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3 Practical Tips and Techniques to Find the Right Keywords and much more traction with them.

Being into business for long, you’d now agree that optimizing your content for valuable, relevant keywords is super important. This makes keywords research an important part of your SEO strategy in 2020 and beyond.

If the keywords you are trying to rank for are actually valuable for your business, your site traffic might not increase manifolds.

Yes, you read that right. It won’t budge much! 

But the (NOT so Brobdingnagian) traffic graph you’d get off of those keywords would be a TREASURE. 

Here’s a quick fact:

A million views that only increase your bounce rate (because your content is not useful for visitors; It tricks them into clicking your link with the incorrectly targeted keywords) are WORTHLESS. A few hundred qualified, convertible ones are VALUABLE.

This post covers exactly how to target the RIGHT, VALUABLE AUDIENCE with the correct, POWERFUL keywords. Learn to find the audience that sticks around, scrolls through your content (because it is what they need), and has the potential to be converted.

Let’s get started

Why Research Keywords? 

Imagine this:

You are a dry cleaner.

You know what you do so well. 

Interestingly, everybody knows who a dry cleaner is and what he does.

Unfortunately, they don’t know what you do. 

You realize you need to market yourself to them. For that, you have put together a visually appealing website. You even optimized it for mobile users. You have tried everything those DIGITAL GURUS you pay asked you to do. 

But here comes the worst part:

Nobody still knows you own a large dry cleaning business.

What could be wrong?

Well, the possibilities are numerous. But a BIG one is that your content doesn’t tell them what you do.

“Actually, it does,” you say.

Oh, well, then it doesn’t tell them the way they want to hear it. It doesn’t speak to them in their language. It doesn’t use the exact terms and phrases that your Ideal clients (who should be your targets too) use when they need the services you provide.

So, when they look for your services, you are nowhere to be seen on SERPs, though your competitors proudly do.

And that’s the reason of your escalating traffic graph (with equally swinging high bounce rate). 

That’s where it hurts.

 And that’s where the role of Keywords Research for your business comes into play. (Your little job is to make the best out of this role.)

In a nutshell, we research keywords to find the right ones that your audience is looking for. 

Here’s the kicker:

Finding the right keywords help you optimize your content for good. This optimized content appears in the search results when your target audience searches for the service that you provide.

And that’s about the time your relationship with them begins; The relationship that has customership on the other end.

Here are our actionable tips and tricks to getting more traction by finding and using the right kind of keywords. And by *right kind of the keywords*, we mean the exact words and phrases that your audiences use to find what you have got for them.  


Tips to Find the Right Keywords for your business:

1. Targeting Search-Intent Variety gives you more Visibility

A laptop placed on a brown tabletop with "Search Objective" written on the screen. A user's hand is over the keyboard and a coffee mug is held in his other hand.

Let’s go over some types of keywords, first.

Types of Keywords

When your users type a search term or phrase, they could have one of many intentions. With respect to search intent, these are the types of keywords:

  1. Informational keywords are the ones that people use when they are looking for more information about a topic. 

          Example: How to wash an ink-spot?

  1. Navigational keywords are the ones people use with the intent to land on a particular website.

         Example: Canz marketing, YouTube.

  1. Commercial keywords are the keywords that people use if they are interested in making a purchase but haven’t finalized the decision yet.
    Example: Best cellphone under $10,000.
  2. Transactional keywords are the keywords people use when they intend to buy stuff. 

          Example: Buy sunglasses online.

With respect to length, we have already explained Short-tail (1-3 words long) and long-tail (more than 3 words long phrases) categories of the keywords here.

Correlation of User’s search intent, keywords length, and other factors

Here’s a profoundly useful graphical representation of the keywords by Vlado Pavlik on Mongools. The graph explains the correlation of the length to the Search Volume of a keyword and the Engagement it generates.



Now, if you connect the dots, you’d realize that your audience is not all at the same level. Some of them are already in a stable or growing relationship with you. For others, you are yet to start the relationship. Different audience segments would interact with and react to your content differently.

Therefore, depending on these factors, you’d have to use different keywords to attract different segments of audiences.

Typically, you create content using informational keywords to attract a cold audience. With navigational commercial and transactional keywords, you would target the warm and hot audiences.

Now, if you focus, you’d see that long term keywords are highly specific, so they make the search intent very clear. Though their search volume is low (scroll back to Mangools graph again), the engagement and conversion possibilities are very high.

Learn more about these audiences here in our post on Facebook Ads.

Now, many marketers would recommend focussing on long-tail keywords.  

Do that. But, not just that!

While your long-tail keywords target more convertible audiences, you also need to focus on building new relationships and strengthing the existing ones. That said, the short tail keywords and the informational intent become equally important and relevant for you when your targeting is wide.

