There are two ways we can explain SEO keyword research to you. The first is to provide a dictionary-style definition, which may satisfy those of you who are more academically inclined:
Keyword research is the practice search engine optimization (SEO) professionals use to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines. Search engine optimization professionals research keywords, which they use to achieve better rankings in search engines. Once they find a niche keyword, they expanded on it to find similar keywords.
– Wikipedia on keyword research, Read Full Article.
Beautifully said, Wikipedia. Thank you.
Okay, so there were a few fancy words in there, but don’t worry. That’s why we’re going to explain keyword research another way; and that’s to provide you with a little story that highlights the fact that you’ve been benefiting from this practice since the very first time you used the Internet.
Here we go…
It’s boys’ night and you decide to impress your mates by opening a bottle with your teeth: bad life choice. The beer bottle wins, sending a shower of tooth fragments down your chin. You need to see a dentist, but you don’t really have one. Surprise.
What do you do?
You consult The Oracle (Google) of course! You open up your web browser and type in the phrase “dentists in Bothasig Cape Town” because that’s where you happen to live in this scenario. Google runs a lightning fast search of every webpage in its seemingly fathomless coffers of information and comes back with a comprehensive list of search results (website recommendations) for dentists in, near and around the Cape Town suburb of Bothasig.
Which dentist’s website are you most likely to click on, contact and give your business to? Probably the first, second or third website shown on the very first search result page. This tells you three very important things:
SEO keyword research is crucial for connecting people to the products and services they’re looking for: The fact that you used that specific search term, which we call a keyword or key phrase, connected you with a business that is now profiting from your search.
Keyword research drives targeted traffic to your website: High traffic volume is great for a dentist (or any business website), but unless the people who make up that traffic are interesting in having their teeth done, there’s no point! Keyword research directs the right kind of people to your site, enabling them to benefit from your services and your business to turn a profit.
The higher your website’s ranking on search engines, the more profitable it can be: It is most desirable to get your business website ranking on the first page of Google and preferably in the top 10 search results for a given keyword or phrase. Why? Because ain’t nobody got time to trawl through 248,981 search results pages. The higher ranked a website, the more traffic and attention it will get.
Quite simply, ranking for the right SEO keywords and phrases can literally make or break your website and it applies to absolutely every website and every business under the rainbow: not just the dentist in Bothasig.
And that is essentially how keywords work and why they’re so important!
Before we can blithely sail on to the methodology behind it all, we really need to drive home a few important points. You need to understand the goals of keyword research, how to interpret the various metrics produced by keyword research tools AND the fact that as long as the complex mathematical algorithms that drive search engines are evolving, so too must your keyword strategies.