What Is Keyword Research & Why Is It Important?

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When it comes to digital marketing, few processes are as essential and powerful as keyword research. In fact, you could go as far as arguing that keyword research has changed digital marketing forever.

Imagine knowingly exactly how your target customers are trying to find your business and learn more about your products and services. With this technique, all of this information is at your finger tips – with even search volumes and trends to analyse!

Fortunately, keyword research isn’t rocket science. With a little hard work, you can master this process and make it work for your business. Ready to find out more? Join us as we delve into this fascinating part of the SEO process…

What is keyword research?

Keyword research refers to the process of finding popular search terms that users frequently enter into internet search engines – such as Google or Bing.

For businesses, the main point of keyword research is to discover what words and phrases people type into search engines when they’re looking for their services or products.

For example, let’s say you have a restaurant in London. With keyword research, you could find out that there are 3,600 searches per month for the phrase “restaurant in London with live music” on Google.

If you’re looking for a way to differentiate your restaurant, this might just be the way. After all, knowledge is power.

Keyword research doesn’t end there though. You can dig much deeper…

For example, let’s say you sell paint. People could be searching by colour (greige paint – 5,400 searches). Perhaps they want paint for a room (best colour for bedroom walls – 880 searches). They could have questions about paint too (how to paint doors – 1,000 searches).

Once you know exactly what people are searching for, your businesses can create content that systematically targets these phrases. If somebody wants to know about “dog friendly beaches in wales” and you have a helpful resource on this exact topic, your website has a great chance of ranking well for this phrase. With 720 searches per month, this would be a great keyphrase to target – especially if you provide a relevant service, like organising walking holidays in the area.

You may have chosen to ignore search engines, focusing purely on the quality of your products and services. While delivering to a high standard is important and will yield results, you’re missing a trick. A very large trick. In 2021, an estimated 2.14 billion people worldwide purchased goods online. And 63% of shopping occasions begin online.

For instance, let’s say that you’re an online clothes retailer. You stock an amazing selection of products, much better than what your rival companies are selling. And yet you’re struggling. Why is this happening? It’s very likely that it’s because your target audience can’t even find you. According to an in-depth study conducted by search traffic experts, the vast majority of Google users don’t click on page two when doing an online search. By going the extra mile and trying to rank on Google’s first page, you can see huge gains.

By merely increasing a ranking from 11th to 10th, you can see a 143% increase in the resulting organic traffic.

So, what do you do to resolve the situation?

First, you need to know who your target audience is. Take a look at this guide, which looks at how understanding your dream customer is the key to attracting and converting them.

Next, switch to a search engine and look at the types of keywords you can use to find your products and services.

Google’s “People Also Ask” tool will give you lots of suggestions:

And you can also scroll to the bottom of the search results page to see the related terms people are searching for:

With your research yielding lots of search terms, you can then take the step further and use a keyword tool – such as Google’s Keyword Planner – to find out how often people are searching for these phrases.

This is one of the first and most important steps when coming up with a search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign. For example, if you find out that your target customers don’t quite understand what you sell, then you can provide helpful FAQ guides and product tutorials. If people search by location, you can group your products or services by location.

By creating content to match the search terms used, your website can attract more traffic that’s of a better quality, helping improve conversation rates. It’s a win-win-win.

Why is keyword research important?

In our current digital marketing environment, competition is fiercer than ever. Making amazing products and offering the best service is no longer enough to make a business succeed. Instead, it’s all about putting your products in front of the right audience.

How do you do that? Without a doubt, the best way is to understand your audience and how they are trying to find you. This is why keyword research is so important. However, what if we told you that getting quality traffic is far from being all there is to keyword research?

Here are three more benefits of keyword research…

1. Help your target customers find you – and not your competitors

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a second. When you’re looking to buy a product, you have dozens of different options available – and all of them are just one click away. So, why should they choose your company instead of your competitors? The answer is not as glamorous as you might think. Of course, it helps if your products are more special than other people’s – or if your company branding is spot on.

But the crude reality is that, more often than not, it’s all a matter of convenience. The site ranked 1st on Google typically gets the same amount of resulting traffic as 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th position combined.

2. Increase conversion rates with content that speaks to your target audience

Getting more traffic and reaching your target audience easily is a great thing. However, that’s not why you started your business, is it? When it comes down to it, you started it to make money by selling products or offering services to people.

With content that’s tailored specifically for your target audience, building a relationship with them is easier. And if you can create content along their customer journey, you can effectively hold their hand as they make their way through the buyer funnel.

Let’s say you have a camping site. Does your target customer start by looking for the best locations for camping, then ask questions about the type of gear they need and the best time of year? Do they look for campsite reviews?

By understanding the path they take, you can tailor your website accordingly. Create a guide to the best camping locations. Provide an eBook called Camping for Beginners. Add a testimonials page to your site. Create a starter pack offer, which includes all the kit newbies will need. By removing the guess work and tailoring your approach to what your target customer is searching for, you can turn your website into a conversion machine.

3. Keep your audience engaged by answering questions and staying on-trend

The trickiest part of managing an online business isn’t finding new customers – it’s making them stick with you. And you do that by creating content that appeals to them. As you can imagine, throwing stuff to the wall and seeing what sticks won’t get you anywhere. If you truly want to come up with content that turns your one-time customers into loyal followers, you need to get inside their minds.

Of course, we’re not telling you to sign up for a psychotherapy course. What we mean by getting inside your customers’ minds is knowing what they’re thinking – and, most importantly, what they’re searching for. And that’s where keyword research comes in. Once you have access to the most searched questions and trends, you’ll be able to orchestrate all your content creation around your customers’ needs – which will keep them coming back to you.

Rapport Digital – your go-to keyword research experts

Now you’ve learnt what keyword research is and why it’s so important, it’s time for you to take the next step and embrace its benefits. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to make the most out of keyword research is to have a specialist SEO agency do it for you. And at Rapport Digital, we’ve got just the thing.

With more than a decade of experience in SEO services for accountants and accounting firms, we’ll conduct all your keyword research for you to help you attract more traffic and turn your visitors into loyal customers. Want to find out more? Just visit our website today to arrange a chat. Alternatively, you can ring us on 0330 133 2522 – or e-mail us at hello@rapportdigital.com

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