Why keyword research is an important step in SEO?

by Jun 25, 2020SEO

Whenever the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes up, the follow-up question that emerges is the keyword research. Keyword research is considered as the first and most fundamental part of starting a successful SEO campaign. Let’s dive in to see exactly why.

What is Keyword Research?

First things first!

Before plunging into the importance of Keyword research, we should know what Keyword research is.

Say you plan to start a website. To provide a service or a product, you need to have a crystal clear idea of what people are looking for. Users search for information using words and phrases. These are also known as Keywords.

When you discover what they are searching for, you can use them in your website content to rank higher on the search engine results pages. (SERPs)

This process is called Keyword research.

So, what’s the big deal about keyword research?

Let’s bust a myth.

Some might think that if they have a top-notch website with a pre-eminent design and insanely quality content, that’ll do the trick.

Of course, you need quality content because otherwise, no visitor will come to your website. However, you need to optimize your content to rank higher on the SERPs.

Without keyword research, you wouldn’t know which words and search terms to insert in your content. This will never generate the anticipated traffic to your website.

As a result, you will hang out on the second page (or worse) on Google while your competitors conquer the first page.

Not only this, but keyword research helps you find content topics, increase on-page SEO, content promotion, and email outreach.

According to Brian Dean who is an internationally recognized SEO expert and the founder of backlinko.com, his site generates 302,749 visitors per month. 66.29% or 200,706 of those visitors come straight from Google. He states that the biggest reason for this huge growth of his website is keyword research.

He researched for a bunch of less competitive keywords and created content around that specific keyword. The keyword is, “mobile SEO”. The beauty of low competition of that keyword led his page to rank 1st on Google faster than he thought.

All in all, because his website page ranked number 1 on the first page of Google, he now receives hundreds of visitors per month just from that page.

SEO difficulty in Keywords

Identifying the best keywords is crucial. However, when choosing keywords that have too much competition can kick your website out of the 1st page of Google.

The most viable option is to choose a keyword that has a decent amount of search volume but not too competitive.

Predominantly, there are 3 main categories of keywords. They are Head Terms, Body Keywords, and Long Tail Keywords.

  • Head Terms

Single-word keywords are known as the Head Terms. These keywords cover a broad topic with an insane amount of traffic. For instance, “insurance” can be considered as a Head Term. The keyword is insurance, but there is no specific search intent. The searcher hasn’t specified whether they are looking for the definition of the word, an insurance company, or the best vehicle insurance.

Since the search is not targeted towards a niche, Head terms cover a vast area of search intent. Consequently, if your website relies on Head Terms, it has to go past all the other content out there that rank high.

  • Body Keywords

Body Keywords have 2 or 3 words that are more specific than the Head Terms. For instance, if you use a Body Keyword such as “life insurance” instead of just “insurance” you have a better chance of converting.

But it is important to analyze the search volume of these keywords as well. If the chosen keyword has 2000 or more search volume per month, it’s certainly going to benefit your website.

  • Long-Tail Keywords

Keywords with 4 or more word phrases are known as Long Tail Keywords. These keywords are specific and go straight to the point. A fine example of a Long Tail keyword would be, “Affordable life insurance for elderly citizens”.

Usually, Long Tail keywords don’t generate high traffic. These types of keywords have a 10 to 200 search volume per month. The key is to use a bunch of these keywords together in your content. Because these keywords aren’t that competitive, your website’s chance of ranking high is certain.

If your website is brand new, then opting for less competitive keywords such as Long Tail keywords is the way to go.

How to Find Keywords?

Say you have done the keyword research and found out the top searched keywords by the users. You have a website on dogs, but your keywords are about coffee.

Because of the high search volume, you put the misleading keywords in your content.

Perhaps for a while, you might rank higher in the Google search.

However, because you’ve mentioned a bunch of keywords that aren’t related to your target niche or the website, you’ll lose traffic.

Google will find out what you’re up to and see your website as a scam. So, remember to stick to your niche and the target audience.

Use a free keyword research tool such as The Google Keyword Planner to find keywords. If you need to find Long Tail Keywords use a tool such as KWFinder. Another method of finding effective keywords is to spy on your direct competitors who do well on the ranking game. You can enter their domain in the keyword tool and acquire a list of keywords they use to rank higher on search engines.

Choose low-competitive keywords that have a high search volume and place them carefully on your website content. Do not throw the keywords here and there with the intention of stuffing them inside sentences.

Create your content that is comprehensive and engaging including those keywords that you have chosen.

Focus on creating longer content. Unlike in the past, visitors lean towards longer content that has over 2000 words.

Summing up

If you were in the middle of creating your SEO strategy and was thinking to exclude keyword research, think again.

Because keyword research is not only about finding words that your potential customers look for. It is also about creating top-notch content that is created around effective keywords. When you research your competition you can get some know-how on the content they create to get ahead of their game.

Happy keyword researching!


  1. https://backlinko.com/keyword-research
  2. https://backlinko.com/seo-campaign
  3. https://crunchify.com/keyword-research-in-seo/