How to Do Keyword Research – The Method Behind the Madness

how to do keyword researchKeywords are essential to the success of your business online. Without targeted keyword research, people won’t find you because the search engines won’t list you in the relevant position. Therefore, if you want your business to succeed, you must identify and use the most relevant keywords possible.

If you do not get this part of the search engine optimisation process right then everything else you do online will be in vain. Target the right keywords and your website will be a success; target the wrong keywords and you will miss out on the valuable traffic you are trying to canvas.

Keywords are very important to your website because without them your website theme will not be focused and as a result it is more likely that you will not rank well in Google.

Keywords should be identified and incorporated throughout the whole design of your website so that you can ensure it is focused on targeting the ones you have chosen. This will not only ensure that your content stays on track and is more relevant to your searchers but also Google can see how relevant your website is. This will greatly increase your chances of getting higher positions in the search engines that will generate real results in the form of traffic, leads and sales.

Google can only recognise your site as being relevant to your desired keywords if you have them used in your website and in the links you have pointing to your website. This may sound very simple but many websites seem to miss out the keywords they are trying to target.

How to do Keyword Research

The following are simple steps that you can incorporate into your keyword research strategy:

Think from your customers’ viewpoint:

Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into search engines (mainly Google) when they are looking for products and services online. Generally people type in their problems, as they are searching for solutions and they may not know what that solution would be, so it is important to think from the perspective of the customer when choosing your keyword phrases.

For example you might own a chiropractor’s business, so a search term that a potential client would type into Google could be “lower back pain remedies”. Your keywords provide the backbone to your inbound marketing strategy as a way of guiding ideal customers to find your website.

Go to the source:

Google provides a free search tool called Google Keyword tool.  By entering a word or phrase that you think your target audience will be looking for, Google will provide information as to whether people are actually searching on that term and also alternative suggestions that may better suit your audience or in fact your commercial interests.
Spy on the competition: Most keyword search tools return a set of keywords that are associated with a URL. This can be handy as you can input your competitors’ URLs to find out what keywords they are targeting and perhaps include or look for variations of those keywords to add to your own keyword list. This is an easy way to check if you have missed any important keywords.

Localise your search terms:

If your business is a small local business that relies on footfall and sales at your physical store then you may want to consider including the location of your business in your keywords. Google reported that nearly 40% of searches had a location element in them. Switch on your local marketplace by dominating the search engines with highly targeted and localised search terms.

Focus your keyword list:

Targeting too many keywords or phrases is a sure fire way to get poor results. If resources are tight, select a handful of keywords and focus your energies and inbound marketing strategies on these only.  Your choices should be only the keywords that are extremely relevant to your business, ones that have a search volume and are specifically suited to your conversion goals.

Develop a strategy to rank your keywords:

Once you have your established list of keywords, you can create your SEO strategy around those terms. You need to watch the terms over time by monitoring the patterns of the rankings and by gauging exactly which type of traffic you are receiving as a result of those terms and more importantly of that traffic what percentage is converting.

Search engine optimisation requires a lot of effort up front, however more and more people are turning to organic search results to find the solutions to their problems meaning the results will be long term.

Knowing how to do keyword research correctly is critical to the success of your business’s success when it comes to your SEO strategy. The keywords will make all the difference. If you do it correctly then this will positively affect your website traffic and your brand awareness will increase exponentially.