It’s tough to gain traction online. We know you’ve got a stellar offering. The question is: will your audience ever find it?

Type your product into Google’s search bar and what do you see? The top results, where your product should be. But even after endless scrolling, you’re nowhere to be found.

Sound familiar?

What if your customers type different phrases into Google to find the solution your brand offers? Without detailed, data-backed keyword research, you’ll stay in the dark.

Partnering with a top-3% digital marketing agency like HawkSEM for keyword research is the difference between:

  • Dominating the top SERP positions and getting lost in the digital ether
  • High-converting leads and browsing visitors
  • Brand awareness and authority versus being trumped by competitors
  • Long-term keyword search rankings and one-off peaks and plummets
  • Staggering 4.5X ROI versus wasted ad spend

Ready to make your business impossible to miss?
Learn more about our expert keyword research services.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves finding and analyzing search terms your target audience types into Google and other search engines to find your products or services. It’s a crucial fundamental of an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The right keywords help you rank higher on search engine results page (SERP), build brand awareness, and generate organic traffic to your website.

In other words? Keyword research puts you inside your customers’ minds.

You can also use keyword research to uncover which terms you and your competitors are currently ranking for in the SERP, and which ones you could rank for to reach a broader audience.

But it’s not as simple as finding popular terms the competition is targeting. You need a mix of long-tail and lower competition keywords you can have a better chance of ranking for.

All of this is part of a comprehensive and data-driven keyword research strategy. When done right, it puts your business on the digital map to welcome more valuable leads ready to take action.

How Does Keyword Research Benefit Your Marketing Program?

Over 90% of web pages don’t get any traffic from Google. Our keyword research puts you into that coveted 10% that does. It’s like opening a direct line of communication with your target audience. Without proper keyword research, you risk squandering your marketing budget on irrelevant keywords or ones that don’t convert.

High-impact keyword research helps you:

  • Find the right keywords to reach your audience
  • Build brand awareness and authority in your niche
  • Keep your content fresh, relevant, and updated
  • Target conversion-ready leads and potential customers
  • Identify topics that resonate with your audience
  • Discover competitors’ strengths and how to outshine them
  • Dodge keyword investments that don’t drive traffic or sales

Keyword research is the bedrock of a successful SEO strategy, delivering more web traffic, conversions, and audience engagement.

When Is the Right Time to Partner With an Agency for Keyword Research?

Does your marketing team have time to sift through thousands of words or phrases your audience types into Google? Do they have the expertise to navigate keyword research software and interpret metrics like difficulty, intent, volume, and how they fit into your overall strategy?

Here’s how it often unfolds:

  • A brand takes on keyword research solo, opting for a basic subscription to a keyword research tool or even a free one. Months go by, and still no results. It’s enough to pull your hair out.
  • But that’s not enough to sustain a revenue-generating, audience-attracting keyword strategy that perseveres across changing industry trends and audience interests.
  • Effective keyword research requires serious marketing expertise, competitive research, and dynamic SEO software. Plus, it takes an exorbitant amount of time to mold a strategy that generates–and maintains–rankings.
  • A digital marketing SEO agency handles all the tedious tasks associated with keyword research, from combing through endless keywords, scoping out the competition, and navigating the maze of data to build the most effective strategy for ideal results.

Beyond the data? They provide peace of mind, ensuring your investment pays off in the form of higher rankings, traffic, and conversions.

Hawksem: A Top-3% Digital Marketing Agency Specializing in Keyword Research and SEO

Our team of SEO experts is obsessed with rankings and results. With decades of combined experience propelling our clients to the top of the SERP, our specialized keyword research services are data-backed and time-tested.

We’ve ranked keywords for both large and small businesses across a myriad of industries, but some of our go-to’s include:

  • Finance

  • Education

  • SaaS

  • Ecommerce/retail

  • Travel

  • Data tech

  • Telecom

Don’t just take our word for it though. Look at our success story with MileIQ, a travel mileage logging app acquired by Microsoft. They craved more organic traffic, higher SERP rankings, and conversions.

We kicked off our strategy by analyzing MileIQ’s target audience to identify their most potent keyword opportunities. While long-tail keywords (specific, longer key phrases and sentences) make up most of online search queries, MileIQ’s long-tail choices still weren’t converting.

The issue? Fierce competition and low intent.

Turns out, MileIQ overlooked high-intent long-tail keywords aligned with their app’s services. As the solution, we optimized featured snippets to address those long-tail keyword queries right within the SERP.

The game-changing results? Nearly 4,000 new page-one keyword rankings and an incredible 125% increase in year-over-year traffic.

Check out MileIQ’s case study and witness the transformative power of partnering with HawkSEM.

Our Keyword Research Services

As a Google Premier Partner and top-3% digital marketing agency, we’re proud to deliver an average 4.5X ROI for our clients across our paid advertising and organic marketing services. Our 98% retention rate is a testament to our commitment to client success and the consistent results we deliver.
So, how do we use keyword research to generate ROI?

