How to Perform Keyword Research

What are keywords?

Keywords or search queries are the backbones of any online business or website. Keywords are the base around which your website content is penned. Effective keywords lead to effective and interesting content relating to your target audience.

The keywords are classified into long tail and short tail keywords. Example for short and long tail keywords are “Laptops” and “Lenovo Laptops in Chennai”.

Short tail keywords are too specific and generic and generate lots of search results which may be irrelevant to the search intent. Long tail keywords are specific and generate very relevant search results. In the example given above, a person searching for “laptops” may search for multiple things like different laptop brands, laptop pricing, laptop functionality, laptop shops, laptop service centers and many more such options.

But for Long tail keywords, you get the most relevant results. So it requires business knowledge and understanding of the end user’s exact requirements in order to generate the long tail keywords.

Keywords and SEO of website

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of bringing your website in top position in Search engine results and generating targeted traffic to your website through organic search. An important attribute in on page optimization (Two main elements of SEO are on page optimization and off page optimization) is keyword. Based on keyword only the content is created and Meta tags, header tags, image alt tags are optimized. So the first and foremost component of on page optimization is keyword. So the next topic dealt in this article is about the process of keyword research.

Steps in performing keyword research:

There are four steps in performing keyword research. They are:
1. Deciding the basic keywords for your business
2. Performing research with paid and free tools
3. Researching the competitor keywords
4. Short listing the keywords from research

1. Deciding the basic keywords for your business

Being the person in charge of your business, you have the capability to decide the search queries through which your customers should locate your website or web pages. You may also seek the guidance of subject matter experts in deciding the entrance keywords for your web pages. These keywords selected as the basic keywords will be the base for your keyword research. They are generic and have a broad range of functionality.

2. Performing research with paid and free tools

The next step in the process is research with tools like Google AdWords keyword tool and other free and paid keyword tools. First you feed your basic keywords into the tool and research from the multiple keywords returned by the tools. Select keywords that are having high search volume and low competition. Such keywords can help you bring more traffic and help you achieve the top position in Search Engine Results Page easily.

3. Researching the competitor search queries

You may already know or need to research for the online competitors for your business. You may easily find these competitors by means of researching for your primary search queries and their top results. Once you have located the competitors, observe their content, Meta tags, image alt tags, and Header tags. By now you would have come up with their priority keywords. You need to research on these search queries and finalize some of them for usage in your web pages.

4. Short listing the keywords from research

After the above processes, you would have come up with quite a lot of search queries, both long tail and short tail for your website creation. Now you need to sort them based on their importance and priority. You need to choose the ones that are going to be the best entrance keywords to bring in your target audience. Choose keywords that would be most apt and of primary importance for your business. Short listing should be done very carefully in such a manner that you don’t miss out on the top priorities.

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