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What is Keyword Research and Why is it Important?

Keyword research is the process of discovering relevant, traffic producing search phrases that people (potential customers) are actively searching for. People look to Google for answers to the questions they have, and companies that provide the goods and services that they want and need.

The Process

Without going into great detail on the keyword research process itself, essentially, we want to create a list of phrases that meet the following criteria:

  • Good traffic potential – We want phrases that enough people are searching for to make it worth your while. Google Adwords offers a free keyword tool that is really helpful with this. It will even suggest additional keyword phrases based on your core list of phrases and website.
  • Attainable – We use a keyword difficulty tool by SEOmoz.com that tests how difficult it will be to rank well for a particular phrase. This tool takes a close look at the sites currently ranking in the top 20 for the phrase and determines how much work will be involved to leapfrog those sites.
  • Highly Relevant – It won’t do you much good to rank first for a phrase that isn’t relevant to your business. The whole point of getting increased traffic to your site is to convert them into leads or paying customers. The more relevant the phrase is, the higher the conversion rate will be.

Success Story

Unless you are doing something really bad, you should rank pretty well for your company name, and phrases that contain your company name. If people want to find your business, they will find you 99 percent of the time.

The key to a successful, traffic-producing website is to rank really well for phrases that don’t use your name. Here’s a real example of what I’m talking about:

Bench Solution, a client of ours, manufactures a really slick garage workbench that mounts to the wall, and folds down when it’s not in use–saving valuable garage space.

Naturally, a person who does a search for “folding workbench” would be a highly relevant visitor to their website, so ranking well a phrase like this is a great way open their virtual doors to these new, potential customers–who otherwise wouldn’t have found their site. Because this was a phrase we targeted from our initial keyword research, we were able to develop an SEO “game plan” to target it.  Check out how it’s doing:

If you are interested in learning more about the keyword research process, or are interested in a free website analysis, we would love to hear from you. Be sure to check out our wide range of SEO clients.

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