If you’re new to the blogosphere or you’ve taken on the challenge of doing your own digital marketing, you might be asking, “Why is keyword research important?”
Keywords help search engines put you in front of the right audiences. Looking up “local hotdog joints,” doesn’t give you results for an ice cream parlor. Instead, you’ll likely be able to find every hot dog restaurant for hundreds of miles in any direction. The importance of keyword research for content marketing or ecommerce is vital to consider when building your brand and online presence.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the formula that drives traffic to your website. If you have keywords that Google recognizes as being linked to your industry or brand, your page can rank higher in search results.
Google wants to know three things
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Who do you want to work with?
There are other factors that Google pays attention to as well, such as the amount of time people spend on your site, how often it’s accessed, and site speed, but keywords play a starring role in leveling up your site’s SEO.
If you don’t find the relevant keywords, no one will be able to find your website. It’s that simple. Imagine all the work, time, and money you spent on making a magnificent and spectacular website. Now, imagine it being a ghost town where web surfing goes to die. Low SEO rankings can make or break your business. You can have the most beautiful, high tech website in the world but if you don’t have a good SEO strategy in place, no one is going to know you exist. This reason alone shows the importance of keyword research.
Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO?
When you type a word or phrase into a search engine, you are actually typing keywords. When the SEO specialist for a blog or a company does their research, they find out what words consumers associate with their industry, as well as what their ideal customers might be searching for. In turn, search engines scan the website’s content for these words and use an algorithm to rank them in order of relevance. The first step to establishing good SEO is keyword research for content marketing.
In the age of digital marketing, you can’t cast a wide net. You need to grab a fishing pole and go to a very specific spot to find fish who are going to be attracted to your bait. If you wind up at the best spot in Lake Google, you’re going to attract all the fish you want.
3 Kinds of Keywords
- Short Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords are small; usually consisting of 1-2 words. While they are the easiest to conjure, they won’t do a lot for you when it comes to ranking. Being a low hanging SEO fruit, your competition is using those same short tail keywords. If you are branding in the renter’s insurance industry, a short tail keyword could be as simple as “insurance.”
- Middle Tail Keywords
Being 3-4 words in length, middle tail keywords (also called “mid tail” or “medium”) have less competition. In fact, it’s relatively easy to rank up high on a Google search with middle tail keywords. With less people searching for those phrases, it might not equate to a lot of conversions, however, mid tail keywords give you an opportunity to speak to very specific audiences. For instance, if you sell renter’s insurance, a good mid tail keyword would be “insurance policy for renters.”
- Long Tail keywords
These keywords are a double edged sword. Long Tail keywords are 5-7 words long and they are focused on very specific searches. The specificity of the keywords means less searches, but it also means less competition and more conversions. To continue with the insurance scenario, a long tail keyword for the sale of renter’s insurance would be “renter’s insurance with earthquake coverage.”
Keyword Research Tools
There are a lot of free and paid tools to help with keyword research for content marketing. At HMG, we use SEMrush and Google Trends, as well as different methods and modes of research that could fill a whole ‘nother blog post. Whatever app or software you choose, there are plenty of options to get you moving in the right direction.
It is imperative that you start each piece of content by using keyword research tools. Not only will it help bolster your SEO on the back end, but it will help inform your writing from the start. Sounding fluid while staying on track is no easy task for bloggers but identifying the right keywords makes it much simpler.
To create the best SEO for your website, you will need to take a multifaceted approach. Before you can optimize every facet of your website, you have to make sure the copy is on point for search engines. This requires keyword research to be at the top of your marketing campaign.
This may sound like a lot and, to be fair, being an expert in SEO and keyword research is not a skill you learn overnight. If you give it time and effort, you can surely knock it out of the park. However, Houndstooth Media Group has the expertise to help you learn how to do it for yourself or we can create optimal content for you while you focus on running your business.