Why Keyword Research Is So Important?

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“Today we are going to cover why keyword research is so important, We will look at what is keyword research, the role of keyword research in SEM & SEO and briefly how to do keyword research, touching on the fundamental keyword research skills.”

What Is Keyword Research?

Firstly, we are going to cover what is keyword research exactly and why keyword research is so important. Keyword research is the fundamental starting point to any well-structured SEO campaign or SEO strategy and involves researching search terms, search queries or what people put into search engines exactly character by character.

MOZ highlights that keyword research is not just about, “verifying how many searches a particular keyword has – it’s also about exploring the many varied ways that people use language to research an idea or topic”. They also make the distinction that keyword research is about driving “the right traffic to your site – traffic that is more likely to convert”, this is why keyword research is important.

When considering what is keyword research exactly, Alexa defines it slightly differently by stating, “keyword research is the process of uncovering the keywords your target market uses when conducting searches”. This does a better job of illustrating the true nature of keyword research, which is finding out exactly what your potential customers or clients are searching right now so you can implement those exact keywords into your content and increase your visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPS).  

This leads us on to why keyword research is done in SEO. Keyword research is simply a discovery process to guide content creation to optimise the organic traffic a piece of written content will get and the visibility it will receive in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. We can also start to see why keyword research is so important as its is grounding your content in statistics and consumer insights to optimise business or organisational performance.

So why do keyword research? It is to develop an SEO strategy; from keyword research we develop a keyword list that acts as a compass pointing directly towards SEO success, we can better understand what keyword we need to implement into a piece of content for it to be visible in search engines for the very people that manually make those search queries in search engines. In term of keyword skills, we then have keyword placement and keyword density which moves us into the implementation of our keyword research which we will cover later.

Role Of Keyword Research In SEM & Importance Of Keywords.

The role of keyword research in SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO is foundational. We can start to see why keyword research is so important in the context of SEM and SEO, just like all marketing tactics across the board we are focused on acquiring qualified attention to increase conversions. A well-built keyword list allows us to prioritise search terms and variations and minimise the guesswork involved with content creation.

We can start with an idea of what your target audience may search into Google when looking to be informed about your products and services, but it isn’t until we engage with keyword research that we can see the importance of keywords in terms of the amount of organic traffic they generate in the search engines and the level of difficulty to rank in the search engine for those exact keywords.

Keyword difficulty refers to the competitiveness of any given keyword. In SEO and SEM keywords each have their own individual levels of competition. For example, let’s assume we have a dental practice looking to rank in the search engines for a piece of education content that will bring more organic traffic to their website.

We can use a statistic software such as SEMrush to breakdown the degrees of difficulty involved with ranking in the search engines results pages for potential keywords, we may decide to target for an education blog post we are looking to create.

why keyword research is so important list of difficult keywords

We can see that we have a list of different keywords that we can target in our blog post to attract quality traffic to our dental website. If you look at the column “volume” this indicates and estimates the amount of organic traffic that this keyword generates in search engines per month. We can also see the column “KD%”, this stands for keyword difficulty percentage. The higher this number the more difficult it will be to appear in the search engines for any given keyword in the keyword lists above and the lower the easier, with this data in mind you can start to see why keyword research is so important.

We can see the importance of keyword research when deciding on which topic we would like to target as we could select a keyword such as “are dentists open over Christmas”, which has a keyword difficulty of 3% (very easy to rank for in the SERP’s) and gets around 70 organic searches per month, or alternatively we could decide to target a keyword such as “what do dentists use to whiten teeth”, which gets the exact same amount of traffic but has a keyword difficulty of 71% (incredibly hard to rank for in the SERP’s).

Another important consideration in this process is the purchase intent or buyer intent of the keyword. Someone that is manually searching “are dentists open over Christmas” is very likely to be looking to make a visitation especially considering the time of year they are searching for this keyword. This is referred to as a keyword trend, we can expect that someone searching this keyword at the end of the year towards December is highly likely to be considering a dental visitation over the Christmas period.

When we consider the search term “what do dentists use to whiten teeth” this lacks buyers intent as it could just be someone looking for a DIY solution to a dental problem they have and is much less likely someone looking to book an appointment with our dental practice. However if we were looking to sell a dental product that provided this solution it may be a keyword we target,

 Does this mean high difficulty keywords are pointless? Well, that depends. If we consider the amount of traffic both keywords generate then it will make more sense to invest our time into the easiest keyword as there is a much higher chance, we will see a return on that time investment with rankings in the search engine results pages. However, this will also depend on the domain authority (DA) of your website.

