After presenting your company as well as you can, the next priority to focus on is getting found by your target audience. That is unless you are so busy you don’t want to get any more custom. Even in this case you will want exposure and to be “seen” out-ranking your competitors.
Keyword research is the foundation for all SEO. It is without a doubt the most important part of your campaign, and will ensure the success of your business on the internet.
Keyword research is the foundation for all SEO
Can you imagine building a house with poor foundations? If you’ve seen Cowboy Builders on TV you’ll know the outcome. Ultimately your house will fall apart; all it will take is a poorly laid foundation by some cowboy to screw up your hard work.
What’s wrong with the keywords you currently target?
Throughout my career I have encountered many clients who’d been mis-sold the idea that targeting keywords which sound appropriate will work. Dealing with amateurs who suggest such things can be very costly; and set you further back than when you first started.
The thing is, what’s the point of being number 1 on Google for something no one searches for? It’s as useful as a patio door would be on a submarine.
How do you ensure you are being found by the right people?
Just imagine your SEO campaign begins and you are all set to target the keywords you have been assured will provide a return. You put a big effort in to get found by writing content, posting it, getting links, and then guess what? You get to the top for a keyword no one searches with.
You need to target keywords which have the biggest search volume, and lowest competition. Make sure you focus on the “lowest competition” part of that last sentence, it’s really important. For example; you could end up targeting keywords which are being fought over by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Tesco; however you would have a stupidly small fraction of their budget.
Targeting the wrong keywords will just waste your time, effort and ultimately money.
Finding the number of searches made for your desired keywords is the key to success
Using tried and tested methods it is possible to determine not only the amount of searches for a particular keyword, but also how much competition that keyword has.
Can you imagine the benefit of being able to pin-point how your desired customers are searching on the internet? Not only that but to put your website in front of those people?
Here’s an example targeting a local audience:
You are a florist based in London; you want to target people searching for florists in your local area. Naturally you may think to target “Florist London” as a keyword. It has your profession and your location in the keyword (“keywords” are made from several words) so why not? However it may be more profitable to target something more specific like: “wedding florist London”, or “bouquet delivery London” depending upon the search volume & competition.
Keyword research will highlight which keywords do and don’t get used in search. So you can rule out any which won’t yield a return in your campaign, saving you time and money in the long run.
There are literally millions of people searching on the internet every day, looking for products and services. The days of Yellow Pages are beyond gone, have you seen the size of it now?
With the right keyword research you can take advantage of the people searching and make some money.
Gauging context & competition
Gathering the data I’ve been talking about is an important part of the process, but there’s still more which needs to be determined. What if you find that there is search volume for the keywords you wish to target, and then you see that the competitors you will be facing are ecommerce giants such as Amazon, eBay and Tesco? What then?
Erm… well then it’s time for a bit of deviation, a bit of side-stepping if you will.
Discovering the context of your keywords is a matter of hard work. You have to literally research by looking on the internet to see who is targeting them. You want to see who you’ll be rubbing shoulders with. You then need to know how hard it will be to get in on the action, because you have to bump people down for you to be able to fit in.
A bit more on context
There are double-meanings to some words; e.g. “Buy Fireworks”, this can be used for either the fireworks which you ignite or the program created by Adobe which is well known in the design world, which is called “Fireworks”.
There are variations and “long-tail-keyword” combinations which could be far less competitive than say the ones which the ecommerce giants are focusing on. So maybe you could target those keywords; the resources you would need here could be less intensive, and more profitable.
I’m just scratching the surface here of what goes into keyword research, this is by no means a definitive guide which has all the answers. I am providing generalisations to illustrate certain factors which can end up being considered, depending upon the type of business.
What makes my service to you so special?
What I am offering you here is the real deal. There are no magic ingredients whatsoever; you just need to work with someone who is experienced, trustworthy, and affordable – that’s me by the way! I don’t want to waste anybody’s time, mine or yours, as time is money and we all have busy lives. I will give you the vision your business is lacking in the online jungle of search.
But how much will it cost?
To be frank; relatively little especially if you think about the return. The money you can generate from a single keyword research session will stack up nicely if the search volume is there for you. And if for some reason it isn’t, think about how much time and effort you will have saved by predicting tangible figures through keyword research. You will decide through an educated and informed decision making process that your efforts will be better placed targeting areas you didn’t think of originally.
I have several clients who are reaping the benefits of keyword research as we speak. Some are targeting a local target audience; some are targeting a national audience.
Don’t waste your time and money shooting in the dark, start your keyword research today