Keyword Research

Keyword Research – What It Is & Why It’s Important For SEO

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of finding the keywords that your target audience is searching for online.

Search engines like Google, or Bing are typically how your target audience will search for things online. Keyword research helps find the keywords that your target audience is searching for on these types of search engines.

Why Do Keyword Research?

Performing keyword research will help you determine the content that you should create on your website, as it helps you find the keywords that are important to your target audience.

Finding these keywords will help you develop content across all stages of your target audience’s search journey. That search journey can be broken down into various stages of the marketing funnel:

  1. Top funnel stage – informational content that addresses your audience when they are in the discovery phase. These are typically blog posts, or other informational content.
  2. Middle funnel stage – content that will address your audience when they are in the consideration phase. Depending on your niche, these can be various types of review articles, or testimonial pages.
  3. Bottom funnel stage – content for when your audience is ready to make a purchase, or transaction. This could be filling out a contact form, getting a quote, or making a purchase from your website.

What Is An SEO Keyword?

An SEO keyword is a word or phrase that user’s enter into search engines like Google, or Bing.

These are the same keywords that help connect users to relevant content on the web.

Although an SEO keyword is a word or phrase, keywords should be viewed more as topics, as opposed to static words.

For example, a Google search for seo results in informational pages and beginner guides about what SEO is, and how it works.

People searching for the word SEO don’t know very much about what it is, and are looking to find out more information about it.

Google search results for the query "seo"

The pages ranking highly for the keyword SEO aren’t doing so because they used the keyword SEO on their page a bunch of times. They are ranking for this keyword because they are covering the topic of SEO by providing exactly what the searcher is looking for: informational blog posts on SEO created for beginners who are in the early discovery phase (top funnel stage).

Keeping this in mind, SEO keywords are the main topics that will drive your content strategy, and are discovered during keyword research.

Why Keyword Research Is Still Important

Keyword research is still very important for anyone who wants their website or business to be found online.

As long as user’s continue to type in or voice queries into search engines, keyword research will remain important.

Queries are how users will continue to find information on the web. The main function of search engines like Google or Bing are to serve up the most relevant content to their user’s queries, in order to satisfy their search intent.

Keyword research is important for creating content that is relevant to your target audience that will satisfy their search intent.

Are SEO and Keyword Research The Same?

SEO and keyword research are not the same.

Keyword research is one small part of SEO. However, it is a very important part.

Keyword research will help kick start your website’s SEO, and can help put you on the path for future SEO success.

What Is The Importance of Keyword Research In SEO?

The importance of keyword research in SEO is that it is the starting point of the SEO process.

Keyword research will help you with SEO because it allows you to determine:

  1. The keywords that your site should target, thereby determining the content that you should create.
  2. How to satisfy the search intent of your users with that content.
  3. How to map your site’s target keywords, which helps plan your content strategy.

This will then allow you to start optimizing the content and pages on your site in order to help them rank higher in search engines. This results in more online visibility.

In other words, once you complete keyword research for your website, you can then begin to create content and properly SEO those pages.

What Are The Benefits of Keyword Research?

The benefits of keyword research include:

  • Discovering the keywords and topics that are important to your target audience.
  • The ability to plan out a content strategy for your website.
  • It kick starts your on-page SEO.
  • Increased rankings in search engines, which leads to more traffic, leads, and sales.

Where Can I Get SEO Keywords for Free?

You can get SEO keywords for free using the following keyword research tools:

I’ve even put together a list of the 12 best free keyword research tools. These are the tools I use to do keyword research for my website, so check these out to find out how you can use them to do keyword research for your site.

In addition to these free keyword research tools, here are some resources to help you find SEO keywords for free, and complete keyword research for your website.

If you are just starting out, I suggest reading the below keyword research posts in order. These posts will help get you started with keyword research, and teach you how the overall process works.

  1. Free keyword research template.
  2. How to conduct a SERP analysis.
  3. How to map target keywords to your site.
  4. How to track your target keywords using Google Search Console.

Here are some other supplementary posts to help improve your overall keyword research skills.

  1. How to use Google Search Console for keyword research.
  2. How to do keyword research for YouTube.