Finding your words

Keyword research is an integral part of SEO. But keyword research is more than just making sure you are using the right words at the right time. Researching keywords is researching your audience.

It is trying to understand what your potential readers/customers/clients are talking about, and more importantly, how are they talking about it. Is there enough demand for what you have to offer? And are you offering the right thing? Keyword research can help you find out.

Tools to do keyword research

There are a lot of tools out there that will help you do some good and deep research – unfortunately most of them will require that you are willing to pay for this knowledge. At the end of the day it’s a matter of how much effort you are willing to put into your SEO and how many resources you have.

Fortunately there is a tool that you can use for free (although it does require a Credit Card). If you set up a Google AdWords campaign you can use the Google Keyword Planner. You might be asked to plan a campaign before getting started, but luckily campaigns can be paused, so you won’t have to pay a thing.

What can you learn from Keyword Research

The point of keyword research is to figure out what people are actually searching for in relation to your business. Let’s say you run a spa for dogs. You have written a lot about what a dog spa is, what a dog spa can offer and how you are the best dog spa in your area, but you aren’t getting any traffic.

You know there is a market for your business and you keep getting customers by word of mouth, but very few people are visiting your website, and you can’t understand why. And this is where keyword research can help you.

You do a little digging and you see that very few people are interested in the term dog spa, however dog grooming is an incredibly popular search term. People didn’t find your website, because they didn’t know that you were offering what they were looking for.

What to look for when doing Keyword Research

When you look at your keyword research you look for how many times a month someone has searched for a certain term. You also look at related keywords, and in Keyword Planner you can even see how often someone in your set location has searched for your chosen keyword.

It is good to bear in mind though, that a very popular keyword is also likely to have a lot of competition from others who are targeting the same keyword. So it might be worth targeting a slightly less popular keyword or at least to check out….

…your competition

Research what your competitors are doing. Take a look at your competitors’ websites. How are they talking about themselves? When you google the keyword you plan to target what comes up? Are these your competitors or do they in fact offer a completely different service?

If that’s the case then what are the odds that people who search using the same keyword won’t be expecting to find something else on your site. If you stick to this keyword you are likely to attract visitors who aren’t that interested in your service, and you’re still not attracting those visitors who might turn into clients.

Avoid keyword stuffing

So you’ve found the keywords you want to use and you really want to rank well, so you might be inclined to try and squeeze in the keyword as much as possible. This is generally a bad idea. Search engines don’t like stuffers. Write your copy and see where your keyword or variations thereof fits in well. If it reads well, then it’s good SEO. See our guide on SEO for more tips.

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful.

If you want to learn more about SEO check out our SEO guide.

For other resources on keyword research you should also check out Copyblogger or go to Google Ads YouTube channel for videos on how to use the Google Keyword Planner.

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