Keyword Research – An Overview
Now that the internet dominates as the most popular way to seek out products or services, it’s critical to keep your company’s website easily accessible through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Most people never travel past the first few links available on page one of their search results, so staying competitive means ensuring that your website ranks high within those pages. Search engine optimization (SEO) supports the increase of web traffic by streamlining your website’s design and content in a way that improves its visibility in search engine results. A major component of SEO is keyword research and analysis.
This blog will outline:
1. Keyword research and its importance
2. How keyword research is done
3. Keyword research tools and how to use them
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research involves the discovery and study of the search terms that consumers use to find information, goods, and services. Put more simply, the idea behind keyword research is to determine which words and phrases potential customers type into search engines. During the process of keyword research, SEO professionals examine data that shows the average number of times specific keywords are searched, or the search volume, to help shape their marketing strategy. While the word “guitars” might produce thousands of searches, it’s not as precise as “where to find vintage electric guitars in South Florida.” Keywords in the form of phrases like these (known as long-tail keywords) are searched for less often, but the reduced competition makes them easier to rank for. And because of their specificity, long-tail keywords make website content easier to spot by people who are much more likely in the market for your business – unlike short-tail keywords, such as “guitars,” which are used for multiple purposes.
Another aspect of keyword research is learning the format of content most applicable to users’ wants. As you may have noticed yourself in everyday life, Google, the world’s most popular search engine, displays results differently based on the intentions behind searches. SEO company Moz recognizes five major categories of search intents: informational queries, like the name of the third president of the United States; navigational queries, like typing “Instagram” to reach the link to the websites’ homepage; transactional queries, like “download word processor”; commercial investigations, like “benefits of granite vs marble”; and local queries, like “barbershop near me.” By examining how the list of results appears, SEO professionals can tailor a website’s content to what users want.
Why Should You Do Keyword Research?
If your website content is lacking keywords that people actually search for, your traffic is sure to suffer. In fact, in a study of over one billion web-pages conducted by SEO company Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages didn’t receive any traffic from Google at all. Conducting solid research on relevant topics and keywords for website content is one of the best ways to avoid falling into that majority.
How is Keyword Research Done?
The first step of undertaking keyword research is establishing a website’s “seed” keywords, which usually are the products and services offered by a business. For example, a bakery’s seed keywords might be “bread” and “custom cakes.” More keywords are developed based on the ones that competitors are using. Depending on the desired approach to the competition, some may opt to use the same keywords competitors are already ranking for; others might focus on keywords that competitors aren’t prioritizing. SEO professionals use keyword research tools to find both the popularity of certain keywords and ideas for lesser-known and unique keywords.
Keyword Research Tools and How to Use Them
Keyword research tools populate new keywords based on a given seed keyword. To give an example, if you plug in our “custom cakes” seed keyword into a research tool, it might suggest keywords like “custom cakes delivery” and “custom cakes online.” New ideas for keywords can sprout from these suggestions, like “where can I find custom cakes delivery in St. Louis.”
Some examples of tools include:
5. Google Analytics
These tools will help you to identify where you should focus when conducting and implementing your keyword research. On top of helping you generate ideas for keywords and measuring search volume, they can also check search trends, keyword density (the percentage of instances of a keyword on a page in comparison to the page’s total word count), how competitive it is to rank for certain keyword searches, and how frequently each result is clicked.
Keyword research isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but what’s great about SEO and keyword research is that there are other options if a business owner doesn’t have the time and energy to allocate to extensive research. A great option is to outsource the heavy lifting. Choosing to consult with a team of SEO experts that can handle both the strategy and the day-to-day implementation is a win-win. Want to sit back and relax as efficient keywords transform and grow your business? Take the next step in your keyword research journey by contacting us here.
Now that you’ve learned about leveraging effective keyword research, feel free to browse through the rest of our blog for more info on other aspects of SEO. How about checking out our blog on Building a Great Internet Presence?