Keywords Research

Keywords research is the method of carefully selecting a set of keywords to use for a website using statistical data, market studies, and surveys. A set of well-selected keywords can generate traffic, increase conversion rates and move a website up in page rankings.

Short Tail vs. Long Tail Keywords

Many people assume that choosing keywords are easy. If lets say your website is about office supplies, you would choose pen, paper, office, supplies and other basic words. That is a big misconception because chances are there are large amounts of websites competing for the same set of keywords. Therefore, ranking high using those keywords would be difficult.

Statistics indicate that only 30% people use basic words or short tail keywords when using a search engine. The other 70% use more specific or unique phrases also known as long tail keywords. This makes sense because people have preferences. People buying office supplies have a preferred type of pen that they are looking for and will have a higher chance of searching for that in the query bar compare to just typing in “pen.” The other aspect of long tail keywords is the conversion rate. This is the rate at which a visitor becomes a customer. People who know what they are looking for have a higher possibility of buying the product as oppose to someone who is browsing online. In the case of office supplies, people who are browsing will type in pens, papers and office chairs. While people that have a higher potential of actually buying office supplies may type in: black ink pilot pens, white bond recycled paper 20 pounds and medium size metal cotton cushion office chair.

To quickly summarize, choosing long tail keywords over short tail keywords can be beneficial for websites because the competition for the keywords are lower, which allows you to rank better in the SERPs. Long tail keywords also have the ability to generate quality traffic that can boost conversion rates.

Keywords Research Tools

There are different tools and methods that SEO companies use to determine which set of keywords are applicable to a specific website. Most of the tools are owned and ran by the search engine themselves because they have access to the data needed to determine particular trends. Besides these tools, it is important to check on the demand curve for a particular set of keywords. Even if your website is not selling anything, it is essential to know if people are demanding more information about the type of content that you have on your website. Another area to look into is the media. The media is known to follow trends closely; therefore it’s a good place to start. Read press releases, newspapers, blogs, social media websites, watch the news and listen to the radio are examples of different media platforms that carry vital information.

Keywords fluctuate according to trend and demand. That’s why its important to stay updated and not get left behind. One way of doing that is by attending fairs, expos and conferences. These types of events are where a lot of new trends are being set and may give you a preview of what’s next to come.

Keyword Research Tips

It’s easy to get caught up in all the research and miss out on the other aspects of choosing the right set of keywords. After gathering the research needed and deciding on the keywords, it is always a good idea to check on the relevancy of the keywords against the actual content of the website. You can also test the keywords by doing a search and see what kind of results you get. If the set of search engine results are similar to the type of website you are going for then your on the right track.

It’s a smart move to check on your competitors and see how they incorporate keywords in their website. Lastly, do equal amounts of online and offline research. Offline research includes talking to friends, people in the industry, competitors and etc. Offline research can help you grasp how people are conceptualizing or thinking about what they are searching for.