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How Keyword Research Drives Search Engine Optimization Success

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In a recent article I outlined 8 steps to managing the chaos of a digital world focused on instant gratification.  The article set the stage for building your digital marketing services and strategy to combat the reality we face as marketers.  Building off that message I've outlined how to build your initial strategy and create a fantastic website that serves visitors.  Assuming these pieces are beginning to come together, it's time to explore optimizing for search engines.

If you want to effectively optimize your website for search results you have to target the right keyword phrases.  How do you know which ones to go after?  You do the research.  You want to evaluate a broad spectrum of potential terms and analyze them based on relevance to your offering, competitiveness, and monthly traffic volume.  If you target the wrong words you may waste tens of thousands of dollars chasing a dream that may never come true.  To help you avoid this pitfall we're going to get you off on the right foot by teaching you how to do the research and form your own SEO strategy.  


5.9 million searches on Google every day -Rick Bates via Main Broadcast Coalition


How To Research And Target The Right Keywords

You may understand that you need to rank well on Google and other search engines but you’re not sure how, or for what you need to rank for. That’s where research comes into play, you need to apply analytics to your services to see which keywords you need to compete for.

Many keywords are simply too broad and competitive to warrant your efforts. Similarly, keywords that you may be able to rank for quickly and efficiently may have no real value if there isn’t enough traffic. The solution is to figure out which words have traffic, are specific enough to drive truly relevant traffic, and design a campaign that focuses on the keywords you can drive ranking for as
effectively as possible.


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For your research we recommend using Google AdWords. Google has created a research tool to help formulate Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns. While their intent is to get you to pay for the words you want to compete for to buy your way to the top, the reality is their research tool is free. Simply go to and sign up for an account or login. From there you’ll see KEYWORD PLANNER from the green TOOLS tab drop down. You’ll see something like this:


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Understanding How Search Engines Work

It’s important to understand that search engines are nothing more than digital robots, they work off of algorithms designed to crawl, evaluate, and index millions of websites against search terms. Their goal is simple really, they want to provide the absolute best results to the people searching for things on the internet, their customers are your potential customers after all.  If you want these robots to aid your digital marketing strategy you need to make them understand what quesstions your content has valuable in answering. 


 17.8 billion explicit core searches were conducted last September - comScore

With the proper keywords now strategically optimized on every page of your website you’ll tell Google what you do, that you’re serious about it, and that you’re a better option for their indexing than you were before. This means you’ll start to crawl up the rankings, moving from irrelevance to relevance with every new piece of content you add.

If you’d like help organizing your keyword strategy we’ve built an introductory guide to SEO, you should check out.


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