Is Keyword Research Important?

I’m going to provide two answers for this:

 

The short answer – Keyword Research is very important.

 

 

The long answer – Keyword Research is very important for the following reasons. Let me explain why!

 

The SEO Benefits of Keyword Research

 

When you’re looking to improve your SEO ranking or give yourself an SEO ranking if you’re launching a new website, keyword research will help you find exactly what you should be targeting.

 

Say, for example, you’re an Accountant and want to increase your ranking. You need to identify what keywords are driving traffic to your competitors.

 

By using tools like SEM Rush, you can identify what keywords your competitors are using to get to one of the top 3 spots.

 

It’s really important you try to get the best ranking, as 60% of all Organic clicks go to the top 3 search results!

 

Bad Keyword Research (Or None at All) Can Have Bad Consequences

 

If you’re ranking on page 56 of Google, or not even ranking because you’ve just launched, you can say goodbye to any kind of Organic traffic.

 

When you’ve assessed that because you haven’t got any keywords on any of your pages, or on your blog, you’ll understand why your keywords are very important.

 

You’ll essentially become the Wally of the World Wide Web’s version of “Where’s Wally” – except no one’s looking for you…

 

Make sure people are looking for you and finding you with a good use of keywords, which can be found doing keyword research!

 

As an example, my keyword for this blog is “Keyword Research”, and I’ve included it 8 times. I could probably use it more, but then I start becoming spammy, and that’s not good either!

 

 

Image credit to Walmart

Picking the best keywords for your website’s SEO

In order to get the best possible search engine optimisation for your website you must ensure that you spend a great deal of time deciding on the exact keywords that you will focus on trying to push up the search engines. When doing this a lot of people make the mistake of not considering actually what users search to find a website like yourselves but instead they just use any keywords that are related to them. To choose your keywords correctly you have to get into the mindset of the user.

The first question you need to ask is ‘what is your target audience and what do they search for to get to you?’ If your company sells sports equipment it is much more effective to concentrate on keywords related to more specific items of sports equipment than the phrase ‘sports equipment’ itself. For example, it would be much more effective to use a phrase such as ‘football boots’ (with 246,000 monthly searches made on Google) as opposed to ‘sports equipment’ (40,500 monthly searches). Also, there is normally much less competition for more specific searches and in this case there are 15,100,000 results that come up for ‘football boots’ whilst there is far greater competition with ‘sports equipment’ as there is 83,700,000 results that appear for it. This is the basic idea behind this kind of competitive analysis and sometimes trial and error can play a huge part within it. Take time to understand your target audience’s online habits and what they look for to eventually get to your company, also, use tools like Google’s keyword tool which will allow you to analyse each individual keyword within your shortlist and see how much competition there is for this and how many searches are made using this keyword each month.

The next step is creating a long term and a short term plan for your keywords. You have to really understand the scope of your company’s presence and be realistic about your ambitions as it would be very naive to think that within 1 month your website will get to the first page of Google’s search engine whenever anyone searches for ‘web design’ unless you are a multi-million pound international company, and even then it wouldn’t be easy! This is where long-tail keywords come into play. Long-tail keywords are much more specific phrases that can be much more achievable in the short term (i.e, within 6 months) than short-tail keywords, which are much shorter and more general terms used. For example, we could set the goal of being on the front page of Google in our short term goals for the long-tail keyword of ‘Web Designers Birmingham‘ and then long-term goal could be to be on the front page of Google for the short-tail keyword of ‘Web Design’ which could be estimated to take between 1 and 2 years.

Being realistic about your targets is essential and it is very easy to get overambitious with your forecasts. As long as you are able to spend a good time identifying your target user’s online habits, studying the different statistics of your chosen keywords, and most importantly being objective and realistic about your targets for your search engine optimisation (SEO) then you should have a solid framework to get on your way with your online marketing plans.