Domain authority refers to the amount of credibility that Google and other search engines grant your website and is based on a wide variety of factors such as domain age, link profile and topical authority which are subjects we will cover individually in a later post. What you need to understand is that not all websites are equal when it comes to competing for a keyword well established websites with high domain authority can compete for more competitive keywords.

why keyword research is so important the domain authority of the NHS

We can see the importance of keyword research as if you’re a new website or new to SEO it is likely that the optimal SEO strategy for you, will be leveraging keyword research to find the best keywords that can acquire quality traffic with low levels of competition. Above you can see the domain authority of the NHS website (authority score: 84), which would be able to compete for those much more competitive terms due to them being the authority in the UK within the medical space.

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How To Do Keyword Research & Importance Of Keyword Research.

Hopefully you’re now starting to see the Importance of keyword research but may be wondering how to do keyword research. We have broken down how to do keyword research, to a 3-step process on a recent blog post on how to rank nationally SEO.

STEP 1 - How To Do Keyword Research With Pen & Paper

Keyword research begins with pen and paper. The process must start with an initial brainstorm of ideas, start with thinking up all the different ways in which someone may search for your product or service. As an example, a dental practice may draft up the following keywords.

  • Local Dentist
  • Dentist Yorkshire
  • Dentist Barnsley
  • NHS dentist
  • Dental services
  • Community dental services
  • NHS dental services
  • Emergency dental services

The key here is to let your ideas flow and build up a solid list of at least 30 keywords that we can use as a foundation. Think of the different products and services that you offer and the different locations that you would like to target locally.

STEP 2 - Importance Of Keywords From Google Suggestions

The next step is to make use of Google suggestions and recommendations. We need to expand our initial keyword list even further by looking at the Google suggestions. By manually placing a keyword into Google search, suggestions will be generated in a list format underneath the search bar.

We need to look for keywords that we can add to our keyword list that we haven’t intuitively written down but that Google itself has suggested to us. We can see keywords such as “dentists near me” and “dentist near me NHS” are suggested.

This process will not only reveal keywords that are searched right now in Google but will also generate SEO ideas. It is important we don’t just look at keywords for building landing pages, but we also consider keywords that we can implement to create blogs and educational content.

Take the time to input as a bare minimum your initial 30 keywords into Google search and manually look through the Google suggestions. Just one keyword idea for your SEO campaign could be the difference between SEO success and SEO failure, so take the time to patiently consider the suggestions that Google offers you directly and leave no stone unturned.

STEP 3 - Importance Of Keywords From Statistic Software

You should now be at a minimum of 200 keywords when considering the different towns and cities you want to reach nationally, and the different suggestion made by Google. Your keyword list may have more than 200 keywords, and this is great news as you are less likely to miss opportunities in the development of your overall SEO campaign.

The next step is to look at your competitors keyword list, here we will begin to see why keyword research is so important. To progress with this final step, you will need to make use of a statistic software such as SEMrush that will reveal your competitors top keywords that we can take and add to your keyword list. The aim of this is to reverse engineer SEO success.

Considering the key locations that you want to dominate nationally, hand pick 3-5 of the main players in your industry that offer the same products and services as you. If you can’t think of any direct competitors or you are simply unsure, then use your best friend Google. If you Google search, “your service” + “targeted location”, see who is currently in the top positions of the search engine results pages (SERP’s).

Using a tool like SEMrush, look at the keywords that your competitors are currently ranking for and begin to add them directly to your keyword list. Then once you have built a solid list of at least 300 keywords it is time to consolidate your keyword list. In a statistic software such as SEMrush you can use features such as position tracking to setup an official list that you can observe and check out your rankings for the individual keyword on your list as time goes by.

The software will reveal the traffic volumes and keyword difficulty involved with all the individual word you have selected for your keyword list; this is why keyword research is important in SEO. This keyword list will know act as the compass pointing towards SEO success for the next 3-6 months.  It will reveal to you the keywords that are of most importance to your business and that have the highest opportunity with the lowest keyword difficulty.

Hopefully this breakdown can give you some level of keyword research skills that you can apply to increase the organic traffic to your website, and hopefully you can see why keyword research is so important.

Why Is Keyword Research Important For SEO?

To conclude why keyword research is so important, it is taking the guesswork out of your marketing and content creation to convert as many people as possible. This is so you can sell more products and services directly via your website. Why do keyword research? Well so you’re not guessing what your target audience would like to see and your creating content based on what they are already searching for right now in the search engines.

If you have any questions surrounding, why keyword research is so important we offer a free consultation alongside our free SEO audit in which we would be happy to answer any questions that you may have around keyword research or SEO.


Why Keyword Research Is So Important.
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