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A keyword (sometimes called a keyphrase) is the information a searcher puts into the input field when performing a search. It forms the majority of the input information considered by the search engine when determining the results that should be returned.
Keyword research refers to the process of discovery and analysis a marketer undergoes when seeking to understand how their target market searches. Typically it will seek to understand searcher behavior throughout the buying cycle - from very broad exploratory terms to highly targeted commercial terms.
The process typically works through:
Insights from keyword research form a valuable input into a variety of stages of a marketing strategy:
All in all, the information we can glean from the ways our target market search is some of the most cost-effective and valuable market research we can do. The rest of this module goes into more detail on the actual process along with tips and tricks, plus warnings of potential pitfalls.