Great keywords and phrases are crucial for a successful SEO program because they are the terms which search engine users input when they are looking for information on the internet. If a search engine ranks you high in those rankings, your site will almost always enjoy more traffic from those searches. The crucial question is just what are all those millions of users (and potential customers) using as the keywords and key phrases?
Let’s start with three different types of keywords before we move on to how to identify those you need:
- Targeted Keywords – simply getting high rank for any search term or phrase will not do; your targeted keywords are those which are aligned most closely with your web presence and ensure someone searching on that word will find your site very relevant to their search. Targeted keywords generate much higher conversions of visitors to sales and allow you to focus your budget on gaining rankings for those specific terms;
- Generic Keywords – these are general search terms, for instance, a topic e.g. health, lifestyle, fashion, politics; by themselves they attract huge amounts of search activity but they are the least productive search terms to target as well as being hugely competitive and costly to gain high ranking; and
- Competitive Keywords – you’re not alone in thinking that gaining high search rankings for a targeted keyword will reap more customers and sales – your competitors are doing the same thing too! Some keywords and phrases are highly sought after or have been dominated by websites for so long that challenging their grip on the ranking will be prohibitive.
Ideally, you are looking for targeted keywords and phrases which are not being targeted by other businesses and will produce high conversion rates. This translates to low costs, high sales and an overall higher Return On Investment (ROI).
The Importance of Keyword Research
Keyword research provides the ability to identify search terms which are most relevant, i.e. targeted; and meet your budget expectations, i.e. are not going to cost you more to gain a high ranking than it is worth in sales and profits. Many consider research to be a minor issue; however, for SEO purposes it is absolutely crucial and managing this process will significantly enhance the results of any SEO campaign.
By identifying which terms internet users are using to find websites which are similar to yours, you can then optimize your campaign to tap into that traffic. Equally important, your research may uncover the longer phrases, so called “long-tail” search terms, which are very specific and highly targeted and lead to extremely high conversion rates for little cost.
Your keyword research will also help you identify “niche keywords”. Niche keywords are very highly targeted and usually have few competitors. Though niche keywords do not generate huge volumes of traffic, but visitors to your site searching on these terms represent very active prospects with high conversion potential.
The Holy SEO Grail: the Ultimate Purpose behind Keyword Research
The Holy Grail of SEO is to find those search terms which will allow every aspect of your website to be optimized in depth. By in depth, we mean that the constituent pages of your site will provide appeal and attraction to a variety of visitors who are at different stages of the purchasing process. By creating general pages, such as informative or educational pages, perhaps product category and description information – you will then attract a larger variety of search terms. For those who are further along the buying path, more targeted search terms can be used to take advantage of the most profitable visitors to your site, i.e. those who are ready to buy.