What Is Keyword Research? (and Why Is It Important?)

Nik Paprocki
July 31, 2020

If you're new to the world of SEO, you're still learning a lot about the right way to grow your digital footprint. Whether you're focusing on paid search on content creation, it's safe to assume that you've heard a lot about the importance of keywords and keyword research. 

When you're busy learning about social media, Google ranking standards, and how to market your business online, you may wonder why keywords matter so much to people. After all, they seem like such a small part of a bigger strategy. So why should you focus your time on keywords?

If you don't see the importance of keywords now, we guarantee that you will once you read this post. Keep reading to learn why keyword research matters and why you should devote more time to it.

What Is Keyword Research?

Have you ever wondered how search engines know how to send people the right content when they enter a search query? Much of that is built on algorithms, but everything starts with the phrase people search for. 

In its simplest terms, you can view a keyword as something people use to search for certain things online. A keyword doesn't have to be one word. Often, it's a combination of several words.

If someone were looking for shoes, a keyword they may use could be "women's shoes by me," "women's shoes," or "women's sneakers." People who want very specific results may have searched for a certain brand of shoes or even put in their shoe size.

Keyword research is the process individuals, and companies use to find the best keywords for their product or service. Keywords are important for SEO, but they can affect almost every aspect of your online marketing plan.

People use the results of their keyword research to write content for the website, create ads, and generally drive their digital marketing strategy. 

Why Keyword Research Matters

The keyword research you do is going to lay the foundation of a lot of your digital marketing efforts. Keyword research isn't just important to digital marketers; it's absolutely crucial for any future work you may want to do.

Are you curious about why so many marketers and companies spend a lot of time and money on researching keywords? After you see all of the ways proper keyword research can help your company, you'll be eager to devote as much of your team to it as possible. 

Attract the Right Audience 

When you're advertising online, sometimes it isn't the best strategy to cast a wide net and hope that you like what you catch. 

A lot of digital marketing revolves around a pay per click model, meaning that you don't have to pay for the ads you're running until someone clicks on them. Keywords can do a lot to help narrow down your audience and ensure that you attract the most interested people. 

Imagine having the vast majority of your advertising budget used up by people that never had an interest in your products or services. You'd waste far too much time and money appealing to people that were never serious buyers. 

When you focus on doing keyword research, you find the words and phrases that resonate the most with your target audience. This helps make your advertising efforts much more efficient and ensures that your budget is being spent wisely. 

Improve Your Rankings

Did you know that almost 75% of people never go beyond the first page in Google search results? This doesn't just mean that SEO matters. It means that it's absolutely crucial for your business to rank as high as possible in search. 

There are a lot of elements that matter in SEO. Website site content and site structure all matter, but they can take time to fix. Keywords are one of the few things you can start working on now that can improve your overall ranking. 

When you do proper keyword research, you can start to hyper-focus on terms you know will resonate with your audience. This can help you start to weave them into other parts of your SEO strategy so you can bring everything together to rank.

Stay Fresh

Digital marketing methods are in a constant state of change. Certain strategies that worked a month ago may not be able to help your business now, and that's especially true for keywords. 

You never know when a popular new term will pop up and start taking away some of your hard-earned traffic. That's why it's important to continually do research to ensure that you're hitting the mark and attracting the right audience. 

Once you have your current strategy down, set aside some time every month or so to check on how certain words are performing. You may find that it's time to adjust your current strategy or move onto completely different targets.

Understand Your Audience

When you do keyword research the right way, you don't just improve your digital marketing efforts. The right keyword research plan can give you important insight into your core audience. 

Keywords around money may show that they value affordability more than anything else. Keywords that focus on quality may show you that it's time to play up how much effort your company puts into producing products and services. 

Knowing what keywords your audience searches for lets you know more about them. Once you understand how they search for products you can focus on doing more to appeal to your audience. 

Start Researching the Right Way

Keyword research isn't just a part of your digital marketing strategy. If you handle it the right way, it'll lay the foundation of everything you do to market your company online.

Since finding the right keywords can be so important for a business, you may not want to do this on your own. You need a partner that can help you find the best keywords for your business and build a stellar digital marketing strategy.

Whether you need help with keyword research or just want to revamp your digital marketing efforts, we're ready to help. Reach out to us today so we can start talking about the best way to form your digital-first strategy.

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