Keyword research should be the first step of every SEO strategy. Any SEO strategy that does not start with a proper keyword research is bound to either take longer to succeed or fail. Missing out on keyword research would be the same as building a house on a piece of land without proper foundation. Nowadays there are no excuses not to conduct a keyword research as their are so many tools on the internet that make this process a very simple one.
Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is important because it will provide you the objectives you will need to work towards to. Obviously, it is very easy to set objectives but you have to be sure that these are correct. A well conducted keyword research will provide you with a list of keywords that has traffic potential and is realistically achievable. This will help you along the project to stay focused and motivated.
3 steps to successful keyword research
Keyword research can be a lengthy process, depending on the niche you are operating in. That said, the process is always made up of three steps. These are, generating a long list of keywords, checking their search volume and analyzing their level of competition. Let me go through these steps in more detail.
Keyword generation is the first step towards a successful keyword research. Anyone conducting keyword research needs to generate a list of keywords. Most of the time this process is not given the appropriate importance and is therefore absorbed into the other steps. I don’t agree, I like to give this process quite some importance, enough to list it as a separate step. Nowadays it is easy to automate the process of keyword research by using a keyword tool. It is an easy way to do it but can also be limiting. In doing so you would be relying on the tools’ keyword generation functionality. This also applies to the Google Keyword Tool which is a free tool provided by Google that is used by many. My approach is that of using a combination of strategies to expand the initial keyword list as much as possible.
Keyword Search Volume
The next step is that of knowing the search volume of the shortlisted keywords. The objective of any SEO strategy is that of driving visitors to your website. Ranking for a keyword that has no searches is useless as it will drive no visitors. This is the easiest step out of the three, it can be done by simply running searches within the Google Keyword Planner. You can also be more specific by checking the keyword search volume within specific countries for specific languages. No other tool can provide you with more accurate search volume data. Almost all tools that provide such data obtain it from the Google Keyword Planner.
The last step but also the most important is that of analyzing the competition of the shortlisted keywords. Compiling a list of keywords that are being searched for is not enough. You must have a realistic chance of ranking for those keywords in a reasonable time frame. This step can be done either manually or by using a tool. Analyzing keyword competition manually is a long process that will eat up a lot of your valuable time. I definitely recommend using a tool to analyze keyword competition as it will save you a lot of time.
I hope you found today’s topic useful. In the coming weeks I will be writing in more detail about each of the steps and also share with you reviews of various tools that will help you automate them. In the meantime, do share your feedback by leaving a comment.