Keyword research should be a part of every site owner’s overall marketing tactics, whether they are involved in ecommerce or blogging. Likewise, SEO is an important part of increasing traffic, improving your reputation and bumping up your site’s visibility. To do that, you need to know what keywords to target, which take us right back to keyword research.
You should always have a regularly updated list of what keywords are bringing in the highest returns with your search results. Often you will find these are not the words you would have expected, mainly due to popular terms being used by so many other sites, where statistically you are less likely to be seen in the mix. Instead, you need to target those that actually give you a chance of coming up top in Google search rankings.
So how do you get this data? What do you do with it once you have it? How important are long tail keywords? Here are some things you need to know about keyword research and how it comes into play for a good SEO campaign.
Getting the Keywords
Part of this process is just going to be about common sense. Let’s say you run a blog that does reviews for iPhone apps. The most obvious keyword would be ‘iPhone app’. But you can bet that a few hundred thousand other sites are going to be using that keyword. You would be better off using a long tail keyword that provides more description. For example, including a popular app you have reviewed, or the version of the iPhone currently on sale.
But the next part is calculating the returns from certain keywords. You can start out by using a keyword tool, such as on Google Adwords, Wordtracker, or SEO Book. It should give you a list to start from, which you will then need to put into Google to see how many results you get and what competing sites you will be up against. You want keywords with the least results, to give you a better chance of appearing in top ranking spots.
Establishing Valuable Keywords
Above it was mentioned that you have to take into account the competition for certain keywords. Occasionally, you will come across a keyword that has few results (or less than most). But the top ten or twenty ranking spots are taken by large sites that are well established. Having a few of these in results is perfectly normal, but too many and you will have little to no chance of breaking into the ranks.
Basically, value of a keyword is going to be judged by both the number of results it can become lost in, and the number of sites using it that can dominate your own in a search. The best keywords are those that have shown they can pass both of these measure points and so provide you with greater results in less time, with less effort.
I did a quick slideshow explaining keyword research and finding the best ones:
Keyword research is a little time-consuming, but it isn’t difficult. It is also entirely necessary, and the benefits far outweigh the irritation of having to conduct it on a regular basis. Just try it, and you will see it for yourself.
Image Credit: 1.