The existence of credible internet marketing tools has made today’s business landscape a very interesting territory for brands, services and products that want to succeed and leave their mark online. The importance of keyword research can’t really be overstated, and here we look at ways this can be done and some of the tools that can help you.
Having effective tools that help boost your internet marketing gives you an opportunity to reach a much wider and bigger market that no traditional marketing method would, especially for a brick and mortar venture. Therefore, search, ranks at the top of the list of the tools that can help bring lots of traffic to your site.
Whenever someone needs information about your product or service or needs to find more details before they make a purchase, 81 percent of the time they will rely on their search engine results pages. Furthermore, most of them will not even go beyond the first page and will usually click the first top three links. As an entrepreneur building a presence online for your business, your focus needs to be on ranking high up on search engine page results as possible if you are to survive the online marketplace.
And of course, with all that pressure, it’s quite easy to take for granted the importance of keyword research especially if you are new to the online space and have limited resources.
So, What Exactly is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the practice of studying and selecting words and phrases that your users will most likely search for on any given search engine that relates to your brand, services or products.
In short, a keyword is a term, phrase or word that a user keys in on their search engine to look up information either on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other available search engine of their choice. Keyword research is how we ensure that we have our ears to the ground and are listening to our customers. Moreover, keyword research isn’t a one-off deal but an exercise that is done regularly.
For instance, if you are an advertising firm located in London, it would make lots of sense if someone is searching for ‘London advertising firm’ finds your firm listed on the user’s search engine results. However, for this to happen, you will need more than keywords. Your website must be optimised around these keywords to allow the search engine’s ‘spiders’ to crawl up the internet and dig this information.
As you think about keyword phrases for your site and why indeed it’s important, remember that we are Social and Hootsuite published a report this year that showed that half of the world’s population are using the internet.
Imagine that! A whooping 3.77 billion people are on the internet and that 50 percent of the global web traffic comes from mobile phones. This clearly shows that today, the internet is the most important avenue for reaching people and the importance of keyword research for your business. And even though your business can reach its audience online, you need to understand how to avail your content to them.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
For you to get high rankings on the internet, you need to start by finding the right sets of keywords. These keywords are what you will use in your internet marketing campaigns.
9 out of every ten users will look for information that they need on search engines. As mentioned earlier, they will type in a phrase or word that relates to what information they seek. That word or phrase is what we call a keyword. Let’s assume the user is using Google. Once the user clicks search, Google’s algorithms will filter through the mammoth amount of analysed and indexed web pages by its ‘spiders’. The ‘spiders’ are usually a software that crawls through each and every content of the various web pages that Google then matches with the keyword being searched for.
Keywords, therefore, play a very important role in matching content from your website to what your audience or customers are looking for. The chosen keyword phrases for your business needs to target the right traffic to your website – traffic that gets you conversions in terms of paying customers. Using the wrong set of keyword phrases will attract traffic that won’t bring any Return on Investment (ROI) let alone have a positive contribution to your business’ bottom line.
If your business is to succeed online, you can never ignore or not implement keyword research in your marketing campaigns. Keyword research is the single most important aspect of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or internet marketing campaign. Why is my keyword research important? You might be asking yourself. Here’s why:
Tied to all your online activities
As mentioned earlier, both online users and search engines rely on keywords to find your website’s content. Whether it’s your website, blog, paid advertising or online marketing, everything needs to be tied to keyword phrases that relate to your business.
Right keywords result on high ranking on search engines
Using the wrong keywords will only have a negative impact on your business. It means you are pulling the wrong crowd and since they aren’t the right audience, they won’t buy. In short, it’s like having the wrong phone number, website link and wrong address in all your marketing materials.
Keyword and SEO
Keywords and SEO go hand in hand. Keywords need SEO and SEO need keywords for them to give you the best possible results you need.
Until you find the right keywords and phrases that will get your business the results you need, you won’t be able to optimise your site efficiently for search engines. For you to develop a successful online campaign, your keyword research and SEO must marry.
However, keywords keep changing based on what users want. As such, as a business, you need to ensure you are up to date with the latest keyword searches related to your business. Furthermore, you need to constantly update your keyword list and not just target words and phrases that are only popular.
Understand your audience
The thing about keyword research is that it enables you to discover and ascertain what it is exactly your customers are after.
