In a time when SEO has become the industry standard for many types of content, writers should be aware of the components of this process. The first and perhaps most important phase of writing SEO-friendly content is keyword research. Although the term might seem a bit cryptic and alluding to a sense of extreme complexity, basic keyword research knowledge does not require an advanced degree, technical expertise or, for that matter, black magic. Simply put, a keyword refers to a word or phrase your site would like to appear for in a search engine’s results, preferably ranking in the top ten. Many users rarely go to results on page two and after.
If you are a writer, free accessible resources can help you optimize your content. First, you need to create content around keywords relevant to your business or product. You can come up with your own and also analyze the terms used by your competitors. Be mindful of single keywords as these are often the most competitive. SEOBook Keyword Analyzer allows you to enter your site or that of a competitor to generate the top keywords in each. This list can be a starting point for your research.
What happens once you have all these keywords? In order for search engines to find your site, you need to know the amount of traffic each keyword generates. Again, free tools exist to analyze keyword traffic. With the Google Keyword Research Tool, you enter the list of keywords, select the “exact match” option and in seconds, you will have the amount of times each keyword was search for in Google. Based on this, you can create keyword combinations that the search engine will find and that are different from the ones your competitors have. This is an ongoing process and the best practice is to grow your list of keywords naturally and over time.
How do you know it’s working? Competitive analysis tools, such as Market Samurai, enables you to compare the statistics for top-ranking sites utilizing your keyword. Depending on the difficulty or ranking for a particular result, you might tweak you current keywords to set yourself apart from the competition while still being able to be found by search engines.
However, don’t become infatuated with SEO and keyword research. Above all, your content should be relevant, informative and interesting. If you submit poor content and duplicated material, Google’s recent update, Panda, will penalize your site ranking based on the quality of the content. What should you know about keyword research? It’s not a mystery. Create content that includes high-ranking keywords, but do not forget that, in the end, high-quality content drives SEO best practices.
Most if not all top companies source their keyword research strategy from the experts, allowing them to focus on their core competencies.