Andrew Raso February 2, 2023

When you want to succeed in online marketing and get as many visitors to your site as possible, you need to delve into the technicalities. One area you need to master is keyword research, but what is this, and what is the best way to do keyword research for your business?

What is keyword research?

When you perform keyword research, you uncover and analyse search terms (composed of one or more words) that people use when hunting for solutions. The consumer enters these terms into a search engine query box to find answers, and the business can use the results of this research for SEO purposes.

Keyword research tools can show the popularity of each query, tell you how difficult it may be to rank for such terms and even give you some marketing ideas. When you master keyword research, you’ll reach more of your audience as they conduct their searches and gain more traffic to your online assets.

Why is keyword research important for SEO?

If you run a business, you need to identify the keywords that relate to your products or services. In other words, you need to know what phrases a potential customer will use online as they raise a question that your company could answer. Keyword research is a vital first step for all marketers as they create new content, structure their web pages and focus on search engine optimisation.

The following are some of the many reasons why keyword research is so important for SEO:

It helps you find what people are searching for

In its most basic form, keyword research for your website will tell you what people are searching for online in your niche. This will give you vital information to create content that will address search queries. You will want to create content targeting the keywords people use to find information online. Crucially, you won’t waste time creating content that does not address what your target audience is interested in.

You can also use the results when researching keywords to help you create new business ideas. For example, you may have overlooked a certain opportunity or may be able to develop new products and services to address a need that a smaller segment of your market may be looking for. The research will tell you how many people are searching for that specific term and what level of competition you may face.

It shows you how people are searching

Many business owners make assumptions before they conduct any meaningful keyword research. They may have a broad idea of their target keywords and believe they can create a relevant marketing campaign around them. However, such assumptions can sometimes lead you down the wrong path.

Consumers may not think the same way you do and may enter different terms into that search box. It may even be more advantageous for you to pursue a slightly different keyword based on their search intent.

Some people may use localism or even slang, which will effectively lead them to the same answer. You may miss a significant opportunity if you don’t target those ‘offbeat’ keywords. Also, people may often use various questions that create different keyword opportunities.

Uncovering these questions from advanced keyword research may inspire you to write content or create new products or services that cater to those specific questions.

It helps you understand the user journey

Understanding the importance of keywords in research is essential to find out where each consumer is on their journey. Most people will follow a path like this:

  • They have little or no awareness of your product or may be unaware that they even have a problem.
  • They may have identified a problem and are now looking for a solution.
  • They may have gathered the information and are getting close to a purchase decision.
  • They are urgently seeking a solution and want to buy now.

You may need to create content, including individual web pages that cater to a prospect at each stage of this journey. After all, they will likely use a different type of keyword depending on where they are. Sometimes these keywords will seek information, and sometimes they may be transactional. Transactional keywords contain specific words as part of the phrase, indicating that they are potentially interested in buying.

You should also understand the other types of keywords, such as navigational (where they are looking to find a specific website or page) or commercial (where they are looking for a particular brand of service).

It can improve your website performance

If you want your site to improve in rankings, you need to show the search engines that your site is relevant, competent and suitable. As part of this process, you need to focus on the correct keywords so that Google (and the other engines) can better understand your website.

Search engines use robots and other tools to crawl your site and gather information, including your use of keywords. The more accurate you are as you choose these words, the more visible your site will be and the more traffic you are likely to get. As such, you’ll be able to improve your website performance and boost your bottom line.

It can help you create great content

Search engines also put a lot of emphasis on content, especially if it is relevant and fresh. You’re less likely to rank for your site if you do not update your content regularly and ensure that it is of potential interest to your prospects. The best way to use keyword research is as content inspiration.

The deeper the research, the more complex keywords you’ll uncover, leading to different questions you can answer with targeted content. In other words, you can find things to write about that you may not have thought about before.

It shows you the competitive landscape

How many businesses already rank for a particular keyword? How much effort should you put in if you want to compete against them? Keyword research gives you a clear picture of your competition. Some keywords will have more competition than others, and you have to make a judgement call regarding how much effort you will put in to try and rank. In some cases, it may be relatively easy for you to move up in the rankings, while in others, it may be better for you to concentrate resources elsewhere.

When you map out the competitive landscape and develop a plan, your aim should be to grow your presence and assume a more significant share of the conversation.

It helps you build out your value proposition

When you develop an advanced keyword research campaign and act on the findings, you’re more likely to be many steps ahead of most of your competition. However, crucially, you may also uncover some opportunities that neither you nor your competition may have thought about before.

These competitors may not currently market to a certain sector or have products and services that can satisfy a more niche demand. This could be your opportunity to capitalise on it and build out your value proposition.

Some other keyword research tips

There are also different types of keywords, referred to as ‘short-tail’ and ‘long-tail.’ The latter type will typically have several words and refer to a topic in more detail, while the former is a much more specific search. Think “floating type disc brake” versus “disc brake.”

Why do keyword research that’s platform-specific?

You may also need to tailor your approach to keyword research depending on where you want to use those keywords. Here, you need to understand the difference between SEO keyword research, paid KWR and other types.

SEO KWR

You will need a different approach when searching for keywords for an SEO strategy, to improve your organic reach. Here, it’s all about search intent and understanding what terms the consumer will use at various stages of their journey. With organic SEO, you can use a wide variety of short and long-tail keywords.

Paid KWR (Google Ads or Facebook Ads)

The approach will be quite different if you want to use these keywords as part of a paid advertising campaign, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. With paid advertising, you must choose specific keywords to draw clients and traffic directly to your site. In this case, you will need to pay every time someone clicks on your ad and cannot afford to be too general or unfocused regarding your choice of keywords. Your research must also tell you how much it’s likely to cost to get a click to your site so that you can budget accordingly.

YouTube Ads KWR

Further, the approach may be different when working with YouTube. Here, the person is more likely to use this medium to fine-tune their potential choice of product or service. They may be looking for education rather than searching for something less specific. As the algorithms within this platform will differ, you may need to use keywords that you might not use for Google Ads.

Understanding why keyword research is important

You can now see the importance of keyword research.

  • It helps you to understand your market and dig into the wants and needs of your prospects.
  • You can adjust your products or services accordingly and add additional offerings based on the results of your research.
  • With advanced keyword research, you can also develop solutions that your competitors may never have thought about, giving you a significant advantage in the marketplace.

Getting help with your keyword research

Now that you can see why keyword research is so important, let the experts help you meet your goals. Reach out to Online Marketing Gurus today for an initial consultation.

About the Author

Andrew Raso

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