A Novice’s Guide to SEO Keyword Research Tools

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a key strategy for any online business or website looking to increase its visibility and attract more visitors. One of the critical components of an effective SEO strategy is keyword research, which involves understanding what words and phrases potential visitors might use when looking for the products, services, or information that you offer.

But why is keyword research so important? To answer that question, it’s useful to consider Google’s guidelines for its Quality Raters, a group of people who evaluate the quality of Google’s search results.

According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, one of the fundamental principles of rating is the relevance of a page’s content to the search query. The relevance is determined by the usage of specific words or phrases, known as keywords, that match or are synonymous with the terms used in the user’s search query. If your website contains these keywords, it’s more likely to appear in relevant search results and be seen by users.

But the use of keywords needs to be strategic and user-focused. Google discourages “keyword stuffing,” or overusing keywords in an attempt to manipulate rankings. Instead, it values content that naturally incorporates keywords in a way that is helpful and meaningful to users. This is where keyword research comes in. By understanding what your potential visitors are searching for, you can create high-quality content that meets their needs and includes relevant keywords naturally and effectively.

keyword researching

Understanding Keyword Research: Driving SEO Strategy for a Car Dealership in Klang

Keyword research is the process of discovering and analyzing the search terms that people enter into search engines when they’re looking for specific goods or services. These insights can significantly shape and influence your SEO strategy. By knowing exactly what potential customers are searching for, you can tailor your website’s content to cater to these queries, thereby increasing your visibility in search engine results.

For instance, let’s take a car dealership in Klang, Malaysia. The primary goal of the dealership’s website might be to attract potential buyers looking for new or used cars in the area. Without keyword research, the dealership might assume that generic terms like “cars for sale” or “buy cars” are the best to target. However, these terms are extremely competitive and might not bring in the local traffic the dealership is looking for.

By conducting keyword research, the dealership might discover that local users often search for phrases such as “best car dealership in Klang,” “used cars in Klang,” or “affordable sedans in Klang.” Armed with this information, the dealership can optimize their website content and SEO strategy to target these specific, locally-focused keywords. They could create dedicated pages on their website for used cars, add blog posts about selecting affordable sedans, and highlight why they are the best dealership in Klang.

This way, they are more likely to attract and engage with local users actively searching for their services. Moreover, by using specific, less competitive keywords, the dealership can better position itself to rank higher in search engine results, driving more traffic to their website and potentially leading to increased sales. This example illustrates the significant influence keyword research can have on shaping an effective SEO strategy.

Keyword Research for novice

Starting with keyword research may feel intimidating, especially when you’re trying to grasp how Google interprets and ranks content based on keywords. However, understanding a bit about Google’s patented systems for keyword usage can help clarify how this process works and how to leverage it effectively.

One of Google’s patents titled “Phrase-Based Indexing in an Information Retrieval System” gives us insights into how Google might consider phrases and their co-occurrences on pages for indexing and ranking purposes. In simple terms, the patent explains that Google identifies popular phrases or sets of words that appear together frequently. If these phrases appear more often than expected on a page, it could potentially impact the ranking of that page for specific searches related to those phrases.

For example, if you’re starting a blog about “sustainable farming practices,” keyword research could reveal that common phrases associated with this topic include “organic pesticides,” “crop rotation,” “water conservation,” and so forth. By creating quality content around these phrases, Google’s system might recognize your site as a potentially valuable resource for users interested in sustainable farming.

Here are the initial steps you can follow, considering Google’s patents in mind:

Brainstorm Key Topics: Start by identifying the main topics that are relevant to your website or business.

Identify Related Search Terms: Using SEO tools, find popular search terms related to your topics. Look for phrases that frequently appear together, considering Google’s phrase-based indexing.

Evaluate Keyword Relevance and Competition: Ensure that the keywords you target are not only frequently searched but also relevant to your content. Also, consider the competition for these keywords – some may be so widely used that ranking for them could be challenging.

Incorporate Keywords Naturally into Your Content: Use your selected keywords in your content naturally and contextually. Remember, Google values high-quality content that serves the user, not content that is overstuffed with keywords.

Monitor Keyword Performance: Regularly check how your content is ranking for your chosen keywords. This can help you adjust your strategy as needed.

By understanding how Google potentially uses keywords and phrases to rank content, you can ensure your keyword research is more targeted and effective.

Choosing the Right Keyword Research Tool

Choosing the right keyword research tool can be the difference between an effective SEO strategy and a less productive one. In the diverse and vibrant digital landscape of Malaysia, this decision becomes even more critical. The right tool should cater to your specific needs, fit within your budget, and offer insights that are relevant to your target audience in Malaysia.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a keyword research tool, tailored specifically for users in Malaysia:

1. Local Search Data: Malaysia has a multilingual population with English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil speakers, among others. Ensure the tool you choose provides local search data that caters to this linguistic diversity. For example, a keyword that is popular in English might not be as widely used in Malay.

2. Geographical Precision: A good tool will allow you to target your research to specific locations within Malaysia. This can be especially important if your business or content is intended for a particular state or city, like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, or Johor Bahru.

3. Mobile Search Data: According to a report by Datareportal, as of January 2021, over 88% of Malaysians were mobile internet users. It’s crucial to choose a tool that provides insights into mobile search trends, as these can differ significantly from desktop search trends.

4. Competitive Analysis: The digital market in Malaysia is highly competitive. Look for a tool that not only tells you what keywords are popular but also who your main competitors are for those keywords. This can provide valuable insight into the strategies of successful businesses and help you refine your own approach.

5. Ease of Use and Customer Support: As a novice, you’ll want a tool that’s user-friendly and provides robust customer support. This can be particularly helpful if you encounter any issues or need advice on how to get the most out of the tool.

