The Basics of Keyword Research


In the search marketing field, effective keyword research is a vital key to obtaining high returns. Keyword research gives you a deeper understanding about your customers and their desires. It also helps you to boost your webpage rank and attract the right kind of visitors to your website through SEO.

With the knowledge you gather from researching your target market's keywords, you can provide timely products, services and content that will give you higher returns. So to help you get started with this rewarding marketing activity, here is a brief outline of the basics of keyword research.

The Initial List of Keyword Suggestions

Keyword research usually begins with a lengthy list of keyword ideas and suggestions. The keywords you write down may not necessarily be the exact terms that your target market is using. But it is vital to note that you should not set any limitations at this point. When creating your list, you should use several synonyms. For example, "How to" and "How do I". You should also attach modifiers for your locality and other common search terms like "best", "free", "DIY".

Using a Keyword Research Tool

In order to earn top rankings in search results pages, your research should provide you with keywords that are relevant, with low competition and high demand. This can be obtained easily with the use of a keyword research tool.

Google's Adwords Keyword Planner is a good tool for mining keyword data. This tool allows you to search for keyword ideas. You can also enter keywords from your list of suggestions to see how they perform. The Keyword Planner will let you see how many people have searched for the phrases you type, the number of searches per month and several other useful search marketing facts about each keyword phrase.

Refining the Keyword List

From the list of keyword ideas in the keyword research tool, you will understand the kind of language your target market is using to search for information about your products. Then you can use this information to refine your initial keyword list. These keywords should also be used to develop content that will attract more visitors to your site and eventually improve your page rank in search results.

Checking the Relevance of Keyword Phrases

Study the keyword suggestions, and assess their relevance. Ask yourself questions like: "When the visitor uses this search phrase, what exactly are they looking for?"; "If this user finds my website, will the content satisfy their needs?" If you discover a particular phrase that is related to your topic but is not currently on your landing page, you will need to create new content to include that keyword. To effectively assess the relevance of keywords to your website, you may need the expertise and assistance of a professional SEO company.

Examining Search Volume and Competition

Study the Average Monthly Searches displayed beside a phrase in the Keyword Planner. A phrase that has a huge search volume indicates that there's high demand for the product or information about the topic. With these facts, you can optimize your web pages by using the exact words that your target market is using.

When studying the search volume associated with keyword phrases, you should realize that phrases with high search volume also attract high competition. So to earn top rankings that will lead to high conversions it's better to target long tail keywords.

For example, a new online shoe store selling sports shoes, should not just target a high volume keyword like "sports shoes". This type of keyword phrase will usually attract people who are merely seeking for free information. But targeting a phrase, with fewer searches per month, like "best price for size 12 air Jordan shoes", will obviously attract serious buyers and bring in higher returns.

That's a brief outline of the basics of keyword research. To reap the full benefits of this fundamental aspect of search marketing and SEO, you need to take steps to apply this knowledge today.

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