The importance of keyword research is well recognized, judging by the proliferation of keyword research tools, software, and services that are available on the Internet. The challenge is most online business owners don’t really understand the value of it or whether or not it’s important for them to do it. In this report, we’ll dive in-depth into what keyword research is and why it’s critical for you and your business.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of brainstorming, researching and choosing which keywords to target in your business.
Usually, keyword research comes in two parts: Selecting your main niche and keywords, then selecting specific low-competition keywords to target and dominate.
The Benefits Of Doing Keyword Research
Doing keyword research is critical in many ways. What are the benefits of doing keyword research?
First of all, you’ll save a lot of time doing proper keyword research. Instead of building your websites and hoping that it’ll work, you’re figuring out whether or not it will work before you build a single page.
You’re only putting work into building campaigns and web pages that you know are specifically targeted for keywords most likely to bring in traffic and buyers.
You’ll also learn a lot about your market in the keyword research process.
The Dangers Of Not Doing Proper Keyword Research
What could happen if you don’t do your keyword research properly?
What’s most likely to happen is that you’ll spend a whole bunch of time creating and promoting your website, only to have very little to no returns.
Imagine putting in all the mental, emotional and physical effort of building a website. All the hopes and dreams of the money you want to make. Only to have all that wash down the drain.
Not doing your keyword research when you’re starting a website is like opening a restaurant without doing research on the location you’re opening the restaurant at.
If you’re opening a restaurant, wouldn’t you want to know how many people come to this area every day? How many other restaurants are competing in this area? Wouldn’t you want to do your research to see if there’s another area in town with even more traffic and demand yet has less competition?
Keyword research works very much the same way. Before you build a single page, you should know how much traffic you could reasonably expect, plus how much competition you have.
How It Works: Selecting Your Main Keywords
The first step to any keyword research process is to select your main keyword(s). For example, if you’re starting a website on eating healthy, should you choose “dieting”, “healthy eating”, “weight loss” or “nutrition”?
Each will attract a very different crowd of people, have different traffic statistics and different levels of competition.
The keywords you select should:
• Give you a foot in on what would otherwise be a very competitive market.
• Allow you to start by targeting sub-niches, but then work your way up to ranking for broader and broader keywords.
• Allow you to start getting traffic right now by targeting fewer competition keywords.
Choosing the right keywords will determine how well your entire business does. It’s not just part of your traffic strategy, it’s part of your branding strategy.
It’s very hard to change how you brand yourself once you’re known in your industry. Choose your keywords carefully, before you start. That way you won’t have to go through the costly process of changing your brand later on.
Laser-Targeting Keywords Designed To Rank
Once you’ve done your research on what broad category of keywords you’re targeting, the next step is to select specific keywords to target. Your goal when selecting these keywords is to actually get on the top 1-5 spots on Google.
At first, the keywords you’re going to target are going to be very low traffic and very low competition. As your web presence grows, your PageRank grows and your credibility in Google’s eyes grows, you’ll target higher and higher traffic search phrases.
Every keyword that you choose to target should also contain or be closely related to your main keywords. This allows you to instantly rank for the lower traffic keywords while you simultaneously build towards ranking well for your main keywords.
To illustrate just how big of a difference doing your broad and targeted keyword research makes, let’s take the example of two businesses in the same field.
Let’s say there are two business owners both targeting the health field. They have a revolutionary system that allows dieters to eat almost anything they want and still lose weight. Not only that, but it’s also healthy and sustainable in the long run.
Bob, the first business owner, decides that his product is so good that he doesn’t need to do keyword research. His product will speak for itself, right?
He decides to just create a website about weight loss, talking about his product and selling his product. Developing his website takes about 40 hours (or cost him about $2,000 if he chose to pay for it).
Creating his product took about 100 hours. Then he put another 50 hours or so into promoting his website.
Then, after putting in 200 hours and hundreds if not thousands of dollars in investment, only then would Bob realize that he’s not getting any traffic. In fact, his website is buried beneath 20 pages of competition!
Even after putting a ton of work into getting backlinks, he’s not going to get any traffic, because the keywords he selected were simply too competitive. He’s up against people will million dollar ad budgets. Businesses that have entire marketing teams dedicated to just SEO. How can his startup business possibly compete?