By considering these factors, you can choose a keyword research tool that helps you effectively navigate the Malaysian digital landscape and connect with your target audience.

SEO Keyword Tools Perfect for Malaysia

Navigating the Malaysian market requires tools with specific features designed to cater to its unique characteristics. Here’s are a few tool that can support your SEO strategy in Malaysia:

Google Keyword Planner: Free to use with a Google Ads account, this tool provides insights directly from Google, the most used search engine. It can generate keyword ideas based on up to ten “seed” keywords, or from a website URL. While it doesn’t offer the same level of detail as some paid tools, it’s a good starting point for beginners and offers local search trends, which can be beneficial for targeting the Malaysian market.

SEMRush: This is a robust tool that offers a range of features, including keyword research, tracking, and competitor analysis. Its Keyword Magic Tool is particularly powerful, offering extensive keyword data for the Malaysian market, including volume, difficulty, and competition level.

Ahrefs: Known for its extensive backlink database, Ahrefs also offers a powerful keyword research tool called Keywords Explorer. This tool provides detailed keyword information, including search volume, difficulty score, and clicks data. Its extensive database can provide relevant keyword information for the Malaysian market.

SERanking: This comprehensive SEO software is known for its accuracy and ease of use. It includes keyword rank tracking, keyword suggestion tool, and competitor research, allowing you to identify the most effective keywords for the Malaysian market. The platform’s Keyword Grouper feature is particularly useful in grouping similar keywords, which can help you craft more targeted content. The tool supports multiple languages, making it an excellent choice for the multilingual Malaysian market.

Moz Keyword Explorer: This tool provides keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and a ‘keyword difficulty’ score. One unique feature is the ‘Priority’ score, which combines all the other metrics to help you prioritize your keywords.

Long Tail Pro: Specializing in finding long-tail keywords, this tool is excellent for uncovering less competitive keywords. It provides a keyword competitiveness score, helping to identify how hard it would be to rank for a specific keyword.

KWFinder: An easy-to-use keyword research tool that provides keyword difficulty score, search volume, and competitive data. It also offers a ‘Keyword not Provided’ workaround for Google Analytics.

Each of these tools offers unique features and benefits. Therefore, your choice should be influenced by your specific needs, budget, and the nature of your target audience within Malaysia. By combining a solid understanding of the Malaysian market with the right keyword research tool, you can design a highly effective SEO strategy.

understanding keywords and the how to conduct keywords research

Essential Tips for Effective Keyword Research in Malaysia

Now we know what keyword tool to use, let’s dive into how to make the most of our tool.

Conducting keyword research might feel like a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, by following a few key principles, you can ensure that your keyword research strategy yields successful results for your SEO efforts in Malaysia:

Understand Your Audience: Remember that your goal is to reach real people, not just search engines. Take the time to understand your target audience’s behavior, preferences, and language use. What are they interested in? What kind of questions might they have? How would they phrase their queries?

Think Local: In a diverse country like Malaysia, it’s essential to understand local trends and preferences. Tailor your keyword research to the local market, considering factors like language, regional interests, and local events. For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you might want to focus on keywords around popular local destinations like Langkawi, Penang, or even Kuala Kubu Bharu.

Consider Long-Tail Keywords: These are more specific, longer keyword phrases that visitors are likely to use when they’re closer to the point of purchase or when using voice search. They can be less competitive and more targeted than shorter, more common keywords. Larger brands often dominate common keywords, making it difficult for smaller brands or beginners to compete. One way to overcome this is by focusing on long-tail keywords or niches where competition might be lower.

Use Keyword Research Tools Effectively: Tools like SE Ranking, SEMRush, and Google Keyword Planner can provide invaluable insights into keyword popularity, competition, and trends. Use these tools to refine your keyword strategy and identify new opportunities.

Monitor and Adjust: SEO is a long-term strategy. Monitor your keyword performance over time and adjust your strategy as needed. Trends can change, and what works today might not work tomorrow.

Don’t Overdo use keywords: Remember, while keywords are important, they’re not everything. Avoid “keyword stuffing” and focus on creating valuable, high-quality content that serves your audience’s needs. Google’s algorithms are sophisticated and prioritize content that offers real value to users.

By following these tips, you can conduct effective keyword research that not only boosts your SEO but also helps you create content that resonates with your audience in Malaysia.

Advanced Keyword Research Strategies

Seasonal Keywords: Certain keywords gain popularity during specific times of the year due to seasonal trends or events. For example, during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri period in Malaysia, keywords related to ‘baju kurung’, ‘raya recipes’, or ‘Hari Raya greetings’ may see a surge in search volume. Incorporating these seasonal keywords in your content can help boost visibility during these periods.

Competitor Analysis: Advanced keyword research isn’t just about finding the right keywords; it’s also about understanding what your competitors are doing. Tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs can help you see what keywords your competitors are ranking for, giving you insights into their strategy and possibly inspiring new keyword ideas.

Semantic SEO: Instead of focusing on individual keywords, Semantic SEO involves optimizing for topics and user intent. 

Voice Search Optimization: With the rise of digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, more people are using voice search. These searches are usually longer and more conversational. Incorporating these long-tail keywords in your strategy can help you rank for voice searches.

International SEO: If your site is targeting audiences in different countries or languages, you’ll need to consider international SEO. This involves using hreflang tags to indicate the language and geographical targeting of a webpage, and localizing your content and keywords to suit different markets.

If you are still unsure and need help, feel free to reach out for our SEO services.

Nnabuike Precious
Nnabuike Precious

Nnabuike Precious is an SEO and Digital marketing enthusiast, with over 5 years of SEO experience servicing local and global companies.

I enjoy reading and learning new things. You can catch me video playing games on the weekends or up to some outdoor adventure.