SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the optimization of a web page in order that it ranks higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for specific keywords or keyword phrases. The pages that rank higher typically gain the greater amount of search engine traffic compared to pages ranked lower for the same keyword.
The majority of web users click on one of the top 5 results on the first page when they complete a search. As such, the ultimate goal of any SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) is to gain one of these coveted top spots, with the number one ranking being the primary objective.
However, a top position for any keyword won't suffice. In order to increase your ROI, it is vital to ensure that you target the most appropriate keywords for your pages, and for your business. While generic, or very general topic keywords, may have the highest number of searches conducted in a month they are also the most competitive and typically least productive.
The more competitive a keyword the more pages that you need to compete with in order to benefit from an SEO campaign. Many of the pages that appear at the top of the list will also be well optimized and have a powerful link profile, making it difficult to rank highly.
Improved Conversions With Targeted Keywords
General topic based keywords have also proven to have lower conversion rates compared to more specific keywords. Targeted keywords generate targeted visitors, and targeted visitors are much more likely to be active while on the pages of your website.
How Keyword Research Helps
Keyword research helps you to identify keywords that are relevant, targeted, and preferably less competitive. By finding the right blend of these factors you can minimize the time it takes to rank well, actually increase the number of visitors, and improve your conversion rates. Targeted keyword research leads to better profit opportunities and improved ROI.
Tailoring Your Keyword Research To Your Needs
Every page of a website needs to be treated as an individual project, especially in terms of marketing. Each page will usually attract different visitors in different stages of the purchasing process. Deep product pages will often catch visitors while they are at their most profitable - when they're ready to buy. General pages and even product category pages can be used to attract more general terms, but they should still be properly researched and targeted very precisely to your target market.
Niche keywords are often talked about as being the ideal variety of keywords for a page. A niche keyword is a highly targeted, very specific keyword. It is geared towards a corner of the market in which you operate and typically has very few competing pages. Niche keywords don't usually create much in the way of traffic but the traffic that they do create is highly targeted and very active. It attracts excellent conversion rates ensuring that you get a good return on your marketing investment.
Long Tail Keywords
Many web pages will gain visitors from natural keywords within the text. These long tail search terms again produce highly targeted visitors and while each individual term will not produce more than one or possibly two visitors over the space of the month, they do all add up. It is virtually impossible to research long tail keywords because of their infrequency, but by using popular keywords you heighten the chances of seeing more on your website.
Why Keyword Research Is Important
Keyword research is an important aspect of SEO because it helps to identify the terms that surfers use to access sites similar to yours. This, in turn, enables you to optimize the pages of your site and your link profile in order to attract those visitors. By doing so, you may also improve the number of long tail searches that lead to your site, and these product highly targeted visitors for little optimization effort.
About the Author: Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an entrepreneur and the founder of OC IT Services a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm.