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What Is Keyword Research and Why Is It Important For SEO?

search engine optimisation Nov 18, 2021

Finding and optimising your keywords is crucial to ranking in search engines like Google. It is one of the three components that make up SEO.

Just in case you forgot, I thought I'd remind you of what those three components are again:

COMPONENTS OF SEO

SEO is made up of three primary components. Each component must work together to optimise your ranking in search engines like Google.

Technical SEO

How your site is built and functions (crawlability, speed and responsiveness).

Content

The words, images, graphics, videos and content on your pages and posts and how they’re optimised.

Links

Backlinks from other sites to your website which increase your domain authority and help Google to boost your ranking.

Each component must work together to optimise your ranking starting with technical as the base foundation of course.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE KEYWORDS AND WHAT IS KEYWORD RESEARCH?

Keywords are the words that people type into Google to find a brand, product, service, or content they’re searching for. The string of words typed into Google is known as the keyword phrase. And generally, we say that the more words typed, the more users know what they want, at least most of the time anyway!

Keywords are important to your business because when selected correctly, they help you attract the right kind of customer or client to your business.

KEYWORD RESEARCH

To select the right keywords, you must research and create a list of keyword options for your business and then review them to determine the traffic (volume) of people searching them in Google and how competitive they and weigh up their domain authority against yours.

You’ll then need to implement these keywords across your website in a number of locations from your copy to your headlines, images names, URL, title tag, meta description and so on.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

In a nutshell, a user types a keyword phrase into Google. Google then scans its index to find the best possible content match for the search query and displays it in the Search Engine Results page, in order of what it deems to be the most relevant to the user.

Google is very smart at matching search queries with the right content as well as understanding like terms eg. newborn baby clothes vs. clothes for new baby.

It is also good at understanding the intent of the person searching. Search intent (or user intent) is the primary goal a user has when searching a query in a search engine. It is the very reason a person conducts a search.

For example, if you were to search baby newborn baby clothes or where do I find sensitive baby skin products, Google would display very different results for each search based on how it interprets your intent.

There isn’t one right keyword, but we must do our research and understand our target audience well to find the best fit based on search intent, keyword volume and competition. It’s a trade-off.

We want to rank for a number of different keywords across our site and the pages that reside within. Each keyword when optimised correctly will attract your right target audience and bring in that all-important traffic.

WHY TYPES OF KEYWORDS ARE THERE?

There are three types of keywords. It’s important to know the difference between each type to ensure you choose the right keywords for your website pages.

  • Head keyword: Baby
  • Body Keyword: Newborn Baby Clothes
  • Long-tail: Where can I buy baby clothes?


Head Keyword: Baby 

A head keyword is a single word term eg. baby. These types of keywords have a large search volume, are very competitive and will return hundreds of results in the SERPs.

Body Keywords: Newborn Baby Clothes

Body keywords are two-three-word phrases eg. newborn baby clothes. They have a fair amount of traffic (less than head keywords) and are less competitive because they are more specific in their search intent.

Long-tail Keywords: Where can I buy baby clothes?

Long tail keywords are phrases that include four words or more. They can be a random string of words and are often more question based. Long-tail keywords have less people searching for them (less competition) but provide a great opportunity for smaller businesses to be able to rank. They are the perfect starting place for your SEO journey if you're new to it all.

It’s also important you select the right keywords for where your audience is in the sales funnel. I’ll cover that off in my next blog. Until then, why not create a list of what keywords your potential customers or clients could be typing into Google to find you.

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