Keyword research is the very important first step of any good SEO plan. During this process you will learn which keywords you should try to rank for in order to get the most exposure. Without knowing which keywords are the best to rank for it is likely that you will not end up ranking for any keywords at all which will make it harder for people to find you.
In this blog post you will learn about some keyword research basics and also what factors you should be looking for when you are trying to determine which keywords are the best to try to rank for.
Keyword Research Tools
In order to conduct keyword research you will need a keyword research tool. The good news is that there are many keyword research tools out there that you can use for free.
Some free keyword research tools (just to name a few) that you can use include:
Anyone of these tools can effectively help you with your keyword research efforts even though each one has their own unique differences.
The first step of conducting keyword research is to enter a keyword or phrase into the search box. In order to figure out which keyword to start with just think about what you think a potential client would enter into a search engine if they were looking for your products or services.
Once you enter a keyword into the tool it will give you stats about that keyword plus it will also give you the stats of some related keywords. The stats given includes how many searches the keyword gets and how high or low the competition is for that keyword. If the competition is high it will be harder to rank for that keyword, if the competition is low it will be easier to rank for that keyword.
Some keyword tools will also show you the cost per click information as well. this information is not something you will need to worry about unless you plan on investing in paid SEO by purchasing pay per click ads. If you only plan to focus on organic SEO you can ignore all of the information regarding cost per click.
Paid vs. Organic Search Results
The difference between paid SEO and an organic SEO is with organic you don’t have to pay anything to get yourself to rank for the desired keywords. With paid SEO you would need to purchase pay per click ads for the keywords that you want to rank for. If you purchase an ad to rank for a specific keyword when someone searches for that keyword your results would appear on top of the organic results with the word “Ad” next to it.
There are usually about 2 or three paid results that show up first and the the organic results appear under the paid results. This is how you can tell the difference between organic and paid results.
The best keywords to try and rank for are those keywords that have a decent amount of average monthly searches but also have low to medium competition. It is better to try and rank for a keyword that has lower competition and fewer monthly searches than a keyword that has high competition even though it gets a higher amount of monthly searches.
As you can see in the picture below all of the keywords have the same amount of average searches but some of them are high competition and some are low competition. If you were trying to decide between these keywords it would be the most beneficial to select the keywords with the low competition.
Keyword Research for Content Creation
In addition to figuring out which keywords to rank for one great benefit of keyword research is that it is a good way to help you to figure out what topics to create content about. For example, if you create content regularly such as a blog or a podcast, doing keyword research you can find out what information people are searching for. By finding out what it is that people want to know and creating content around those topics it will improve your SEO and make it easier for people to find you.
Keyword research is a very important part of the SEO process. By doing effective keyword research on a regular basis it can help you to stay on top of the trends in your industry and also give you a direction to go in with your SEO efforts.