A beginner's Guide to Keyword research

In addition to Michigan digital marketing degree programs and programmatic media optimization techniques, I wanted to share some information about keyword research.  Keywords define the content that you will be posting on your website, and include the words and phrases that get typed into search engines.  It is very important that these words and phrases are relevant to the content of your site, so people who are searching for something online are able to easily find your site.  This beginner's guide to keyword research will hopefully help you better understand this aspect of search engine optimization.



The underlying principle of search engine optimization is to help Google and other search engines understand the content of your website.  In order to determine which keywords work best for your site, it is necessary to do some research. 

If you are trying to come up with a list of keywords for a store that you own, the first thing you would want to do is think of the products that you are selling.  Put yourself in the consumer's shoes and think about what they would be searching on Google in order to find your website and purchase what you are selling.  These words are some of the terms that would be relevant to your website.  Try to think of as many terms as possible in the beginning, because this will save you from doing more work in the end.  You will want to come up with a mix of short and long tail keywords.  Short tail keywords are only 1-2 words, and long tail keywords are phrases of about 3 words or longer.

After you come up with a good list of keywords, you can use programs such as Google Adwords and the Keyword Planner Tool to expand your list even more.  The keyword planner tool includes useful information such as how many people search for a given keyword in a month, how much competition there is for that keyword, and other keywords that could be relevant.  Ideally, you would want to look for keywords with high search volume and low competition.  This way, people are more likely to visit your website.

To complete this process, you will want to look over your list once more.  Make sure that all of the keywords are relevant.  Even if a certain keyword has a high search volume and low competition, it may not be related to the content of your website.  You may even want to search for these keywords in Google to see which websites are already ranking.  If the websites on the first page are from very popular, established brands, it may be more difficult for your page to rank above these.  In the end you will want to have about 15-20 keywords total.


Once you begin to place these keywords on your website, Google and the other search engines will be able to better understand your content and match your website to relevant searches.  Since Google changes its search algorithms frequently, it is important to look over your keywords from time to time so everything is up-to-date and accurate.