One of the most important elements of a well-developed SEO strategy is keyword research – the process of identifying which keywords and phrases you should target. Ultimately, the goal of keyword research is to help you focus on the words and phrases that people are actually searching for.
Trying to obtain the number one ranking spot for as many keywords as possible is not an optimal SEO strategy. Striving to get conversions for your site based on extensive keyword research and placement is. Ranking high is important, but not unless your search terms are converting.
In order to remain competitive online, keyword research cannot be ignored. Some things to keep in mind in general when developing a strategy:
- General keywords (sets of 1 or 2 words) have many searches in Google (high potential for organic traffic on your site), but are less likely to generate conversions.
- General keywords are highly coveted by competitors and optimizing them consumes more of your resources (time, effort and money).
- General keywords represent only 30% of all searches performed in search engines, with the remaining percentage being long tail keywords.
- Basically, the best keywords are the ones that receive a fair amount traffic, are reasonably competitive, and will result in site conversions.
The Research Process
After the initial analysis of keywords and the competition has been done, then the following should actions should be made:
- Check potential traffic using Google AdWords tool or something similar.
- Group words into sets (main keywords + keyword modifiers) to generate long tail keywords.
- Validate potential conversions by searching on Google and analyzing AdWords. If multiple ads show up, those words most likely produce conversions.
- Check out the competition level.
Keyword research is not a one and done type deal. It requires continuous attention, but it is also the foundation for a successful SEO strategy.