Keyword Research

Keyword Research
(Updated on 3/15/2011)

Like a foundation for a building, there is one aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that is more important than any other. Without this foundation, you may be wasting all your time and resources. Proper keyword research should be the basis of your optimization.

Why is Keyword Research Critical?
Keyword research determines which keywords you should be targeting with the SEO. Most people think that they know which keywords they should target. While instinct can be a great resource, but it can also be misleading and is almost always not enough.

For example, “search engine optimization” gets an estimated 4,500 searches a day while “search engine marketing” gets an estimated 1,650 searches a day. If your gut tells you to target “search engine marketing”, you may get great rankings, but it would only get you a fraction of the traffic that you could have had if you had targeted and ranked well for “search engine optimization”.

There are also keywords that you may not be able to rank well for without a lot of time and significant amount of link building regardless of how well you optimize your site. In addition, there are keywords that other people will use to search for what your site offers that you would never even think of. So, keyword research can not only let you know which keywords are more popular, the research can also provide new keywords to target.

Drawing on the analogy in our search marketing parable, optimizing your website without first doing keyword research is like trying to pick apples from a tree without first checking to see if there are any apples on it or if the apples are within your reach. You could end up putting in a lot of effort but going home with little fruit from your labor.

Photo by shersh

Next, let’s look a little further into what you need to know about keyword research.

About the author

Kurt Steinbrueck


  • The best keywords are 2- to 4-word phrases that accurately describe what you offer using everyday language that searchers are likely to type in, and which aren't so competitive that you have no chance of getting on the front page. If your keywords are too general then they'll likely be too competitive, and even if you rank well on them your traffic might not convert well, since searchers are usually looking for something specific.

    • Good points. It's always a good idea after you are getting traffic for keywords to see how well they convert. Regarding the keywords that are too competitive, I think you're right; though, I would add that you can always do a link building campaign to get your page to the point where it can rank well.

  • Keyword Research is the foundation of SEO, if your foundation is strong then you achieve what your targeting for! if your foundations is week, it mere a waste of time and waste of loads of money you put in link building! be very careful and cautious while choosing your keywords! Cheers

  • The keywords are the back bone of a site. There are many ways to do keyword research but Google adword tool is the best one among other tools for keyword research. Keyword spy is also a great tool to get keyword ideas quickly. Research competitors sites to get adequate keyword ideas is also another part of keyword research.

  • Only SEO can do these kind of activities and ideas you can analyse and search your keywords through it and can also enhance the ranking of your sites just by doing and analyzing your keyword through SEO, the number of points and ideas given here are also of the most importance and also giving view from the different perspective.

  • Choosing keywords is the most important way of getting traffic for your website. You can use lot of tools for keyword searching and you can see also the google keyword planner. Thanks for the sharing.

  • Very nice post you have shared with us. I will share this post with others and some fellows on twitter. This is really informative post and this is really use full thanks for the sharing with us.

  • Keyword research is very important part of internet marketing. Our entire internet marketing campaigns based on Keywords research. We can use various free tools for this purpose. Mossy oak wedding rings

  • There is no doubt about it, SEO is essential to making it online today. This is a great post that outlines the fundamentals of SEO. I encourage readers to learn more about this.

  • Many sites I've come across outline the importance of SEO however it seems like very few sites actually have data to backup what they are saying. This is a nice article with quality information that I can see really helping a lot of people who are learning this subject.

  • The last few sentences talking about doing keyword research before building your site and content is crucial. If you build a site then do keyword research then you are doing this all backwards. The moral of the story is do your homework first.

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  • Many sites I've come across outline the importance of SEO however it seems like very few sites actually have data to backup what they are saying. This is a nice article with quality information that I can see really helping a lot of people who are learning this subject. thanks for sharing!!!

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