23/09/2019 | SEO & SEM | 5 minutes
Many experts in the field of digital marketing argue that keyword research is one of, if not THE most crucial things a business can do for SEO, and they’re not wrong. For us, keyword research is the foundation to all of your SEO efforts and is undoubtedly one of the most valuable steps you as a business can take in order to optimise your website. However, it’s important to get this research correct, right from the off. There are plenty of hidden pitfalls with keywords, not least making sure that they relate to your audience and their search intentions at the point that they may engage with your brand. Optimising for the wrong keywords can be as bad as not optimising at all. With that in mind, I am going to break down what keyword research is and why it is important to your digital marketing.
In its simplest form, keyword research involves the research and analysis of keyword terms - or in plainer language, the searches your customers may be typing into Google. Using specialist SEO tools, such as SEMrush or Google AdWords Keyword Planner, we can find the search volume of specific terms, how relevant they are to your business, and how difficult they would be to rank for on Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). It’s an essential process to finding the right keywords in order for your customers to find you online.
If your website isn’t including the right keyword terms you could be losing out on big time - your website may be filled with keywords that no one is even searching for, and you’ll struggle to gain new custom if no one can find you when they carry out a search. Certainly not ideal by any means. You want to know what your customers are searching for, right? This is universally why keyword research is so imperative.
There are two types of keywords:
It is important to note that a keyword doesn't have to just be one singular word. Short-tail keywords contain three words or less, and long-tail keywords contain more than three words. Typically long-tail keywords are easier to rank for as they tend to be more specific and niche, whereas, short-tail keywords tend to be more generalised.
You need to decide how broad or specific you want your keyword focus to be, and this is somewhat dependent on the products or services you offer. This in itself poses a quandary for businesses. For example, a specialist shop that just offers a selection of very similar products may find their keyword research more manageable as opposed to a department store that offers a more extensive array of products.
As a good rule of thumb, it is important to focus on the keywords that are relevant to your products or services, not too competitive to rank for, and have an overall good monthly search volume.
Let me share with you some of the primary advantages keyword research can have;
✅ Increase in website traffic from search engines
✅ Appear when people are searching for your product or service
✅ Rank higher on search engines
✅ Find out more about your target market
✅ Explore niche areas not yet discovered by your competitors
✅ Achieve authority over your competition
With this array of benefits, why wouldn't you want to invest in keyword research?
After gathering all of our data we use it to create an SEO sitemap. Over the years we’ve conducted many SEO sitemaps for clients who have come to us in need of a new website design and updated keyword research. An SEO sitemap provides a clear structure of your website and each page is given its own primary and secondary keyword focus to ensure that every page, its title, URL, and on-page content is fully optimised.
This is particularly helpful if your website is in a jumble could benefit from a new framework with a clear focus for each of your site's pages. It is an effective way of helping your website achieve its goals and the overarching objectives of your business.
Keyword research is a time-consuming and analytical process, but if done right will be sure to get you a great ROI. Here at Urban Element, we know how to properly conduct keyword research and how to find the most profitable terms for your business.
The thing about keyword research is that it never sleeps. You might hope after you’ve done your research that will be it, but the truth is it is something you need to continually keep on top of. You need to keep an eye on your keywords and their search volume because, as with most things in life, things can change over time.
Findings from your efforts can even help with your wider content strategy and aid your overall digital strategy. For example, by finding out what queries people are searching for you can you use this as a basis for new blog content to help you target the right individuals and raise your awareness to any particular hot and relevant topics. This is why using a trusted digital marketing agency can help by constantly keeping a keen eye on the keywords that are important to you and your business.