Keyword research is one of the most important things to think about when you’re conducting successful SEO for websites. Keywords, also known as search terms, can be a single word or a phrase, depending on the search volume from users.
For us SEOs, it helps identify which terms we should be targeting to get sites more traffic organically. An important place to start is with keywords that are most relevant to your business, and make sure you’re reaching the relevant people for your product or service.
The Meaning Of Keyword Research
Keyword research means examining which keywords will help target audiences find your site. We want to find, and make the most out of, certain terms that are relevant and help sites rank.
As SEOs, the algorithms we use to help our sites rank change all the time, but there are some basic principles that we use to get started with every company we work with:
- Research keywords with realistic search volumes for the business size.
- Create content, page titles and links that all relate to and contain the keywords you want to rank for.
- Over time, continue to optimise your content and link build to relevant sites for your keywords.
- You’ll see your rankings increase as Google crawls your site and sees all these links and keywords in your content.
Consider you have a client that offers recruitment for universities in Manchester. The aim is to find keywords that the people you want to target in Manchester will search for, such as ‘University recruitment Manchester’. You want users to find your client’s site in the Google search results page, but sadly, the site doesn’t rank for that key phrase yet.
The aim is to find some details about the keyword, such as the search volume (how many people actually search for that term), where competitors rank, and how difficult it would be for your client to rank for it.
Following our basic algorithm will help rank for the keyword with ease, if the keyword has a low search volume, as there isn’t as much competition. But for keywords with higher search volumes (around 10,000 searches or more a month), this will be more difficult.
The higher search volume, the harder it is to rank, but you don’t need to change the algorithm. In cases like these, you just have to get down to it, and do 10 times more of the same work than you would for a keyword with 100 searches a month.
If you only do this once,you will see a big positive change, and then a big drop. You have to remember to keep up the link building and additional content on your site, to keep it consistent (and relevant in the eyes of the search engines), but not to the point that it gets spammy for search engines and users.
Different Types Of Keywords
Short Tail Keywords
As you can probably guess, short tail keywords are shorter keywords that are 3 words or less. For example, ‘Manchester Lawyers’ is a short-tail head keyword. A head keyword (a popular keyword that drives high amounts of traffic) defines the thing you are thinking of as well as giving the search engine a certain service and area to look for.These keywords are valuable as they are concise and
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords contain more than 3 words in the phrase. They usually have lower search volumes, longer the keywords/phrases tend to have lower search volumes, but they are still very beneficial for your site as long tail keywords will still have search volumes in double figures at least.
Make sure you take in all the factors above before deciding on the keywords you want to rank for, and finding out later you’re trying to rank for keywords you know you can’t. You’ll waste your time trying to rank for a keyword with 500,000 searches a month if you are a small business with low traffic, while the time you might have put into ranking for that highly competitive keyword could have improved the rankings for 10 keywords with lower search volume, which can still gain you significant traffic.
If you need help finding which keywords you need to rank for to improve your SEO, than contact us now or call us on 0161 327 2635