For SEO, keywords are queries that web users type into the search bar when they want to find something online. So, when building or maintaining a site serious thought and effort should be put into keyword building and discovery. Hence Keyword research should be one of the first considerations when building or redesigning a website. This will ensure your website gets targeted traffic and attracts high quality visitors.
Keyword research will enable you discover queries that web users use when searching for your kind of product or service. By writing content on your website using those keywords, search engines will start associating your site with such queries. This will give your site a greater chance of appearing on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) when web users enter such keywords in a search engine search bar.
For most websites, search engines remain the most dominant source of traffic. This is why optimising your website using the SEO technique of proper keyword use that will clearly tell search engines what your website and content are all about is very important. Proper keyword-use involves making sure that keywords appear on the body of your content as well as the headings, title, alt text for images, anchor text of your internal anchor texts, and meta description.
How to perform Keyword Research
The process of keyword research starts with brainstorming section(s) where you try to come up with keywords you think will bring visitors to your website. You can also ask friends and colleagues to help you with relevant keyword ideas. Of course, you can also bring in an SEO expert to help with keyword research and offer valuable insight.
After the brainstorming sections, you will come up with lots of keywords, mostly raw keywords. You will have to analyse these keywords to see how profitable and competitive they are.
Keywords are analysed using keyword research tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, MOZ Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, Wordtracker, Google Adwords keyword tool, etc.
These keyword tools will show you how many search queries each of your raw keywords get in a month and may even suggest other keywords you may have ignored during keyword brainstorming. Some of the keyword research tools will also offer metrics that will enable you see how competitive your keywords are.
Using a profitability vs competitiveness analysis you should weed down your keyword to a manageable number. If a keyword has high competiveness, it is best to weed it out or put it as part of your medium to long term SEO strategy if it is a highly relevant keyword. Your best keywords are ones with low competitiveness but medium to high profitability. The keyword must also be relevant to your business.
The final step is to prepare your landing pages by rewriting your copies for already targeted keywords or write new copies for under-served keywords. Note that you can bring in an SEO consultant or SEO firm to help you with keyword research and other SEO services that you may need.
Keyword research is an ongoing process. It is not meant to be done once. New trends emerge all the time and with them new keywords. So continual keyword research should be part of your SEO strategy.