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Why Keyword Research Is the Starting Point of Your SEO Strategy

“Keyword” is a common term used whenever it comes to SEO and internet marketing in general. Everyone’s done a bit of keyword research in the past regardless of the project that they were involved in. Perhaps you were looking at the most popular keywords related to your business or maybe you were trying to incorporate more keywords that you thought were important into the content of your website.

However, people often don’t realize just how important keyword research is when it comes to starting your SEO strategy. Sure, you can look at Google and search for the more common keywords in an industry, but keywords are a lot more complex than just strings of words or letters that people search when they’re on a search engine.

So in this article, we’re going to explain why keyword research is such an important starting point in your SEO strategy and at the end, we’re going to explain five of the best ways to carry out keyword research with readily available tools.

Identify profitable opportunities

Keyword research can help you identify profitable niches and opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. For example, if you perform keyword research and find that a string of keywords is surprisingly popular yet isn’t a part of your marketing strategy, then you can find ways to incorporate it into your SEO strategy for the future and you may even develop new products to meet unmet needs.

Gauge the popularity of certain keywords

Popularity is one of the most important factors when it comes to identifying which keywords to use as part of your marketing strategy. Some keywords are incredibly hard to rank for because they’re far too common and there are undoubtedly larger businesses out there with more capital that can overwhelm and overtake you. It’s best not to fight over competitive keywords if you don’t have the financial ability to do so.

Find less competitive long-tail keywords

And in response to discovering the popularity of common keywords, you can change your focus to long-tail keywords. For instance, instead of trying to rank for a general term such as “computer repairs”, you could use a long-tail keyword such as “apple computer repair store in New South Wales”. The point of long-tail keywords is to make them very specific so that fewer companies are likely to try and rank for them. Many people type very specific search terms when they find that a general term doesn’t give the results they want, and this is where you can make the most of your keyword research and turn it into an efficient and cost-effective SEO strategy.

Reduce the amount of capital wasted on marketing

Keyword research ultimately helps you save a lot of capital. For example, you can identify the most popular keywords and avoid them for the sake of saving capital. After all, trying to compete with larger businesses for popular keyword rankings is often a losing battle. The company with the larger amount of capital will typically win, so you need to look for more cost-effective ways to grow your SEO. This is why using long-tail keywords is often the best approach for smaller businesses and is a stepping stone to a more comprehensive SEO strategy.

5 Ways to Carry out Keyword Research

Now we’re going to take a look some steps for how you can carry out your very own keyword research in an efficient manner with readily available tools.

1. Define the goals that you want to achieve

The first thing to do is define the goals that you’re aiming for. Many people assume that the goal of SEO is to increase traffic, but this is only true for certain websites. In most cases, your goal is to increase sales, so generating an overwhelming amount of traffic is not actually in your best interests. Instead, converting leads and targeting your SEO is far more important and will ultimately change your goals.

Some examples of other SEO goals include building awareness to grow your audience, pushing your brand on social media to reach a different group of consumers and showing off new products that you’re offering. Without goals, your SEO campaign will essentially be aimless and a waste of your time and effort.

2. Examine the keywords that you already rank for

If your website is already discoverable on Google then you’re off to a great start. What comes next is the optimization process and this often involves analyzing what your current website is already capable of. Google has search analytics tools that will enable you to see what keywords you’re already ranking for.

This information is essential for helping you get started with your keyword research. In some cases, the keywords you currently rank for could be well worth the time and money investment use as a base for your new SEO strategy.

3. Use existing online tools to help you carry out keyword research

There are a couple of existing online tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush which can help you carry out keyword research. While some of these services are paid, others give you a limited number of searches each day which, if used wisely, can be a fantastic free tool to help you grow your SEO strategy.

4. Get to know your audience as best as you can

Join communities, browse articles and get on social media to get yourself into conversations regarding your products, service and industry as a whole. This will help you identify potential customers and the types of concerns, ideas and feedback they have. This will help you study your customers, allowing you to build a persona or profile on them and make your keywords more relevant.

5. Understand how keywords are used

It’s important to understand that keywords aren’t just a collection of random words smashed together with vague meaning. Instead, most keywords are often a display of intent to do something. In fact, most search engines follow a quality guideline that often ranks a web page based on its ability to meet the user’s needs and intent. Only the most popular top-ranked websites are able to satisfy the requirements, but understanding user searches, phrases and the user’s intent can help you create a strong SEO strategy.

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