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Keyword Research Basics

Published on:

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Anyone familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO) will know a bit about keywords, and how important they are in connecting a users’ search with the information and solutions presented on your website.

Keywords and keyword research is the foundation on which a businesses entire SEO strategy is built, marrying their brand, products, content, and solutions with the terms, questions, and searches that prospective customers are making. Of course, modern websites use a lot more than just keywords to match up to user searches - however, keywords are what ground each website in online opportunities and help make sure that the best websites appear when users need them.

With that said, what does keyword research involve and how do you get started in learning about a backend strategy which is both complex and incredibly simple?

What is keyword research and why does it matter?

Identifying a keyword means working out the words that users from your target audience and customer demographic are searching, their motivation behind searching those words, and which words are most likely to drive traffic to your website.

An effective keyword strategy stems from research into which words connect your website, brand, products or services to those customers - that is, what terms are they searching that you are also using on your website?

Google mobile search

From there, keyword research is about understanding intent and the customer journey stage that each user is at. Your keyword research needs to cover information-seekers as well as captive prospective buyers and needs to drive forward content which informs as well as converts and sells.  

So, why does it matter? Well, it all comes down to matching customers needs with what you can offer them. An effective keyword research strategy enables you to identify what it is your customers are searching for, which words are currently connecting them to your competitors, and which untapped opportunities you can use to your advantage in terms of specific search terminology and trends.

What should keyword research cover?

Before we dive into keyword research and how to understand it from a business perspective, it’s important to note that trends underpin keyword research and form an integral part of its foundation. Seasonal searches can make or break the potency and success rate of certain search terminology, as user intent and desire changes over the course of the year and as new challenges and solutions appear on the market.

Certain trends, such as products made famous by celebrities, movies, and endorsements, can see specific and often very niche search terms go through the roof - meaning that despite a comprehensive long term strategy, it’s also important for marketers and SEO professionals to stay alert to fleeting trends.

Keyword research should ideally cover:

  • The monthly search volume of keywords and key phrases
  • User Intent, and how a term is being used by customers
  • The Relevance of keywords on your different web pages
  • Long-tail keywords which are more specific and detailed

The final point on this list taps into one key area of keyword research - the need for both industry-wide and incredibly broad, alongside the more targeted and niche keywords and search terms. A combination of the two is best for businesses that want to raise their brand profile in the industry and on the market, while also positioning their products as solutions for specific user issues.

Where to start and how to use keywords for your business website

Now for the big question: where should you start?

As a business, there are a number of different searches that users will make to ultimately land on your website. These range from initial exploration into certain topics, to very targeted purchased-led searches which occur towards the end of the funnel when they are getting ready to buy.

The best keyword strategy will position your brand, products, and website at the forefront of the results across all searches, throughout the customer funnel and buyer journey - and that means conducting research into what users are looking for every step of the way.

Competitor sites and campaigns are a good place to get ideas as to what users are searching for and how others are meeting their needs, while insight and knowledge about your customers and what they are directly looking for can also inform keyword research.

Once you have a list of keyword ideas, research will enable you to assess their potency, relevancy, and the search volume associated with those terms – so that you can be sure to maximise the number of hits across each word with optimum efficiency.

Here at Social Loop, our team work with clients to not only identify the best place to start for keyword research but also help in building entire campaigns, whole websites and individual web pages which are optimised for these keywords. For more information on how we could support you, get in touch with us directly.