Basics of Keyword Research

keyword researchWhether you’re running a major national corporation, a local small business or a blog about baseball cards, your website needs search traffic to drive profits for your business, this is where keyword research comes into the picture. While there are many ways to attract customers to your site, the most profitable visitors are those who find your site through search engines by using keywords.

That’s why keyword research is so important to the life of your business.

Search traffic converts better than any other type of traffic because web searchers are more likely to have buyer’s intent – meaning that they are searching for products and services and are closer to making a purchasing decision than people who are just scrolling through Facebook on their lunch break.

Below are three basic tips to help you find good keywords for your website.

  1. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

The starting point of all effective keyword research is to find keywords for which you have a real chance of ranking in the search results. Some keywords are nearly impossible to rank for because there is already a ton of content on authoritative websites that is ranking for them.

Don’t waste your time and content-marketing budget on them. Instead, focus more on long-tail keywords. These are keywords that typically have lower search volume and are therefore less likely to be targeted by your competitors.

Therefore, instead of targeting primary keywords that have a monthly search volume in the hundreds of thousands and up, it’s usually better to target keywords that have a monthly search volume of only thousands or even hundreds.

Long-tail keywords are like low-hanging fruit that is ripe for the taking and will drive new visitors to your site faster than keywords with higher volume. The good news is that when you focus on long-tail keywords, you are simultaneously improving your rank for the high-volume terms because these other keywords are contained within long-tail keywords.

  1. Include Secondary Keywords

Every piece of content that you create should be focused on a long-tail keyword. But when creating content, you should also try to rank for additional related keywords. Remember, your content will attract traffic through many other search terms beside the main keyword you are targeting, so it’s always good to intentionally include related keywords, keyword variations and other industry terms along with your primary keyword.

Secondary keywords give additional context to each article which then helps search engines to better understand what the content is about. And that can drive additional traffic to your site, as each piece of content ranks for multiple terms.

  1. Choose High-Competition Keywords (In Google Keyword Planner)

Many internet marketers – including some professional SEOs who should know better – misunderstand the meaning of the competition metric in Google’s Keyword Planner (GKP). When a keyword in GKP has high competition, it means that there are several advertisers who are bidding on that keyword. The more bidders a keyword has, the higher the cost-per-click (CPC) will be.

So, if you are a blogger or marketer who monetizes through Google AdSense, then your keyword research should focus on finding long-tail keywords with high advertiser competition so that you earn more money on every click.