One of the secrets to search engine optimization is keyword research. If you don’t know what specific words or phrases potential customers are searching for, you won’t know how to target them.
Just as every successful term paper begins with good research, every successful SEO campaign starts with solid keyword research as well. The key is finding a balance between low competition and high traffic volume keywords to target.
This step is often overlooked by many small business owners, website designers, and amateur SEO firms, but it is of the utmost importance in order to achieve your desired results. Your business website and other online properties need to be optimized with targeted “buy” keywords, in order to get the highest quality traffic, which will lead to new customers and increased sales.
There are both good, better, and best keywords to target, and knowing which ones are more likely to lead to a sale is imperative.
For example, if someone searches Google for “dentist,” that would be a good keyword to target if you own a dental practice in Chicago. However, if someone searches for “dentist in Chicago,” that would be a better keyword phrase. If someone searches for “emergency dentist in downtown Chicago,” that would be an even better keyword phrase to target. The difference is the specificity. The more generic term will get more hits, (which in turn is harder to rank for) but doesn’t have a high likelihood of creating a sale. The more specific a term is, the easier to rank for, and the more likely the searcher is to purchase upon finding the product or service he is searching for.
There are several excellent tools that can help determine which keywords and phrases potential customers are searching for. Since Google is the most popular search engine, it makes sense that they would offer a free keyword research tool. You can get a good idea of what the competition is like for basic keywords using their tool, but if you really want the lowdown, check out Market Samurai. These guys provide some of the best tools in the industry, and is what we use here at Spears Marketing.
If your website is running on WordPress, there’s an excellent plugin available called Scribe. It does all the heavy SEO lifting for you, and offers suggestions of keywords and phrases to target right from within your WordPress post or page editor.
Hopefully you’ve gotten a better understanding of the importance of keyword research for search engine optimization.
Still got questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer!