Keyword research is a core component of online marketing. It’s the process of using keywords to identify opportunities for targeted traffic from search engines. The more specific your keyword targeting, the more opportunities you have available to grow your targeted traffic.
The #1 result on Google drives 71.79% of all search traffic, whereas any website that comes in second only gets roughly 10% of all search traffic. So the goal is to position yourself for better rankings on Google by targeting the correct keywords with high search volume but low competition.
Thousands of people out there would love to find your website if you can just be found. The hardest part is learning the many ways that SEO affects your online presence and how to take advantage of it. Keyword research will teach you which keywords will most likely give you success, both now and in the future, as search engines evolve their algorithm preferences.
It’s clear that if you’re not targeting keywords, your online marketing strategy is missing a huge opportunity to drive targeted prospects for your business. This article can help you understand what SEO keyword optimization entails and how to get the most out of your efforts.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is a core component of online marketing. It’s the process of using keywords to identify opportunities for targeted traffic from search engines. The more specific your keyword targeting, the more opportunities you have available to grow your targeted traffic. In the SEO world, keywords are words or phrases that define what people are looking for on Google and other search engines. If you choose the right ones, they will help increase traffic to your website by helping you rank high within Google’s organic SERPs (search engine results pages).
For example, if someone searches “computers” in Google, a list of websites pops up with corresponding links. Each link has a ranking depending on how well it matches the user’s chosen topic – this is its “ranking,” and the higher it ranks, the more relevant the webpage is with what the user’s looking for. So, by using SEO keywords to target your web pages, you can increase your chances of showing up as a top result when users search for that particular topic.
How Keyword Research Works
Keywords available in an industry or niche are either “broad” (long-tail) terms used by many people. Still, they only generate small amounts of traffic and low ad competition, or they’re “tight” (short-tail) specific terms used by few people but receive much more search traffic and offer high ad competition. Therefore, the main goal of keyword research is to find long-tail keywords that have been searched less frequently but drive significant volumes of highly qualified traffic.
Using the keywords available in your industry or niche to target your web pages increases your chances of showing up as a top result when users search for that particular topic. Keyword research aims to find long-tail keywords with low competition and high traffic potential.
The two significant factors to consider when selecting keywords are:
- Search Volume – How many people per month are searching for the keyword you want to use? This is usually reported as either Global Monthly Searches or Local Monthly Searches (if you’re targeting broad/global terms). The higher the number, the better it will drive targeted traffic.
- Competition – How many other websites are trying to rank for that same exact term? Generally speaking, this factor affects your website’s ability to rank on Google, as the higher the competition, the harder it is for you to show up in organic search results.
Why Is Keyword Research So Important?
Keyword research is crucial because it gives you an idea of how much-targeted traffic your website can potentially receive and what kind of ad competition you’ll be up against. This allows for effective cost management, selection, and the opportunity to create high-performing SEO campaigns that deliver better results.
Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, analyze their user’s search queries to understand what people want and who they want it from. This helps them better serve up relevant results to individual users when they type in a keyword phrase. For example, someone typing “used cars” into Google may see different results than searching for “cheap car deals.” This is why it’s essential to use keywords to target your web pages so that your traffic-building efforts are targeted at the right audience.
5 Tips to Optimize Your Keyword Research Process
Keyword planning is a crucial step in the entire SEO process and also one of the most daunting. However, by utilizing these five simple tips, you can streamline your keyword research to get better results:
Understand Your Audience
Who is your target audience, and what are their pain points? What keywords do they use to search for the products or services you offer? This will help you understand what kind of questions and needs they have and how they talk about those topics.
Example: If you’re a plumber, your target audience is likely homeowners. So, using a tool like Google Trends, look at your audience’s language to search for topics related to plumbing problems and solutions.
Learn Your Competitors’ Strategies
Keyword research not only tells you which keywords to target but also gives you an idea of how difficult those keywords are to rank for. In addition, by looking at your competitors’ keyword strategy, you can determine their current level of visibility and use that as a benchmark for your efforts.
Example: If your competitor ranks on the first page or two of Google’s organic results for “best plumber in Philadelphia,” it means it may be easier to rank for this term than if they ranked further down the list. This knowledge can help you make decisions about which keywords will work best for your business.
Understand Search Intent
With keyword research, you’re analyzing words; but it’s essential to understand the intent behind those words. When someone types “white hat” into Google, they may be looking for information on SEO or how to become an SEO expert vs. buying a hat online. This is important because it affects your chances of ranking on relevant searches and attracting the type of traffic you want.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find out more about the intent behind keywords by looking at related search terms that people are typing in. You can then use these insights to help you create better content for your website and target strategic long-tail keywords that will positively impact all facets of your campaign.
Use Multi-Channel Data
It’s important to understand how keywords are trending across various channels, including Google Trends, YouTube, social media (especially Pinterest!), and Amazon.
This is because the language people use on different platforms varies greatly and can often give you valuable insights about which keyword phrases will be most beneficial for your business. For example, if you’re selling jewelry on Amazon, look at the top-trending products or categories so that you know what kind of questions customers are asking when they’re looking to buy something. This way, you can better target your product listings with more relevant keywords based on customer behavior.
Use Long-Tail Keywords and Terms
Include the most relevant keywords in your content, but don’t get too focused on just one keyword. Instead, it’s better to use long-tail keywords that address specific concerns and issues related to the broader topic you’re focusing on.
Example: You can focus on “buy shoes online” or create content around “where to buy this type of shoe with my budget.” The latter example is a much more targeted approach that makes it easier for someone to find whatever they’re looking for in a larger category of search results. For example, if you run a brand called “Sugar Daddy,” adding a focus keyword based on your location to your list like “Sugar Daddy Los Angeles” would make sense. That way, people searching for that phrase are more likely to find your website.
Search engine optimization is often seen as a complicated process. Still, you can quickly improve your website’s traffic by understanding the value of keywords and implementing this tactic into your business strategy.
By analyzing how customers are searching for products similar to yours, using tools like Google Trends to determine which terms are worth targeting and using long-tail keywords that provide more targeted content to your potential customers, you’ll be able to build an effective SEO campaign that boosts your site’s ranking within Google results.