An SEO's starting point depends on what you input into the search engine. Choose poorly, and you are doomed to failure completely missing the people who are looking for your website/product/brand.
t is a fact that the biggest influence on your projects when you start them is the research you put into keywords - nothing else compares in value and import. This is your ultimate decided as to the success for your new site. This is because you have no better chance of acquiring critical information about your clients and audience, in addition to discovering the ideal keywords to focus on optimising.
It's one thing to obtain high traffic - you need to concentrate on obtaining the perfect audience. I genuinely cannot put enough emphasis on how key this type of information is, and I studied English Language online. They gave me a certificate and everything.
Going back to my point, this information will help you to determine changes in your audience's needs, how to consistently attract their attention, provide them with what they want effectively and write content that they will find appealing. It's really not to difficult to find out what your customers want. It's like a high jump competition where you can casually tip toe over the bar. Sure, those referees were annoyed that I changed the height when they weren't looking, but I still technically won. Because I outsmarted them. Which is why they banned me. Sheeple.
Anyway, let's go into the basic steps of successful keyword research, shall we?
How do I know if a keyword is useful?
It's simple to anyone who isn't a total bongo drum. Let's say that you are researching how to optimise your new money site that sells horse dildos. You'd want to know whether or not people are searching more often for the smaller 7'' sized ones or the 11'+'' annihilators. I'd obviously assume they're going for the larger ones, but there's a possibility you could be attracting mostly vanilla bitches. To find out which one to focus on, you need to use a keyword researcher tool to see which is a more popular search term.
This is only a generalized result, mind you. There's not going to be any indication in regards to how much money they will actually make you. This can only be determined with your own brain. Let's hope you know how to use it.
This is the general method for judging value.
Decide whether or not this keyword fits in your niche well enough. You want potential customers to be able to find your website when they type in this keyword and actually visit your site, with the belief that you are going to provide them with what ever they are looking for (such as horse dildos). If you believe that this will be the case, then you should definitely use this keyword.
You should then look into competitors that already show up when this keyword is entered into search engines. If all you see are successful, highly optimised companies, you might want to consider finding an easier keyword to rank for. A promising sign that this keyword is worth investing in is if there are tons of advertisements featured on top of the page. This indicates that you have found a very profitable search term.
At this point, I'd start purchasing site visits as a trial. You should be able to find out from this whether or not the traffic will convert effectively. Keep a record of the conversion rate you have for a good period of time before coming to a decider.
Repeat this process for other keywords you plan to research. Once you have enough, you've gotta decide which of your new babies to raise lovingly and which to abandon in a trolley at your local Tesco.
Suppose that your (hypothetical?) horse dildo website got 3000 visits within 24 hours from one of your adverts. Out of these visits, if 50 of them were to actually click on your site, and 2 of these ended up converting into about $150, you should be able to determine whether that is valuable enough for you. Of course, you'll need to use a bit of math to figure all of this out. Luckily, it's no problem for me!
But what about long tail keywords?
Once again, I'm going to have to refer to the universally understandable horse dildo scenario. We all know your first thought will be "I think it would be amazing if I had the top rank for "horse dildos" in Google!" Fortunately for you, I am here to guide you from your naive idealism.
The thing is, ranking well in keyword searches with thousands of daily hits sounds good in theory, but you'll only see a pittance of traffic. The real searches that people look in are what the SEO Experts (me) call "Long Tail Keywords". The reason they are called this is because these keywords have tails so long that they encompass vast quantities of unique searches that make up the greater number of searches in the entire world. It's like a snake, only it has keywords instead of scales and you shouldn't throw beer cans at them for fun.
These also have much better conversion rates due to them trapping customers at just the right time. You see, someone searching a generic "horse dildos" term in search engines is probably just looking because the want fodder for their pathetic memes. But the person searching "Mighty Stallion 12'' Including Realistic Veins" is the potential customer you want to get your metaphorical long tailed keyword snake to constrict and devour whole.
The point here is that understanding the processes your possible customers are going through to find what your selling is what's going to benefit you down the long run.
Actually researching these keywords
Don't get me wrong, I am a very intelligent person. But even I need to find existing resources on what my clients are looking for - these facts cannot simply be conjured from the air.
There are tools on the internet you can use to develop your methods of optimisation and understand what you need to be putting first. You should look for something that gives you precise information on the popularity of keywords, an analysis of your competition and an influenced guess at to how many real visits you can get. Oh, and they usually come with some redundant metric that supposedly indicates your rankings, but those are ultimately pointless. Don't buy into those.
So, you can see now that the methods to determine the popularity of keywords is fairly straightforward. You should look at how much effort you'll need to put in in order to hit those massive ratings. Don't try to take on the scary corporations dominating page 1. It's not worth it. Focus on what you can reasonably rank for within a good amount of time.
There you have it! Here's my advice on why keyword research is important, and how you can make it happen. What are your thoughts? Comment below if you have any questions, and don't forget to share!