What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the act of reviewing data from numerous web sources, services, and competitors to find out which keywords are either the most popular or most powerful words to use for organic and/or paid traffic sources for a websites online marketing and/or advertising campaigns.
The Importance of Keyword Research
Keyword research should almost always be the first step in any online marketing and advertising campaigns. By using external keyword research tools and the analytical data that each provides, one should be able to ascertain and deduce which keywords should be used for on page SEO practices. Keyword research tools and data should be leveraged, utilized, and tracked in culmination with organic outbound search engine marketing, pay per click marketing, and with other online ad networks. Successful keyword research is typically and initially achieved by conducting due diligence on mainstream keywords used by competitors within their already active online marketing campaigns. Spying on competitors keywords is one of the many methods of keyword research that a website owner should be using to ultimately be able to fast track their online advertising and marketing campaigns right from the start.
As with any successful online marketing and advertising campaigns comes trial and error. Setting up, tracking, tweaking, optimizing, and testing of new keywords are all part of the process of any successful and effective online marketing campaign. At the end of the day, a website owner or business owners prerogative is to maximize their return on their advertising dollars. Conducting keyword research and competitor research will almost always guarantee faster success and results as these processes help identify what keywords consumers are searching for and clicking on.
SEO Keyword Research for On Page Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to building a website, many web designers and programmers have very little knowledge of how to use keyword research for general use with on site search engine optimization. As each and every business website is unique- identifying and researching target markets, target keywords, and target competitors websites should all help with creating a search engine friendly website.
By tracking down popular keywords that the competition uses with key word research tools, a website owner should be able to see which keywords competitors are paying top dollar for, which can then be used within their website along with online advertising networks. This simple process is one of the easiest methods a new website owner can leverage and use for finding the most popular keywords within a specific industry or market.
A website owner should also do a little research on search engine optimization and the general methods and practices used to attract search engines to their websites organically. Understanding how search engines operate and how they scrape and read websites will only further a website owners success and hopefully for years to come. Some of the basics of SEO or search engine optimization for websites are as follows-
Meta tags- Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, and more (unseen text on individual web pages that search engines read first), unique or original content, <H> tags within content, alt tags of images, proper URL structure and canonicalization, page load speeds, W3c compliant coding, keyword densities, links and link title tags, and more. Knowledge is power, knowledge about SEO is attained through research, learning, trial and error, tracking, optimizing, and staying up to date with all accepted search engine standards and practices.
SEM Keyword Research for Google Adwords and Other Online PPC Ad Networks
As search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, many website owners and business owners can sometimes experience drastic shifts or “flux” in their organic keyword rankings and organic website traffic. Major search engines these days are apparently taking the SEO industry in a different direction by means of their own pay per click programs or PPC. PPC programs and PPC networks typically display ads above search engine listings, to the right of search engine listings, and underneath search engine listings. As there are many variations of PPC advertising and online advertising, pay per click advertisements are described as follows- PPC is the act of advertising ones website through a network of websites or search engines, where as when someone clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays for the click, hence the term pay per click.
Pay per click ad networks allow business owners and website owners alike to be able to drive live web traffic to their websites, products, or services almost instantly. This form of web advertising can be very costly for businesses that do not know how to effectively use these types of online ad networks, on the flip side to that statement, PPC ads can also help a website owner be very successful when the right formula of keywords are used in said pay per click marketing campaigns.
Keyword research for use in PPC campaigns is vital as an advertiser is paying for each and every click, of which can add up very quick. Spying on competitors keywords, using exact match for keywords, finding misspellings of keywords, utilizing long tail keywords , finding targeted content placements, and using action keywords are all quick tips for keyword research for a more effective pay per click marketing campaign.
So now that we have covered what keyword research is, how to conduct keyword research, how on page SEO key words function with search engines, and how off site keyword research is used for outbound marketing and advertising; You may be asking yourself- “ Where do I start, how do I collect analytics and data, and what keyword research tools and keyword research services can I use to begin my due diligence processes for keyword analyzing ? ”.
The majority of these key word tools and keyword data services generally collect data from competitors websites, competitors outbound search engine marketing efforts, and also from competitors Google Adwords campaigns and other online advertising networks. Google in particular offers several keyword research tools such as- Google analytics, Google Adwords keyword tools, Google traffic estimator, Google Adsense keyword tools, Google Zeitgest (trends marketing), and several other keyword research, traffic, trends, and tracking tools. As Google still controls upwards of sixty-five percent of all organic and paid search engine keyword searches and queries, utilizing Google’s keyword research tools would be one of the best places to start collecting keyword data. Some other popular external keyword tools that website owners can use are – SEOmoz, Spyfu, Overture, Bing keyword tool, Keyword elite, Wordtracker, and many other key word tools software, scripts, and services.
As with any business, setting things up correct the first time is always the most effective and cost efficient means to starting any type of project. Conduct keyword research before launching your online marketing and advertising campaigns, track your progress via Google analytics and webmaster tools, and optimize your website and campaigns accordingly with the collected data. The above outlined steps are how the majority of businesses online maximize their marketing and advertising dollars, and right from the start of their online marketing and online advertising campaigns.