Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword Research for SEO

Finding and researching commonly used words and phrases in a specific industry that attracts traffic to industry-related websites constitutes keyword research. These are the first steps in search engine optimization (SEO) for all websites.

Why Perform Keyword Research?

The reason behind keyword research is to find those words and phrases that real people, like you and me, search for daily. It’s precisely the words we type into the Google search bar to receive search results that we hope will answer our question.

The terms we use in our query should directly relate to the product or service from which we need more information. Search engines, especially Google, changed their algorithms to understand better our intent based on the keywords we use.

Google knows that our intent is directly related to the keywords we use during our searches. The search engines are getting scary good, and now that artificial intelligence (AI) made its presence known, there is no telling where this will go.

But, one thing is for sure.  Keyword research and SEO will never go away because humans still think faster and with more emotion than AI can or ever will. That said, we have the edge in internet searches and will always use specific keywords to identify a problem or question that needs immediate attention.

The search engine results pages (SERPS) will show relevant results, making SEO and keyword research vital for this function. Proper SEO and a good understanding of our audiences based on the questions they ask leads us down the path to a better picture of searcher intent.

How Keyword Research Assists in Site Architecture

During a redesign or building of your website, keyword research helps you edit your site’s architecture and shows a fresh look at your existing content to curate. Are your keywords current with your content? Will they need updating, too?

Search engines love sites that are easy to navigate and find information. They will give you a boost up the SERPS if your site ranks highly for ease of use and dissemination of relevant information.

If you find that during a round of keyword research, your site is too cluttered, reorganization solely for better user experience is very wise, indeed. Relevant content and keyword research ultimately attract readers to your content.

When they arrive, make it a pleasant stay.

Website Structure

A significant consideration for your site structure is to perform more keyword research to highlight further copywriting and content requirements. It’s good SEO practice to provide variations of keywords for each service within your site.  Find out more about the top 5 seo practices.

Use your brand’s voice to strategically integrate the new keywords into the language of your site. SEO requires that your site is very familiar with the search engines. That’s a big reason why regular maintenance of your site is essential. Well-structured sites always fare better in the long-run.

Optimized Keyword Content

Part of SEO best practices is keeping up with all the algorithm changes that occur. Most of the changes are minor, but it’s best to stay aware of any change. Using outdated SEO techniques will only hurt your rankings.

Optimization always includes keyword research because, over time, the keywords will get replaced or become less relevant from year to year. Descriptions for products and services evolve and may not accurately agree with how your users search.

Annual optimization will do wonders for your content and the associated relevancy of its keywords. During the optimization, be sure to update the metadata titles and descriptions where needed.

Keyword Research Tools

For keyword touch-ups, using Google Instant Search tells you quickly about a keyword’s popularity. Enter your seed word into the Google search bar (not the address bar in the browser) and as you enter each letter, watch for the words that start appearing under your seed word.

You can be sure those words are popular and the most recent searches.

More extensive searches involve using fairly sophisticated tools like the Moz Keyword Explorer and the Google Keyword Planner. For more options, try Wordtracker’s Free Keyword Research Tool. They also offer a free Chrome extension called Scout to highlight a page’s keywords in a cloud formation.  Check out this page to learn more on keyword research.