The Importance of Keyword Research For SEO
The phrase ‘Keyword Research’ is often thrown about by search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists, and throughout the digital marketing industry as a whole, but do you actually know what the process involves or the impact it can have on your online marketing strategy?
When considering online marketing, keyword research is a fundamental part of the process that results in the development of a successful SEO strategy. Although vital, it can seem like a daunting and often difficult process during the initial stages when trying to determine suitable keywords to focus your attention and resources on.
That is why we have decided to create a quick guide to help you understand the keyword research process. Throughout this guide, we’ll give you an insight into what the process entails, and what tools you can utilise to ensure your online marketing strategy is successful and your business thrives online.
What is a Keyword?
Keywords are also referred to as ‘search terms’ or ‘search queries’ are words or phrases that are entered into search engines to help users find specific information online. These keywords could be ideas or topics that clearly define what your information is about.
You want the keywords on your page to be as relevant to what people are searching for, without the copy becoming spammy. This will ensure that people have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
Why Do I Need to Conduct Keyword Research?
There are many benefits to carrying out keyword research, the most important is that search engines, and therefore potential customers, depend on these key terms in order to find your website.
At first it can seem like a daunting and difficult process trying to determine suitable keywords to focus on. However, if you invest time and correctly target your keywords you can reap the benefits with an improved search engine performance that results in an increase in organic traffic to your site.
When Should I Carry Out Keyword Research?
Over the years, we have seen businesses continually making the mistake of delaying their keyword research. After investing the time, effort and money into creating a great website, only to realise that they forgot to consider or understand their audience and how they search for products and services.
Taking this into consideration, keyword research should always be conducted at the very beginning of the website build process. In carrying out this process at the start, you are laying a successful foundation for your company's online marketing.
It is worth noting that carrying out keyword research is not a one-off task. As trends come and go, so do your customers’ buying habits and what and how they search for differs. You should continually monitor current and potential keyword phrases to ensure you are not missing out on opportunities to drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
How Do I Carry Out Keyword Research?
Although keyword research can seem daunting you are not alone, there are an abundance of tools available online to help you effectively conduct your keyword research. Through our years of experience we have been able to compile a list for you which highlights a few of our favourite tools that you can use to improve your keyword research;
Google Keyword Planner
We will start with our personal favourite. The Google Keyword Planner is a fantastic free tool that is a very simple to use and gives you all the information you need to choose the correct keywords that specific to your company's requirements in a matter of seconds. It enables you to not only see how your specified keywords would potentially perform based on your location but also recommends a range of related keywords which also could perform well.
Keyword Spy is another tool that gets great reviews. Although there is a premium version, you can get most of the information you require through their free functions. Keyword Spy can be useful as it allows you to see how much your competitors are spending and on what specific terms.
SEMrush is also a premium service however has many free functions. The best thing about SEMrush is that it allows you to see how many times your keyword has been used on other sites. This gives you an indication of how competitive the market is currently and how you will perform with that specific term.
Moz also has a fantastic keyword planner tool which can be used to utilise your search for high quality keywords. Although Moz Keywords is a premium service it has multiple functions in the one serivce including search volume, SERP competition and query ideas. Moz can give you insight into 4 areas for each specific keyword: volume,difficulty, opportunity and potential.
Some people may overlook Google Trends initially as a keyword planner tool however it is a great tool that you can use in addition to see what,where and how people are searching for things online. Google Trends allows you to see what specific terms people are searching for and how the volume varies throughout the year.
How Do I Choose the Correct Keywords?
Each keyword will have its own designated ‘volume’. This volume determines how frequently users search for this word or phrase. We recommend that whilst carrying out your keyword research you keep in mind the level of intent that each keyword carries.
You may have an idea in your head of a keyword, or series of keywords, that you believe perfectly suits your product or industry. However, this may not be what your potential customers are searching for. Be prepared to have your pre-conceived ideas challenged by the results of your research.
Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords
Similar to the business world, keywords are competitive. You may find dozens, hundreds, or thousands of businesses like yours competing for the same keywords. There are two different types of keywords that you can focus on that vary drastically in volume;
Short Tail Keywords
These phrases contain less than three words. We recommend that you do not focus your all of your attention on short tail phrases as they tend to be visitors with lower intent and are highly competitive therefore it is less easy to rank highly for them.
Long Tail Keywords
These are more specific phrases which are longer than three words. These keywords are more specific to your organisation and niche which means that there is less search volume and competition which allows you the opportunity to perform well. Although long tail phrases will lead to less page visits the visitors will be high quality and more likely to convert to leads.
The difficulty many companies face is finding the correct balance of finding terms with high search volumes, high levels of intent and low competition. Our advice is for you to focus on longer specific phrases as it is likely that you will reaching customers who are likely to be nearing the end of their buying cycle which is more likely to result in positive leads.
Keep In Mind
Although keyword research may seem a daunting prospect, it is important that you invest time into carrying it out. If you do not have the time initially required to carry out keyword research then you can always outsource. We understand how busy you are and would gladly take some of the pressure off you. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.