Keyword research is about understanding what words and phrases your target audience use to find products, services or information through a search engine. It provides you with specific information about:
- what they are looking for
- how many people are looking for it
- the type of format they want that information in
Depending on your chosen keyword research tool, you will also receive information on:
- what search engines they are using to find your information
- how easy or hard it would be for your website to rank well with that keyword
- an idea about how much traffic you could expect from a keyword
- the search intent of people using a keyword
- long tail and short tail keywords
Benefits of Keyword Research
As mentioned, keyword research tells you what people are searching for when looking for products or services such as yours. A crucial aspect of search engine optimisation or SEO, the benefits of keyword research include:
- ability to create content that your audience is looking for
- ranking higher than your competitors in search engine results
- increased conversion rates as your content will attract qualified traffic.
- gives you direction about the type of content to create for your website
- makes efficient use of your time as you will know the exact type of content required for your site
- lets you know what sort of competition you have for your products or services
Understanding Your Keyword Research Results
Your keyword research will give you a variety of keywords and how difficult it would be rank with them.
- Keyword difficulty - depending on the keyword research tool you've used, you can learn the average monthly searches per month, average search rates over 12 months and whether there is high, medium or low competition for ranking with that keyword.
- Long tail keywords - these are keywords which contain three or more words. They have a low average monthly search rate, but because they are highly targeted, they have a high conversion rate because the search was so specific. An example would be 'cream angora goats Christchurch.' However, long tail keywords also usually have low competition levels, making it easier to rank highly in search results with them.
- Short tail keywords - short tail keywords are very broad and as such, have a high average monthly search rate. Because of this, they also have high rates of competition and are difficult to rank with. Short tail keywords also have a low conversion rate because the search is so broad. An example would be 'women's shoes.'
Using the information you have gathered, make decisions on the order of importance for your chosen keywords. From here, it's then on to incorporating them in your content.
There are both paid and free keyword tools available online to help you select the right keywords for your website. Some of the most commonly used tools include:
For further information on keyword research and other search engine optimisation, please visit our collection of SEO Resources.