Keyword Research is Key!
I just realized that, while I’ve written articles on keyword research as a guest blogger, I’ve never actually put what I spend so much time doing down in black and white for my own readers. How remiss of me!
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO. Without it, or should I say without doing it correctly, there is no hope of success–well unless you hit an absolutely unbelievable stroke of luck…..
Here’s the honest truth about Keyword Research
The truth is, straightforward keyword research is pretty easy in principle, but in practice it can be a huge pain. Unfortunately some SEOs have managed to erect a veil of confusion and intimidation around the subject of keyword research. In a moment I’ll show you just how easy it is though.
It’s worth taking the time and trouble to do your keyword research properly, because when you do it right–wow what an amazing difference it makes. You can literally replace thousands of dollars worth of pay-per-click. Not overnight mind you; it does take a little time for your work to bear fruit.
Keyword Research How-To
First you need a good tool with which to research your keywords. WordTracker is the all-time favorite if you want a paid alternative.
But in the meantime, here are three really good free alternatives that will allow you to see the important facts about your keywords:
- Google Adwords
- Keyword Discovery
- SEOBook Keyword Tool (you need to sign up for a free account first)
SEOBook Keyword Tool is my choice. I’ve been using it for some time and it’s valuable. Checkout the keyword export features–they are useful for advanced keyword research.
Next you need to pick the terms you think people will use to find your site. You enter those terms into a keyword research tool and you will get a long list of other phrases that you hadn’t thought of. If you have no idea how to pick the right terms, you might start with the analytics program you use (you do use one right?). If it’s a good one it will give you the search terms people use to get to your site.
Start with those terms as a list and expand, but only if they can accurately be used to describe what you’re offering. If there’s a gap between what’s on your site and the search terms people are using then you need to take a very close look at your content. Adapt it so that it uses many varied phrases that apply to your service/product. This is what’s known as optimized content and it’s the most valuable asset your website has. Period.
And there’s another catch: you have to know how to implement your keyword research exactly right. Quality optimized content is what will keep visitors engaged in your site long enough to convert.
If all this sounds like too much time and money to you, then think of the consequences of not doing your keyword research right: You will have a website that cost you money, that looks nice, and contains all the informaiton it should, but it’ll never be seen because the search engines ignore it.
In the finall analysis, if you don’t have time to do your keyword research right yourself, you’re probably better off shelling out for someone else to do it: picking the right keywords will pay for itself over and over and in a very short space of time.