Understanding How Keyword Research Works

Keyword research is one of the very basic, foundational aspects of web content development. It’s also one of the most important and often overlooked techniques that a business owner can employ in order to get “the right kind” of visitors to your website.

Keyword research can also be a useful tool to learn more about your customers. After all – knowing what your customers are searching for is one of the easiest ways to understand the kind of products they want, and exactly how they find them online.

When someone searches for your product or service, they typically do so through the simple act of pulling on a few threads in the great web of the Internet. Your keywords are those threads – so they must be relevant to your content. They should also be specific enough to lead directly to your product or service pages, while general enough so that a random person can find your services, if they so desired.

What Is Keyword Optimization?

Keyword optimization is the art of researching and utilizing keywords that will drive organic traffic to your business’s website, and the specific products featured there. Keyword optimization includes a few essential elements.

The first is keyword density, or the number of times that a keyword or keyword phrase appears on a single webpage. And while there is no specific number that will guarantee success, providing valuable content in an easy-to-read manner will help significantly. Keyword use in tags (such as H1, H2, and H3 tags) versus keyword use directly within your content are equally important on-page SEO elements.

H1, H2, and H3 all denote section headings that positively impact your SEO, provided, of course, that the keywords in use there correlate with the content on the page. Keywords used in H1-3 tags are more highly noted by search engines, because they expect headings to indicate special information about the content.

More Thoughts on Keyword Density

A second key quality of keyword density involves the amount of repetition that occurs on a single page of content. And the quantity of keyword phrases that should appear in a single page or article varies. In order to determine this, first, you want to assemble a list of the number of searches related to each primary keyword. Then, pick the keyword phrases that have actual relevance, and try to go with a “less is more” policy.

While a single page could theoretically be optimized to anywhere from 1 to 10 keyword phrases, depending on the length of the piece and the relevance of those keywords, typically, it’s best to isolate 1-2 main keyword phrases for each page of content, and then to limit the use to a few high priority iterations within an article.

Using keywords in meta data is another very essential element of keyword optimization, because the meta data is the primary way that search engines can lead customers to your site. By using keyword-rich phrases that match what the page content talks about in your meta data, it is easier for search engines to pick up on your HTML tags, keywords, and content.


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Published by Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency. Fiction writer, editor, content development specialist, lover of the written word and more, Byloos has worked in SEO and web development since 2006. He's written about every kind of subject under the sun, for clients both large and small. Together with his partner Carrie Seitzinger, he publishes NAILED Magazine from Portland.

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