What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a key component of search engine optimization that involves finding search terms or phrases that can send your website traffic. Depending on your keyword research strategy, these may be broad search terms or very niche-specific ones.

In order to successfully perform keyword research, you move through the keyword research process of protect, improve, and expand, or PIE for short. You want to protect the organic traffic terms your website already ranks for. When the opportunity presents itself, you want to target winning the snippet or first place ranking on listed results for the “low hanging fruit” keywords or the less competitive ones to build your authority. Once your web authority is established, you can work on expanding into pay-per-click campaigns for keywords that have low visibility in Google as well as potentially expanding to more competitive search queries to conquer.

You want to find the sweet spot when it comes to keywords. You don’t want to use a broad single word term for your keyword with lots of traffic because they are often extremely competitive and not specific enough to a searcher’s intent that it doesn’t convert your traffic even if you rank. You also don’t want to use longer tail keywords that are too specific and have no traffic coming to them.

Before determining which keywords your company wants to go after, assess what your company has to offer, your core strengths and values, and what your business excels at. Then consider your audience and think about what words they’d use to find the information they are looking for related to your business. Answer questions like what are people searching for, how are they looking for it, and in what format do they want that information.

There are plenty of keyword research tools to use to determine traffic and popularity of search terms. However, be wary of these because the keyword research tools do not have as many algorithms as Google so that data can be different from tool to tool. This could give you inaccurate information such as a search term with low to no traffic when it receives plenty.

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