What is Keyword Research and Why Should You be Doing It?

What is Keyword Research? social definition

What are Keywords?

We hear the term all the time, but for those that are in any doubt, let’s define what keywords are.

Keywords are words or phrases that are used to describe the content or subject of a piece of text, such as a website or document. They are often used by search engines to index and categorise online content, making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.

Using the right keywords is important because it helps to ensure that your content will be seen by the people who are looking for it. When people search for something using a search engine, the search engine will look for websites or documents that contain the keywords that the person has entered. If your website or document contains those keywords, then it is more likely to show up in the search results (if your website or content has been indexed by the search engine). Therefore, using the right keywords is so important: it makes it more likely that your content will be seen by the people who are looking for it.

It’s also important to note that keyword stuffing, or overusing keywords in your text will be counterproductive. Search engine can penalise or exclude your site if they see this. So, it’s important to use keywords naturally in your text and not try to overdo things to try and gain attention.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of identifying words and phrases that people are using to search for a particular topic or product online. This information is then used to optimise websites and other online content to make them more visible in search engine results for those specific keywords. The process of keyword research typically includes the following steps:

  • Identifying seed keywords: This is the starting point of your research; you can use your own knowledge of your business or product to come up with a list of keywords that are related to your topic or product.
  • Analysing search volume: Once you have a list of seed keywords, you will want to find out how often they are being searched for. You can use tools like SEMrush Keyword Overview or Google Keyword Planner to see the average monthly search volume for each keyword.
  • Identifying related keywords: After you have a list of seed keywords, you will want to find out what other keywords people are using to find similar products or information. Again, you can use tools like SEMrush to see what other keywords are related to your seed keywords.
  • Analysing competition: Once you have a list of related keywords, you will want to find out how competitive each keyword is. You can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to see how many other websites are using each keyword, and what their search engine ranking is.
  • Making your selections: After completing all the above steps, you can select the most relevant, low competition, high search volume keywords to use in your content, website, and other promotions

The goal of keyword research is to identify keywords that are relevant to your business or product, and that are being searched for frequently. By optimising your website or online content for these keywords, you can increase the visibility of your website in search engine results and drive more traffic to your site.

It sounds simple enough now you understand the basic principles of keyword research, but there’s a lot more to consider if you really want your keywords to work for you.

Why is Keyword Research Important as Part of Your SEO?

Keyword research is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) because it helps you understand what people are searching for online and how they are searching for it. This information can then be used to optimise your website and other online content so that it is more likely to show up in search engine results for those specific keywords.

By identifying and targeting the right keywords, you can ensure that your website is visible to people who are looking for the products or services that you offer. This can result in an increase in website traffic and more potential customers for your business.

Moreover, by researching keywords, you can also identify new opportunities for content and products, which can help to expand your online presence and attract even more customers.

Additionally, Search engines use the keywords on your website to understand the context of your content and decide how relevant it is to a user’s search query. When you choose relevant keywords, you make it easier for the search engines to understand your content and how it may be helpful to users.

Keyword research is important for SEO because it helps you understand what people are searching for, and it helps you optimise your website and other online content so that it is more likely to show up in search engine results for those specific keywords. This can lead to an increase in website traffic and more potential customers for your business.

Keyword research can be valuable in several ways:

  • Revealing audience insights: By researching the keywords that people are using to find products or services related to your business, you can gain a better understanding of the needs and interests of your target audience. This information can help you to create content that is more relevant and engaging for your target audience, which can help to increase website traffic and improve engagement.
  • Increasing organic traffic: By optimising your website and online content for the keywords that people are using to find products or services related to your business, you can increase the visibility of your website in search engine results. This can lead to an increase in organic traffic, as more people will be able to find your website when they search for keywords related to your business.
  • Improving SERP ranking: Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and authority of a website. By targeting relevant keywords, you can help search engines understand the context of your website, which can improve your search engine rankings.
  • Gaining customers: By increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results and providing relevant and engaging content, you can attract more potential customers to your website. This can lead to an increase in conversions, such as sales or leads, and ultimately can help you to grow your customer base.

In summary, keyword research is a valuable tool for understanding your audience, increasing website traffic, improving search engine rankings, and ultimately growing your customer base. By identifying and targeting the right keywords, you can optimise your website and online content to attract more potential customers and improve your online performance.

Building Your SEO Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is the first step in building an SEO keyword strategy. It helps you to identify the keywords that are most relevant to your business and that are being searched for frequently. This information can then be used to optimise your website and other online content so that it is more likely to show up in search engine results for those specific keywords.

