Keyword Research, What is it? How Do I use It?

woman looking at laptop trying to understand keyword research

Introduction

Keyword research is a vital aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) that involves identifying the words and phrases that people use to search for products, services, or information related to a particular industry or topic. SEO specialists conduct keyword research to understand what their target audience is searching for, how often they search for it, and how competitive it is to rank for those keywords. This helps them to optimize website content, improve search engine rankings, and attract more qualified traffic to their site. 

Keyword research is essential for businesses that want to drive traffic to their website and generate leads or sales. Without it, businesses risk creating content that does not resonate with their target audience or failing to rank for high-traffic and high-converting keywords. Completing thorough keyword research can help businesses stay ahead of their competitors and achieve their SEO goals.

Keywords Search Volume 

Search volume is a crucial metric in keyword research that refers to the number of times a specific keyword or phrase is searched for on search engines such as Google. Understanding the search volume of a particular keyword is important because it indicates the popularity of that keyword among your target audience. Keywords with higher search volume are likely to generate more traffic to your website, which can translate into higher revenue and conversions.

Choosing keywords with high search volume is important for businesses that want to attract more organic traffic to their website. However, it’s also essential to consider the competitiveness of the keyword as it may be difficult to rank for high-volume keywords in competitive niches. This is where long-tail keywords come into play, as they are more specific and targeted, making them easier to rank for.

There are several tools available to determine search volume, including Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. These tools allow SEO specialists to analyze and identify high-volume keywords that align with their business goals and target audience. By leveraging these tools, businesses can uncover valuable insights into their target audience’s search behavior and tailor their SEO strategy accordingly.

Ranking Difficulty

Ranking difficulty is a measure of how challenging it is to rank for a particular keyword on search engine result pages (SERPs). This factor is determined by analyzing the strength and authority of competing websites that are already ranking for that keyword. The higher the ranking difficulty score, the harder it is to achieve a high position on SERPs for that particular keyword.

Ranking difficulty significantly impacts keyword selection as it determines the level of effort required to achieve a high ranking on SERPs. Choosing keywords with low-ranking difficulty can help businesses achieve better SEO results with less effort, as they are easier to rank for. Additionally, targeting low-ranking difficulty keywords may also help businesses to build momentum and gain credibility with search engines, which can boost their overall SEO efforts.

Tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer and Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty can help businesses determine the ranking difficulty of specific keywords. These tools provide detailed information on the strength of competing websites and the likelihood of ranking for a particular keyword. By analyzing ranking difficulty, businesses can prioritize their SEO efforts and choose keywords that are more likely to generate positive results in a shorter amount of time.

Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are more specific and targeted than broader keywords. These types of keywords typically have lower search volume, but they are also less competitive, making them easier to rank for. By using long-tail keywords in their SEO strategy, businesses can effectively target specific niche audiences. This is because long-tail keywords are often used by people who are searching for something very specific, indicating that they are further along in the buyer’s journey and are more likely to convert.

Long-tail keywords can also help businesses to optimize their content for voice search. As more people use voice-activated devices to search for information, optimizing content for long-tail keywords that mimic natural language can help businesses to capture a larger share of the voice search market. Additionally, long-tail keywords can help businesses to better understand the search intent of their target audience, allowing them to create more targeted and relevant content that resonates with their audience and drives higher engagement and conversions.

LSI Keywords

LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords are words and phrases that are semantically related to a particular keyword. They are an important aspect of SEO as search engines use them to understand the content and context of a webpage. By using LSI keywords in website content, businesses can create a more comprehensive and relevant experience for their target audience, which can lead to improved search engine rankings and increased organic growth. LSI keywords can also help to avoid overuse of a particular keyword, which can lead to keyword stuffing and penalization by search engines. By using LSI keywords in their content, businesses can create a more natural and engaging user experience while improving their SEO efforts.

Man looking over whiteboard with pages outlined trying to map keywords

Keyword Mapping

Keyword mapping is the process of assigning relevant keywords to specific pages on a website. This involves mapping out the website’s structure and identifying the most relevant keywords for each page based on the page’s content and target audience. Keyword mapping is an important part of SEO strategy as it helps businesses to optimize their website for search engines and improve their rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).

By mapping out the website’s content and assigning relevant keywords to each page, businesses can create a strong SEO foundation for their website. This helps SEO specialists and copywriters to accurately create relevant content for each page, which aligns with the page’s keywords and target audience. By creating targeted and relevant content, businesses can improve engagement and conversions on their website, ultimately driving revenue growth. Additionally, keyword mapping can also help businesses to identify gaps in their content and find opportunities for new content creation, which can further enhance their SEO efforts.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is the percentage of times a particular keyword or phrase appears on a webpage in relation to the total number of words on the page. In the past, search engines used keyword density as a ranking factor, which led to the practice of keyword stuffing, where webmasters would excessively use a particular keyword on a page to manipulate search rankings. However, search engines have become more sophisticated and now penalize websites for excessive keyword use.

To avoid keyword density issues, it’s important to focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant and informative to the target audience. Instead of focusing on a specific keyword density percentage, businesses should aim to naturally include relevant keywords in their content where appropriate. Additionally, using synonyms and related keywords can also help to avoid overusing a particular keyword while still communicating the same topic or message. By focusing on providing high-quality content that is relevant to the target audience, businesses can avoid keyword density issues and create a positive user experience that ultimately leads to improved SEO results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, keyword research is a critical component of search engine optimization (SEO) that helps businesses understand what their target audience is searching for and how to optimize the website content to improve search engine rankings and attract more qualified traffic. Understanding the search volume, ranking difficulty, and use of long-tail keywords and LSI keywords can provide valuable insights into the target audience’s search behavior and help prioritize SEO efforts. Keyword mapping and keyword density can also improve website optimization, engagement, and conversions, ultimately driving revenue growth. By leveraging the right tools and strategies for keyword research, businesses can stay ahead of their competitors and achieve their SEO goals.