The importance of keyword research

Liam Fallen

The importance of Keyword research is an essential consideration for two reasons. The first is that it helps search engines rank your website for search terms related to your business. Secondly, it can increase your conversion rate by ensuring you’re are targeting the right keywords.

Keyword research can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re new to SEO or a small business just getting started in growing your online presence…. but it doesn’t have to be. This post will cover how to do keyword research with the right tools to help get you started and point you in the right direction.

What is “Keyword Research”?

Keyword research is the process of identifying keywords that your audience is searching for on Google and other search engines. It’s the first step in the search engine optimisation (SEO) process.

Some people call this part “keyword selection.”

This is a big part of SEO as it helps you to decide which keywords you should be targeting.

Your website needs to appear in search results for your audience to find you. And, if your audience can’t find you for your target keywords, you don’t exist for them.

This is why keyword research is essential for SEO.

If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, check out my beginner’s guide to SEO.

How to do Keyword Research?

Keyword research is an iterative process.

You’ll want to take a few steps in the beginning before you move on to the actual keyword research process. If you follow these steps, you’ll get great results.

One of the ways to get started is to analyse your competitor’s keywords; using competitor analysis tools can help you generate a list of keywords your potential customers are using to find your competitors products.

If you know your competitor’s main keywords, you can then move on to auditing the pages that are ranking highly for those and create a strategy to outrank them.

It’s imperative to note that you don’t always have to compete with your competitor’s main keywords, especially if they target broader terms with high traffic but low conversions, which would be a waste of time and resources.

You can also use free SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner, which is considered one of the best ways to find new opportunities.

Using Google keyword planner is also a great way to find long tail keywords to help you secure some organic traffic before you begin to target more competitive keywords.

One often overlooked approach is to use a search engine to find popular keywords in your niche, you can do this by searching for a broad keyword and then collecting opportunities from the people also ask section – if you’re using Google.

Google Search Console gives you an idea of where you’re ranking for particular terms and the estimated traffic these keywords are generating for you, which can be used to indicate which search terms you should focus on.

What are the benefits of keyword research?

There are multiple reasons why you would want to do keyword research.

Generally, It helps you understand what your audience is searching for in relation to your business and helps you discover trends and search terms related to your product or service.

Keyword research provides you with valuable information on your audience and their needs.

For example, it lets you know which keywords your audience is searching for to find your product or service, you can also see how competitive terms are and their search volume.

If you can find a keyword with low to medium competition and high search volume, you can create content related to that term and work on securing that position.

Another great tactic is to find long tail keywords with low to medium search volume, especially if you’re working on growing a new website.

How does keyword research work?

First, you should determine a topic/industry you want to research.

After you’ve done this, you can start to curate a list of keywords you believe are worth targeting.

Then, you can use free tools like Google Trends and Google Adwords to get an idea of keyword competition, potential traffic, and recent popularity.

You can also use premium SEO tools that specialise in finding lucrative SEO keywords like the AHREFS keyword explorer or Moz keyword explorer which can add further insights and metrics for each search term.

If your website is new, your initial approach should be to focus on longtail keywords, these might have lower traffic numbers, but they can be low competition and help generate some initial traffic.

This approach enables you to snowball your traffic whilst you begin to focus your efforts on your main keywords; they also serve as an opportunity to create an internal linking strategy to boost the pages you’re trying to rank for highly competitive keywords.

Once you’ve collected a list of keywords, you can now take your keywords and begin targeting them inside your content. When writing and publishing content, you should be aware of the keyword you’re targeting in that piece of content and how it fits into your keyword strategy.

This will help search engines understand your content and deliver it to the right audience.

How many times should you include the keyword you’re targeting?

Initially, don’t focus on your keywords when writing your content.

The content will be robotic, generic, add little value to the reader and give your technical SEO a headache.

Instead, write engaging content that pulls the reader in and provides as much value as possible without sounding like it was written only for search engines, which leads me to my next point.

Always write for people and never write for search engines, even if it means going a bit off-topic; your primary focus should be answering the user’s query, not satisfying search engines in the hope people read it. Please don’t overdo it; keep your keyword density in check.

People are primary. Search engines are secondary. Ensure you write natural and inviting content.

Once you’ve finished your initial draft, read through your content as if you were a user, be subjective and ask yourself if you were to read your content – would it answer the search query you are targeting?

When writing content, it’s essential to create a user persona; it helps you understand the type of person you’re writing for.

For example, if I was writing an article about startups, I might be writing for a founder.

If your keywords target a specific niche, who are your target audience, and why would they find your content interesting and engaging? What value are you providing them?

What happens if your content doesn’t rank for your target keywords?

This is far from the end of the world, you can still rank for other keywords, and the content will still be available to search engines; as long as your content is indexed, it will be available to the user. However, if your content isn’t getting any traffic and you don’t see any improvement in SERPs, it might be time to revisit it.

Editing and updating old content allows you to improve it and signals to search engines that you care about having fresh and updated content on your website. You might even find your content is ranking slightly higher for related keywords, in which case, you might benefit from refocusing your content towards that instead.

You mustn’t leave old content sitting on your website collecting dust; every page should provide some form of value to a user.

In conclusion, keyword research is an essential strategy that every company should utilise. It will help you understand your customers and better compete with other companies in your industry. Besides, keyword research can give you great ideas for your marketing campaign and content ideas!

As you can see, keyword research is an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy. You need to know your customers, what they want, what they say about particular brands, etc.

If your target audience is using a search engine, to search for related keywords to your products and services, you need to have a presence in search results. If you’re a new business and you’re getting started with your SEO strategy, I recommend focusing on long tail keywords, to begin with.