Keyword Research and Why It’s Important

by Frank Thomas

keyword researchKeyword research is critical to perform before you do anything else to establish a presence with a web site on a specific topic. Where you market online or offline, this critical starter can make or break your efforts to market you, your services or products.

What is Keyword Research?

Before digging deep in the topic of keyword research, let’s cover together exactly what it is. There will be common phrases that you’ll hear, keyword phrases, to describe a particular topic. For example, if I was talking about getting my web site ranked better in Google or Yahoo, I’d coin the keyword phrase ‘search engine optimization’.

So keyword research is the task of discovering what a majority of people, or at least enough people say when discussing a particular topic. The actual quantity of people making mention of a particular keyword phrase is normally translated into the number of people who may also put that into a search engine to query the search engine on that topic. So, its safe to say that if you want to get your web site ranked higher, you may type the keyword phrase ‘search engine optimization’ into a search engine and search for results.

When performing keyword research, we will want to find a minimum number of searches on a particular keyword phrase. For example, if only 10 people per day searched for the keyword phrase, ‘google engine optimization’ but 1,000 people searched ‘search engine optimization’, then it would seem prudent to focus on the second phrase in comparison to the first.

Keyword Research – Qualifying High Volume Keywords

Keyword research does go much deeper though. If you are selling a product or service, you’ll want to find keywords that are keywords that may hint at some sort of action that commits to a sale. For example, ‘search engine optimization’ may be a buying keyword, but ‘search engine optimization company’ is a much stronger buying keyword.

Plus, you will want to find high volume keywords that you can actually get your web site ranked for within the first or second page of the search engines. This requires another level of keyword research to determine if you should actually attempt to do the hard work for the keyword.

This is one place in keyword research where the lines do get a bit muddy. You see, the search engines may offer hints to what they deem important when ranking web sites for keywords but they don’t come right out and tell us. Regardless of what is said, it’s important to discover what set of criteria is important when ascertaining the level of competition for a keyword phrase.

Personally, I’ll look at two major factors when deciding where or not to compete for a keyword phrase when doing keyword research. First will be the actual sites that I find in the top 10 spots of Google. For example, if I find the pages are loosely tied to the keyword, regardless of how popular the sites may be, I may consider trying to rank for that keyword.

Next, I look pretty deeply at the number of back links that have been created for the sites in the top 10. If I feel that there is a lot of keywords pointing to the keyword phrase in question, I may go looking for greener pastures.

In conclusion, if you decide to approach a particular niche to become a ranked and profitable web site within that niche, your very first step to success is taking the time and doing some good keyword research.

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