Why Keyword Research Is So Important
You know that camping trip when you don’t have the right gear. It’s OK at the start, but the further along you go, the more frustrating it is, the more evident the shortfalls and the less enjoyable the whole exercise is.
SEO is a bit like that. The better equipped you are and the more planning you do beforehand, the more successful your strategy will be. And one of the essential foundations for successful SEO is keyword research.
Importance of Keyword Research
I would consider keyword research to be the most valuable aspect of SEO and it’s not about simply putting together a list of words. It’s a process through which you identify the most relevant words and phrases to attract visitors (and hopefully conversions) to your website by investigating a number of factors including the most relevant keywords for your business and considering if that keyword phrase really represents a business like yours. Using keyword research to decide on what you want to try and rank for will mean you can match the content on your website with what your targeted viewers are looking for.
Consider this actual example.
You’d think the obvious choice of keyword for an online marketing agency in Perth would be ‘online marketing agency Perth’, but research showed that there were less than 10 searches every month for that keyword while ‘SEO Perth’ clocked up 3600 searches over the same period.
The success for this SEO strategy hinges on the website pages being optimised for the individual services that the agency provides (eg SEO, Google Ads etc) rather than for the umbrella descriptor of the business (online marketing agency).
Without keyword research, it’s very easy to go down the wrong path when trying to optimise a website.
The Most Appropriate Keywords
What you need to do is work through a methodical process of defining the most appropriate keywords that will attract good quality visitors to your website. Once you have done all the appropriate research and identified a shortlist of keyword phrases, you can then optimise each page of content with at least one or two of these (making sure that the keyword you use is relevant to the content of that specific page).
Your keyword research will reveal what searchers are looking for and which words and phrases that will generate traffic and potential conversations. Sometimes, your research will throw up some surprising results and you may not end up with the keywords that you initially thought would work for you.
That’s when you need a frank conversation with yourself. Trust the research. Google will rank websites based on the best quality result for each search term so if you’re not on the right path and your existing structure isn’t working optimally for you, what are you going to do about it? Sometimes, an investment in time and tools is required in order to update your website and create new content containing those relevant keywords which will really fire up your SEO. A bit like investing in the right camping gear to optimise your experience!
The ideal process is to brainstorm appropriate keywords, including niche keyword phrases that best describe or represent your business, including local search terms where it is relevant to do so (based on your town, suburb or city depending on what your business is and if your ideal customer is likely to search for your product or service including a local search term. Keyword research tools can then be used to determine those keywords which will deliver the best results.
Choosing the Best Keywords
Depending on the industry you’re in, choosing the best keywords can be a challenge. You may not get it right first time. Even SEO experts don’t always nail it from the get go. But remember, even if you’ve put in a lot of time and effort into researching and finetuning your keywords, it’s not something you can then put on the backburner. Keyword research is constantly evolving and if you want to stay ahead, you need to keep working at it.
Check out my new online, self-managed course, The SEO School, which takes you through all the key tools and techniques of a successful SEO strategy. The course is great for business owners, website managers and anyone who wants hands-on learning about all the essentials of SEO from an industry expert. Find out more about The SEO School here.
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