What Is Keyword Research?

Do you know the secret to unlocking the internet?

A really big key? Good guess, but guess again...

Internet ‘gurus’ are always promoting a marketing or internet scheme that promises to get everyone rich. Spoiler: they rarely work as advertised.

But what is keyword research? Keywords and keyword research is not a scheme from an internet guru. Although, keywords are one of the main ways the internet functions and people find their information. So you will fall in love with what they can do for your business.

By understanding keywords and keyword research, the potential to increase website visitors and profit rises dramatically.

Do we have your attention? Great! Below we’ll continue explaining all about keywords and keyword research.

What Are Keywords and What’s the Point in Them?

A keyword is a phrase that we use to search the internet. For example, you might want to learn about the most comfortable leads for Labradors. In this situation, you’ll probably go onto the internet and type something like, ‘comfortable leads for medium-sized dogs’ or ‘best leads for Labradors.’ Gotta respect that alliteration.

Despite those searches including multiple words, each phrase is one keyword. Keywords start to get interesting when we scale up to billions of people who use the internet daily. Suddenly, trends and patterns emerge.

For example, more than 10,000 people a month could search ‘best leads for Labradors’, but only 100 people a month search for, ‘comfortable leads for medium-sized dogs.’ This data is very valuable for a business trying to increase revenue. That's what makes this process fun, but also surprising.

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A business can use on-page and off-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to get a web page and landing pages to appear for particular keywords. So if you had a business selling dog leads, you would look at the data and see a lot more people searching for ‘best leads for Labradors.’ That’s 10,000 potential customers.

A Brief History of Keywords

Without an understanding of the history of keywords, they might seem like a weird way for us to find our information online. Well, buckle up because it gets weirder.

In the very early days of the internet, there were only a handful of websites, people would literally write them down in a notebook. But as the number of websites expanded, there was a genuine issue of how to index, navigate, and find all of them.

Search engines to the rescue! Search engines created systems to rank websites based on particular phrases a user inputs into them. Using clever algorithms and programming, they analyze websites all over the internet and store information on them.

Each search engine, including Google, keeps the heavy details of its algorithms a secret. However, through careful analysis, SEO professionals have identified many influencing factors. These factors are essential to get a website to appear for a particular keyword.

What Is Keyword Research?

Now that you know what a keyword is, we’ll explain what keyword research is. In an earlier section, we mentioned the process without calling it research.

Keyword research is finding relevant keywords for your business or website to appear in search engines.

Some essential elements make up SEO keyword research. On top of these elements, professionals like to add their own criteria.

Keyword Volume

Keyword volume is usually presented as monthly figures, for instance, 10 per month. This number is the approximate amount of people searching that term a month. Ideally, you would find a relevant keyword with a huge keyword volume when conducting keyword research.

However, depending on the other factors listed below, sometimes it’s a smarter SEO strategy to target smaller volume keywords.

Keyword Relevance

Sometimes, we see an SEO keyword with a huge volume and put it on our target list. However, a filter is needed to remove keywords that won’t provide actual value.

Actual value means that if you sell coffee, there is little point in getting 100000 page views a month for a keyword about builders screws. It’s nice to get a lot of traffic, and maybe you could convert some of that, but it’s not an efficient use of time.

Keep keywords relevant to your purpose. There are opportunities to target a spectrum of keywords, but keep focusing on ones that directly impact your business.

Keyword Competition 

Another factor in deciding whether a keyword is worth targeting is competition. Trying to rank above a long-established website is difficult if you are a small or new website. However, it’s not impossible, especially if you are extremely relevant.

When analyzing keyword competition, you search the rankings for the websites that appear for a keyword. If you can realistically compete, the keyword is worth going after. Queue Rocky music.

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Primary Keywords

When researching keywords, create a list of the most important one or two. These keywords are your primary targets. If you ranked for a primary keyword, you would see a significant increase in targets beyond just traffic. For example, sales might increase and so will your happiness along with your busy-ness.

Secondary Keywords

You can only have one or two primary keywords, all the others are secondary. Ranking for secondary keywords is still an outstanding achievement. Where’s my trophy?

A secondary keyword list can be much more extensive and target different areas.

Long-Tail, Informational, and Converting Keywords

Another good tip when putting together a keyword research document is to define what type of keyword it is.

Some keywords are informational, meaning that the person searching wants an answer to a question. These people aren’t looking to buy or purchase a product. For example, ‘how many inches are in a foot’ is an informational keyword, and the person behind the search doesn’t have any buying intent.

On the other hand, someone searching for ‘brown wedding shoes, size 9’ is much more likely to purchase their search. Understanding search intent is key to reaching your particular goals.

Why Is Keyword Research Important to Your Small Business?

By researching keywords, small business owners can identify the phrases and terms that your target customers are using when searching for solutions or services like yours. This allows you to create content that both fits the needs of your customers, as well as having a greater chance of appearing on SERPs.

Keyword research can also help in understanding customer intent behind certain searches — whether they’re looking for more information about a product or service, trying to make a purchase decision, looking for customer support, etc. Understanding this intent allows you to craft content and campaigns that better cater to what your customers are actually looking for.

Use Keyword Research to Drastically Improve Online Visibility

Without keyword research, marketing on the internet is just feeling in the dark. Do yourself a favor and take that blindfold off. You need to understand your audience and target market, and Keyword research can provide so much information to help inform your choices.

Request an appointment today to learn more about our keyword research process and how it can improve your business or agency’s offering.

What Is Keyword Research? Summary

• Understanding keywords and keyword research can significantly increase a business’ website visitors and profit.

• Keywords are phrases used to search the internet and trends & patterns emerge when scaled up.

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques can be used to get web pages to appear for particular keywords.

• Keyword research is the process of finding relevant keywords, factoring in volume, relevance, competition, primary & secondary keywords.

• Keywords can also be categorized as informational or converting based on the search intent.

• Utilizing keyword research helps inform choices & greatly improves online visibility.

What Is Keyword Research? FAQs