Before you can optimize your website, you need to know what you’re optimizing for. Finding the right keywords to focus your SEO efforts on, can be challenging, but fortunately there’s a lot of data out there, and a structured approach that we can use for our keyword research.
Keywords are watch searchers type into a search engine, search engines like Google and Bing will go out and fetch the most relevant results for your search query based on everything they know about you and all the content on the entire internet. But it’s important to remember that search engines, have a hard time understanding what a user is after, unless it’s really spelled out. This is why you’ve probably followed up one search with another more descriptive search, more than a few times in your life. You try one keyword or query but it doesn’t give you just what you’re looking for. So you get more specific or you try it another way.
The bottom line is that people all over the world, are typing in all kinds of keywords, every second, of every hour, of every day. And it’s important for us to understand what they type in so that we can optimize our pages to be in the search results for those terms. Formal keyword research is the foundational piece in SEO, that will help you understand what people are typing in the search engines. The intent of those keywords, as the search engines understand it, how frequently they do it, how relevant those terms are to your business objectives, and how competitive those terms will be to try to rank for.
Let’s take an example, say you sell cars, you might think that the keyword car is something that you want to rank for. But after you’ve done a little keyword research, you’ll probably find that it won’t make your list. Why, well even though that word gets typed into search engines with a very high frequency, think about its relevance, how many reasons could somebody type the word car into a search engine. They might be looking for toys, a place for repairs, a car wash, car parts, a rental car, any one of hundreds of things that have nothing to do with actually buying a car. And think of all those people out there that are also trying to rank for the word car in the search engines. This is an extremely competitive term, a phrase like buy new blue Toyota Camry might not get typed in as much, but if that’s what you’re selling, it’s extremely relevant and much less competitive. Keywords like this will very likely end up on your list of keywords to optimize for.
Now that we understand a bit more about keywords and keyword research, it’s time to talk about planning. An effective keyword research plan involves having a sound, structured approach, that will lead to the discovery of keywords that you can use in the content of your website.
Ultimately, a keyword research plan, would give you the data that you need to make decisions about which keywords will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
And having the highest likelihood of being both relevant, and profitable for your business. With billions of queries searched each month, it’s important that we understand the goals of keyword research, what we’re looking for, and how we collect and analyze that data, to make decisions around our website.