Crafting a keyword research report is a fundamental piece of the SEO puzzle. The reason is that it will allow you to organize essential data properly, which is important for your clients. A clean report is an effective method to make your customers trust the information they see, and, most importantly, understand it.
Imagine you finally landed your first client project, as you’re eager to start, you want to make sure that you build the perfect keyword research report.
Here’s the challenge, what would be the friendliest way to present your finds, especially when your customer barely knows about search engine optimization?
The good news is that it’s completely possible, and even better, at the end of this guide, you’ll realize that it is easy as ABC (yes, I have no bad news for you today).
Let’s rewind the tape a little, and we’ll review this process from the beginning.
The Purpose of Keyword Research
The process of keyword research in SEO involves discovering and analyzing phrases people enter into the search engines. The purpose is to find relevant keyword opportunities for a website or webpage.
Hold on… What’s a “relevant keyword”?
Because randomly adding a keyword throughout your webpage won’t get you ranking anymore, you have to concentrate on the intent behind it. The search intent behind a keyword or phrase takes one of the most important traits for a keyword to be relevant.
Each type of search intent represents a different opportunity for a business, and you must build content around it.
The purpose of the searcher and the business goals should align. This simple action makes the use of certain keywords or phrases relevant for both persons: Businesses and searchers.
Communicating company goals is essential before starting a keyword research report!
Now that you know how to make everybody win. Let’s begin.
At the early stages of keyword research, the purpose should be to understand what people are searching for, how many searches are looking up a certain query, and the type of results they expect to receive. These keywords are the basis of any SEO campaign, as they will help obtain the organic traffic any website longs for.
Before we start identifying opportunities, it’s a best practice to make sure your business is present at every stage in the buyer’s journey. In this manner, you’ll think holistically throughout this entire process, and stay aware of the different reasons your potential customers could find your business.
Next, we’ll review how aligning keywords with business goals works, then, we’ll move on to designing a beautiful keyword research report.
Are you ready for a fictional commitment? It’s time for us to open a marketing agency together!
Let’s say our first client came in, and we are now working with the SEO campaign of a temporary tattoo brand (cheers to us!). Our customer will allow us to view what each stage of making a keyword research report looks like.
There’s a number of different scenarios at this stage that could completely change the keyword research process. To meet business goals, goal setting is a fundamental step, and it will vary according to different objectives, for example:
- Increasing traffic
- Growing leads
- Scaling sales
- Generating a larger email list
- Ranking higher in SERP results
The primary goals of our first (fictional) client is to attract new visitors to their website through informative blog posts, as well as update product web pages to increase conversions.
This means that before considering potential topics to cover, we have to set a few important requirements straight: The search intent behind a relevant keyword or phrase would be informational and aimed for prospects at the top of the marketing and sales funnel.
On top of that, we should also consider transactional keywords to optimize product pages accordingly. Certainly, these would be targeted to a different type of audience as they have almost traveled all the way to the bottom of the marketing and sales funnel.
Got the idea? Let’s move on.
Seed Keyword Brainstorming
Defined as the ground or base list of keywords that are the most relevant to a business, seed keywords provide the foundation for keyword research. This is the fun part because the stages of finding keyword opportunities actually start at this point.
Alright, how can you come up with these?
Seed keywords are frequently composed of 1,2 or 3 words, and these are general terms associated with the niche of business. A good way to start is by writing down all the head terms that are relevant to a website’s products and services.
In the case of our fictional customer, the baseline list would include keywords like: “temporary tattoos”, “removable tattoos”, “fake tattoos”, and “stick-on tattoos”.
Think quick: Can you come up with a couple of seed keywords for the latest project you worked on?
This stage involves a lot of research, creativity, and thinking. If you get stuck after writing down only a few ideas, don’t freak out, you can also try:
- Browsing through the website and products
- Listing related search terms found in Google
- Checking over the current ranking pages and content
- Finding competitor’s keywords
At this step, we hop on to finding popular long-tail words and phrases; a keyword research tool will make it easy as it can be. Remember what I mentioned earlier? These keywords should also be relevant to both the website we’re working with and the target audience.
Considering that, these are the most important factors to look at while choosing keywords:
Traditionally, the higher the average search volume for a keyword, the best. That means that it receives a high demand; however, you shouldn’t underestimate keywords with low search volume values.
