The importance of keyword research truly cannot be overstated. All successful companies, from industry giants like Apple and Verizon, to your local florist, utilize keyword research to gain an edge in the online marketplace.
If your business is building a new website, understanding what goes into keyword research is essential to creating a successful product.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are one of the most fundamental parts of the modern internet. Essentially, they are words or phrases that search engines use to match consumers with web pages. For your business, they should help distinguish yourself from other companies in the market.
There are short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords, each of which are important but distinct. A short-tail keyword is very broad and, and has very high search volumes. For example, if your company is a flower shop, a short-tail keyword would simply be “flowers.” Many people search for long-tail keywords, but that means there is also a lot of competition to get onto the first page of Google.
Long-tail keywords are longer and far more specialized. This means that they might not have as high of a search volume, but they are very specific so your small business can really attract attention. A long-tail keyword might be “best flower shops in Jacksonville,” or “How to perfectly arrange daisies.”
The Importance of Keyword Research
Keyword research is vital because successful keyword research allows you to reach a far greater audience and receive more web traffic. Keywords are mostly important in the context of search engines. Of all online experiences, 68% begin at a search engine. Search engine optimization, closely linked with keywords, is essential for businesses to gain traction.
You may understand keywords and think to yourself, “Ok, I understand why keywords are important, but they seem easy to come up with.” Unfortunately, the process is not quite as simple as that. There are multiple factors to consider when deciding upon keywords.
Firstly, you want to find a happy medium between specificity and traffic. What I mean is that very simple keywords, like “flowers”, are very vague and broad. Google doesn’t know if a customer is looking to buy flowers for a wedding, wanting to learn more about gardening, or trying to buy an Edible Arrangement. So even though “flowers” will garner lots of traffic, it is probably too vague to be successful for your local flower shop. Your keywords must be specific to your business.
Meanwhile, a very specific keyword like “cheap flower shops located on route 208” might be very specific to your business, but very few people would ever Google this phrase, so the traffic would be low.
Ideally, it’s about striking a good balance between having a keyword with low enough competition to get a high search result, and having a keyword that will have enough online traffic to be worthwhile.
How to Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research involves more than just defining your business. The big key is to determine the most likely verbiage that your potential customers would be using to search for your products or services.
Understanding your target market is crucial for successful keyword research. You can learn a lot about your customer base and how they communicate by studying them. Looking at social media and online forums can be invaluable to learn what types of words and phrases customers use. Additionally, studying your competitors to find out what keywords they are using can be very useful. Not only will you learn what has been successful, but you can also learn how to differentiate your business and gain more online interactions.
There are lots of tools on the internet to help you in this keyword research. Google’s Keyword Planner is very useful and can show you monthly searches, level of competition, and the average cost per click of specific keywords. Additionally, KeySearch is a great service that can help you target which keywords to use.
Conclusion: The Importance of Keyword Research
Keyword research isn’t something to overlook. Proper keyword research techniques can propel your new website to the top of search engines and help garner far more web traffic than you otherwise would have had.
You might have the best content, the best products, and the best prices in the whole world. But if nobody can find your website, then it’s all for naught. Proper keyword research will show the world your business and help drive traffic and sales through the roof.
Download the PDF version
Click on the button below to download the PDF version of this blog post. Feel free to print or share with your business colleagues, or send them a link to this article.