What is Keyword Research?

Broaden your SEO Knowledge:

When it comes to matters of search engine optimization, it’s important to focus the appropriate amount of time and resources on choosing the best keywords.

Keyword research may not sound important, but it will have a big impact on the future success (or failure) of your website.

With all this in mind, let’s examine four of the most common questions associated with keywords.

As the name suggests, this is nothing more than the words and phrases that people will use to (hopefully) find your website in the search engines.

It goes without saying that your keywords should match the overall theme of your business, as well as your products and services.

Take for example a web design firm in Tampa, Florida. Appropriate keywords could include:

  • Web design Tampa
  • Tampa Bay web design
  • Tampa Florida website design

What words do you want your target audience to associate with your business?

What’s the Impact on SEO?

While there are many ways to drive traffic to your website, you want to spend plenty of resources on organic traffic.

Your goal is to optimize each individual webpage for the search engines. If you do so with success, you’ll eventually find your keywords ranking somewhere in the search results (hopefully at the top of page one).

This is why it’s so important to select the right keywords.

What is Keyword Research?

In short, this is the act of uncovering the best keywords for your business. You can conduct research in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Personally creating a list of keywords that most closely associate with your business.
  • Taking cues from your competition, using tools like SEMRush.
  • Using one of many keyword research tools, such as the Google Keyword Planner.

As you conduct keyword research, keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Keep an open mind, as the most generic (and competitive) keywords are not always the best.
  2. Make a list of primary and secondary keywords, eventually prioritizing them based on your research and marketing related goals.
  3. Long tail keywords can be easier to rank for, while also driving more targeted traffic to your website.

What is a Long Tail Keyword?

As noted above, long tail keywords can have a positive impact on your website.

These are longer keywords and phrases that are more specific than the most commonly searched keywords. Typically, long tail keywords consist of three or more words.

Here’s an example to help you better understand the difference between seed keywords and long tail keywords.

As the owner of an online shoe store, it’s only natural for your seed keyword to be “shoes” or “shoe store.” However, these are extremely difficult to rank for.

Even though long tail keywords get less traffic, they typically have a high conversion rate because they are more specific. Sticking with the above example, ideas include:

  • White Nike running shoes for sale
  • Black Under Armour basketball shoes
  • Women’s white Nike tennis shoes

These keywords are less competitive but more specific.


As you develop your SEO strategy, keyword selection should never be overlooked.

By answering the questions above, as they relate to your website, you’re in position to choose the right keywords and then optimize your website accordingly.