SEO Beginner: Keyword Research

SEO Beginner: Keyword Research

The strategic use of keywords in your site design is an often overlooked factor that can severely impact the overall success of your website. Many who are unfamiliar with SEO writing gloss over the importance of doing keyword research beforehand, assuming that it is as simple as planting the most basic information about a companies’ products or services and waiting for their potential customers to find them. This is a challenge amidst the constant barrage of online information regular users experience every day. Such a passive approach seems natural but in regards to keyword usage and effective SEO writing it is the exact opposite of an effective mindset.

Understand Customer Trends

An effective keyword strategy is not vague, general, or passive. Instead it is targeted and highly proactive. It involves taking the time to do research, understand customer trends, and then taking steps to ensure the content you want finds its way to the customers you want to see it. When doing keyword research you should take the time to consider what type of customers you want and tailor your web design to suit the searches they are likely to perform.

For example, a general collection of keywords such as “stylish” and “men’s shirts” may appear to have a high volume of searches. However, of the many visitors your site might get by employing such keywords, how many are going to buy the products you have available? Perhaps all you’ve done is attract a crowd of unintentional browsers or virtual window shoppers to your site instead of genuine customers. Meanwhile, someone searching for specific details such as shirt size, brand name, or color, is much more likely to be actually considering a purchase. After all, it’s clear that they already know what they want.

Know the Competition

Proper keyword research also gives you a sense of the competition, letting you know who is promoting similar products and what number of searches their keywords are yielding. You may find that several popular and established sites already use the word or phrase you intended to use yourself. These sites have been sitting in favorable positions on the very first search results page and it is unlikely your site can make the numbers to dislodge them. This knowledge lets you adapt your site and choose similar keywords that may have a better chance of breaking out of the crowd and attracting attention amidst all the clutter flying around on the internet.

Evaluate Your Business

Proper keyword research involves a level of self-evaluation in regards to your business. When forming a strategy, create a list of themes or topics that you think are relevant to your business. This lets you focus on the major selling points of and trim away unnecessary or irrelevant information. Try to focus on the product or services offered. For example, if you sell a physical product don’t include a great deal of information about your business or management style. Keywords about professionalism, success, and business leadership may attract the attention of motivational speakers and pro-business websites but such groups are unlikely to actually purchase your product.

Effective keyword strategies take time and research to implement. However, it is an investment well worth the effort.

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