Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). Many factors and strategies within SEO rely on keyword research, such as site content, meta descriptions, title tags, and more. Poor keyword research will lead to poor results from SEO. In short, keyword research is an integral piece in SEO, and not much can be done prior to performing it.
So, as you delve into SEO and work to improve your website's search engine rankings, you'll first need to develop a strong keyword list, consisting of terms that are both relevant to your business or industry, and hold a feasible search volume (how often the term is searched by web users per month). From here, you'll then need to track your efforts with StatCounter, which provides detailed analytics on how much traffic your website is receiving and how your visitors are interacting on your site. First, let's take a close look at the importance of keyword research.
What Is Keyword Research
Just like it sounds, keyword research involves extensive research to find and select keywords relevant to your business and industry. However, the research also involves determining which keywords will be entered by web users to find businesses like yours. Plus, you need to ensure they have a decent search volume, which will depend on the current strength of your website. For instance, if you just created a website for a flower business, your website will be too new to rank for a keyword with, say, 1,900 searches per month. The fact is, other, existing floral shop sites will have more content, more authority, and more ranking keywords.
Regardless, your keywords must be closely related to your business, and then be used across a range of site content in an effort to rank in search results for the selected keywords. Of course, there are a variety of ways in which keywords can and should be used.
How to Do Keyword Research
When it comes to performing keyword research, you first need to brainstorm what type of words will be closely related to your business, website, and the content you produce. You should already have a good idea of the type of terms relevant to your business, but you can always check that of competitors to find some initial terms. In fact, targeting keywords your competitors are using is often good practice, as you can use any of those terms to create a better, more optimized page for your own site. Once you have a better idea of the keywords you'd like to focus your SEO around, you'll want to use a keyword tool to check the search volume of your selected terms, but also to find additional variants of your keywords.
Performing Keyword Research
- Sit down and brainstorm to come up with a few terms closely related to your business and industry. You can check competitor sites by entering their URL into SEMRush and viewing the keyword report.
- Enter your keywords into a keyword research tool to ensure the search volume is feasible and find other related keywords.
- Double check your keywords by typing them individually into Google or another search engine to see what kind of results are returned for each. This will give you a great idea as to where to go with the content for each keyword. Plus, the suggested searches at the bottom of the results page will give you more ideas for terms.
- Consider how you can use these keywords across your site, what kind of content you can write, and how you can tie pieces of content together, linking from one page to the next.
While the tips above are a good starting point for keyword research, there's plenty more you can do. And, considering how important keyword research is to SEO, you should take your time in performing such. To learn more on finding keywords for your website, check out our Insights page on how to do keyword research.
Putting Keyword Research to Use
Once you've started to select appropriate keywords for your website, you'll then need to utilize them across your site in order to rank in search results. Using both short and long-tail keywords, you should first focus on creating content with your selected terms, as well as use the terms in title tags and meta descriptions for each page of your site. Your home page, information pages, and blog should all include keyword-based content, with relative title tags and meta descriptions for such including the according terms. Equally as important, the URLs for each page of your site should also include the according keyword for each.
Of course, these aren't the only areas where you can utilize your keyword research. If you're a local business, you can use your selected keywords in your Google Maps listing to improve ranking in the Maps results as well. Additionally, it's important to use keywords as anchor text, which is the highlighted text in webpages that links to another page. For example, if you have a page on types of flowers, and an additional page on growing lilies specifically, you'd use “growing lilies” as the keyword and anchor text on your “types of flowers” page. This is often referred to as internal linking and it can help both search engines and site visitors better navigate your site.
With keyword research being one of the most important aspects of SEO, it's essential you have a firm understanding of the topic. Luckily, there are a plethora of keyword research tools and advice on how to find viable keywords. SEMRush, for example, can give you great insight into how your website is ranking for specific keywords, as well as a list of related keywords for you to focus your attention toward. For more information on keyword research, check out the pages we've provided below:
Keep Track with StatCounter
As you can see, keyword research and the use of those keywords are two integral pieces of SEO. In performing extensive keyword research and utilizing your selected terms within content and across your website, you'll increase your chances at ranking in search engine results and ultimately acquire more traffic to your site.
While you may need to utilize keyword research tools to select terms and monitor your rankings for such, you'll also need to keep track of your results in regards to web traffic, among other factors. With StatCounter, you can view detailed analytics about your site to determine where traffic is coming from and how users are interacting on your site. Then, you can make educated decisions as to where to go next with your SEO strategy.
If you need any help using our tools, or with anything else, contact StatCounter support by filling out the form provided below.
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