Keyword research is a critical part of optimizing a website. The goal of keyword research is to determine which keywords will get your site a higher search rank which ultimately leads to more traffic. The driving question of this process is: how do I find the best keywords for my site? There is no one way to do this, but there are a few key things to keep in mind which will enable you to choose the best keyword set.
When performing keyword research one of the most important questions to ask yourself is “How relevant is this keyword to my website?” A keyword may drive a lot of traffic to your website but if the content of your site is not relevant to your visitors they will leave immediately. Relevant keywords those that are related to the products or services that you offer. Your end goal is to receive targeted traffic; traffic that will convert. If you optimize for the wrong keywords your site can still receive traffic but if your visitors don’t convert you might as well not have any at all. You probably have a pretty good idea what terms are related to your business, content or website. Now you need to figure out which terms will drive more traffic and, ultimately, lead to more conversions.
It is a fact of SEO that some keywords drive more traffic than others. When you perform keyword research you want to focus in on the terms that drive the most traffic to your site. Keywords have different search volumes which are based on how many people are using them to search. Once you have identified the relevant keywords with the highest search volume you can include them in your content in order to attract this traffic to your site.
Two important factors to note about traffic:
- 95%-98% of traffic comes from the 1st page of Google results.
- Ranking first in the Google search result gets you only 42% of traffic. This means that being the first result is not going to get you all the traffic but it will, often, get you the most.
This is why it is important to look at the traffic metrics of a keyword rather than just the search volume.
This is one of the most important factors in keyword selection but it is often over-looked. You don’t want to target a keyword if you can’t handle the completion. There are two things that you want to ask yourself when you look at your competition for a particular keyword:
- How many sites am I competing against?
- How strong are these webpages?
Both of these factors play a big role in determining how competitive a keyword is. For example, there could be a billion webpages that appear in the results for a keyword that you are considering. However, if most of them have a page rank of zero while your site has a page rank of six you have a good chance of showing up fairly high in search results.