How to use Keyword Research to boost website traffic.

If you run a business with a website or have pursued any endeavors that require some level of online presence you are probably familiar with the term SEO. SEO and keyword research are essential considerations when determining ways to drive traffic towards a website or blog. However, while it’s a common term that is thrown around when talking about web content, many people do not understand exactly what SEO is or how to conduct successful keyword research. Oftentimes, businesses will hire a copywriter who is proficient in SEO writing and is able to include keywords in their content. Regardless of whether or not you choose to hire an expert, if you utilize a website or a blog as part of your business strategy it’s a good idea to have some understanding of how SEO and keywords work. 

 

What exactly is SEO?

 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; it’s the strategy of using keywords to drive higher quantities of traffic towards a website organically or without having been paid for. For example, traffic to your website through a paid advertisement such as a Facebook ad or a Google ad is different from that which comes from a Google search. To put it simply, SEO is “about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume.” Visits to a website directed from a simple search are optimized through the search engine because of the inclusion of keywords in your content. SEO keywords can also boost the quality of traffic to your website, meaning that people are visiting your website out of genuine interest in the products or services that you are advertising. It’s important that the keywords included in your content are relevant to what your website is about; you don’t want people visiting your page because of a misdirected Google search. 

 

Why is keyword research important?

 

Keyword research is an integral part of Search Engine Optimization and essentially is the “work someone does to come up with an extensive list of keywords for which one would like a website to rank.” What you are trying to determine through keyword research is an extensive list of words or terms that someone might type into a search engine when looking for a product or service. The goal is for your website to show up at the top of the list when consumers or readers search for relevant or related products or information. In order for keyword research to work effectively, it’s critically important to have an understanding of the consumer. What you think you want to rank for on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page)  versus what you are actually going to rank for based on the consumer could be very different things. This is why keyword research takes time and patience. There needs to be a deep understanding of the ins and out of the business, the people who are searching for what you are advertising, and how they are searching for it.  

 

How to conduct effective keyword research.

 

Once you have a general understanding of SEO keyword research and how it works, it may start to seem simple. However, if done well, it is a time-consuming and detailed process. In order to make sure that you are sufficiently boosting organic traffic to your website research needs to be thorough. It is possible to complete manual research, but it’s generally much easier to utilize a keyword search program to help you. Every detail here counts; minor differences in the words that you use can make a world of difference, you need to remember that you are building a bridge between what consumers are searching for and the content of your website. Beliefs about what is being searched and the words or terms that are actually being used can be very different things, and this is where most keyword usage falls short. For example, say you run a website that sells house plants, you may think that the term “house plants” is a good keyword for your website. However, if you do the research you may find that more people search for the term “indoor plants,” so those would be much more beneficial keywords to use.

 

But where to begin?

 

The best place to start is by having an in-depth knowledge of your niche. Distinctive branding and knowledge beyond the surface level of what your company or business is advertising are essential. This may seem obvious, but a deep understanding involves a deep dive into the way that other people describe what you are promoting. Ask clients or consumers for feedback on how they talk about or define your brand. You need to start by breaking down useful words or terms related to your business. This first step is essential when it comes to the quality of traffic directed towards your site. You want search terms to be as closely linked to exactly what it is that your website is advocating to ensure that people are correctly directed through engine searches. 

 

Understanding search intent.

 

Once the analysis is done and the basic information is gathered, it’s also a good idea to study search intent. This is “the intent or reason behind why people search for a specific term.” It’s important to understand not only what people are looking for, but also why they are looking for it. Is it their intention to purchase something, visit somewhere, gather information, or even to find a service for free? These are all important factors that lend themselves to keywords or phrases that relate to the intention behind a search. Consider the keyword “MacBook.” There could be a number of reasons why someone might do a search related to that specific word. A search for simply “MacBook” versus “new MacBook” or “how to fix my MacBook” is going to yield differing results. The intention of the person doing the searching needs to be considered in order for them to be directed to a website that is useful.  

 

Where to use keyword research?

 

To yield the most efficient results, it’s best to use as many keywords and phrases on your website or in your content as possible. Successful digital marketing can involve a number of outlets for the use of keywords. If you have a large social media presence, it may be useful to include keywords that can direct traffic towards those platforms. Digital marketing or content marketing strategies that employ blog posts as a means of increasing traffic are also optimal places for the use of keyword research. 

 

The world of SEO is vast and can be confusing to understand, but with a little time and research it’s possible to boost the organic quantity and quality of traffic to your website using keyword research. The most important takeaway when getting started is to understand that it is as much about the person behind the computer doing the searching as it is about the search engine. The biggest and most influential factor in the successful utilization of keywords is taking the time to understand what exactly someone is looking for, and then using that in-depth research to direct traffic efficiently. 

 

 

References:

 “Keyword Research: 8 KEY Steps to Find the Best SEO Keywords.” https://keywordtool.io/blog/keyword-research/. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.

 

 “Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide • Yoast.” 27 Feb. 2020, https://yoast.com/keyword-research-ultimate-guide/. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.

 “SEO 101: What is it, and why is it important ….” https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/why-search-engine-marketing-is-necessary. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.