The Importance of Keyword Research and Benefits of Having a Keyword Plan

Keywords are one of the basic elements to any SEO strategy.  They are the words or phrases that people enter into a search that then lead to your site.  So, to get your site in the public eye, you need to know what keywords your target audience will search for, and then optimise your site for these terms.  The first step for any SEO company is keyword research.

So, what is keyword research?  Why is it important?

In essence, keyword research means looking into the key terms that will be entered into a search engine by people who want to buy what you have to offer.  So, if you have a dental office in Bondi, for example, you’ll look for what people enter into the search field to find Bondi dentists.  You’ll find terms like “Bondi dental,” “Bondi Junction dentist,” and “Smile dentist Bondi Junction.”  You’ll notice that these terms make use of the local audience of the practice, as well as the most common terms that interested parties will enter into a search field.

The key here is that you want your site to show up when interested people search for it.  An SEO Expert will do keyword research to find the appropriate “long tail keywords”, or the specific search terms that mean the right customers can find your site quickly and without hassle.  Plus, you tune your website outreach to the customers that are more likely to turn into conversions.  If your website is like your storefront, keyword research means tuning in to your customers to find out what should show up in your display window.  This attracts the right customers into your shop and makes sure that your sales figures go up.

Keyword research is helpful in a number of other ways.  For one, it gives you direction and focus.  When dealing with a global audience, it can be tempting to provide that little bit for everybody, to spread your focus across the entire potential customer base.  But the thing is, your business doesn’t specialise in everything.  It can’t.  There are some things that you are good at, and some things you offer.  Focus your customer outreach on these areas, and you’ll have a much higher traffic to conversion ratio.  Plus, this leads to more site time and a lower bounce rate, which boosts your search rankings even more.

Keyword research performed by an SEO professional helps you to expand your business in a way that meets your target audience.  The people who are interested in your product or service will be interested in other related products.  When you do keyword research, you find long tail (conversion-ready) keywords that are associated with your current focus.  In short, you get clear, business-actionable pointer as to how best to expand your business.  To top it off, you make your efforts more efficient, devoting your time and energy into the things that can make your business more successful.  Less wasted effort and more bang for your buck.

Finally, keyword research takes care of the competition analysis as well.  If you know what your target audience is searching for, you can tailor your site to what they want.  You can do it in a way that boosts your search ranking, making you more visible in organic searches.  And, by focusing on long tail keywords, you capitalise on conversion-ready searches, giving you a huge advantage over sites in your niche that focus on more general terms.  This also gives you insight into your customers that will make PPC ads even more effective.  In short, keyword research helps you to get a finger on the pulse of the market, and a well-designed site and marketing stream can take it from there.

So what’s the next step?  After you’ve done your research, it’s time to make a plan.  A keyword plan is a list, based on your research, of the specific short- and long-tail keywords that you’d like to base your content around.

There are a number of free keyword planers online that can help you to do this, including AdWords Keyword Planner.  This focuses exclusively on Google algorithms, but since Google is the number one search engine currently in use, this simply means that it capitalises on the bulk of the available traffic.  However, a professional SEO company will go through keywords that are “hot” for each search engine, cross-check this with your target demographic, and establish a list of keywords that will maximise traffic from all search engines.

This means that you optimise your site to channel all relevant traffic, from all engines, to your site.  And, once again, it focuses on conversion-ready searches.  So, instead of shooting in the dark, you’re tailoring your site to show up for those people who are ready to become customers right then, and for those who are likely to become customers in the near future.

The upshot?  Keyword research and planning is the best way to capitalise upon your online visibility.  People search, and they convert, and they do it all on the basis of what they find in the easiest search with the lowest hassle.  Effective research and planning can make your site the one they find.

If you’d like to know more about keywords or get a free quote on keyword optimisation for your site, feel free to contact us.  At Local Web, we’re dedicated to making your site the hottest commodity for your target audience.