Creating great content is not enough in today's world. Your content needs to be focused on what your users are looking for. One way to identify what your users are searching for is through keyword research. Keyword research involves gathering information about what people search for on the internet which will help you identify valuable keywords that you can use in your SEO campaign.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of gathering information about what people search for on the internet. Keywords are words or phrases that make content relevant to users in a particular network, such as Google Search Engine and Yahoo! Site Explorer.
How do you gather information from Keyword Research? You will need to use various tools to help you find out valuable
Why is Keyword Research important for SEO?
Keyword research is important for SEO because it helps identify what people are searching for. Keywords help you connect to your audience and give them the information they need. Keywords are important for Google and other search engines because they help them understand what your content is about.
Keyword research also helps you to answer questions like:
- How much competition will I have for this keyword?
- How many searches are happening for this keyword?
- What should I write about for this keyword?
- What is the user intent of people searching for this keyword and is it relevant to me?
Keyword research will save you time and effort when you are looking to attract new visitors to your website. Without doing your research, you are unlikely to succeed in today's competitive world.
What Tools can I use for Keyword Research?
Competitors can be a great source of keyword ideas, but they might not be good at finding all the potential keywords. SEO tools are helpful in this regard because you can get tons more new ideas by plugging in seed keywords and pulling out relevant results from their databases.
Google Keyword Planner is perhaps the most well-known keyword tool. It’s free to use, and although it’s mainly for advertisers, you can also use it to find keywords for SEO as well. Beyond Keyword Planner, there are quite a few other free keyword research tools such as:
These are great if you’re on a budget, but you’ll quickly realize that they’re all very limited in their data and functionality since their goal is to convert you to a paying customer.
What should I look for when doing keyword research?
The three most important factors to consider when choosing keywords are:
1. Keyword Relevance
Google ranks content for relevance. Search intent is about handing the searcher what they need in exchange for their time. Anything other than a friendly page that offers high-quality information to an interested party won't rank well.
2. Keyword Authority
To rank in search engines, you need to be seen as an authoritative source. To achieve this goal, the onus is on you to create helpful and informative content for your site and promote that content by earning social signals- like Facebook shares or blog posts linking back to your website. But if a keyword's SERPs are loaded with heavy sources (ex. Forbes) you may want to look for other, easier targets.
3. Keyword Volume
Your SEO strategy can be perfect but if you are not targeting the right keywords, your efforts will be lost. Ranking on the first page for a specific keyword with no search volume does you no good.
Volume is typically measured by monthly search volume (MSV). MSV is the number of times the keyword is searched per month across all audiences.
Some food for thought when you start your Keyword Research
The best keywords for your SEO strategy will factor in relevance, authority, and volume. You want to find highly searched keywords that you feel you can compete against based on the following criteria
- How difficult the keyword is to rank for (ie. whats your competition)
- Your ability to produce content that outranks what's currently in the first spot.
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