “face oil for dry skin”, “natural face moisturisers”, and many others. Of course, there are a ton of other keyword ideas you won’t need.
From this result, you’d notice that the search volume (Avg. monthly searches) indicates 100 — 1k for the keywords shown above. Scrolling further down, the volume quickly drops to 10 — 100. Basically, that’s how many times these keywords were typed into Google in a month—on average.
However, the results above are not directly accurate. That’s because I don’t have any ads running. If I did, the search volumes would be more than that. So the GKP isn’t absolutely free, but it does a great job anyway.
I’d have gotten information on ad impression share and Organic average position if I’d connected my analytics account to my ads account. But I didn’t.
For the competition column, you’d have seen that several of those keywords showed “high” and “medium”. In the result list itself, very few had low competition. This doesn’t affect SEO and ranking in any way. But if you were to run an ad based on these keywords, you’ll have to pay high to get a sensible spot.
I once ran an ad that wouldn’t come up until you got to Google results’ 4th page. What the hell’s an ad doing on the 4th page? Well, the bidding was low, and the competition was high.
Using keyword research tools will help you in pruning your keyword list. Now you know you should pay more attention to “Organic skincare” than you should to “Alternative health”.
Unfortunately, you can’t see keyword difficulty on the GKP. You’ll need a paid tool for that. Ahrefs and Moz are probably the best options in that respect — and many other respects.
Before you proceed to use your keywords, you might want to get a bit more information on them. Like what people are saying about them, how they’re saying it, when they’re saying it, and how much they’re saying it — based on your target location.
For this information, you’d have to
4. See What’s Trending.
For you to know what products to push to the market, to which market to push them, and when to push them, seeing what’s trending is essential. You can use the Google trends tool to see which topics are currently trending. And here’s the best part, you can also target by country or by province.
When you see what’s trending, you’ll know which ones among your products have the potential to sell most. For example, I searched for “essential oils”, “CBD oils”, “bath bombs”, and “coconut oils” on Google trends and I got this result:
What you can see from the picture above is that over the past 5 years, although still the champion, coconut oil (green) has been steadily declining in the search.
But essential oils (blue) have been gaining popularity.
CBD oils (red) (the keyword) have been removed from Google’s database or blacklisted. So there’s no result shown for it. You’d need another tool to research that market.
And bath bombs (yellow) seems to be a seasonal commodity: receiving boosts between November and December over the past 5 years. This search is targeted at the United Kingdom.
Based on this result, as a Naturopath serving the whole of UK, you will want to focus more on essential oils and coconut oil. But you will produce bath bombs in larger quantities between November and December.
A look at the related queries section should also provide more ideas.
You can also compare breakdown by subregion. CBD oils are nowhere to be found.
Just scroll down a bit on the results page and you’ll find them. You don’t have to search for multiple keywords at a time. But it helps if you want to compare keywords.
How should you use your keywords? Should you use it on a product page or in a blog post that will then point to a product page. This is where “intent” behind a keyword lies. To know the intent behind a keyword, you should:
5. See What’s Working (rather, Ranking).
Seeing what’s currently ranking for a particular keyword will help you to determine how you should use it. There are many types of keywords. They include transactional keywords, informational keywords, navigational keywords, etc.
Transactional keywords are mostly used by people who are ready to buy. They more often lead to a sale.
Informational keywords stand above transactional keywords in the conversion funnel. They’re often used by people who have heard about one product or the other and would love to get more info about it.
Some of these people can be converted on the spot (if they have the money) while others may come back to search for that product. But when they do, they’ll most likely use a transactional keyword—because they’re ready to buy.
Navigational keywords are those keywords internet users use while looking for a particular website on the internet. If your search console dashboard shows to you that you’ve got clicks or impressions from keywords that include your website name and any other word, those are navigational keywords.
If someone learns about your product during the research stage (and they loved it), they might come back looking for you using a navigational keyword instead of a transactional keyword. That’s because they’ve already been convinced of your product’s effectiveness.
So once you’ve decided on which keywords you’d like to use on your website, simply perform a quick search on google with each keyword and study what’s ranking on the first page.
Are the results purchase-oriented or Information-oriented?
If all you got from the results are pages featuring products with prices, that’s a transactional keyword. If, however, the result you got includes pages with “How to”, “What is”, “Ultimate guide”, “All about”, etc. headings, that’s an informational keyword.
It’s best to use transactional keywords for product pages since the intent is to buy. And it’s best to use informational keywords for blogs and articles because the intent is to learn. You can then link to your product pages from your informational pages as you’ve seen me do in this post — linking to my health and wellness copywriting services page and contact page.
One last thing:
6. Don’t Forget Industry Forums.
Industry forums are a great place to ask questions about things you don’t know or are confused about. That means real people (like you) frequent those forums to ask questions and give answers.
Reddit is a huge forum. And there are only a few topics you won’t find there. Below is a question someone asked a couple of weeks ago.
With forums, you have the chance of interacting with potential customers and building social credibility.
Besides, you’re sometimes permitted to link back to your website if you’ve covered that particular topic in detail in a blog post, exposing your products to a new audience. And you can also get product ideas and topic ideas from there.
When you find an attractive topic in forums, though, try to fish out keywords and do your homework. See if you should cover it on your blog, or just provide an answer right there and move on. You don’t want to waste your time on topics that receive 10 searches in a whole month.
Well, I guess the next thing is to use your keywords. By now, you should have hundreds, if not thousands, of keywords stored on your computer. But of course, many of them won’t be useful.
In the next article, I’ll be covering “sorting and filtering”. That is, how you can filter unwanted results from your keyword list and sort the remaining one for easy perusing.
If you’ve figured that out, though, proceed to create content. Don’t forget, if you find this process cumbersome or time-consuming, I can help you with it. I am an SEO copywriter. It’s basically what I eat, drink, and breathe (among other things).
Before you go, let’s have a quick recap.
Keyword research is essential to your content marketing strategy and advertising. It gives you precision, but you still have to handle the persuasion part.
Keyword research starts from you brainstorming seed or fat-head keywords. If you stop there to use these keywords, that’s just pure guesswork. And if you’ve been to my homepage, you’d see where I declared death upon guesswork.
You should use your seed keywords in google search and take note of the suggested terms and related searches in the SERPs (search engine result pages).
Don’t forget to use keyword research tools. They’ll help you immensely in your noble quest for profitable keywords
Before you decide on which content to create, you should see what’s trending about those keywords (or your products) in your target location for fresh ideas, keywords, and perspectives.
Once you have your keyword list. Especially if there’s one you’re ready to use at the moment. Check the search engines for what type of content is ranking for that keyword (products or information). And tailor your content to match.
One more way to get content ideas, build credibility, and stay relevant is by frequenting industry forums for questions being asked by individuals. However, don’t forget to learn from existing answers as well.
Joseph Olu is an SEO copywriter for SaaS and Health and Wellness brands. He is a contributor to top publications like ThriveGlobal and Hackernoon. He has also written for natural health brands like Phd-organics.