Why Keyword Research Is Important to Your Marketing Success
As an experienced marketer, you understand the incredible value of search engine traffic — and it’s no wonder why! Did you know that 68% of online experiences originate from searching on Google or other engines, and more than half (53.3%) of all website visits are generated by organic searches? This indicates that keyword research is important to your marketing success.
Beyond the numbers, keyword research has numerous benefits, like maximizing content visibility and properly targeting your audience. It also helps you to track competitors and identify opportunities in the market. These reasons and more make keyword research an essential part of any digital campaign. Not quite getting the full picture? No worries, let’s take a closer look.
Why Is Keyword Research Important in Marketing?
Keywords are the bread and butter of any digital marketing campaign, representing the terms people use when searching for something online. As a result, keyword research should be at the core of your digital strategy. By understanding which keywords are used, you can craft content, build websites, and create ads tailored to your target audience to generate more clicks, leads, and sales.
Moreover, keyword research helps you stay ahead of the competition by showing you which keywords your competitors are ranking for, and it reveals hidden opportunities in the market. In short, keyword research is critical to help you reach users more efficiently through better targeting and visibility.
Why Is Keyword Strategy Important?
Keyword strategy goes hand in hand with all the other elements of SEO. Developing and executing a keyword strategy helps you to focus on the most popular terms used by searchers and enables you to optimize your content for those terms. This, in turn, increases your visibility and traffic.
Having a well-defined keyword strategy also helps to inform other aspects of your digital marketing efforts, such as content creation, PPC campaigns, and more. By understanding which keywords drive the most traffic (and why), you can ensure that your efforts are laser-focused to reach your target audience and maximize conversions.
Now that we’ve addressed why keyword research is important let’s take a more in-depth look at the top reasons keyword research should be a priority in your digital marketing strategy.
Understanding User Intent
First and foremost, it’s every marketing professional’s goal to understand why people are searching for something in the first place. What is their intent? Are they looking for information, a product, or a service?
Keyword research helps you understand why someone uses a particular term and what they’re looking for. This understanding of user intent can then be leveraged when creating content to target audiences better.
- A keyword search reveals that “how to start a blog” is frequently used. This indicates that users are likely looking for information on the topic, so you can use this insight to create content about starting a blog and then optimize it for those terms.
This is an informational search, so you know that the copy should be tailored to provide potential customers with information about the blog-starting process instead of trying to offer a product or service. For this type of search, opt to write informative content such as blogs to answer the query.
- A keyword search reveals that “sustainable clothing” is popular. This indicates that users are likely searching for products, so you can use this insight to create ads that showcase your sustainable clothing line and optimize them for those terms.
This is a transactional search, so you know that the copy should focus on offering potential customers products instead of providing information about the process. Creating an ad or a landing page can solve this kind of query.
The two examples above provide insight into how the larger marketing funnel operates — it’s essential to understand why users behave in certain ways and develop strategies that reach and convert customers.
Understanding user intent is integral to successful keyword research, and creating content that will captivate your target audience should be a priority. Failing to do so can leave you with ineffective digital marketing campaigns and weaker conversions.
Keyword research is also invaluable when identifying opportunities in the market. Utilizing keyword tools allows you to discover new topics and keywords to capitalize on and see which terms are trending upwards or downwards over time. In addition, you can adjust your content and keyword strategies by understanding the current market conditions.
Your website’s Google Search Console data is invaluable for discovering undiscovered opportunities. By examining what keywords are driving traffic to your site, you can identify which pages those words lead visitors to and make the necessary changes or optimizations accordingly. This method lets you see which topics have the most traction with viewers and require more focus.
Using keyword research tools like SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Google Trends can help you identify new topics you can capitalize on. These tools allow you to find related queries and search terms for specific topics, giving insight into what users are looking for and why. Then, you can adjust your content accordingly to increase its visibility in search results and reach a larger audience.
Targeting Your Audience
For any marketing agency or business, it’s crucial to understand your target audience. From their age and location to their interests and hobbies, researching your audience allows you to create content, products, and campaigns that effectively target and attract them.
Keyword research is a great way to gain insight into who your audience is and what they’re looking for. By understanding the keyword trends in your niche, you can create content that speaks directly to them and increase your chances of success. For example, if you notice users searching for “eco-friendly clothing,” you can create content that speaks to their environmental concerns and use keywords related to sustainability.
Additionally, keyword research helps you identify the best channels for reaching your target audience. Analyzing keyword search trends can help you better understand which platforms they use to look for information and products and how often they visit them. You can then focus on promoting your content and products to those channels to maximize your reach and increase conversions.