Here’s a play-by-play of our meticulous keyword research process, a vital component of our results-driven SEO services:

  1. Conduct keyword research and an SEO audit
  2. Dissect keyword analysis
  3. Build your keyword strategy
  4. Implement your keyword strategy
  5. Assess keyword reports
  6. Execute and evaluate


Conduct Keyword Research and an SEO Audit

Step one in our keyword research process is a deep dive into your existing keyword rankings. Which keywords do you rank for, and who are your competitors? With these insights, we determine where your keyword rankings fall short, and where they’re strong.

To pinpoint missing keyword opportunities, we start with simple Google searches to get the lay of the land and put ourselves in your audience’s shoes. Then, we use SEO software like Ahrefs and Semrush to identify untapped keyword opportunities. A detailed SEO audit assesses your website content and technical SEO for relevance, user experience, and optimization.


Dissect Keyword Analysis

Next, we dig deeper into individual keyword choices and options by analyzing crucial metrics. Keyword difficulty, competition, intent, and volume all help us assess which keywords have the most conversion potential. Then, we look to both SEO software and our own proprietary tech, ConversionIQ, to uncover missing links between keyword selection and performance insights.

Here are some of the metrics we consider:

Keyword difficulty

Keyword difficulty (KD) evaluates how difficult it would be for your brand to rank for a specific keyword. The higher the KD score, the tougher (or costlier) it is to secure a top spot. An experienced SEO agency can assess if it’s worth targeting high-KD keywords for your brand. There are situations where it’s worth targeting high-difficulty keywords, such as having:

  • Potential to bring qualified leads (high relevance and transactional intent)
  • A large enough budget for a solid content and backlinking strategy
  • Well-established niche authority
  • A high domain authority
Search intent

Search intent describes the motivations behind a person’s search, which generally fall into four categories:

  • Informational (seeking knowledge)
  • Navigational (seeking a specific website)
  • Commercial (seeking info before a purchase)
  • Transactional (ready to buy)

Keywords with high intent indicate users with transactional intent, making them prime candidates for conversion.

Search volume

Wondering about the popularity of a particular term? Search volume reveals how many people type it into a search engine like Google or Bing. While higher search volume suggests a larger potential audience, keywords with low search volume can still be worth targeting if they have a transactional search intent.


Build Your Keyword Strategy

Armed with insights about your keyword landscape, we strategize a plan to improve your rankings and keyword choices. We usually include a keyword strategy within a grander SEO strategy, encompassing other tasks and goals for your web elements, layout, and content.

The core of your keyword strategy includes:

  • Potential to bring qualified leads (high relevance and transactional intent)
  • A large enough budget for a solid content and backlinking strategy
  • Well-established niche authority
  • A high domain authority


Implement Your Keyword Strategy

With research and planning complete, it’s time to activate all those keyword insights. Our skilled SEO strategists will optimize existing content to better promote keyword rankings and create fresh content for new keyword goals. This means strategically incorporating keywords into metadata, content bodies, titles, and ad copy.

Of course, a keyword strategy works best with an overall SEO and content strategy.


Assess Keyword Reports

No SEO strategy sustains without ongoing performance analysis. We use your original keyword audit as a baseline, comparing it with monthly and quarterly results. For instance, this can include A/B testing to see which keywords and topic clusters convert most. The best part? All our clients can access keyword reports and performance insights through ConversionIQ’s user-friendly dashboards.


Execute and Evaluate

As a busy marketer, it’s practically impossible to keep tabs on every keyword in your digital marketing strategy. But as a HawkSEM client, you’ll have your very own dedicated account manager. Their main focus is to maintain those results you’ve worked so hard to achieve, while continuously fine-tuning your marketing strategy with the latest keyword research.

In other words? Rest easy knowing your keywords are ranking and your audience has eyes on your products.

The Keyword Research Deliverables

We blend data-backed insights, industry trends, and decades of digital marketing experience to deliver unparalleled results to our clients. When it comes to keyword research, here’s what you can expect after partnering with us:

  • Meticulous keyword analysis and strategy
  • Page title and meta description optimization
  • Competitor keyword analysis
  • Keyword metric and performance reports
  • Sky-high keyword rankings

Other SEO Service Deliverables

Why stop at keyword research? HawkSEM’s holistic SEO approach covers every aspect of your digital marketing profile to unlock a more prominent web presence.

Our SEO service deliverables include both on-page and technical SEO:

  • Content marketing, strategy, and production
  • Strategic link building
  • Keyword analysis and strategy
  • Google Search Console and analytics setup
  • Organic traffic goal assessment
  • Thorough competitor analysis
  • Page speed analysis
  • 404 error identification, resolution, and redirects
  • Site architecture analysis
  • Algorithm impact analysis and resolution
  • Technical issue resolutions (broken links, missing metadata, broken images, etc.)

