Keywords are single words or phrases used by searchers when trying to locate
information on the web.
Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals
to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines
when conducting a search. Search engine optimization professionals research
keywords in order to achieve better rankings in their desired keywords.
It's important to complete your keyword research before you attempt any Internet
marketing efforts so you won't be focusing on search engine keywords that no one
is using in a search or on keywords that are far too competitive for your site.
research is the process of determining what specific terms searchers use most
frequently to find related information. The keyword research process generally
involves using one or more fee-based or free keyword tools to determine the
average number of people searching for a word or phrase per day (popularity) and
then determining how many search results are returned for those keywords
When selecting the keywords you would like to rank for, you must take several
factors into account. Preferably youíre able to calculate its potential ROI by
finding out what effort is required for a return in profit. There are, however,
various uncertainties that you can choose to minimize.
There are more keywords to investigate. The traffic potential of a keyword and
value for your site determine how much effort you should be willing to take. The
required effort itself determines how certain you need to be of a successful
Donít forget to take time into account when looking at the effort of your
competitors. What happens when you take someoneís No. 1 spot? Will they increase
their effort? Is the scan being done off-season for a keyword with seasonal
trending? Is this an emerging market?
There is no point finding niche market keywords that have low search volumes as
you will attract very few visitors to your website. Equally if you choose
website keywords with high search volumes, that also have a high number of
websites competing for that keyword, you will struggle to achieve a high
placement on the search engines, simply because you are competing with thousands
of other sites. The solution therefore is to identify website keywords with high
search volumes but with a much lower number of websites competing for that
Most websites fail to achieve high rankings on search engines due to the lack of
attention to keyword research. Choosing and qualifying the correct website
keywords are absolutely crucial to the success of your site.
Extensive keyword research will help you to identify the most relevant search
terms used by your potential customers. These search terms will also help to
improve your search engine rankings.
Most customers are likely to use search terms containing 2 or 3 keywords when
searching for a particular product or service. Therefore websites containing
mainly single keywords are unlikely to produce high levels of search traffic.
The use of single generic keywords are also more likely to produce a lot of non
relevant traffic to your site. For example, if a customer uses the keyword
"coffee" they may be looking for a coffee making machine, fresh ground coffee or
even a local coffee shop.
Therefore keyword research is vital to the success of your online business.
A lot of website owners fall into the trap if thinking that it is very easy to
identify the relevant search terms that potential customers are likely to use
when searching for their products. However extensive research has shown that the
search terms used will be based on a customers own experience and the way they
relate to a specific product or service. Very often this will be totally
different to the way the owner of a business is likely to refer to their own
products or services.
You will need to review and refresh your keyword marketing as your website
develops. For example, you will need to introduce new search terms to promote a
new product or service.
After all, if you
are not going after the right keywords from the start, you will just be swimming
in the wrong direction.
mistakenly think that this step is simple Ė all you have to do is come up with a
list of keywords that YOU THINK people are searching for and optimize for them.
But experienced SEOs know that you really need to do some research on the
keywords before you start optimizing
If youíre new to the
game (and even if youíre not), here are some tips on how you can do keyword
1. Figure out how
many keywords you are trying to optimize for
This will depend on
your business and the size of your website. If youíre selling just one product
and/or have a very small website, perhaps 5-10 keywords is enough. Larger
websites with more products/services can try to go after a larger amount of
keywords. This number does not have to be set in stone, but itís a good idea to
get a ballpark before you start.
2. Come up with a
list of initial keywords that you think are most obvious
Just think what you
would search for when looking for your products/services, and try to get as many
words as possible. This is where most people would stop with their keyword
selection, but it should only be the first step. This is just the start of the
list of your potential candidate words, out of which you will eventually select
the final keywords to optimize for.
3. See what your
site is currently ranking for
is a great tool that lets you know which keywords your site is currently ranking
for. There are other tools available as well. Itís often easier to get the
keywords you already rank for to rank higher than to start from scratch. This
doesnít mean you shouldnít start from scratch for new keywords, just that the
keywords youíre ranking for should be considered with a higher priority in your
final selection process down the line. You may also find some keywords here that
you did not think were obvious at first, but would be worthwhile to include in
your list of candidates.
4. See what your
competitors are ranking for
Figure out who your
competitors are (if you donít know already), and see what they are ranking for.
You can use the same SEMRush tool, or search for some keywords to see where they
come up. This may give you some further keywords to add to the list of
candidates. Try to see what they are and are not ranking for. Sometimes looking
for what the competitors are NOT ranking for, can give you an advantage in that
5. Use keyword
Now that you have a
pretty large list of candidates, itís time to expand it even further. If youíre
shooting for 20 keywords to optimize for, it is not uncommon for your list of
POTENTIAL candidates to be upwards of 400 keywords before you pick the final 20.
Wordtracker seems to
be the most popular, but I personally like the Google tool the most. It seems to
have a higher search threshold than Wordtracker, meaning low volume searched
keywords that show up as ĎNot foundí in Wordtracker may still show up with some
search volume in Google Tool; thus, the Google tool will still give you
suggestions for lower searched keywords.
By using the keyword
suggestion tools, you can quickly expand the list of your potential candidates.
You should put all the keywords in a spreadsheet for easier tracking.