Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in search engine optimization. This is because before you can start optimizing your site for search engines, you must pick the keywords to optimize it for.
Keyword research is not just about getting visitors to your site, but also about getting the right kind of visitors. Keyword research is a fundamental part of all kinds of search engine optimization, but is especially relevant for freelance writers, bloggers, and online publishers.
“There is your audience, there is your language, and there are the words that they use” – Eugene Schwartz. This quote, from one of the most influential copywriters in the history of the craft, illustrates the significance of keyword research nicely.
There are many ways to carry out keyword research. Google Adwords’ keyword tool is the most popular and easy tool for keyword research. There are several factors to consider when selecting a keyword, such as how valuable certain keywords are, and how many global and local searches they receive, and the Google keyword tool can help provide this information. However, keyword research tools can’t tell you how valuable the traffic from those searches is. To understand the real value of a keyword, you need to understand your own website. Make a hypothesis, test, and repeat: the classic web marketing formula.
A few rules of keyword research:
- When picking a keyword to begin your research, it doesn’t matter what software you’re using: you pick a keyword that is related to your website.
- You must pick a keyword that has enough people searching for it. If nobody is searching for that keyword, you will not attract any visitors to your website.
- Most software will help you examine the strength of the competition. However you only need to perform a search for your keywords to see who the top 10 results are. If they include some of the big names, it may be a good idea to pick other keywords.
- If you don’t use words that people are actually interested in and searching for, you’re missing a lot of potential traffic.