What is Keyword Research?

Keywords are at the foundation of an SEO campaign and this makes keyword research one of the most important components of SEO. People search using specific keywords or keyword phrases (also called key phrases) that summarize what they are looking for more information on. The search engines determine the relevance of a website based on the words or phrases that are included within the content and then rank websites accordingly. This is why it’s so important to include relevant keywords within the website content that you create so that it can be found easily in the search engines.

In order to determine what the correct keywords are for your website and your SEO campaign, it requires keyword research. You will need to have an understanding of how your target audience thinks and how they search for the products or services that you provide. You never want to just assume that you know how target audience members are searching. Often the owner of a website is so “close” to the product or service that they often use different terminology than outsiders (potential clients or customers).

The first step of the keyword research process involves looking at website analytics (if they are set up) to see which keywords are already bringing targeted visitors to the website and which keywords have the highest conversion rate. This serves as a reference and a starting point.

The next step is to use a trusted keyword research tool like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The proper way to conduct keyword research is to go through the website page by page and brainstorm potential keywords. Using the Keyword Tool, plug in these keywords generate a list of relevant keywords that best reflect the content and goals of that individual page. The best keywords to target aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest search volume because those are also often the most competitive. It’s recommended to target a mix of broad, mid-range and long-tail keywords.

Keyword research also involves analyzing the keywords that are targeted on top competitors’ sites and determining what frequency they are used which could identify some keyword opportunities to capitalize on.

If your website is targeting a local market it is recommended to conduct keyword research on a national level first since people primarily search for local businesses the same way and then localize the keywords later using local terms that include the city, town, neighborhood, etc.

Keywords are at the foundation of an SEO campaign and this makes keyword research one of the most important components. People search using specific keywords or keyword phrases (also called key phrases) that summarize what they are looking for more information on. The search engines determine the relevance of a website based on the words or phrases that are included within the content and then rank websites accordingly. This is why it’s so important to include relevant keywords within the website content that you create so that it can be found easily in the search engines.

In order to determine what the correct keywords are for your website and your SEO campaign, it requires keyword research. You will need to have an understanding of how your target audience thinks and how they search for the products or services that you provide. You never want to just assume that you know how target audience members are searching. Often the owner of a website is so “close” to the product or service that they often use different terminology than outsiders (potential clients or customers).

The first step of the keyword research process involves looking at website analytics (if they are set up) to see which keywords are already bringing targeted visitors to the website and which keywords have the highest conversion rate. This serves as a reference and a starting point.

The next step is to use a trusted keyword research tool like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The proper way to conduct keyword research is to go through the website page by page and brainstorm potential keywords. Using the Keyword Tool, plug in these keywords generate a list of relevant keywords that best reflect the content and goals of that individual page. The best keywords to target aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest search volume because those are also often the most competitive. It’s recommended to target a mix of broad, mid-range and long-tail keywords.

Keyword research also involves analyzing the keywords that are targeted on top competitors’ sites and determining what frequency they are used which could identify some keyword opportunities to capitalize on.

If your website is targeting a local market it is recommended to conduct keyword research on a national level first since people primarily search for local businesses the same way and then localize the keywords later using local terms that include the city, town, neighborhood, etc.


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