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Why keyword research matters (and how to start with SEO and search marketing)

Digital Marketing + SEO + SEM + SEO Blogs
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Keyword research in 2023

There’s really no way of getting around it: any search marketing activity you undertake should include a robust keyword research process if you don’t want your hard work to be redundant. 

The keywords you use can be the deciding factor between success and failure for your website or digital search campaign. And, there are other advantages to be gained; from a greater understanding of consumer intent and behaviour when using search engines to telling you the stage a customer is in the buying cycle. 

However, it’s not purely about getting traffic to your site... it’s about getting the right customers to your site. Good keyword research can help you choose the best words to pursue for just this. You can gain an understanding of demand, respond to seasonality and market shifts and produce content that consumers are actively seeking. 

The ability to understand the motivations of consumers in almost any niche is at your fingertips and it can be accessed with very little barrier to entry.

I have written a post in the past on free tools you can use to discover keywords and get an understanding on search volumes; here, I want to focus more on the questions you need to ask when accessing keywords.

Accessing keywords: what to ask?

Is the keyword relevant to your website content?

Trying to hone in on popular keywords is not a great strategy if it doesn’t pertain to your industry, service and/or objective. While certain terms might render a big search number, if your company cannot assist with someone’s query, being on page one of that search is fruitless, and can cause you trust issues with potential consumers. Be sure all keywords are relevant to the content you are producing.

Will consumers find what they are looking for if they are using this keyword in their search?

You might strike a keyword that has low competition and that gives you ranking quickly. The thing is with words such as these, you have to think about what the user intent is behind the search. If you are not delivering the result behind the intent the phrase is probably not worth pursuing.

Could the word be too general, offer too much ambiguity or have multiple meanings?

Be specific. If your keyword is too broad and can be used over multiple industries, or has more than one meaning, re-evaluate your focus and find specific search terms that will properly deliver the right content to the right people.

Does the word satisfy one or multiple phases of the buying process? I.e., awareness, engagement, consideration, conversion and retention.

Let's face it, we are trying to promote our service or product, so consider whether we are delivering a lead into our sales funnel and whereabouts they are on the buyer's journey.

Will this keyword help fulfil a business goal or objective?

By utilising this line of questioning you can clearly extract the top keywords for your web content and blog to give you the best opportunity for your digital marketing objectives.

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