Keyword Research SEO Guide

The Importance of Keyword Research


Keyword Research SEO Guide

A Recap of Types of Keywords

Having looked at the different Types of keywords,enter Keyword Research. you may be wondering, “Which types of keywords should I aim to rank for?” The answer to that question is relative to the nature of your website. That said, regardless of the nature of your website, it is best to have a healthy mix of all keywords.
For instance, if you own an eCommerce site, it would seem logical to concentrate on transactional keywords since they have a higher conversion rate. However, if you neglect using informational keywords, it is likely users will land on your sales page, but because it is lacking of product information, they will navigate away.
Although the importance of keywords largely depends on their intended use, the following are some telling reasons why keyword research is such an important part of SEO.

Keyword Research and Ranking 

Targeting
As at the end of 2015, the number of reported internet users stood at 3.17 billion people. Regardless of the nature of your website, i.e. no matter how popular your blog or website subject is, it is highly unlikely this exact number of people will be searching for something covered by your website.

Enter keywords.
If there is one thing keywords do and do well, it is allow you to target specific users. For instance, according to internet livestats.com, Google processes over 100,000 searches every second of the day. If you conceptualize this number, that is over 100,000 people using the internet to search for ‘something’ every single second of the day.
Keywords allow you to target a percentage of people searching for a specific subject. For example, using our acne example, and Google AdWords, when we plug the keyword “acne’ into Adwords, as indicated by the figure below, we can glimpse the keyword’s monthly search volumes, acne related keywords, and the keyword trend.

Keywords

Example of Keyword Research

In the above image, we can clearly see the search volumes for specific keywords, as well as the competition on specific keywords. By glimpsing this information, it allows us a chance to target specific keywords.
For instance, in this example, we can see the keyword cluster ‘Best Acne’ has 28 keywords, i.e. best acne treatment, best treatment for acne, best acne cleanser, etc. (you can view particular keywords in a cluster by clicking on the keyword). We can also see that although the keywords in this category have a high search volume (best acne is a head term keyword), the competition for that keyword is relatively high.

top Keywords

In the above image, we can clearly see the search volumes for specific keywords, as well as the competition on specific keywords. By glimpsing this information, it allows us a chance to target specific keywords.


For instance, in this example, we can see the keyword cluster ‘Best Acne’ has 28 keywords, i.e. best acne treatment, best treatment for acne, best acne cleanser, etc. (you can view particular keywords in a cluster by clicking on the keyword). We can also see that although the keywords in this category have a high search volume (best acne is a head term keyword), the competition for that keyword is relatively high.


On the other hand, keyword clusters such as ‘acne home, cystic acne, and acne cure’ that have 50 combined keywords have low competition and a combine search volume of 156,600.

Therefore, by optimizing your website and content around keywords in these clusters, i.e. by creating content and optimizing your website and images around keywords such as ‘what causes acne, acne causes, how to cure acne, etc.’ we can target the 100+ thousand people using these specific search terms to search for acne related information and products.

Optimization for Website Ranking

SEO is all about optimization: without keywords, optimization is impossible. Website and content optimization starts at keyword research. Once you identify the keywords you aim to rank for, to make your website and content relative to those search terms, you have to optimize your content around these keywords.

By employing them within your content and specific areas of your website, which we shall look at shortly, keywords allow you to optimize your website and content for specific search terms, which makes it easier for search engines to relate your website to your keywords and rank it higher for those keywords.


Keyword Research Google

Note: Thanks to Google Panda, Google frowns upon keyword stuffing, and will penalize your website by de-indexing or de-ranking it if you keyword stuff. Instead of stuffing keywords, concentrate on their natural use within your website and content.

Popularity and Competitiveness Analysis

As we saw earlier while looking at our acne example, performing keyword research allows you to analyze the popularity, and competiveness of your intended keywords. For instance, in our acne example, by using Google AdWords, we saw that keywords in the ‘best acne’ keyword cluster are highly competitive and have a high search volume, while keywords in the ‘acne home, and cystic acne’ clusters had lower competition and marginal search volume.

Using this data, we can determine that trying to rank for keywords in the ‘best acne’ cluster would be an uphill task. On the other hand, by creating highly helpful content, it is possible to rank on the first page of Google for keywords in the less competitive keyword clusters. This is what keyword research allows you to do: it helps you determine the search volume and competitiveness of specific keywords. This helps you determine if trying to rank for the keyword is worthwhile.


One false statement peddled by SEO ‘gurus’ is that keyword research is the hardest part of SEO. While it does require an infinite amount of time on a continuous basis (search data and volumes change on a daily-monthly basis), coming up with a list of good keywords your website can rank for on the first page of Google SERP is not rocket science. In fact, as the next subsection will show, you can easily come up with a massive list of keywords by following a few simple steps.

Keyword Search Factors for SEO

While this may be open for debate, good keywords meet the following criteria:

  1. Highly relevant: Good keywords, the ones you remain with at the end of the 4-step keyword research guide should be highly relevant. They should accurately describe the content of your articles because a high bounce rate, i.e. the rate at which users leave your page after landing on it is yet another external ranking factor. By being specific, your keywords and their subsequent use ensures that users find answers to their pressing questions once they land on your page or content.
  2. Have a Healthy Search Volume: Good niche specific keywords have healthy search volumes. This is very important. Unless specific keywords have low volumes that build up to large traffic volumes when collated, it is futile to waste an infinite amount of time writing content for a keyword that receives 2-10 monthly searches. 
  3. Low Difficulty/Competition: Keywords with a low difficulty rank rate have low authority, or poorly optimized pages or websites on the first page of Google. This makes it easier to, with a backlink strategy in place, de-throne them, and get your page, content, or website on the first page of Google. On the other hand, trying to rank for highly competitive keywords with high quality authority pages on the first page of Google SERP will be an uphill task.


Keyword Research Tip

Note: How much time you put into keyword research will largely depend on your topic. Highly competitive niches will require more time to dig out gem, low competition, and targeted keywords.

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