All these deliverables translate to a high-authority web presence that brings in web traffic and leads daily.
Learn more about our SEO services.

Keyword Research Service Pricing: What to Expect

So, how much should you pay for keyword research? Fair question.

The pricing models vary by service provider, industry, competitive landscape, and SEO goals. Here’s a quick look at different pricing methods for keyword research:

  • Software Pricing

    Google’s keyword planner is a free tool for finding relevant keywords and estimating bid costs for your PPC ads. However, for SEO campaigns, we recommend more robust software like Semrush or Ahrefs. These specialized SEO solutions do more than identify keyword opportunities; they also assess and analyze keywords based on volume, difficulty, competition, and other key metrics.

    Semrush pricing ranges from $129 to $499 monthly, while Afrefs’ ranges from $99 to $999.

    Our skilled SEO strategists harness insights from our premium subscriptions to these software solutions. But the difference between a brand using these tools versus an experienced digital marketing agency is significant.

    Industry expertise equips us with the juice to turn these insights into actionable strategies. Too often, we see brands using basic subscriptions miss out on important features and insights that demand a pro touch to fully leverage.

  • Freelance Marketplaces

    On marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork, you’ll find plenty of independent keyword research specialists. Pricing can be quite affordable on these sites, as the vast marketplace allows for competitive rates from global providers. Hourly rates can range from $5 to $50, with some freelancers charging up to $100 hourly for their expertise.

    But be vigilant: one person can’t always deliver the same comprehensive results as an agency in such a short time. You’re also competing for their attention with many other clients. That’s why we always recommend a reputable agency with proven results—the pricing might be higher, but the ROI pays off.

  • SEO agency

    Ahrefs found that most SEO agencies charge between $75 to $100 per hour. These rates typically cover a range of SEO services, including keyword research and strategy.

    Our take? Hourly billing doesn’t give you the best return. SEO and keyword rankings take time to show results, and paying by the hour can feel like you’re being charged to wait.

  • Best Choice: Project-based

    Project-based keyword research services from an agency range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 per project. Is this steeper than the hourly or software prices above? Sure, but project-based pricing promises the most important thing: results and rankings.

    We’ll meet one-on-one to discuss your SEO and keyword ranking goals. From there, we tailor a bespoke strategy to help you reach those targets. We handle the software subscriptions, labor, and expertise. Meaning? You can focus on other tasks while we get the SEO machine running at full capacity.

    Sit back and revel in supreme rankings and increased revenue without any of the hassle.

The Bottom Line

Every day, Google processes over 8.5 billion searches. Within those searches are specific keywords and phrases linking your brand’s products and services to your audience. Keyword research remains a top SEO priority to generate traffic and get you the rankings and revenue you deserve.

We know how much time you’ve put into your business, but without solid keyword research and an SEO strategy? All that effort could be in vain. To stay ahead of Google’s ever-shifting algorithms and truly connect with your audience, investing in keyword research services from a top SEO agency is your ticket to lasting rankings.

HawkSEM’s SEO strategists and PPC experts are at your beck and call, working tirelessly to identify keyword opportunities that make your website the hottest destination for your conversion-ready audience. Our keyword research ensures they choose you over your competitors with every click.

It’s time to secure your rightful spot on the SERP. First order of business? A powerhouse keyword research strategy that works like a magnet to attract your target audience. We’re ready when you are.

Keyword Research Service FAQs

  • How do I find the best keywords to reach my audience?

    You can use a few strategies like manual keyword research on Google, competitor analysis, and audience research. Additionally, keyword analysis of metrics like volume, intent, and difficulty can help you narrow down specific keywords that are most likely to generate conversions. Specialized SEO software like Semrush or Ahrefs can show you keyword ideas and accompanying metrics.

  • How long does keyword research take?

    Initial research, like assessing your competitive landscape and potential keywords, can be done in just a few days. However, the best keyword research is backed by data. You’ll need to assess keyword data and metrics, conduct A/B testing, and refine your strategy over time. This can span several months, with organic results taking up to a year to realize on the SERP. But without a strategy? It can take even longer, which is why we recommend recruiting qualified keyword research services to set you up for success.

  • How much does keyword research cost?

    High-quality keyword research services from an agency can cost anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 per project. This investment often includes a tailored content strategy to promote your keywords. Small businesses can hire a freelance SEO as a more affordable option, but it may take longer to find a qualified professional with proven expertise and results. Another option is to pay an agency hourly, which can cost $50-$100 per hour, and doesn’t necessarily promise results.

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No BS, just results. Average clients see a 4.5x ROI

  • Dramatically improve ROI
  • Outperform the competition
  • Increase conversion volume
  • Better track ROI
  • Reduce cost per acquisition
  • Improve lead quality