Keyword Research

When you get involved with online marketing you will, no doubt, come across the topic of keyword research. It is something you have to understand to be a successful marketer. So let’s help you on your way and explain what it is and why it is important.

What is a keyword?

First, we need to understand what a keyword is, before we can dig into the concept of keyword research.

A keyword is simply a phrase or a question that somebody types into a search bar on a search engine in order to get information on that topic. So why is it called a keyword if it is actually a phrase or a question? Well, I don’t know the answer to that one. It is just a term that all of us online marketers need to learn and understand (and accept).

The purpose of a keyword when it comes to online marketing is to match a page on a website to a query on a search engine. For example, this particular web page is about keywords and keyword research. One of the keywords I am using in this article is: what is a keyword. If somebody types that phrase into a Google search (or any other search engine) they will find many pages listed that explain this topic. These listed pages have used this keyword in their articles and the search engine is then listing them to help answer the question.

The search engines handle millions of queries every day and most of these are different. This means that there are literally millions of keywords out there. Think about the last few times you used a search engine to find something or to get information. How many different phrases have you searched for in just the past week? Each of those searches could have been a keyword used on a website. It is those webpages that would have been listed by the search engine in answer to your query.

Are you starting to understand the concept of a keyword?

I hope you answered yes to that.

Let’s move on to Keyword Research

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is about finding the keywords that people are using on the search engines so that you can use these on the pages (or posts) of your website. The idea is to use these keywords so that the search engines will list your site when somebody searches for that phrase or topic. How keywords are used will be covered in a separate article.

There are many ways to do keyword research. There are free ways and there are paid tools that can help with this. The idea is to find a variety of keywords related to your topic and to then choose the best keyword to use for your article. Sometimes we limit ourselves in our thinking and to be able to use a tool or a technique to help us find some different keywords or variations of a keyword can be very helpful.

Apart from finding keywords, you also want to know how popular a keyword is. How many people are searching for that keyword every month? It does not help that you come up with a keyword that nobody is searching for, there would be no point in that.

Another thing you want to know about a keyword is how many web pages are already using that exact same keyword. The less there are, the more chance you have of your page being listed on the first page of the search engine listings. This is the primary goal with keyword research. The number of webpages that are using the exact same keyword is referred to as the competition or the Quoted Search Results (QSR).

We will look at all of these concepts in more detail and give you some examples. For now, I hope you have a better idea of what a keyword is and what keyword research is all about.

Do you have any questions at this point? Or anything to add? Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on this topic. Is this new to you or are you an expert at finding keywords?