When you hear “You can rank number one in Google”, beware because the keywords they may rank you for may sound good but be irrelevant to getting new customers. You may be wondering, “Which types of keywords do I actually want to rank for?” The answer to that question depends on your business. That said, regardless of the nature of your website, it is best to have a healthy mix of all keywords.
For instance, if you own an eCommerce site, it would seem logical to concentrate on the types of keywords people use when they buy since they have a higher conversion rate. However, if you neglect using informational keywords, it is likely users will land on your sales page, but because it is lacking of product information, they will leave before they buy.
Although the importance of keywords largely depends on their intended use, the following are some telling reasons why keyword research is such an important part of SEO.
As at the end of 2016, the number of reported internet users stood at 3.14 billion people. Regardless of the nature of your website, i.e. no matter how popular your blog or website subject is, it is highly unlikely this exact number of people will be searching for something covered by your website. This is why keywords matter.
If there is one thing keywords do and do well, it is allow you to target specific users. Google crunches over 100,000 searches every second of every day. Keywords allow you to target find those people searching for what you sell.
Optimizing your website and content around keywords in theme clusters, i.e.; by creating content and optimizing your website and images around keywords such as what you sell, we can target the 100+ thousand people using these specific search terms to search for your business’s related information and products.
SEO is all about optimization: without keywords, optimization is impossible. Website and content optimization starts at keyword research. Once you identify the keywords you aim to rank for, to make your website and content relative to those search terms, you have to optimize your content around these keywords.
By keyword optimization within your content and specific areas of your website, keywords allow you to optimize your website and content for specific search terms, which makes it easier for search engines to relate your website to your keywords and rank it higher for those keywords.
Note: Here’s a fact that cheap SEO firms seem to always forget: Thanks to Googles’ Panda Algorithm update, Google hates keyword stuffing, and will punish your website by de-indexing or de-ranking it if you keyword stuff. Instead of stuffing keywords, concentrate on their natural use within your website and content.
Performing keyword research allows you to analyze the popularity, and competitive nature of your intended keywords. For instance, by using Google AdWords, we can see if keywords in keyword clusters are highly competitive and have a high search volume or not. Using this data, we can determine that trying to rank for keywords in the cluster would be an uphill task.
On the other hand, by creating highly helpful content, it is possible to rank on the first page of Google for keywords in the less competitive keyword clusters. This is what keyword research allows you to do: it helps you determine the search volume and competitiveness of specific keywords.
This helps you determine if trying to rank for the keyword is worthwhile. With an in-depth blueprint and SEO plan, you can actually see ROI and timing for ranking keywords! If a company wants to sell you services, you should be able to pay for a plan that actually tells you what month your particular keyword you want to rank for will start making you money.
One false statement peddled by SEO ‘gurus’ is that keyword research is the hardest part of SEO. While it does require an infinite amount of time on a continuous basis (search data and volumes change on a daily-monthly basis), coming up with a list of good keywords your website can rank for on the first page of Google SERP is not rocket science.
In fact, you can easily come up with a massive list of keywords by following a few simple steps. It’s not always hard to come up with the list. It’s the next steps of figuring out which ones to go after.