Search engine optimization (SEO)

The Why and How of Keyword Research for SEO

Keywords are not important. You have been told and indoctrinated by SEO mongers for the past few years and like a loyal follower, you have believed this blindly. But have you ever thought, does keyword really lose all its importance in SERP? What if you try to get ranking in some keywords without incorporating that particular keyword neither in the body content nor in the meta data? This is simply not feasible. Keywords still hold their own importance and like any other search engines, Google still gives the same importance to keywords but the only difference is that they have changed the way they used to look into it. So, all you need to do is to reshuffle your SEO strategy. So do not throw away keywords from your SEO campaign, that will be your biggest marketing blunder.
keywords

What are keywords?

Keywords can be anything that people use to find information in any search engines. It can be anything from brand name, to people’s name, product, service or even your name. Yes, anything can be keywords but for sure you cannot choose a keyword that no one searches with except you. That will be sheer wastage of time and effort. If you are aiming high, high volume keywords will serve your purpose but you should also remember competition will be stiff in those keywords. So, choose your keywords judiciously.

Are they important?

Yes, this is the question that everyone jumps into with the obvious expectation of getting a negative answer. But the thing is that keywords still hold its importance even in the post panda scenario. However, the good old days have gone when you could easily escalate to the top of search query by adding excessive keywords in the Meta data and in the body content.
Now a different strategy needs to be adopted for the sake of surviving the rollercoaster of Google algo shuffle. Your content should be built around the keywords and not the other way around. The bottom-line is that you need to make it appear useful to the users and to the search engines. Now do not give unnecessary attention to search engines as this could invite penalty. Try to put into the shoes of a general user and ask yourself whether a user would like to go the next post or he would move to the next website.
Here are some tactics you should adopt to secure better ranking without compromising with users’ experience:

  • Do not target more than three main keywords in the body content.
  • Do Not stuff keywords in the meta data sections.
  • Do not need to stuff wild number of keyword variations in meta keyword sections
  • Use keywords naturally even in title and meta description section

How You can Choose Keywords

There are several tools available to make your keyword research a fairly easy affair but the thing is that you should not choose something that comes up with weird suggestions. Since you are targeting google, it makes sense to use Google keyword research tool for this purpose.
There are different options. First come word and phrase option. You need to add a keyword related to your blog here in this section. Since my blog is related to discount coupon, I type the keyword ‘discount coupon’ here. Next comes the website option. If you have a website enter that to get specific suggestion, however If you do not have any, no worries, just leave it blank. Then I choose category from the drop down list below:
Drill down to until you get the best category option, here I have chosen Network Security since my best two products are norton 360 code and acronis coupon. I have also added them in the keywords to get some specific suggestions as well.

find-keywords

    Now there are other options too like Location, language and devices. You can change the location to India if you are targeting Indian visitors only and other options can be modified too.

 

    Put the capcha and then hit enter. It will show you different keyword ideas along with specific data on their competition, Global monthly search volume and Local Monthly search volume. And there are options to sort them based on high to low or low to high:

keyword-ideas

Once it is done, you can narrow down further. By default, Gooogle Adwords keyword tool shows ‘Board’ keyword. You can get search volume based on exact search and search by phrase. Broad search will show you inflated search volume of a keyword as it includes search volume of all related keywords. For say, here the keyword – ‘online discount coupons’ keyword includes search volume of both the keywords – ‘online discount coupons’ and ‘online discount coupons’. Whereas search by phrase means, it will includes search volume of different keywords like – ‘online discount coupons’, ‘discount coupons online’, ‘‘discount online coupons’’ etc.
So, it makes sense to choose ‘exact match’, as it will give you exact number of people who are typing that particular search query.

What should be your Approach?

First choose your keywords. Select only three or four and then write article based on those keywords. But you should make sure that the keywords are highly relevant to the content and you are blending them naturally if you are to see your website gaining strengths in search engine rankings.

About the author

Vikram

Vikram is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant who helps small business owners grow their
business. He is passionate about blogging, digital marketing, and emerging technologies.

8 Comments

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  • great post. I like the first line. Yes we are being taught that keyword has lost its importance. It is not. In fact, keyword still has its importance, all we need to do is to find it out. Though Google Adwords keyword research tool is great, i occasionally use SEO moz keyword tool just to get some different result.

  • Keyword research is very important. This should be done before a website/blog is created to see whether the niche you want to focus on is feasible.

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