A key discipline for SEOs, keyword research is about understanding the search terms and language used by people in your target market. This understanding enables you to create relevant pages and content for search.
Keyword research is vital for identifying key search terms around your content and products. It allows you to target the most important terms that can drive traffic and sales, and tailor content and search strategy in the most effective areas.
It’s an extensive and ongoing process, which can take into account everything from your own audience knowledge to competitor ideas, search engine data, social media data, and so on.
The better you know your customer, their pain points and how your business alleviates those, the more accurate your keyword research is going to be.
Some of your target keywords will be relatively obvious – if you’re a retailer, the names of your products and their uses will be at least some of your target terms, or for a publisher, the key topics and personalities you talk about in your coverage.
Much keyword research is about finding the less obvious keywords, thinking laterally to find terms around the problems your products address for example, or discovering long-tail keywords related to your products and content.
Keyword research can help you to find answers to key questions that can inform your marketing strategy – how hard certain keywords may be to rank for, the opportunities in terms of search volume and market worth, the intent of users searching certain keywords (searching for a precise product model indicates a higher propensity to purchase for example).
It can also help you to decide on the type of content needed to rank for certain keywords. Some keywords may attract searchers looking for informative content like how-to guides and general advice for example, so you may need to adapt your content strategy in this direction.
Keyword research tools can be a great way to identify target keywords, especially when it comes to finding unexpected terms that can deliver traffic, or more niche long-tail keywords that offer opportunities to capture search traffic at key points in the purchase journey.