Guest blog from B2 Interactive

Keyword research is vital to successful SEO and content marketing efforts. Though it may seem like it’s only used to optimize content for search engine results, keyword research can be used for so much more. Below, we discuss why keyword research is so valuable and how quality keyword research can benefit your digital marketing work.

What Is Keyword Research

Keyword research is the practice of identifying the words and phrases most commonly used when people are using search engines. This allows you to determine which phrases are most important for you to optimize for on your website. Keyword research is a core component of search engine optimization (SEO).

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

There are multiple reasons why keyword research needs to be implemented across your website, and these reasons go far beyond using the right combinations of words to rank in search engines.

Keyword Research Helps You Understand What People Care About

When it comes down to it, keyword research is just as much about your audience as it is about optimizing for search engines. Through in-depth keyword research, you can identify the topics your audience is interested in, the specific details they’d like to know more about, and the questions they ask most frequently. That’s powerful for audience analysis.

Through these insights, you’re able to tailor your content to your readers’ interests and provide them with the best experience possible, making your website a useful resource and you an authority in their eyes.

Keyword Research Helps to Guide How You Spend Your Time 

If you know what people care about, you also know where to invest your time. It’s simple. Spend your time where the most potential is.

Unfortunately, too many companies have blindly invested too much time into writing content for their blogs or webpages that doesn’t appeal to searchers. One of the biggest reasons why this happens is that the decision-making process isn’t guided by keyword research.

Through keyword research, you can see how often a term or idea is searched for. This allows you to validate how worthwhile your ideas are and whether or not you should invest time into them.

Keyword Research Helps You Optimize for Search Engines

Of course, being visible to your audience matters, too. Keyword research gives you the information you need to use the terms your audience is using so you can discuss the things they care about on your website. Because Google’s ultimate goal is to satisfy the searcher by providing them with the best resource, well-optimized posts guided by keyword research are much more likely to rank well in search results and drive traffic to your site.

What Goes Into Keyword Research?

The exact keyword research process varies from website to website, as well as individual pages and posts. That said, below are some of the staples of keyword research that contribute to creating a solid content foundation.

High-Level Keyword Research

This is identifying the most searched terms. Those who are familiar with keyword research understand this aspect of it, but many content producers don’t go beyond this.

High-level keyword research allows you to optimize for the highest potential keywords and variations of those keywords across your entire website, help you determine the pages that should be created for your website, and more.

Long-Tail Keyword Research

This type of keyword research focuses on longer, niche searches. Long-tail keyword research doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Because longer phrases are often searched for in a variety of manners, the keyword volume doesn’t add up to large numbers that look worthy of attention.

That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. Long-tail keywords can be what separates you from the competition. Not only will long-tail keyword research help you provide a more complete resource by understanding specific details your audience wants to read, but it also helps you rank better for the broad, high-level keywords while also creating opportunities to rank for a wide range of keywords that can drive significant traffic. 

Semantic Keyword Research

Semantic keywords are the related terms associated with a keyword. Let’s say you were creating a resource with “living room furniture” as your high-level keyword. Semantic variations would include couch, sectional, love seat, recliner, ottoman, coffee table, end table, throw pillows, entertainment system, etc. These variations matter, especially in competitive spaces.

Identifying Questions 

Identifying questions people search for is another powerful component to keyword research. Questions provide clear insight into what users are hoping to learn. By answering important questions on your website, you improve their experience and improve your chances of ranking in search results when those questions are asked.

Keyword Research Tools 

Keyword research tools are essential for anyone serious about taking their content marketing efforts to the next level. These tools provide insight into the keywords that matter most, the keywords competitors rank for, and more.

There are free tools available for those just getting started with content development. Some keyword research can even be done by looking at the keywords and phrases that consistently come up in search results for specific terms. But true, in-depth research requires paid tools.

Time & Effort

Learning how to research keywords effectively is an ongoing process that includes practice and plenty of trial and error. More importantly, it’s crucial to remember that keyword research is even demanding for experienced SEO professionals. Because it sets the foundation of online success, it’s something that demands a lot of attention.

Keyword Research Is Necessary 

Keyword research shouldn’t be optional for anyone serious about driving traffic and growing their business online. Building a website, creating pages, and creating content without it is just guessing. To ensure that the effort and resources you’re putting into digital marketing pay off, use keyword research to focus and optimize your website.