Finding Keywords to Rank For in 2022

When you start searching for keywords, you may think it is intuitive to aim for those with the highest search volumes. However, this is not always the case. For example, it can be difficult to rank for a broad category such as food, or a niche such as gardening. You also need to consider the competition for the keywords you’re considering. The good news is that it is possible to rank for less competitive long-tail keywords.

When you’re researching keywords, try to find terms that are specific and related to your target market. This will increase the likelihood of conversion. It is also important to choose long tail keywords that describe the stages of the purchasing cycle. They are more likely to lead to customers. Another benefit of long tail keywords is that they are much easier to rank for because they are much more realistic.

Lastly, when choosing keywords, try to balance specificity with the number of searches. Remember that a keyword should not be too broad as this can lead to keyword stuffing, a practice that can result in penalization by Google. Make sure that your keywords are not too broad because Google groups keywords together by their broader parent words to track deeper content. Regardless of the type of business, you’re in, keyword research is an important part of your online marketing strategy.

You can use LSI keywords in your articles to increase their value in search engines. To find LSI keywords, use Google’s Instant Technique (upper right corner of your post). This will provide you with a long list of keywords that are related to your subject. LSI keywords can be incorporated into your posts before or after publishing.

You can also use a keyword planner tool such as Google Ads Keyword Planner to discover new keywords that have low competition and high volume. This tool will show you related keywords and their search volume and cost. Using keyword research can be an excellent source of inspiration for your content and can lead to future ranking opportunities.

Using keyword research is one of the most effective ways to improve your SEO strategy. Unlike PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, SEO relies on providing value to your audience. This means using quality content that supports the user’s needs. Google’s algorithm looks for credibility, user satisfaction, and a host of technical factors such as clean link structure.

Among the various metrics used for keyword research, the Keyword Difficulty Score is an important factor in determining the difficulty level of a particular keyword. The lower the difficulty, the more likely it is that your keyword will have high traffic and be ranked faster. While Keyword Difficulty Score is an essential metric, it should not be your end-all-and-be-all in your keyword research.

Keyword Research is a Process

Let’s take a look at an example.

If your primary keyword was “Losing Weight Fast”, you would want to ask yourself what the “intent” was behind that search, as well as what other topics users might also have an interest in.

The obvious intent would be to literally lose weight fast. But, what we don’t know is “how” they want to do this. So we may offer a paragraph on multiple ways this can be accomplished such as:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Combination of diet and exercise
  • Supplements
  • Surgery

We may also want to consider the “why” as to the reason behind wanting or needing the weight loss:

  • Medical reasons (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc)
  • Aesthetic reasons (getting abs, wanting that beach body, etc)
  • General Health

Each of the aforementioned needs to be mentioned in your article to provide a good semantic, LSI, and topical relevancy score that will be highly impactful when it comes to ranking your post on Google.

Keep in mind that each of the aforementioned, are their own “sub-topics” and can easily be explored in depth in their own blog posts. What we are looking to do in this scenario is simply mention them, and perhaps explore the topic with a paragraph, ideally linking to a relevant blog post (on or off your website) that explores the topic in depth.

All other things being equal, Google wants to rank the page that provides the most well-rounded and useful article to the end-user.

Ok, so it’s 2022 and SEO is as important (if not more important) than ever. But do some of the tactics and strategies of yesteryear still work today?
In this article we’ll dig into “keywords” as they relate to ranking for specific phrases and topics, and whether or not things like optimizing for 1-2 keywords per page, keyword densities, and the like are still important.

The Debate Rages On

Amongst SEO specialists there has been serious debate regarding the rise of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and semantic analysis of content, and how this is applied to the various internal ranking algorithms at Google… yes, there are a bunch of them.

Gone are the days of a single (arguably easy to manipulate) ranking algorithm. Today, Google employs what could be considered microservices of a multitude of ranking algorithms that work in concert with the core algorithm to make ranking decisions in the SERPS.

Think “Hummingbird”, “Rankbrain” and the like, just to name a couple.

So with all those in mind, where do keywords fall in terms of a ranking signal, and what type of importance do they have in today’s SEO strategy?

Semantic Analysis

What we can tell you from analyzing MILLIONS of websites on Google is that the idea of ranking for 1-2 primary keywords per page/post is an outdated concept.

Google has become increasingly more adept at understanding content and matching that to the topical relevancy of a web searcher’s intent…