Keyword research is one of the first steps to setting up your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. But what if you already know your audience and what they’re searching for? Is this still really necessary? Is keyword research still relevant to SEO?
Well, the short answer is: YES. And we’re going to explain it to you in this article. Read on to discover just how important keyword research is and why it should be part of your SEO strategy.
What is Keyword Research?
Before we can determine why keyword research is important for SEO, we first need to define it.
Keyword research is the process of uncovering and analyzing search terms that people use to find relevant information on a topic. It involves identifying the most popular keywords used by potential customers when searching for products or services and investigating how competitive those keywords are. By understanding what language potential customers use, businesses can create content that will rank higher in search engine results, ultimately driving more organic traffic.
For instance, you can research keywords customers use if you run a local cake shop in New York. These keywords can include: “cake bakery in New York” or “birthday cake.”
Main Elements of Keyword Research
While there are many aspects to consider when conducting keyword research, the three main elements you should consider are relevancy, authority, and search volume.
When carrying out keyword research, relevance should be at the top of the priority list. This is because Google ranks your content for relevance. Your chosen keywords must reflect both what you are selling and who your target audience is.
It is here that the concept of search intent comes into play. Your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the searcher’s needs. Additionally, your content must offer the best answer to their queries. It needs to offer more value than all the other content online.
Resources that Google deems authoritative will have a much higher rank. To become an authoritative source, you must enrich your site with helpful information and promote it to earn social signals and backlinks.
What’s the point of ranking first for a keyword that no one ever searches for? It’s like being a celebrity in a ghost town.
Search volume is measured by MSV (monthly search volume). This is the number of times the keyword is searched per month across all audiences. You want to use a keyword with a large enough search volume to support a solid organic reach. But you also don’t want it to have an overly high search volume making it highly competitive.
Is Keyword Research Still Relevant to SEO?
The short answer is: YES.
Keywords will always be crucial to content marketing because they help you improve both user experience and your organic search engine rankings. Here’s a look at why this step is vital for planning your SEO strategy:
It lets people and search engines know what your content is about
Search engines won’t serve up your content if it doesn’t contain the keyword users are searching for. This is because it won’t think the content is relevant to the query.
Keywords are essential to SEO because they help both visitors and search engines understand what your page is about. This will make it much easier to rank in SERPs.
You can’t do Keyword Clustering without Keyword Research.
Keyword clustering is becoming popular in SEO because it helps you optimize pages for a wide assortment of keywords and increase your ranking potential. But you can’t do it without researching the right keywords first.
Research helps you group keywords into core topics with related subtopics. The content created around these core topics will improve your search engine rankings.
You might end up choosing the wrong keywords.
Without keyword research, you won’t be able to get a hold of information such as search volume and relevancy. You’ll end up choosing keywords based on assumptions, not on reliable data. And this can set you up for disappointment.
Some examples of poorly chosen keywords include those with:
- Low Search Volume: This means little to no people are using the keyword in their searches
- High Competition: Keywords that are too competitive mean it could take a long time for people to find your content online. It may not rank at all. There are already too many people ranking for this keyword, and it may not be worth it anymore.
- Low Relevancy: Keywords that are not related to your products and the queries or interests of your target audience.
- Incorrect Usage: Your keyword needs to match your audience’s search intent. If not, it will be less likely to show up in organic searches.
Tips For Choosing the Right Keywords for SEO
As we’ve established, choosing the right keywords for SEO is critical to success. It can make or break your website’s search engine ranking and ultimately determine the amount of traffic you get from organic search results. Here are some tips for choosing the best keyword for SEO:
Understand Your Audience
The first step in selecting a great keyword is understanding your target audience. Knowing the people that visit your website will help you decide on the words they’d likely use when looking for product-related information.
Do Your Research
Don’t ever skip this important step. You can use various tools, such as Google Trends, Google Ads Keyword Planner, and INK Content Planner Pro to do keyword research. These tools can help you identify relevant terms used by your target audience. Pay attention to search volume, competition levels, and CPCs (cost per click) to find the most profitable keywords for your website.
Keep it Specific
Using too broad of a keyword could limit your chances of appearing in the top-ranked search engine result pages (SERP). Aim for specific but popular phrases that relate directly to what you offer and have higher search volumes than more general terms.
Make Sure They’re Relevant
While brainstorming possible keywords, always ask yourself, “does this word accurately describe my content?” If not, then don’t include it in your list. Keywords should be relevant to your brand and business to attract qualified visitors to your site.
Don’t Forget Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords consist of 3+ words and usually represent highly specific user searches further down the buying funnel.
These keywords tend to have lower search volumes and less competition. And this makes them easier to rank for and therefore drives more quality traffic to your website.
So iskeyword research still relevant to SEO? The facts speak for themselves. Given all the reasons we’ve laid out, it is without a doubt that keyword research is still relevant to SEO. Not only does it help ensure your keywords are relevant but that they’re actually able to drive top-quality traffic to your website!
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