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Keyword Research For Beginners

Are you making the best use of a keyword strategy on your site? Does your strategy help you make content decisions on your site? If not, you need to keep reading. In this article, we’re going to introduce you to the basics of keyword research and keyword strategy as part of your ongoing SEO landscape.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a huge topic under the larger banner of SEO (search engine optimization). Doing your keyword research means carefully considering what specific words or word phrases people should use to find your website in a search engine.

A solid keyword strategy helps your website get discovered.
For example, a website for an Italian restaurant would target the keyword phrases italian restaurant. So if someone typed italian restaurant into a search engine, the website owner would try to get their website listed higher in the search results. The higher “ranked” this website is for those keywords, the more likely it is that someone will click on the link and land on the page.

Why Do I Need A KeyWord Strategy? 

A solid keyword strategy helps your website get discovered. There’s no way around it. While many factors affect your SEO, keywords are a large part of that pie. When you have a keyword strategy based on research, you can use tweak the content of your pages to reflect those keywords. Without a foundational keyword strategy it will be more difficult for search engines to rank you properly, and your website will likely fall into obscurity.

The Basics of Keyword Research

So now you may be asking, how do I get started? First, you should sit down and have a brainstorming session in which you jot down possible keywords. Then, if you have a Google account, you can use Google Keyword Planner to find popular keyword phrases.

Google Keyword Planner Images

Once you’ve entered a keyword into the planner tool, it will suggest popular keyword phrases you can use in your content. Start by targeting the lower volume keywords (10-1000 monthly searches) and build up over time.

Using the Long-tail Keywords

As you’re learning more about keyword research, you will likely hear the term “long-tail keyword”, the “tail” being the very end portion of an animal. You can also imagine this concept as a pyramid structure. At the very top is the least specific keyword you can rank for, but also the most competitive one: for example, dog training. At the bottom of the period, you have content that reflect lower volume keywords like:

  • dog training books
  • dog training essentials
  • dog training prices

Now, you will want to have content on your pages that use these keywords, all the while linking to the pages that contain your canonical (top of the pyramid) content. Once you can leverage this kind of strategy on all of your pages, your site will be ready to rank in higher order.