Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign. Without it, you could easily find yourself lost within your own jargon and struggling against giants in your niche that may be too easily beat in the organic search results Pages like this. How is it done? What is the “secret” to good SEO? It’s actually quite simple to understand, but most people tend to go about it the wrong way. The purpose of this article is to provide a step by step guide on what keyword research is and how it can benefit you in the long run.
Keyword research should first be thought of as an integral part of your SEO plan. This not only allows you to target specific keywords that are highly relevant to your niche but also allows you to better target your target audience. This will allow you to use keywords that are more likely to be used by your target audience and use them sparingly to optimize your landing page/listings. You’ll see the results almost immediately with fewer bounce rates on your website and fewer clients who complain about a “long” wait for their e-mails.
To do the proper keyword research required to optimize your website and gain top rankings in all the major search engines, you need to start with a good keyword research tool. I’m sure you’ve heard of some. A lot of the ones that come recommended either have poor design and functionality, don’t display valid data like your competitors, take forever to pull up or are just plain confusing. To choose the right tool, you should look for simplicity, user-friendly interface, good functionality and accurate data. As far as tools go though, there’s loads out there.
Some are free. Some are subscription based. Some are based on a system where you get points based on the amount of competition you face (i.e. how many pages are ranking for specific keywords). I personally prefer the latter, so I’ll focus on that below.
To do your keyword research, identify relevant phrases or keywords within your niche. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you could identify the common phrases people might type into Google when looking for fitness equipment: step machine, treadmill, elliptical, gym equipment, etc. Also think about the misspelled words. Does your audience use these words often? Chances are they do – keep that in mind when designing your site.
To do your keyword research, identify the most frequently used phrases within your niche and find out what these phrases are. One way to do this is to go to Google and punch in a phrase and see what pops up as the first result. Other ways are to go to large forums like the Warrior Forum 2 and look at the threads that are related to your niche. Sometimes people search for specific terms and forums can provide this information. Google even provides a tool for this called Google Trends which gives you a list of popular searches throughout the last year.
The next step would be to do some keyword research to find out how these keywords are being used to rank for them. For example, if you were selling shoes, you would look at the top ranking sites for those particular terms. The sites with the best rankings would include the most traffic. You would then want to rank for those keywords in order to drive traffic to your site. There are a variety of tools out there to help you with this such as Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool and Google AdWords Content Network.
As you can see from above, keyword research plays an important role in finding new, untapped markets. It is also crucial to rank for the right keywords. Don’t settle for keywords that aren’t relevant to your site because this will waste time and money. If you do your keyword research correctly, you can make more money online than you ever imagined. There are many free resources available for SEO keywords.