Importance of Keyword Research to Your Search Engine Marketing Plan

As you might already know, keywords are the words entered into a search engine’s query box that describe the subject matter that the search user is interested in. For example, a user looking for do-it-yourself information about water heaters might enter “how to install a water heater” while his (or her) less-handy neighbor might type in “find a water heater installer near me.” Same general topic but totally different buyer intent.

If you sell instructional home repair videos, the first user would probably be a much better prospect for your products than the second user – who would, however, be a very good fit for a plumbing contractor. This illustrates how properly researched keywords can be used in search marketing (SEO) campaigns to deliver the right sort of traffic to your offers.

Effective Search Marketing Campaigns Start with Proper Keyword Research

Without the right set of keywords, your SEO efforts will likely be doomed from the start. Look at it this way. All the traffic in the world won’t put a single dollar in your pocket if your webpage content doesn’t match the intent of your audience. Keyword research:

  • Helps you identify and prioritize the needs of your various prospective customer groups.
  • Allows you to tailor your SEO content for your most lucrative prospects.
  • Helps you choose high “buyer intent” keywords the deliver those prospects most likely to make a purchase soon.
  • Ensures that the keywords you target are receiving enough search volume to justify your efforts.

Tools for Conducting Keyword Research

  • The Google Keyword Planner Tool is free to use and remains one of the most widely-used keyword planning tools despite Google’s manipulation of search volume data. While the Keyword Planner is part of the tool suite for Google Adwords (paid advertising) customers, it’s both accessible and useful for planning organic SEO campaigns. With the Keyword Planner, you can find new keywords, related keywords, and get a rough estimate of how many users are searching for them.
  • Keywords Explorer 2.0 from Ahrefs is a popular paid alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner. This keyword tool features 90 percent-accurate search volume data as well as a search page analysis function that provides link and social media data for each ranking. Plans start at $99 per month, with a full-access 30-day free trial allowing you to try before you buy.
  • Keyword density checker tools are an important part of search engine marketing, providing you with an accurate ratio of keyword usage in your content compared to the total number of words. Use a keyword too many times and Google will penalize your site for keyword stuffing; using it too few times might affect your ability to rank for that keyword. There are some free keyword density tools available – some of the most popular include Live Keyword Density Analysis, the SEO Centro Density Tool, and the SEO Chat Keyword Density Tool.