An SEO keyword strategy typically contains the following elements:

  1. Primary keywords: These are the keywords that are most relevant to your business and that are being searched for most frequently. They should be used in the content of your website, in meta tags, and in anchor text to help search engines understand the context of your website.
  2. Secondary keywords: These are keywords that are related to your primary keywords but are searched for less frequently. They can be used to create additional content on your website or in blog posts, to target long-tail search queries.
  3. Long-tail keywords: These are longer phrases that are more specific and less common than primary keywords. They generally have lower search volume, but they are often more targeted, with a higher conversion rate when compared to primary keywords.
  4. Negative keywords: These are keywords that you don’t want to show up for. It could be that it does not relate to your business, or maybe it’s a broad term that doesn’t fit your product or service.
  5. Analysing Keywords performance: monitoring and tracking the performance of your keywords will give you insights on what keywords are working, what’s not working and what adjustments you need to make.
  6. Continuously updating: Keyword research should be an ongoing process as search habits and preferences changes over time. Continuously updating your keyword strategy will keep your content and website relevant.

By including all these elements in your SEO keyword strategy, you can ensure that your website is optimised for the keywords that are most relevant to your business and that are being searched for frequently. This can help to increase the visibility of your website in search engine results and drive more traffic to your site. Additionally, by optimising your website for a variety of keywords, you can target a broader range of search queries and attract a wider audience.

Are There Any Additional Keyword Considerations?

When researching keywords, there are several factors that you should consider:

  1. Search volume: This refers to the number of times a keyword is being searched for in a given period. This is an important factor to consider as it will give you an idea of the potential traffic that a keyword could bring to your website.
  2. Keyword difficulty: This refers to how hard it is to rank for a specific keyword. This is determined by analysing the competition for a keyword, looking at the strength and authority of the websites that are currently ranking for that keyword.
  3. Search intent: This refers to the reason why people are searching for a particular keyword. The intent can be informational, navigational, or transactional. Knowing the intent of the keyword will help you to create content that meets the user’s needs and improve user experience.
  4. Commercial intent: Some keywords might indicate a higher potential for a sale or conversion. It’s good to consider when creating your strategy.
  5. Seasonality: Some keywords may experience a surge in search volume during certain periods of the year. For example, “Christmas gifts” will have a higher search volume during the holiday season. It’s important to note these trends when planning your campaigns.
  6. Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are phrases that are made up of three or more words, they tend to be more specific and less common. They generally have lower search volume, but they are often more targeted, with a higher conversion rate.
  7. Relevance: It’s important to choose keywords that are relevant to your product, service, or industry to make sure that you are targeting the right audience.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about which keywords to target, and how to optimise your website and content to rank well for those keywords.

It’s also important to note that the data you get from keyword research should be a guide, and not the only decision-making factor. You should also consider your business goals and consider other factors such as the competition and the level of investment you are willing to make.

Should You be Carrying Out Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a valuable tool for understanding your audience and creating an effective SEO strategy.

The benefits of keyword research speak for themselves:

  • Identifying the keywords that are most relevant to your business and that are being searched for frequently, allowing you to optimise your website and other online content for those specific keywords, increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results and driving more traffic to your site.
  • To understand the needs and interests of your target audience, which can help you create content that is more relevant and engaging for your target audience, increasing website traffic, and improving engagement.
  • Improving your website’s search engine rankings, by providing context to search engines on what your website or online content is about.
  • Gaining customers, by increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results and providing relevant and engaging content.
  • Identifying new opportunities for content and products, helping to expand your online presence and attract even more customers.
  • Monitoring and tracking the performance of your keywords, giving you insights on what keywords are working and what adjustments you need to make.
  • Continuously updating your keyword strategy will keep your content and website relevant.

So, in summary, keyword research is an important part of building an effective SEO strategy, as it helps you to identify the keywords that are most relevant to your business and that are being searched for frequently, allowing you to optimise your website and other online content for those specific keywords, increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results and driving more traffic to your site. Additionally, keyword research can help you understand your audience, and identify new opportunities for content and products, ultimately it can help you gain customers.

Where do You Start with Your Keyword Research?

Now you have an insight into what your keyword research should include and the benefits of carrying it out there are a couple of options open to you – the DIY route or talking to a company like ourselves at social:definition.

If your website has been visible online for any length of time, we’d suggest that you carry out a full website SEO audit. This will reveal the current standing of your website, its overall health, and importantly, which keywords you are already being presented for and ranking for through the search engines (be they the keywords you believe you should be being presented for or not). A detailed audit report will inform you what actions are required next, saving you time, effort and making your budget stretch further.

If you are in the process of developing a new website, keyword research will give you the perfect start. Research now will ensure that when your website is launched it is in the best possible shape to give you the results you are looking for from the outset.

Either way, new or old, if you need help with your keyword research contact us through the form on this page or any of the contact details throughout our website.

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