little keyword research for the sake of search engine optimization can prevent a disastrous waste of time on content development. Why write about something that no one will find or read?
Traditional media such as newspapers and TV stations create content based on experience, judgment and common sense. Effective online media creates content based in part on SEO-based keyword research.
The popularity of a keyword phrase has an important impact on a document’s ranking in search engine result pages. Otherwise, the article won’t be easily found — or not found at all.
Here’s how to do it.
First Choose the Topic
aybe someone decides to write about antique desks and so they simply write that story based on the information from various sources. Although the story is likely to be indexed by search engines, it won’t necessarily be found.
A search of “antique furniture desks” on Google produces 1,270,000 results, which is a daunting level of competition.
But keyword research would reveal that popular related search terms include “antique desks,” “antique secretary desks” and “antique roll top desk” among other keyword phrases. These three searches produce the following results on Google:
- Antique desks — 212,000 documents.
- Antique secretary desks — 137,000 documents.
- Antique roll top desks — 166,000 documents.
These phrases face far less competition than the alternative. Even if the story does not cover secretary and roll top desks, it should use the phrase “antique desks” rather than “antique furniture desks” to improve its chances of being found.
Conduct the Research
ere are a few simple ways to do keyword research in a matter of minutes:
- Use the Google keyword tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
- Try the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/
- Another good one is the SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool: http://www.seomoz.org/keyword-difficulty
If you use the Google tool, it’s important to note a few guidelines:
- Look on the far left column for Match Types. See that Broad is checked while [Exact] and “Phrase” are not. Broad means that the results will show searches on both that keyword and related, relevant ones. If you want the number of searches using the exact phrase, uncheck Broad and check [Exact].
- In the top middle box, use the name of a Web site if you want to identify keywords most relevant to that site.
- Narrow the results by clicking on Category in the middle and choosing the audience target.
- Check the box “
Create Content Based on the Research
his is where SEO-based keyword research pays off in content development.
The final keyword phrase should be represented in the document’s title, meta description, headline (H1 tag), first paragraph, etc.
The keyword should flow as smoothly as possible. An unnatural use will be jarring to readers and possibly lose effectiveness in search results.
If possible, use other related keywords from the research in the article to boost results. It is surprising sometimes to see an article rank higher for a secondary keyword than for the primary one — but that suggests the primary keyword has more competition than the secondary.