The major search engines feed on keywords, yet most business website owners don’t know the first thing about keyword research and how it relates to a successful SEO campaign.
Keywords or key phrases represent the word or words that Internet users type into a search engine to find what they are looking for online. Keyword research refers to the process of choosing a targeted few of the infinite number of possible keyword phrases to optimize your site.
Obtaining a high rank on the results pages of the major search engines is important, but it is ranking for specific targeted keywords that will determine success.
There are two important concepts that help determine which keywords should be targeted. These are search volume and competition.
Search volume refers to the number of people who enter your targeted keywords into the search engines. Using keywords that have a higher search volume is better because they will help draw more natural traffic.
Search volume is tempered by the analysis of the keyword phrase’s competitiveness. In other words, if a lot of competitor websites are ranking well for the same phrase, you have to consider whether or not it is worth the fight.
Conducting Keyword Research
The first step in the process requires researching potential keyword phrases. There are plenty of tools online to help.
Google's free Keyword Research Tool, for example, allows you to enter phrases related to your website and it generates a list of keywords to consider. The tool also provides data on how many global and local searches occur, as well as Google's estimate the ranking difficulty of the keyword.
Once you have identified potential keyword targets, you can begin integrating them into your site. To increase your chances of getting ranked for your targeted terms, follow standard search engine optimization practices.
It may take some time to see the results of your targeted keyword research, but it will ultimately yield significant improvement in search traffic volume.
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