The Importance of Keyword Research in Effective SEO

In the world of SEO, keyword research may well be one of the most important factors to your ultimate success. If you are relatively new to the world of search engine optimization, you may be a bit fuzzy on exactly what keyword research entails, and why it is such a critical component of your SEO strategy.

What is Keyword Research?
Even if you have spent hours and hours fine-tuning your web pages with a goal of getting higher rankings with Google, it will all be for naught if you have not targeted the very best keywords and keyword phrases. Selecting the wrong keywords for your website or blog can greatly decrease the relevant traffic your site will receive.

What’s My Target Audience?
Just as in any marketing strategy, whether online or traditional, your ultimate goal is to know your audience. If you don’t fully know and understand your audience, then you will not be able to reach them. You may be required to focus on specific location, specific region, specific business, trade, service or product when you are deciding on your very best keywords and keyword phrases. Your goal will be to cover each and every aspect of your product or your particular service which could be searched for by users. Because each page on your website may likely be dealing with a different aspect of your business, the keywords for each page will necessarily be different. Once you truly know your audience and have looked at your site from their perspective, you will have gone a long way in identifying your target audience.

Rely on Facts, Not Your Personal Feelings
Many inexperienced website owners start out with keywords and keyword phrases that they simply “feel” are right and are the most likely words users will search for. Unfortunately, even though this may seem like common sense, or appear fairly obvious, your chosen keywords may not mesh with the ones your buyers or users are typing into their search bar. Once you are a part of a specific trade or niche, your vision tends to narrow, and you erroneously believe that others understand these trade-specific terms in the same way that you do.

If you are unable to take your own feelings out of the process, ask friends or family what search words they would use if they wanted to find a business like yours. You may be very surprised to find their chosen keywords and phrases are completely different than the ones you chose. Ignore your gut feelings and go with the facts, and you will avoid a possible wild goose chase. There are several keyword research tools you can incorporate which will offer pertinent data in your keyword search.

What is the Overall Process?
First of all you will enter the discovery phase in which you will basically brainstorm and come up with a laundry list of possible keywords which are related to your site and your target audience. Next you will analyze these keywords and phrases, and will additionally add information about your competition into the mix. You need information about your competitors in order to determine how many pages are competing for Google’s place of honor. Analyze your competitors based on search terms and how many pages are indexed in order to get the clearest picture. You will then select a shortlist of keywords, and finally you will make the absolute optimal use of your chosen keywords throughout your website copy, your HTML code and your meta tags.

Focused keyword phrases give your site the very best chances of ranking highly, as well as bringing targeted traffic to your site, which in turn results in higher sales conversion ratios, therefore keywords are a key element in your overall SEO strategy.


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