Why Is Keyword Research So Important?

Originally Published: 28 August 2023
Last Updated: 5 June 2024
Written by: Nick Jolliffe

Reading Time: 4.895 minutes

Categories: SEO
Why Is Keyword Research So Important

If you’re starting out down your SEO journey, or reviewing your performance, you’ve probably heard the term ‘keyword’ a fair bit. Keywords are one of the underpinning elements of both good SEO and content marketing strategies, and any professional will tell you the same thing. You need to spend time on your keyword research before you go any further. But why does this ‘golden rule’ exist, and what is it that’s so important about the keyword research phase of SEO?

What Is Keyword Research?

At first glance, it might seem like keyword research is pretty simple. Research keywords and choose the ones you want to be found for, right? Well, half right. In reality, keyword research is a lot more nuanced than that. It’s not just about finding the keywords you want to be found for, but learning what search terms people are using – because they are rarely the same thing.

To do keyword research properly, you will have to use a variety of tools to find out what search terms users are entering into search engines to find services like yours, analyse that information, and then apply that knowledge to your content marketing to improve your search ranking.

What Are The Types Of Keywords?

While ‘keywords’ sounds like a fairly specific term, they aren’t all made equal. There are different types of keywords, which you will need to use for different purposes, so it’s important that you know what they are and how you’re going to use them. Typically, you can split keywords down into:

  • Informational: Searchers want to find information.
  • Navigational: Searchers want to find a specific website or a specific page.
  • Commercial: Searchers want to explore a band, product or service in general.
  • Transactional: Searchers want to complete an action (making a purchase).
  • Local: Searchers looking to find products or services nearby to them.
  • Long-Tail: Highly specific search terms.

Your business will likely need to use all of these types of keywords, but the place and time they are used is what’s most important to their success. A big part of keyword research is not only finding the right keywords for your business but also understanding which keywords should be used where in your content.

Why Is It Important For SEO?

As we’ve mentioned before, search engines are fickle things. Google in particular has over 100 different factors it uses to rank your website, which means the more you can do to get on their radar, the better. Keywords are an excellent way to help search engines understand who you are, what you do and what kinds of people could benefit from your searches. They act as little beacons, allowing search engines to identify useful content to provide in search results for those key phrases. So when a user types in the key phrase, or something related, your website should pop right up.

But success with keywords is about more than just guesswork. It’s about understanding what both the end user and the search engines are looking for, and making sure you’re using the terms they want. It’s also about being strategic  – it’s one of the best ways to get your business to appear on the first page of Google. Research allows you to find keywords that are:

  • High in search volume (so lots of people are searching for it)
  • Low in competition (the number of other businesses competing for that keyword)
  • Easy to rank for (which means bigger or high-quality domains aren’t ranking for them)

By taking the time to really research the keywords you use, you significantly improve your chances of being found online and converting searchers into customers. It’s the difference between doing OK at SEO, and being successful. 

How Do You Choose The Right Keywords?

Now the big question is, how do you choose the right keywords for your business?

There are a lot of different ways you can do this, and plenty of tools you can use to start narrowing down a high-quality keyword list. Google’s AdWords platform has a keyword planner built into it, which is always a good place to start, or you can use tools from third-party companies like SERanking (They have a 14-day free trial), Wordstream or Backlinko. These will all ask you to input some information about your business, and return a list of keywords, paid and free, and how competitive they are. The reports can be a little tricky to understand, but a few of the things you need to consider when choosing your keywords are:

  • Search volume (how many times the keyword is searched)
  • Competition (How many other sites are competing for that keyword)
  • Price (Cost per click)
  • Intent (what the searcher is intending to do)

Most of this information will be available using the tools, and some of it will need more detailed searching. But once you have that information, you can use it to narrow down a keyword list for your business. Then, it’s just a case of implementing them!Sound like a lot? Don’t panic! There is lots of support out there to help you research and choose the right keywords for your business, depending on your industry and your budget.

You can get started by entering a keyword or a competitor’s website below and finding out what keywords they are ranking for.

At Lion Spirit Media, we specialise in helping business owners understand their keywords and weave them into both their keyword strategy and wider marketing. If you’d like to get started, we can also provide you with a free SEO audit to see your current performance, and where you can improve. With our help, you can stand out from the digital jungle and let your ROAR sound. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.

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