While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rollin’ out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search: keyword research.

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Keyword research is a critical component for SEO because it provides a road map for both the design and execution of building websites and developing content.

Every time a user searches online, search engines like Google or Bing have to determine which results to display from millions of possible pages. They have to decide which are the most relevant matches for every single query. That’s why it’s critical to choose your keywords carefully so that search engines can match and display your website in the search results for the most relevant user queries.

In the context of search engine optimisation (SEO), a keyword is a word or phrase that describes the content found on a web page or site. The main reason you use keywords is to summarise the content of a page or site and to help search engines better understand what your site is about so it can then match it to a specific user search query.

If you’re struggling to think of additional keywords people might be searching for, why not look at some of Google’s suggestions? Simply go to Google search, type in your phrase and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see Google’s suggestions for searches related to your original input. These are excellent for sparking ideas for other keywords you might have missed.

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If you’re a small business just starting out, it might not be worth targeting keywords with a very high search volume. Why? Because they’re very competitive and it’s extremely difficult to rank for those terms. You’d be competing against popular brands that have been around for longer and have already gained the authority they need to rank for highly competitive keywords, thus your chances of ranking highly for those keywords are slim. So instead go with keywords that have a lower search volume, preferably the “long tail” keywords.

To conclude, keyword research is essential if you want to be successful on the internet. However when using it you must decide whether you want to just gain traffic to the chosen website or whether you would like it to lead to customer involvement or a sale.

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