Keyword research is the foundation of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. By focusing your content around specific keywords and topics, keyword research helps you show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) and connect your target audience to your site.
What are Keywords?
In SEO, keywords are simply words or phrases that people type into a search engine to find information on the desired topic. Conducting effective keyword research enables you to choose the most relevant keywords for your target audience. By understanding search data, you will gain a better understanding of who your customers are, what they are searching for, the size of your target audience and their goals.
2 Main Types of Keywords
There are two main types of keywords: short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords consist of 3 or more words that can be more targeted than a simple one or two-word search. Since they are longer and more descriptive, they also have less competition, are easier to rank for, and help focus your SEO strategy.
For instance, while the keyword "brown shoes" may have a higher search volume, you should focus your keyword strategy on specific key phrases, such as "men's brown Chelsea boots." This will attract customers who are looking for exactly the product and service that you offer.
Why is Keyword Research More Important?
Simply put, if you don’t know which keyword you want to rank for on SERPs, you won’t be able to optimize your website pages, image, and content to draw in your target audience.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in SEO is trying to rank for anything and everything. Instead of stuffing your website with random keywords, be strategic and specific with your keyword choices and the content that supports it. This will help ensure that you get quality traffic, and in turn, quality leads. Wrong keywords will only misguide users, increase your bounce rates, and decrease your overall rankings in SERPs.
Keyword Research Tools
There are many keyword research tools that you can use to define your SEO strategy. Some of the more popular ones include Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush Keyword Magic tool. They provide average monthly search volumes for specific terms, as well as give suggestions on similar keywords. You can also break down search volume and competition based on geography.
Remember: Be specific in the keywords you choose to attract valuable searchers that are more likely to make a conversion.