When combined, keywords with low search volume score could add up to strong traffic. As a matter of fact, there’s a concept in SEO called the keyword golden ratio, and it consists in ranking for less-frequently searched keywords in a quicker manner. However, we’ll follow the traditional method in this article.
Contrary to search volume, the lower the competition, the better. In theory, that would mean that it will be easier to rank for a keyword. Note that there’s no ideal keyword difficulty range as it will depend on the website’s competitive power.
It’s simple; it would be unrealistic to consider a keyword targeted by huge brands with strong link profiles if the website you’re working with is small compared to them. The less competitive terms are usually more specific in nature because the searcher knows exactly what they’re looking for. These longer keywords could lead to higher conversions.
This factor involves performing SERP analysis with the purpose of finding out the relevancy of a keyword. As a best practice, you should shortlist terms and phrases that are highly relevant to your website, crafting a valuable content piece around the intent of a long-tail keyword could return in serious results.
For instance, the user intent behind the keyword phrase “how do temporary tattoos work?” would be informative, which would be ideal for a blog post. And, “InkBox tattoos” is navigational as it mentions the brand. Lastly, “buy temporary tattoos” is transactional, so it’s perfect for a product page. Notice how intent optimization is a powerful tool?
Coming up, I’ll share a common scenario to help you get a clear understanding of these factors. Together, we’ll build a list of keywords, and our fictional client will get the leading role here.
Let’s start by entering one of our seed keywords to a keyword research tool:
Because it includes a question, it would make sense to assume that the search intent behind the “how to get temporary tattoos off” is informational. In spite of that, it’s important to do SERP analysis in order to discover more about the top-ranking pages.
You should repeat this process until you collect a considerable list of keywords to target. For convenience, save your findings into a list.
Pro-tip: Give a specific name to your keyword list. In this manner, you’ll know exactly what you’re working on, and the aim of the keyword report that you will deliver.
Building A Keyword Research Report
By this point, you should have a list of keyword opportunities. Now, it’s time to build a client-friendly report that contains the best keywords and phrases for a website.
Now, I’ll use the Mangools SEO keyword research template. It will only take a handful of steps to turn my exported list into an eye-catching report to offer the viewers a simple-to-understand overview of the data.
Here’s what makes the report so easy to understand:
Because each keyword could take several forms of web content to satisfy the needs of common searches in the market according to the user intent, it is a nice idea to classify them. This is why there’s a column in the template dedicated to user intent, and each cell has a dropdown list that you can open to select the correct option for each keyword quickly.
Do you like it? Let me show you how to take advantage of it:
Make a copy of the template
Download the SEO keyword research report template > click on file > make a copy.
Export your list into a CSV file
Go back to the keyword research tool you use > Open the list > Export to CSV.
Import your list into a new sheet
Open the template copy > Add a new sheet > Click on file > Import > Upload the CSV selecting the settings above.
Copy, paste, and format the data
Copy the right columns of data from your exported list > Return to sheet1 > Click on the first sample keyword > Right-click > Paste special > Paste values only
Select the columns B & F > Click on format > Number > More Formats > Custom number format
Keep the custom number format at “0” > Apply.
Select the search intent for the listed keywords using the dropdown list.
Present the results to your clients
Once your data is properly organized and formatted > Click on file > Download as PDF > Export > Voilà!
These are the essential steps that you should follow to build a keyword report and present it in a most-effective and simpler way. Of course, you can customize it as you prefer, this template is a starting point for you to design a unique report that represents your business.
Ready To Begin?
Whether you’re beginning your journey as an SEO or simply want to present a clear overview to your clients, this is a useful resource for you to save. Besides buying you lots of time, you will create an organized space to work with in the future.
Granted, keyword research can be lengthy as it’s only the beginning phase of search engine optimization. However, summarizing your results in an orderly fashion while also keeping them visually appealing could have a significant impact on your efforts.
I appreciate your feedback, feel free to download your template today, and get in touch with me in case you have suggestions!
This section could be a bit shorter. Well, it depends on the blogs you plan to outreach, but since the article is about making keyword research reports, I’d say they won’t be interested in the purpose of keyword research that much.
Since it’s aimed at business owners/SEOs, I wanted to sort of put out there the importance of search intent to business goals. I made it shorter and straight to the point :)