The Importance of Keyword Research in Search Engine Optimization

Keyword Research

Your strategy for an effective online marketing campaign lies exactly what your customers really search in the web to reach your service or product. Though this Google centric digital marketing world has seen a lot of changes (humming bird, penguin, panda, EMD) in the last couple of years, but the core concept is still the same. Search Terms are still the keystone for any search campaign which can make or break your web business.

So it is very essential for you to brainstorm what words or phrases your customers exactly use in the internet to reach you. Finding the right keywords for your website is like 50% of your SEO job is done. You can easily cover the mass chunk of your potential customers online through the right keyword research.

This article will help you understand the importance of the keyword research and how to find the best keywords for your website….

What is a keyword?

In the context of search engine optimization, keywords can be defined as the particular words or phrases that describe a website best for its services, which helps search engines to map the search query with a relevant webpage.

Keywords are the center of online business. Thus the use of the right keywords on the website landing pages is very essential first step of search engine optimization.

All the search engines love quality content, but can’t send you traffic unless you optimize your content for specific terms that people are searching for.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process to find the best search terms that can be used to improve the search engine optimization (SEO) and develop a strong inbound marketing strategy for a website. Keyword Research is a very important tool for developing an effective online marketing strategy. This process is challenging and may consume time depending on your website, service industry and competition.

Keyword Research Tools

Once known as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, has drastically changed and renovated which is one of the top keyword research tools in the internet is now known as Google AdWords Keyword planner. It is free and easy tool to use for keyword analysis.

Apart from Google Keyword Planner there is available many other paid and free sources which offer interactive keyword research platform. I have listed couple of the sources as below.

A list of Keyword Research Tools

Google Insights for Search (free)
Keyword Discovery
Microsoft Advertising Intelligence(free)
Google Trends Prediction(free)
SEOBook Keyword Generator(paid)
Soovle(free-not exactly a typical keyword research tool)
Raven Tools Research Central (paid)
Advanced Web Ranking (paid)
Keyword Spy (paid)
SEO Book Keyword Tool (free)

How to Choose Keywords for your website?

Your keywords should be the phrases that your potential customers would search often to find your website in the internet. The first step to generate a list of keywords is to understand your audience. Again at the same time you need to understand the popularity and competitiveness of the keywords.

The best keywords for a website are phrases having 2-4 words that exactly describe your website in a common language that generally the searchers use in the internet. If you have a unique business, it is very easy to rank for your potential keywords where as the generic keywords for competitive industries takes lots of time to rank.

Let’s discuss the attributes for a Good Keyword


Competition on a keyword can be defined as the number of other WebPages using or optimized for the same term. So more the number of WebPages target the keyword, the higher the competition is.

It is always advised to avoid such competitive keywords. The basic principle of selecting a keyword is: high search volume and low competition. But again you need to be clever on it as too generic keywords do not offer the targeted traffic and less competitive keywords are not searched often.

Your selection of the keywords should be a list of keywords that are having a higher conversion rate rather than a high search volume. In other words, you need to select a keyword that is more about the group of the core keyword itself.

Avoid Single-Word search phrases:

Single-word search terms are usually too generic and competitive to choose for any new website. Also single word keywords do not send quality traffic whereas keywords having 2-3 phrases have a higher proximity of sending the quality & relevant traffic. And at the same time long tail keywords are easy to optimize and rank.

The keywords having more than 2 words is a long-tail keyword and the different parts of the long tail keywords can be defined as HEAD, MIDDLE, and TAIL. Having targeting the right long tail keywords can go a long way for your business.

But interestingly most experts miss this because this is usually not conventional. I’ve worked with many websites targeting dozens of long-tails keywords and the result was awesome. It not only improved the quality of the visitors but also reduced the bounce rate and the overall ranking of the website. With the long tail keywords I even doubled the ROI for the client.

Keep Eyes on Trends

Often our SEO campaigns eyes for future. We start with a new site or a site with keywords that is nowhere in ranking. Then we put the on-page issues in place; build links and start getting ranking and traffic.

Here the question comes into existence; Are the keywords we are ranking going to be worthwhile over time? Is the search volume of the keywords going to increase in future? And so on…

At this given scenario, you need to pay attention about the keyword trend well ahead of time. Spotting the trend for the keywords is easier with trend spotting tools (Google Trends) which give us an insight about the future growth of the keywords.

So the takeaway point is to be extra cautious while selecting the keywords  and go for the keywords that show constant level of search volume and the emerging terms that have a rapidly growing trend.

It is your turn. If you got any suggestion please share in the comments.