The Value and Process of Keyword Research

Keywords are just that – words are literally the key your online customers will use to reach your website. Choosing a descriptive spectrum of keywords for search engines is crucial to your website’s success. While online research tools for keyword choice are helpful, the greatest weapon in your arsenal is creative thinking.

Your first step is simply to brainstorm. What is your niche? When the general public hears of your business, what are the mental images that come to mind? Simple phrases, general topics, tools and implements used in your trade – all can trigger a response in the search engine arena. Create a list – a long list. You may wish to avoid or keep to a minimum one-word keywords, as they may prove to be too generic and will have little effect on your rankability. The traffic that they generate may not convert, and conversions count.

If you already have a website, take its temperature. Use your preferred analytics tool to process site traffic over the past few months. What have been the keywords searched that led to inbound traffic from search engines? What pages on your site get the most attention?
By researching these two elements, you can add to your growing keyword list and continue to refine its categories. You can also assess your site visitors and where their primary interest(s) lies.

Don’t be afraid to lurk. Do your research on your research! Google your industry. Check out your competition. What are they ranking for? Just as valuable for what works well, check out what doesn’t. You want to find “pain points”. Remind yourself that whenever someone purchases something, it is usually because they want to solve a particular problem. What problem is your audience trying to solve? This is where you can get more specific.

Perhaps you own a bakery. What do you wish to emphasize in your advertising? Do you offer gluten free options? Do you specialize in wedding cakes or German pastries? Do you deliver? All of these items would be outstanding search terms for your keyword keyring.

Start pooling keywords like these together into different categories. Categories help you organize your keywords, so you can create silos of content later on. Once you have categorized sets of keywords, you can then start building pages and develop specific content for your website. Each category of keywords could potentially be a new page on your site. That means you are mastering keyword research, thinking of SEO, and starting a content plan all in one!

Be mindful to prioritize your keywords based on user intent. Think about what search terms come from highest-value traffic. Look at your pool of prioritized keywords and try to decipher where on a buying journey the customer might be. Cross-check your newly chosen prioritized keywords with the competition each category faces once more, just to know what you will be up against.

Remember that your work with keyword research is never done. You will continually want to measure your site performance based on your keyword use, and adjust your strategy to pursue better outcomes. Consistently make an effort to evaluate your process and make adjustments that help you pursue goals and push growth. When you take the time to do phenomenal keyword research, you are much better prepared to deliver content to your audience consistently and effortlessly.