Keyword research is important for SEO for many reasons:
If you don’t know the actual search phrases people are using in Google, you risk in optimizing your website for the wrong keywords.
Without analyzing the potential of a keyword, you don’t know if it’s a keyword you want to rank for.
Without doing research you cannot know for which keywords you can actual rank for and you might be targeting keywords you will never be able to rank well.
Keyword research will help you understand your industry and identify your true competitors.
Keyword research will give you a list of keywords to monitor their rankings and evaluate your SEO performance.
With keyword research you get to know the size of your potential audience, a metric useful in setting marketing goals and creating growth plans.
Different types of SEO keywords
When doing keyword research, you’ll come across different definitions like ‘seed keywords’, ‘focus keywords’, ‘long-tail keywords’. It will be less confusing to know about the different types of keywords before starting your research.
Seed Keywords – Also known as head, focus or main keywords, are usually one or two words search phrases that have a high search volume. These keywords are also highly competitive with hundreds of websites competing for one of the top spots in the SERPS.
Here are some examples of seed keywords: ‘SEO’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Online Marketing’, ‘diet’.
Synonyms or closely related keywords – These are keywords closely related to each other. It’s keywords that have the same meaning but written differently.
Here are some examples: ‘how to replace a light bulb’, ‘how to fix a light bulb’, ‘how to change a light bulb’.
Long tail keywords – Are search phrases consisting of 3 or more words. They have less search volume compared to head keywords but their intent is more specific.
Here are some examples of long tail keywords: ‘What is SEO’, ‘How to become an SEO Expert’.
Semantically related keywords – also known as LSI keywords, are keywords that are related to each other conceptually.
For example, for the search phrase ‘keyword research’, some semantically related keywords are ‘search volume’, ‘keyword analysis’, ’google keyword tool’.