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May 21, 2024
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 min read

Why Is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

Why Is Keyword Research Important for SEO?
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Keyword research is the backbone of any successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. It involves identifying the words and phrases that people use when searching for information online. Understanding and using relevant keywords can significantly improve your website's visibility and attract the right audience.

If you're still not convinced that keyword research is important, then read on to understand why it is crucial for SEO success. This article also covers how it works, how to improve its effectiveness, and practical applications you can try.

Understanding Keyword Research

Keyword research means finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines. This process helps you understand what your target audience is searching for online. At the same time, it allows you to create content that meets their search intent.

But, how does the keyword research process work exactly? Let's take a closer look below:

How Does Keyword Research Work?

Keyword research begins with identifying seed keywords, which are basic terms related to your industry or business.

Next, keyword research tools expand these seed keywords to give you a comprehensive list of related keywords. They also provide keyword data, such as search volume, competition, and trends for each phrase.

After expanding your keyword list, it's important to analyze the following metrics:

  • Search volume: It indicates how many times a keyword is searched for in a given period, usually measured monthly. A higher monthly search volume means more people are looking for that term, which can drive more traffic to your site.
  • Competition: It shows how many other websites are trying to rank for the same keyword. Keyword phrases with high competition are harder to rank for, especially if your website is new or has lower authority.
  • Keyword difficulty: This score reveals how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword in organic search engine results.

The goal is to find relevant keywords with high search volumes but low competition. These specific keywords make it easier for your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why Is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

Keyword research plays a pivotal role in SEO for several reasons. Here's why:

Discover Low Competition and High Search Volume Keywords

Proper keyword research helps you find keywords with high monthly search volume but have low competition. These specific keywords provide an opportunity to rank higher in Google search results with less effort.

Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Rankify help you discover the best keywords for your SEO strategy.

For example, if you run a blog about healthy eating, targeting the keyword phrase "quick healthy breakfast recipes" might offer better results than "healthy recipes." Sure, the latter has high search engine traffic, but it also has high competition and keyword difficulty. It can be difficult to rank on search engines.

Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website

Keyword research is important because it helps you identify the right keywords to use to attract visitors who are specifically looking for something. Targeted keyword ideas are more likely to convert into leads or sales.

Take an e-commerce site selling running shoes, for example. Targeting keywords like "best running shoes for beginners" or "used running shoes for sale" can attract potential buyers.

Understand User Intent

Researching keywords using a good keyword research tool also helps you understand user intent. This simply refers to the reason behind a search query. A particular keyword can indicate whether the user is looking for information, trying to make a purchase, or seeking a specific service.

Understanding search intent allows you to create content that matches what users are looking for.

For example, someone searching for "how to train for a marathon" is likely looking for a guide or training plan. Meanwhile, the keyword "buy marathon training shoes" indicates a purchasing intent. You can use this specific keyword to optimize your product page for Google search and other search engines.

Know Your Competitors

Keyword tools can analyze the keyword ideas and trends that your competitors are ranking for. They help you identify gaps in your own SEO strategy and find opportunities to outrank them.

For instance, let’s say you’ve got a great content idea for your blog. By doing your own keyword research, you'll be able to see which sites are already competing for the respective keywords. These insights help you better tackle the specific topic and develop a digital marketing strategy that's different from your competitors.

Improve Content Strategy

Finally, keyword research is important because it highlights keyword ideas that your audience is interested in. This helps you create relevant and engaging content that meets their needs.

For example, if you find that "easy vegan recipes" have high search volumes, you can create a series of blog posts or videos around this topic. Using high-volume keywords with low competition ultimately drives more traffic to your site.

How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research? 8 Simple Tips to Follow

After understanding the importance of keyword research, it's time to learn how to research keywords that result in SEO success. Here are eight simple tips to help you get started.

1. Assess Keywords with Existing Search Engine Rankings

Start by evaluating the keywords that your website is already ranking for.

Use tools like Google Search Console to identify existing keyword rankings and see how well they are performing. This can help you understand which keywords are driving traffic and which ones need more optimization.

2. Use SEO Keyword Research Tools

The next step is to use keyword tools to help you in conducting keyword research.

Choose a keyword research tool that aligns with your specific needs and budget. Consider factors like features offered, ease of use, and integration capabilities with other SEO tools.

Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are some of the most popular ones. Free keyword tools are also available, such as Wordstream and Ubersuggest. Then, there are AI keyword research tools like Rankify that use AI to find relevant keyword ideas in mere seconds.

All these tools provide data on search volume, competition, and related keywords, making it easier to find the right terms to target for your SEO campaign.

3. Look at Google Suggest Phrases

It's true that keyword research tools help you identify relevant keywords. But SEO professionals, content marketers, and freelancers should also consider Google Search to discover golden keywords.

