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Monday, 15 April 2013 19:22

Keyword Research is Vital for SEO

WHAT IS IT?

Technology is changing so quickly.  What was once considered good management techniques are quickly outdated, and nowhere is that more true than in Search Engine Optimization.  Once it was enough to insert some keywords into your text and feel fairly safe that those keywords would drive traffic to your site.

Now, however, with so many algorithms affecting the search engines, it is necessary to do research to determine which keywords will have the most beneficial effect.  Keyword Research is the practice of SEO professionals to find search terms used by people when they are doing searches on Google and other search engine sites.

 

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?

Thinking logically for a moment, it does no good if you are using keywords that do not drive traffic to your site.  The goal of keyword research is to determine which keywords are actually being looked for by the people you want visiting your site.  It is the difference, in many cases, between success and failure of your site, and for a business, that truly is the bottom line.

 

SEMANTIC SEARCH

Now we begin to delve into the nuts and bolts of keyword research.  Researchers not only need to know which keywords are being sought, but they also need to know the semantics, or meaning, behind the keywords.  In other words, researchers need to know what users mean when they do a search for a particular keyword.

For instance, if someone types in the keyword “kitchen” do they mean:

  • They want to remodel their kitchen?
  • They want to paint their kitchen and are looking for the perfect color scheme?
  • They want new kitchen appliances?

True, in most searches, people use a combination of keywords, but even then Google has to make an “educated guess” regarding what the user is looking for.

Keyword Research takes a close look at these keywords and phrases and tries to find clues that will unlock the perfect keyword or keywords for a particular business.

 

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID

The following are some of the common mistakes made in keyword research:

  • Being unrealistic:  generic keywords may not drive traffic to your site.  Some keywords are so popular that they are used for almost every business related to a particular field. Sometimes using less-popular keywords in a tight niche will drive more traffic to your site.
  • Looking at broad match rather than specific match:  Google’s Keyword Tool is a bit misleading. There are times a broad match for a keyword will show huge numbers, when in fact the specific match shows considerably smaller numbers.
  • Targeting plural rather than singular:  the simple use of the letter “s” in a search, designating plural rather than singular, can affect the actual number of searches for your keyword.
  • Not understanding conversion:  do you want traffic to your site or do you want customers willing to buy?  That is why an understanding of conversion is so important.  What does the keyword mean in terms of buying customers?
  • Out of context keywords:  it should come as no surprise that many words have different meanings.  Understanding this can greatly affect the number of views you receive based on keyword choice.
  • Failure to conduct keyword reviews:  search engines are constantly changing, and if you are not reviewing results and changing as well, you could be fishing a dry pond.
  • The final result should be to drive serious customers to your site.  That is the goal of keyword research, and that is why you should take it seriously in this ever-changing world of technology.