The bottom line is “Target audience with a variety of search intents”. And that’s our recommended SEO strategy for 2020 and beyond.

2. Researching Competitors Keywords Helps Beat The Competition

Imagine what would it be like if you end up with a wooden spoon but many of your competitors are front runners?

What would you do?

Work hard to get there. Simple!

That would be good! But what if you have a better solution?

Work smart to get there.

Here’s how you can do that:

Your competition has worked hard to get there. They have invested energy, time, and finances to get there. You can make use of their efforts and build it from there. 

How exactly, though? You ask.

Use the keywords that helped them succeed. Analyze content gapthe keywords that have worked for competitors, but you haven’t used them yet


That’s you conserving energy. And nature rewards those who follow natural laws. So, prepare for a blast.

On a side note, do not ignore the keywords that competitors have used but haven’t brought them success. If they haven’t yet, doesn’t mean they won’t!

How is a Competitor’s keywords research useful for you?

It should be clear by now. But if it isn’t, here’s the deal:

  • With the Competitor’s keyword research, you know exactly where your competitors are standing and heading.
  • You save your time and energies, yet have strong results to build your success on.
  • The content gap helps you analyze the missing parts in your strategy
  • You have a strong chance to beat your competition (that too, using their efforts).

We have thoroughly covered the topic of Keywords research already. Let’s revisit the Hows of “Competitor’s Keywords Reseach.”

So, what’s the bottom line?

Building your content around the keywords that your competitors are ranking for or trying to rank for is a short cut to succeeding big time.

3. Barnacle SEO multiplies your top rankings for a specific keyword

A quick question here.

Have you ever heard the term “Parasite SEO“? Not necessarily (though it is not out of options).

But if you haven’t, that’s because a better sounding term has already replaced it.

We are actually referring to the term Barnicle SEO.

Quite interestingly, whether or not you have heard it, you might have been applying this SEO technique. Especially for the folks making use of Local SEO, the idea wouldn’t be much alien once you know it.

Will Scott coined the term, using it instead of Parasite SEO. Here’s how he explained the term:

“Attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for the customers to float by in the current.”

The idea is to make use of the authority of a reputable source or platform to improve your ranking. Barnacle SEO ranks you multiple times for a given keyword, gives you more exposure, and positively impacts your traffic.

In our guide on Local SEO, we have recommended creating your business profiles on multiple high authority online directories like:

  •  Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Bing Places For Business
  • Yellow pages. 
  • Facebook
  • YouTube, and
  •  Yahoo Local, etc. 

The impact of guest-posting, expert roundups, Wikipedia pages, and sponsored content is the same.

Google and users grade these sites high. Therefore, a listing on these platforms gives you multiple rankings. Ultimately, Search Engines improve each of your rankings. 

That’s the concept and advantage of Barnacle SEO.

Now, think about it for a moment:

How do the Keyword Research and Barnacle SEO link?

Here’s how Rand Fishkin explains in his Whiteboard Friday series on Moz.

“It’s sort of the opposite of normal keyword research, where you’re looking for those sort of low difficulty, high opportunity keywords. Here we’re looking for the toughest keywords out there, the ones that are getting the most tremendous amounts of searches, or the ones that are getting a good amount of searches but that we’re not interested or willing to target right now.”

So, while ranking for highly competitive keywords is rather tricky (and much avoided), Barnacle SEO makes use of other’s authority to give you high ranking for that keyword.

Brian Dean has shared his account of applying the Barnacle SEO technique to rank more than once for the same keyword

He first wrote a post on “YouTube SEO” that ranked high. But he did not make do with that ranking and created a video, optimized with the same keyword. Now, he had more than one content, ranking high on SERPs for the same keyword.

That’s simply “wow”!

The Bottomline?

The more the positions you occupy on SERPs, the more the exposure, the greater the traction and the higher your traffic.


Choosing the right kind of keywords helps a business attract the right kind of clients. With the right clients, the chances of conversions and business growth increase manifolds. 

Here are our top actionable keyword research techniques to find the right keywords – recommended as a part of our SEO strategy for 2020 and beyond:

  1. Use a variety of long and short tail keywords and multiple search intents to target audience at different levels in their journey to becoming your customers.
  2. Research keywords of top-performing competitors to beat them and perform even better.
  3. Use the Barnacle SEO technique to rank for high competitive keywords fast and reap the benefits easy.

Over to you

And, now that we have shared highly actionable advanced result-oriented techniques with you, time to apply them to your business. 

What is your top favorite keyword research technique that has produced the desired results for you? Which one of these do you plan to try next? Share with us in the comments.

If you have more queries about any of the steps, feel free to write in the comments. 

Need help with SEO?

Check out our SEO services. We are an SEO agency in San Diego, experienced in bringing you qualified leads and converting them into customers.


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