For example, if you own a shoe store and sell five different designer shoes and realise that most of your clients only search for one specific shoe design, you can optimise your site using keywords that relate to that particular shoe. This will make it easy for your clients to find you and they can look at the other shoe designs you have.
What that simply means, is that your audience have allowed you to know what it is they want and by using those keywords, you show that you know what they need and that is what you are giving to them.
How to do Keyword Research
Once you begin to realise the importance of keyword research, you might wonder how it can be done efficiently to ensure you have covered all bases. Keyword research lies at the heart of every successful online marketing campaign. A few words that describe the content of your website makes up your keyword phrases.
The rule of thumb is using keywords that majority of people use when making searches online and yet used by a small number of your competitors. Having the right keywords means you are halfway into winning the battle but targeting those keywords rightfully means having a higher ranking on search engines and free organic traffic to your site.
How then can you achieve this?
Have an initial list of keywords
If you own a business, you can come up with an initial list of keywords. How, you ask. By putting yourself in the shoes of your targeted audience. Think of your brand, services or products and think of what you would search for if tables were turned and you were the customer looking to buy your own products. Here, you can use your own judgement to try and see what people would actually search for when it comes to the service or products you offer. Try to answer the what, where, whey, how and other probable questions your visitors may use.
Use keyword research tools
There are plenty of free and paid tools available on the internet that you can use to do your keyword research. Keyword research tools not only help your campaign but also help you filter through the initial keyword list you’d come up with. This way, you are able to identify which phrases are good when it comes to relevance and demand for search results. A good example of two great tools for your keyword research is the SEMrush and LongTailPro. We love the two tools not only because they are great when it comes to finding keywords but because they both have a list of features that work best for marketers or SEO specialists. Moreover, LongTailPro is the best long tail keyword search available in the market.
Use keywords suggestions to improve your shortlist
After the two steps above, you will need to refine your chosen keyword list. You can do this by making use of keyword suggestions to improve your shortlist by use of the keyword research tool you are using. For instance, if you are using the SEMrush tool, it can help you improve your shortlist by giving you better insights on how your targeted visitors add, remove or arrange words when they are doing an actual search. However, when perfecting your keyword phrases pick, you need to ensure that the final list just doesn’t relate to your site content but fully describes all that your content is about.
Even though broad keywords work, businesses need to be careful when using them. Moreover, broad keywords tend to have lots of competition, and you risk attracting visitors that may not be the right target market for your campaign leading to a loss of revenue. Businesses that target customers globally stand a good chance in hacking broad keyword use. For example, “nail parlours” might work for a business that has several stores and has a presence in several countries. If, however, your business is located in one town, adding the specific town or state to your keyword phrase, e.g. “Manchester nail parlours” or “nail parlours in Manchester” can result in better brand visibility and a more targeted result. Use of specific search phrases can have a net positive impact on your business’ bottom line. This will not only lead to customer conversions but will also help with the ranking.
Product specific keyword searches
Most businesses offer more than one type of product or service. These are usually classified and put under different categories. As such, when performing keyword searches, it’s important to factor in all these categories. You can choose to target a specific service or product. Although it might be strenuous, especially for those with e-commerce sites that feature various categories, it will be worth your while. Having targeted keyword phrases that relate to specific products will increase your chances of engaging the right customers for the precise kind of services or products featured in a certain category.
Long Tail Keywords
When doing keyword research, you need to make use of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords don’t usually have lots of searches. However, anyone using a long tail keyword to perform a search means that they have a specific problem that they need an exact solution to. What does this mean for your business? It means that you also need to focus on researching long tail keywords that users may use when searching for content related to your business. By targeting several long tail keywords, you will be able to generate lots of traffic to your website. A useful tool to use for this is the Long Tail Pro we had earlier mentioned. Businesses or brands can get their long tail keyword phrases by adding more words to the already existing keywords. Using our previous example, “Manchester nail parlour” your long tail keyword phrase would be “who is best nail parlour in Manchester” or “find the best nail parlours in Manchester”. Most SEO experts usually use long tail keywords in blog postings so as to rank high up when it comes to SERPS. As a brand, you can never go wrong using a long tail keyword for your business.
Bottom Line – The Importance Of Keyword Research
As mentioned earlier, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think of what they’d look for. Keyword research is an essential part of your online marketing campaign strategies. The better your keyword, the better results you get on search engines and the better conversions you are able to get from the right customers.