The best way to get found is to know how people are searching for you. It seems simple but cannot be emphasised enough. All good online marketing practices should begin with thorough keyword research.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process to determine which keywords or phrases people are using in the search engines (mainly google) to find your products and services. There are a number of free and paid tools you can use to determine this.

What Keyword Research Tools Are Used?

One of the main free tools used is the google keywords planner. Using this tool you can quickly see approximate search volumes for each keyword as well as the competition for that keyword (how many other sites are targeting that keyword).

It shouldn’t be assumed that the keyword planner tool is entirely accurate. Like any keyword tool it is impossible to fully track every search term from every location – even if it’s a google made tool. Web Marketing experts state that the keyword planner tool gives approximations and rounds up data.

Amongst paid keyword tools, SEM rush provides a wealth of data on a keyword. With this tool you can very quickly see the search volume, competition, similar keywords and the Adwords value of a keyword (how much it will cost per click for paid advertising for the keyword). This data is valuable when determining a set of keywords to target in your website.

Why is it Important?

Search engines still need a lot of help and guidance as to which search terms they should rank your website for. They will crawl your pages and look to the meta title, headings and content of your pages to determine which search terms you will rank for.

Despite advances in semantic intelligence, the search engines still need a lot of help knowing exactly what your page is about. If you are not deliberately placing exact or very similar keywords and phrases in the important parts of your pages, you are unlikely to rank (appear on the first page) of the search results for that term.

What to look for in a Keyword

When researching which keywords to target in the websites we build for our clients, we look for the following points:

1. High Volume

It goes without saying that the keyword should be one that is regularly searched for (high volume). Volume refers to the number of searches that keyword will get in a month.

2. Low Competition

Generally keywords with very high volume will also have very high competition. Competition refers to the number of sites competing for that keyword.

If there are many sites who have that keyword within their meta content, it is a high competition keyword that makes it harder to rank for. Find keywords with the lowest possible competition.

3. Relevant to your Products / Services

Once you have found some good high volume, low competition keywords you need to determine how relevant these words are to the products or services you deliver. Ask yourself from the searchers perspective: If I type in this keyword, what sites would I be intending to find.

4. Buying Potential

Keywords with high buying potential or “buying keywords” are keywords that have a proven track record of generating revenue for those who rank well for them. They indicate that often people who use this search term have made their mind up that they want to use a product or service.

We use some cutting edge tools to determine “buying keywords” for your industry and target these within your site. Interestingly, buying keywords aren’t always the keywords with the highest volume. There is just certain search phrases which correlate to excellent customer intent. If you find a low competition buying keyword, guard it with your life!

5. Keyword Groups

Once you’ve identified keywords using the criteria above come up with similar keywords that you can group together and target on one page in your website. How similar should these keywords be? Use the Google Adwords planner to determine keyword groups. These are a good indication of how closely keywords can be related.

Conclusion

Performing keyword research is essential to making the most of online marketing efforts. If you need some help with your own keyword research contact us today.