Understanding Keyword Research: The Foundation of Successful SEO

Understanding Keyword Research

Keyword research also includes sorting search queries into the different stages of a user’s journey and the different types of searches, such as transactional, navigational, and informational. Over time, keyword research has changed, but now it focuses on search intent, a user’s primary goal when they type a term into a search engine. In advanced keyword research, keywords are organized by the steps of the user journey and the sales funnel. When users do good keyword study, they can find exactly what they need, no matter where they are in the buying process.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research gives you essential information about the questions, problems, and answers that your target audience seeks. This analysis should be the starting point for all of your SEO work and help you plan your content and organic tactics. The first step to good SEO is to study to find the right keywords to focus on. You can get organic traffic that looks like your ideal customer by improving your website and making content for the right keywords. Some of those people will be ready to buy because keyword research helped your site rank higher for their searches and showed them that your site best met their needs. This process made them more likely to click through to your site. SEO is essential in marketing because it helps get your site to the right people.

Good keyword research is the basis for how a business can reach its audience and possible customers. Getting this helps you figure out what a good SEO plan is. Before making a business plan, you must know who you’re selling to and what they want.

  • What do they want?
  • What do they need?
  • What is the solution to their problem?

Keyword study is also essential for SEO because it can show you where the opportunities are by showing you what your audience is looking for. This will help you find new business areas and decide where to put your time and money first.

Two Types of Keywords

  • Short-Tail Keywords: Short-tail keywords are search terms with one to three short and general words.

Most of the time, more people look for short-tail keywords than long-tail ones, meaning they get more website visitors. Even though head terms can bring in a lot of traffic, it’s not always the best traffic because it’s a general search that may not meet the user’s needs for your product or service. This can lead to low conversion rates and a higher rate of people leaving your site without buying anything. Short-tail keywords are also much more competitive, which makes it harder to rank for them, especially if your site has a low domain reputation. 

Example: “SEO tips” or “digital marketing.”

  • Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and longer search phrases, usually containing four or more words.

Example: “Best SEO tips for small businesses” or “Digital marketing strategies for e-commerce websites.”

How To Do Basic Keyword Research?

You now know why keyword research is essential, but how do you start? Good keyword research aims to find the best keywords that will help improve your SEO score and make it easier for your target audience to find your site. In turn, more people who visit your website will already be interested in what your business offers. Because of this, you’ll get more people to visit your website, which will help your business grow naturally.

Brainstorm Potential Keywords

No one knows more about your business than you do. You can come up with many good search ideas on your own. Just put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What would they look for to buy your goods or use your services?  For example, if you own a massage salon in Austin, Texas, the following search terms might be used by possible customers:

“massage salon in Austin, TX”
“Thai massage in Austin”
“best massage salon near me”

These keywords show people are interested in your goods, services, or professional knowledge. Using these keywords on your website and ensuring it is optimized for these topics will automatically draw customers to your website. Once they’re there, you can tell them about your service and try to get them to make an appointment. 

Competitor Keyword Targeting

You can also look at your competitor’s sites to see what keywords they use to describe goods and services that are similar to yours. Checking out your rivals can be a great way to come up with ideas you never would have thought of on your own, and it can also help you with the rest of your keyword research.

Compile Lists of Keywords

When you have your essential list, the next step is to add more keywords to it to make a longer list. So the terms you thought of in step one might be short and general, like “bike shops.” But if you think about it, there could be thousands or even tens of thousands of businesses trying to rank for that exact keyword, and as a small business, you likely need more time to rank in the top 10.

So, in this step of the keyword research process, you want to find longer, more specific keywords that show that a person is looking for the parts you sell or a bike shop near you. You can use Google’s suggested searches, but this method can take a lot of time because it has to be done by hand. Because of this, we often tell people to use a tool for topic research.

Use Keyword Research Tools

One factor that makes keyword research easy and precise is using tools like ahrefs and semrush. They are built not just for website auditing but also for keyword research. Learning these tools may take some time, but it is all worth it as it will save you time and effort. For instance, a term that gets a lot of searches is often seen as a lot more competitive. But how can you be sure that your rivals are ranking for these terms? Keyword Research tools will help you understand more about the keyword and what it relates to.


In conclusion, keyword research is an essential part of SEO. It involves finding words and sentences that match people’s needs so that websites can give the best answers. By knowing what keywords people use to search, companies can make their content and strategies more likely to bring in traffic from search engines. The number of searches for short-tail keywords is more significant, but long-tail keywords are more specific and bring in better traffic. By investing in keyword research, companies can improve their website, make it more visible, and grow sustainably. In the end, keyword study is the most essential part of SEO.

Learn More