SEO and Keyword Research: Understanding the Basics

seo keyword researchSearch Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of adopting various tactics in order to propel your website or blog to the top positions in search engine listings.

Why SEO?

More than 80% of people who buy products and services online find their choices through search engines. So, to place their websites right in the view of potential customers, online business owners and bloggers take SEO seriously.

Think of SEO as an ongoing competition between all websites and blogs. The better-optimized ones push their way to the top, while the poorly optimized ones remain at low levels – unseen and unknown.

What are keywords?

Keywords are those words and phrases for which you optimize your website in order to get it listed in the results when relevant queries are used.

For instance, an automobile company in Texas, USA, would optimize for keywords such as:

  • cheap cars
  • cheap cars Texas
  • cheap cars in Texas
  • buy cheap cars Texas

Now, if you look at these keywords, they are relevant to the company’s business – automobile sales. And hopefully, whenever an internet user searches Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, using queries containing the listed keywords, the company’s website will be featured in the search engine results. You get it?

Why are keywords relevant to SEO?

Think of keywords as labels or tags that differentiate your website or blog from others. If you’ve optimized your blog for cakes for instance, it will only show up when searches related to cakes are made. But it won’t show up when unrelated searches are made, such as when someone searches for sports news. You get it?

Having websites and blogs optimized for certain keywords helps search engines present the most relevant results when searches are made. In fact, this is the goal of search engines.

Would my website be ranked for any keywords I choose?

Well, no. Your website won’t be ranked for just any keyword. (By “ranked”, I mean ranked in top positions.) The reason is that some keywords are very competitive, ranking your website for them is practically impossible. So, you should only optimize for keywords that attract moderate to low competition, but are used commonly in search queries.

How can I choose the right keywords?

You can find out how competitive or how frequently searched a keyword or keyphrase is using keyword research tools. The most popular of these is the Google Keyword Tool, which is free to use. There are other keyword research tools available, but these aren’t free. Example include Market Samurai and SeCockpit.

What is Long Tail Keywords and why you would want to target long tail keywords?

Having learned the basics of SEO and keyword research as well as how both are related, you need to know how to optimize your website pages or blog posts for your chosen keywords. Find out more about this in the next post.


Your Important Resources


Websites To Find Keywords On:

Free Keyword Tools:

Google Keyword Tool

SEO Quake for Firefox

Google Global for Firefox

Optional Premium Keyword Research Tool For More Accurate Results (Free Trial):

Market Samurai

SeCockpit <- click here for special discount link

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