Keyword research allows you to bridge the gap between what your potential customers are searching for and the content you create for your website. It can also help to map out the structure of your website so that keywords are targeted appropriately across the onsite SEO elements of a page.
The goal is to end up with a list of keywords which are:
Other modules and lessons will go into a lot of detail about how to use the keywords you find. But we will briefly explain a few points here to help give some context as to where you’ll be using these keywords.
Once you have these keywords, you will use them in a number of ways:
Once you can identify the keywords your target customers are searching for, you can write content based upon these keywords. You will want to create content around your informational keywords as well as the transactional ones. We explain more about this below in the “Understanding Types of Keywords” lesson.
Links to your website will contain “anchor text” which is the portion of text that you click on. The search engines use this anchor text as a ranking signal and will use it to help them classify what the page being linked to is about. Generally speaking, you want to make sure that some (not all) of your links include your target keywords. This will help you rank in search results for these keywords.
The research you conduct will help you define which categories you want to use and what the sub-categories will be. For example, if you sell leather sofas and this is a popular keyword, you may want to include a category called "leather sofas." You may then find that a lot of people search for “corner leather sofas,” so you may want to make this a sub-category of leather sofas.
When a user types in a search, Google typically relies on HTML elements to match the content on your site to that specific query. Without optimizing key HTML elements (title, body content, headers etc..), you won't be able to rank, it's as simple as that.
For now, the following diagram should help explain the basics of which elements need keyword research attention:
Here's how that page would look in Google search results:
Ultimately you want to attract visitors who are going to convert into customers, if you can identify keywords which will lead to more conversions, you are more likely to see a good ROI.
Google in particular is becoming much more advanced at predicting the intent of searchers. For example, if you search for "apple," are you looking for the fruit or the technology company? Through a lot of user testing and machine learning, Google has determined that its users are probably looking for the technology company. Hence Apple's #1 position on Google.
While you do not have much control over this, user intention should be a priority when you are choosing and filtering your keywords. You want to be targeting keywords where the intention is likely to lead to a conversion for your business.