Why Keyword Research Is So Important

You know that camping trip when you don’t have the right gear.  It’s OK at the start, but the further along you go, the more frustrating it is, the more evident the shortfalls and the less enjoyable the whole exercise is.

SEO is a bit like that.  If you learn SEO, the better equipped you are and the more planning you do beforehand, the more successful your strategy will be.  And one of the essential foundations for successful SEO is keyword research.

Importance of Keyword Research

I would consider keyword research to be the most valuable aspect of SEO and it’s not about simply putting together a list of words.  It’s a process through which you identify the most relevant words and phrases to attract visitors (and hopefully conversions) to your website by investigating a number of factors including the most relevant keywords for your business and considering if that keyword phrase really represents a business like yours. Using keyword research to decide on what you want to try and rank for will mean you can match the content on your website with what your targeted viewers are looking for.

Consider this actual example. 

You’d think the obvious choice of keyword for an online marketing agency in Perth would be ‘online marketing agency Perth’, but research showed that there were less than 10 searches every month for that keyword while ‘SEO Perth’ clocked up 3600 searches over the same period.

The success for this SEO strategy hinges on the website pages being optimised for the individual services that the agency provides (eg SEO, Google Ads etc) rather than for the umbrella descriptor of the business (online marketing agency).

Without keyword research, it’s very easy to go down the wrong path when trying to optimise a website.

The Most Appropriate Keywords

What you need to do is work through a methodical process of defining the most appropriate keywords that will attract good quality visitors to your website.   Once you have done all the appropriate research and identified a shortlist of keyword phrases, you can then optimise each page of content with at least one or two of these (making sure that the keyword you use is relevant to the content of that specific page).

Your keyword research will reveal what searchers are looking for and which words and phrases that will generate traffic and potential conversations.  Sometimes, your research will throw up some surprising results and you may not end up with the keywords that you initially thought would work for you. 

That’s when you need a frank conversation with yourself.  Trust the research.  Google will rank websites based on the best quality result for each search term so if you’re not on the right path and your existing structure isn’t working optimally for you, what are you going to do about it?  Sometimes, an investment in time and tools is required in order to update your website and create new content containing those relevant keywords which will really fire up your SEO.  A bit like investing in the right camping gear to optimise your experience!

The ideal process is to brainstorm appropriate keywords, including niche keyword phrases that best describe or represent your business, including local search terms where it is relevant to do so (based on your town, suburb or city depending on what your business is and if your ideal customer is likely to search for your product or service including a local search term.  Keyword research tools can then be used to determine those keywords which will deliver the best results.

Choosing the Best Keywords

Depending on the industry you’re in, choosing the best keywords can be a challenge.  You may not get it right first time.  Even SEO experts don’t always nail it from the get go.  But remember, even if you’ve put in a lot of time and effort into researching and finetuning your keywords, it’s not something you can then put on the backburner.  Keyword research is constantly evolving and if you want to stay ahead, you need to keep working at it.

Karen Dauncey

Karen Dauncey has been working in SEO since 2003. She specialises in helping businesses get found online through Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Karen's wealth of SEO knowledge and practical digital marketing experience comes from running her own SEO and Google Ads agency, Blue Cherry Online Marketing since 2008. Karen has optimised over 1000 websites, managed millions of dollars' worth of spend on Google Ads and has a solid understanding of the constantly shifting industry of digital marketing and SEO. This gives her a unique advantage when it comes to being able to recommend the right online marketing strategies for your business.

She is the founder and creator of The SEO School an online SEO Course to help teach business owners how to do their own SEO. She regularly delivers educational programs for both Local, State and Federal Government and was an advisor for the ASBAS Digital Solutions Program. Karen’s passion and commitment to help small business owners get found online is the driving force behind her online school, making SEO advice accessible to all with free resources and online courses.

Karen has attended search engine conferences in London, Stockholm, Adelaide and Sydney, and was also invited to attend a pilot Business Coaching Course at Google’s Head Office. She has a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK.

She is also the co-owner of the Digital Experts Directory, an online directory for female serviced-based businesses to promote their business (with a great backlink for SEO).

To keep up to date with the latest in SEO, join her Facebook group The SEO School Community or follow her on Facebook
or LinkedIn.

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