What’s the best way to beat your competition? Knowing your competitors inside and out.
Keyword research competitive analysis can give you an excellent overview of how your competitors perform by discovering the keywords they’re targeting and how successful those campaigns have been. Having insight into their strategy, you can develop ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and reach more customers.
A keyword research tool like SEMrush can provide detailed keyword analysis and competitor comparisons. This allows you to see what keywords your competitors are targeting, which drive the most traffic, and how their campaigns have been performing over time. You can use this data to create a better strategy and ensure that your content stands out from the rest.
- You’re a shoe brand selling running shoes, but your competitor is winning the market with their keyword strategy. After running SEMrush, you find they’re focusing on specific types of shoes or certain features, like “lightweight running shoes” or “breathable running shoes.” Your brand has the same offerings but isn’t targeting those specific keywords — now you’ve identified an opportunity to target those and stand out.
Simple findings like these can make a huge difference in your success, so it’s crucial to stay on top of keyword research and use the data wisely.
While keyword research can uncover great insights, it’s important to know how to use the data to maximize your efforts. This is why keyword mapping is essential for any SEO or marketing campaign.
Keyword mapping allows you to group related keywords and topics to create content covering various search terms. This way, you can reach a wider audience and capture more search engine traffic.
- Let’s say you want to create content about handmade home decor. Your keyword research reveals the following topics: handmade lamps, rustic tables, shabby chic furniture, and upcycled decor. You can then map those topics to create a comprehensive piece of content that covers all four of these keywords — such as an article featuring DIY tips for creating unique home decor pieces from everyday objects.
By organizing related keywords into content topics, you can create blog topic clusters, create landing pages for products or services, and create topics for social media posts. This way, you can cover a variety of keywords with each piece of content and attract more traffic to your website.
Determining the Right Format
Now that you have a solid understanding of why keyword research is important and how to use it, you’ll need to decide the best format to include keywords in your content. This includes determining which content medium — such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, or website updates — will allow you to reach more people with the right message.
When deciding on a content format, consider your audience. Each type of content has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you choose one that caters to the needs and preferences of your target market.
- If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, then videos might be the most effective way to reach them. On the other hand, if you want to target a more mature audience, then blog posts or social media posts might be better suited for that demographic.
Once you’ve chosen the right format, optimize it with the relevant keywords. Incorporating keywords into titles, headings, and meta descriptions can help boost search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website.
All of these steps are crucial to reaping the benefits of keyword research. By following the right steps, you can easily take advantage of the data and create a successful marketing strategy that yields positive results. But let’s take it one step further and review a few keyword research success tips.
Keyword Research Tips
Every marketing professional has a few tips and tricks; most aren’t even that complicated. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when conducting keyword research:
- Use multiple tools and sources to collect the data — Getting a comprehensive picture of the market is key. As different tools provide you with distinct information, exploring a broad range of views and insights is essential.
- Focus your efforts on long-tail keywords — Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words and are more specific. They are often easier to rank for and a great way to target potential customers further down the buying cycle.
- Get creative with keyword variations and long-tail keywords — Creating keyword variations is a great way to ensure that your content reaches the right audience. For instance, if you’re targeting keywords like “fruit smoothies,” you can also include related terms like “healthy breakfast shakes” or “refreshing summer drinks.”
- Prioritize high-intent keywords — focusing on keywords that indicate the user’s intent to buy. These are keywords like “buy,” “order,” or “shop.”
- Go for low-hanging fruit — Contrasting high intent, this involves concentrating on keywords that are simpler to rank for, including informational queries and low-competition long-tail terms.
- Analyze search volume and competition level — this will give you a better idea of the effort and resources necessary to make your keyword strategy successful.
- Take advantage of search volume analysis — this enables you to determine which keywords draw more traffic and why. Look to the first page of the SERP to see why certain keywords might have higher search volumes.
- Analyze search trends to uncover seasonal or cyclical keyword opportunities — since many queries can be seasonal, it’s important to analyze which keywords are most popular during certain times of the year. This can help you create timely and relevant content.
By following these keyword research tips, you can ensure that your keyword research yields the best possible results for your business.
Overall, keyword research is a crucial component of any marketing strategy. You can ensure your digital campaigns achieve the highest success possible by taking the time to analyze the data and create an informed keyword plan that accounts for user intent, search volume, and competition level.
Sallie’s natural attraction to things with high impact led to a career in SEO and content marketing. She has worked on many projects in the digital space, working across industries to help brands create meaningful content.