What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the exercise you take to classify attractive target keywords for your web pages. These are the search terms (either single words or phrases) that you want your pages to be found when a user searches for them on the search engine. For instance, if your page sells shampoo for dry hair, then you would want to target your page for keywords pertaining to shampoo for dry hair.
The keywords could be “shampoo,” “shampoo for dry hair,” and “dry hair.” When a customer or search engine user types the keyword “shampoo for dry hair,” you would want your page to appear in the #1 position. Most users will not proceed beyond page 2 results. So your chances of receiving a top sales or customer, depend on getting to the top position.
Why is Keyword Research Important For SEO?
The objective of keyword research is to discover keywords for each page that hits these three important factors.
(1) High Traffic Volume
It is always the ultimate goal of every website to achieve #1 on Google. You can get to the top spot with the term “shampoo for dry Godzilla hair” just by publishing a page that marks this keyword. But it will not bring you traffic, simply because nobody’s looking for this term. It will be a futile effort.
You really need to create a landing page that will get the maximum benefit from that page in terms of visitors. Search for a keyword that has high traffic results on Google pertaining to your page content. It is imperative to know that the keyword your page focuses on should be a keyword many people are searching for.
(2) High Relevance To Your Site
You may have lots of visitors to your site, but if it is not drawing the right kind of visitors, then your effort is ineffective. If you are selling shampoo and most of your visitors are actually looking for car parts, then they will go away and cannot be converted into customers. What you need are visitors who are looking for shampoo.
So to target the right kind of visitors, your keyword research is always to classify what each page is offering and what keywords the visitors normally use to search so that they can find your page. Google has a feature called “Trends,” which shows a menu of related searches as you type. Use this to get alternative keywords that users may be searching for.
(3) Low Competition
Some keywords attract high competition because the Big Boys in the industry are capitalizing on them. For a start, you might not want to compete against these Big Boys for a top position. You might just fail miserably. Try for lower competition keywords. Identify them and optimize your page for these keywords. It will be easier for you to get to the top position on Google with low competition keywords.
Keyword Research Tools
Google Keyword Tool, This is a great free tool that will highlight the alternative keywords, the competition for the keyword, global monthly searches, and local monthly searches. It is highly recommended for your keyword research. There are other free tools that are just great to use – Google Trends, ISpionage, and Keyword Country, etc.
How to Do Keyword Research For SEO?
There comes a time (preferably in the beginning) during your search engine optimization campaign when you have to decide which keywords to target on the search engines. Deciphering which keywords to target is crucial because all SEO is based on proper keyword placement, linking, architecture, and profit. A thorough SEO analysis can make the difference in achieving 1st-page rankings in 1 month as opposed to taking a whole year.
Proper keyword research can also help you determine how much a keyword is worth and how many free visitors your site could possibly drive from the search engines. Here is a list of stats to analyze when trying to determine which keywords to go after.
Total Estimated Visitors: By far, the most important metric to know is how many times a keyword is being searched in the search engines. Because let’s be frank, it would be more time-efficient to go after a term predicted to produce 1,000 visitors a day versus a term that only generates 30 visitors a day. There are multiple keyword traffic research tools out there to help you figure out just how much traffic each keyword can generate to your website.
Total Sites Competing: The next thing to do is find out how competitive each keyword is. Once you decide which keywords to go after, type them into the search engine you are trying to rank on and see how many websites are showing up in the results. Google’s search engine gives you an idea of the competition. If you look in the top, you will see a section that tells you the number of sites competing for any given keyword/phrase (ex: “1 – 10 of 1,100,000 results for the term “keyword phrase.”) If you do this for each term you are targeting, you will get a good idea of how many sites you will have to compete with.
Allintitle: Keyword Phrase: While you are at it, you can search the keyword again, but this time add “allintitle:” to the front of it (ex: allintitle: keyword phrase.) This will only display the results that actually have that keyword phrase in their title tags. This search paints a better picture of the real competition because title tags are the most effective SEO factor. Plus, if a site hasn’t written proper title tag data or they’re not targeting those keywords, chances are they aren’t a site to worry about.
Keyword in URL: Another factor to examine is how many of the top 10 or so sites actually have the keywords in their URL. This is important for ranking well on search engines. Look to see if all the top sites have the keywords in the URL. If not, and your site does, this may give you a competitive advantage.
Ages of Sites: Another important factor major search engines examine is how old the site is. If a website has been around for a while & is still thriving, it is a good sign of a legit business & trust. Older sites tend to be hard to outrank.
Size of Competition: Performing a site search on all the top sites ranking for your terms. This will give you an actual idea of how big your site has to be to compete for that term. To figure out how many pages your competitors have, search – site: yourcompetition.com.
Links Pointing to Your Competition: performing a link: search on all the top competitors ranking for your targeted terms will give you an insight into how strong your competition is. This is a very important factor considering Google and other engines judge sites based on how popular they are by looking at how many sites link to them. Examining the Google Pagerank of your competition could also give you a good idea of how much link strength a site possesses.
Competitors Listed in DMOZ and Yahoo: Check to see if the top sites are listed in DMOZ and Yahoo! because Google uses these directories to help them determine relevance and rankings.
Future Keyword Trend: Is the keyword you are targeting a temporary or seasonal term? Or, could it be the new and up-and-coming product? Using keyword trend analysis tools can aid you in determining if a keyword is worth going after.
Keyword’s Worth: Knowing how much a keyword is worth can make a huge difference in revenue, ROI, and time spent.
Sponsored Search Bidders: When you search a term, you can see first-hand how valuable a term is based on how many companies are bidding for sponsored listings. Usually, the more websites bidding for a term, the more searches or profit those keywords can bring. There are also a variety of keyword spy tools to help you see how much the average cost per click is to rank in paid search.
Local Search: You could add cities or states to your key terms? Most of the time, local search terms are easier to obtain than broader searched terms.
Remember, once you determine which keywords will bring the most traffic to your site, it is best to see how hard it is to rank for each one of them. All proper Keyword Research leads to profitable possibilities. Before you spend $1,000’s of dollars or hundreds of hours optimizing your site and/or building links, make sure you are heading in the most efficient direction possible. I suggest you contact our experts at Brampton Web Design for a free consultation.