To be specific, Google Suggest can provide valuable insights into what people are searching for. Start typing a query into the Google search bar to determine related terms based on popular searches. These terms can become new keywords to target.

Google's People also ask section

4. Consider Commonly Asked Questions

You can also get keyword ideas from Google's People Also Ask section. The top results indicate the questions that people are asking related to a specific search query. Let's use the keyword "why is keyword research important" as an example. Users are likely to ask about the most important thing in keyword research.

Alternatively, you can browse websites like Quora or Reddit to get insight into popular questions in your industry.

Creating content that answers relevant questions can help you attract a highly engaged audience.

5. Analyze Search Volume and Competition

When conducting keyword research for SEO, it's important to consider search volume and competition.

A high search volume indicates that many people are searching for that term. Low search volume suggests the opposite. You want to target high-volume keywords to get more traffic to your website.

However, high search volume alone doesn't guarantee success. You should also take competition or keyword difficulty into account. Low competition keywords mean they're easier to rank because fewer domains are targeting them. In contrast, high competition keywords can be difficult to rank for.

The goal is to choose keywords that have a good balance of both.

6. Identify Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases with lower competition but higher conversion rates. These are usually the best keywords that attract more qualified traffic.

For example, "best running shoes for flat feet" is a long-tail keyword that targets a specific audience. It's likely to perform better than a generic keyword like "running shoes", which may drive high user traffic but fail to rank on related searches.

7. Find Out the Keywords Used by Your Competitors

Prioritize keyword research tools that offer valuable insights into your competitors' SEO strategies.

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush allow you to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and how well they are performing. This information can help you identify gaps in your own strategy and find opportunities to outrank them.

8. Take Advantage of Seasonal Trends

Lastly, keyword research tools help you identify seasonal trends. These provide opportunities to target keywords that are only relevant at certain times of the year.

Tools like Google Trends can determine these trends and find keywords that are popular during specific seasons. For example, "Christmas gift ideas" is a keyword that sees a spike in search volume during the holiday season.

Practical Applications of Keyword Research in SEO

Now that you know how to do keyword research, the next question on your mind is probably: where to use it? Below are several applications of keyword research that can enhance your SEO efforts.

Optimizing On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing individual web pages to rank higher in search results. This includes using keywords in meta tags, headers, and the content body.

For example, including your target keyword in the title tag, meta description, and throughout your blog content can help improve your rankings.

Here's a table to illustrate how you can use keywords in on-page SEO:

A table of how to use keyword research for on-page SEO

Creating Content That Matches Search Intent

Creating content that matches the search intent of your audience is crucial for attracting the right visitors.

For example, if users are searching for "how to start a blog," your content should provide a step-by-step guide on blogging. This approach ensures that your content meets the needs of your audience and increases the chances of ranking higher in search results.

Improving Product and Service Descriptions

You can also use keyword research to optimize product and service descriptions. Inserting related keywords into these types of content can engage more potential customers.

Let's say you're selling running shoes, for instance. Targeting keywords like "best running shoes for wide feet" in your product descriptions helps the page rank higher for those queries.

Building Better Landing Pages

Landing pages are designed to convert visitors into leads or customers. Using keywords in your landing page content can improve its relevance and ranking.

For example, a landing page for a fitness program might target keywords like "online fitness coaching" or "personal training plans."

AI Keyword Research With Rankify

Rankify uses the power of AI to research keywords that align with business's marketing goals and customer's buying intent. This AI keyword research tool provides a comprehensive list of keyword ideas with 99% volume compared to other software's 60% volume. It also outputs commonly asked questions and blog topics to optimize your content marketing efforts.

Rankify homepage

Ready to get started? Sign up at Rankify and get a 7-day free trial today!

FAQs About Why Is Keyword Research Important

What is the main purpose of keyword research in SEO?

The primary purpose of keyword research is to identify the search terms that your target audience is using. This information lets you optimize your content to match these search terms, which makes it easier for your audience to find your website. By targeting the right keywords, you can grab more relevant traffic and improve your search engine rankings.

How often should I conduct keyword research?

It's important to regularly update your keyword strategy to keep up with changes in search trends and user behavior. A good practice is to conduct keyword research at least once a quarter and adjust your content and SEO strategy as needed.

How do I choose the right keywords for my content?

Choosing the right keywords involves a combination of factors, including search volume, competition, and relevance to your content. Use keyword research tools to find keywords with high search volume and low competition. Also, consider the intent behind the keywords and whether they match the content you're creating.

What are semantic keywords and why are they important?

Semantic keywords are related terms and phrases that are linked to your seed keyword. They help search engines understand the context of your content and improve its relevance. For example, if your main keyword is "running shoes," semantic keywords might include "athletic footwear," "jogging shoes," and "marathon sneakers."

What are the best tools for keyword research?

There are several tools you can use for keyword research, each with its own strengths. Some of the most popular ones include Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Rankify.

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