The first step of an SEO campaign is to conduct keyword research using a tool such as the Google Keyword Research Tool. Conducting keyword research is essential in order to determine how potential customers or clients are searching for the products or services that you provide. Keywords lay the entire foundation of an SEO campaign so it’s important to make sure that you are targeting the correct words and phrases. Targeting the wrong words or phrases can result in driving the wrong kind of visitor to your site, a visitor that will bounce quickly without taking any action or converting.
It’s necessary to conduct keyword research page by page of the website since each page should serve a different purpose, and thus target different keywords. Before using the Google Keyword Research Tool, brainstorm a list of potential keywords to target on the page, look at analytics to see what keywords are currently generating traffic to the site, and look at what keywords competitors are targeting.
The Google Keyword Research Tool is fairly easy to use and is a free resource. Simply insert a potential keyword and hit “search”. The Google Keyword Research Tool will then generate a list of up to 100 keywords that it deems relevant to the keyword that you searched for. It includes information such as the competition for that keyword (High, Medium, or Low), the number of Global Monthly searches, and the number of Local Monthly searches (within the U.S.).
The Google Keyword Tool also allows you to include and exclude specific terms that you don’t think are relevant. There are three different kinds of match types that you can select. The first is “broad”. Searching by “broad” search type means that it includes the sum of the search volumes for the keyword, related grammatical forms, synonyms, and related words. “Exact” match type provides the search volume for that specific keyword and close variants. “Phrase” match type provides the sum of search volumes that include the whole phrase or near variants of the whole phrase. The correct search type to use depends on the purpose of your keyword research. Researching keywords for an SEO campaign may differ from researching keywords for a PPC campaign.
Once the Google Keyword Research Tool generates a list of potential keywords, it is necessary to scrub the keyword list and create your own list of keywords that are worth targeting on the page. Just because the Google Keyword Tool suggests a keyword, it doesn’t mean that it is the perfect fit for your website or SEO strategy.