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Keyword Research 101

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We should all know by now that content creation is one of the most important aspects of marketing for businesses these days—and it usually requires that you do some keyword research.


As was mentioned before, keyword research is the backbone of SEO. And considering the fact that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential for getting people to “find you” online, which is where most marketers want to be found, you really can’t afford to be sloppy with this.

But what if you don’t know the first thing about researching keywords? Don’t worry! Many experts all over the web have shared some tips; and we’ve compiled the most basic guidelines for you so you can start you keyword research efforts right now.

Top Tip 1: Be aware of what you can give to your market

Choosing your keywords is almost like choosing your business phone service. You need to look at your existing resources, your potential gains, and an understanding of the costs of using one keyword over another.

This is why the first thing you need to do is to look at the content you already have on hand (or at least, the content you’re planning to release first). What topics do they cover? Can you expand them? How far are you willing and able to expand the scope of those topics? Answering these questions will provide you with the parameters you need to keep your keyword research focused. If you don’t do this, then it’s likely that you’ll become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you’ll get from the next tip—which, by the way is…

Top Tip 2: Make use of the available free tools

Taking a look at the search engine results of the initial topics and keywords you’ve researched can give you a better sense of how popular the keywords you plan to use are. This is as simple as typing in the keywords on your Google or Bing search bar. Once you do this, you’ll get a basic idea of how many people are using those terms to search for information. You’ll also get a better idea of how many of your COMPETITORS are already successfully using them—so you’ll know how much work you’ll have to put into promoting your content.

Of course, if you want more comprehensive results, it’s always better to make use of some free official keyword research tools; the most logical choices being the search-engine based ones like the Bing Keyword Research Tool and the Google Keyword Research Tool. These have the added bonus of showing you similar, less competitive keywords that you might be able to use.

Top Tip 3: Test for conversions

You may have compiled an awesome set of keywords from your keyword research, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to work well for you or your brand. In order to see whether or not this will attract and convert people, you need to get some traffic in to see how people interact with your content.

The best way to do that is to invest in some online advertising. Use Bing AdCenter or Google AdWords to test how your keywords are doing (we’re assuming that you’ve already applied those keywords to your content at this point) in the context of getting people to “buy” the content. If they aren’t buying it, then it either means that you haven’t done the keyword justice in your piece OR people don’t feel that the keywords matched you and your brand.

Bonus Tip: Rinse and Repeat

This is, and always will be, an ongoing process. Search is not an exact science and, because it involves people, search behavior constantly changes. You need to stay on top of that by reviewing your keywords on a fairly regular basis and adjusting your mix as necessary.

Keyword research takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s something you can’t forego if you want major online visibility.

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