Why Keyword Research is Critical to Digital Marketing Success

Keyword research isn’t just search engine optimization (SEO). Keyword research is the mechanism that drives every marketing decision that you make. To take full advantage of the power of keywords, you need a clear understanding of your target market and how they search for your content, services, and products. Keywords determine what your company is known for. When you don’t know which relevant keywords drive traffic to your site, you can’t drive sales and ROI.

Before your business begins to grow, you need to ask yourself three questions:

  • As a business, who are we?
  • Who are our customers?
  • What are our customers’ goals?

Because keyword research takes time, too many businesses cut corners and ignore this vital step in planning. They think they already know what they want to rank for. Think about this for a minute. What you want to rank for and what your target audience actually wants can be two widely different things. If you want a successful campaign, you can’t depend on arbitrary keywords. You need to focus on your audience with specific search data that can help you answer the following questions:

  • What terms are people searching for?
  • How many people are searching for them?
  • In what format do they want that information?

Keyword Research

What Terms are People Searching For?

Answering this question is the first step in the keyword research process. Your way of describing what you do may not be the way potential customers search for your product or service. You probably have a few keywords in mind for your products and services. Once you enter these seed keywords into a keyword research tool, you’ll begin to discover other keywords, questions, and topics that you might have otherwise missed.

For example typing “self-storage” and “moving” into a keyword research tool, and you may find highly searched for related terms such as:

  • Truck Rental
  • Unit Sizes
  • Packing Supplies

During this process, you will discover that the search volume of these keywords varies greatly. You want to target key terms that your audience is looking for, but lower search volume terms can be advantageous because they are less competitive.

How Many People are Searching for Them?

Search volume is a measure of the total number of searches performed through search engines, usually expressed as average monthly volume. The higher the search volume for a keyword, the more effort required to achieve organic ranking success. This is why, in many cases, it is more valuable to target highly specific, lower competition terms. These terms are referred to as “long-tail” keywords.

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

According to Neil Patel, long-tail keywords are the holy grail of SEO. For clarification, long-tail keywords are the three- and four-word highly specific phrases that your audience uses when searching on the internet. Long-tail keywords are how you outrank your competition. Popular keywords that generate thousands of monthly searches are really only a fraction of all searches performed on the web. These uber popular keywords may actually indicate ambiguity, putting you at risk for drawing visitors to your site whose queries are unrelated to your content. Long-tail keywords give you a higher ranking.

If Content is King, Keyword Strategy is Queen

If you want to reach your target audience by way of organic search, you have to find the perfect keywords. To help you get started, there are many strategies that you can add to your keyword research toolkit. Among them are Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google Correlate. The ultimate in keyword research is the SEMrush Keyword Analytic Report. You can request a free report from FineView Marketing. In it you’ll see your competitors’ best keywords, discover new organic competitors, observe position changes of domains and much more.

To ensure that your web pages appear in Google’s and Bing’s top results, successful keyword optimization is paramount. Remember,

“the best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google.”