On the other hand, John, with the same product idea, realized the importance of keyword research.
Instead of jumping in headfirst without doing the proper groundwork, he took the time to do his research to see what keywords and markets to target before he started building his website.
Because he did his research, he realized that “Weight Loss” was impossibly competitive and far too competitive to rank. Instead, he looked into alternative keyword ideas to get his foot in the door.
He found that “Nutrition” gave him a similar target market with far less competition. He got even more specific and decided to target “Holistic Nutrition” as his primary keyword.
It still had a lot of traffic and a fair bit of competition. Naturally, even with “Holistic Nutrition”, he wouldn’t be trying to rank for that keyword initially.
Instead, he compiled a list of 20 specific keywords that he wanted to rank for. Each of those keywords had low enough competition that he’d have a reasonable shot at ranking 1-5 for. Each time he ranks for such a keyword, it would also help him towards his long term goal of ranking for “Holistic Nutrition”.
John makes his first sale within one week of launching. Because he’s targeting low competition keywords and ranking for them, he gets traffic right away instead of having to wait.
What’s more, is that he’s not only getting small traffic right away, but he’s also building his business on a solid foundation that will allow him to expand into higher traffic keywords in the not too distant future.
Build Your Business On Facts-Not Pride, Laziness Or Gut Feeling
Very, very few business owners build their business on actual numbers and statistics. This is perhaps one of the reasons why so few business owners succeed.
It’s critical to both your short term and long term success that you build your business based on the facts. It doesn’t matter if you like certain keywords more than others.
If the statistics show you that you’re more likely to be successful by targeting one group of keywords than another, then target that keyword group.
Do your research by using statistics and numbers. Use tools like the Google Keyword Tool that show you actual search statistics.
Successful business owners always know their stats. If you asked an unsuccessful business owner “How much traffic do you get per day?” They probably wouldn’t know. If you asked a successful marketer, they’ll probably say something like “About 500 a day on weekdays, 800 a day on weekends.”
A successful marketer is always looking at his stats.
Before a campaign, a great marketer does his research. He makes sure he’s not wasting time and make sure he’s doing everything he can to increase his chances of making money.
During a campaign, he’s watching his traffic come in. He’s monitoring the stats constantly. What’s his traffic like?
What’s his conversion rate? A great marketer is looking at these numbers on a daily or even hourly basis.
After a campaign, the successful marketer looks at his numbers again. This time he’s looking back to see what he did right and what he could improve next time. He’s looking to learn.
How much attention do you have on the numbers? Would having more attention on the numbers improve your business?
Chances are the answer is yes.
Keyword Research Is The “Secret Sauce” That Separates The Successes From The Failures
“He who fails to plan plans to fail.” – Proverb
If you’ve heard the proverb “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”, know that this absolutely applies when it comes to keyword research.
Businesses don’t pop out of the ground overnight. Internet businesses can grow a lot faster than brick-and-mortar businesses-which actually makes planning that much more important.
In other businesses, it may be more feasible to correct as you go along. With an Internet business, you could lose so much momentum by having to start over again.
Instead, just do your keyword research right the first time.
The Importance of Doing Keyword Research, Plus Next Steps
In the last few pages, we’ve gone over several important reasons why keyword research matters. We’ve gone over a couple of examples of how big different keyword research can make.
By now, it should be pretty clear that the success or failure of a beginning Internet Marketing business can depend a lot on the keywords you choose. It’s the foundation for your entire business.
So what are your next steps from here?
The first step is to learn the actual process of keyword research.
The process of keyword research isn’t difficult, but it does require some specialized knowledge, for example:
• How do you go about finding out search volume and competition?
• How do you determine if the people coming from your keywords are likely to buy?
• How do you choose keywords that will get you traffic now and also help you build towards a successful larger business later?
And so on and so forth.
Once you learn the keyword research process, spend some time doing your research. Put your research down for a day or so, then come back to it before making your decision. Remember, this is the foundation that your business is built on. It’s worth spending a little time on it.
Keyword research is critical. Learn the process, do the process and watch your business thrive.