When it comes to getting your website to perform well on search engines, keyword research is an essential part of the process. But for those who are new to SEO, the prospect of researching keywords and understanding their relevance for a strategy can be daunting. Here’s an introduction to keyword research, including why it’s important and what elements you should consider.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the act of discovering and analyzing queries that people enter into search engines, in order to leverage that data to drive specific results, typically for search engine optimization (SEO) or other marketing techniques. By researching keywords, you can get insight into the type of inquiries your target audience is making, the popularity of these searches, the level of difficulty in ranking for them, and more.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
The primary benefit of keyword research is that it allows you to identify what your audience is actually looking for when conducting searches. When your content aligns with the topics and queries your audience seeks, you stand to gain more traffic. Ultimately, successful keyword research helps you to create content that is in line with what people want to discover – rather than just creating content around what you want to talk about. Starting with keyword research is key to an effective SEO strategy.
Elements of Keyword Research
When researching keywords or conducting an overall SEO strategy, there are a few main elements to keep in mind.
- Relevance – Relevance is all about understanding search intent, which means creating content that actually meets the searcher’s needs. Furthermore, for Google to rank your content higher, it must provide more value than any other existing content on the web.
- Authority – To become an authoritative source, you have to earn it by providing helpful content and promoting it across social media and other avenues to receive signals and backlinks. If you’re deemed as not being an authority in the space, or if the SERPs for the keyword are dominated by well-known sources, then it will be difficult for your content to rank.
- Volume – Paying attention to the number of monthly searches for a particular keyword is important in SEO. Researching keywords that offer high volumes of searches each month is essential to determine the topics you should create content around.
Keywords vs Topics
In the last decade, many SEO professionals shied away from focusing on keywords and instead looked to focus on topics. This is because there was a belief that focusing solely on keywords would not be beneficial to the ranking ability of a website.
However, while this is true in some respects, keyword research still has a huge part to play in the SEO process. By identifying popular keywords, you can sort your content into topics that you know your audience wants to learn more about. As such, keyword research still plays an integral role in SEO.
Keyword research is an important task for any SEO professional. Knowing what topics are popular among your target audience and finding the relevant keywords and search queries to target can help inform both content strategy and overall marketing objectives. With the right tools and insights, you can gain further insights into current and trending topics and improve the performance of your website in organic search.