Search terms in focus: The long and short of keyword research

by | Jan 25, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, plays a huge role in a company’s digital marketing strategy. SEO isn’t an overnight process, and there is a lot that goes into it to ensure positive and high-ranking results. Many people wonder where to begin when it comes to SEO, as there are a lot of components that go into a successful search campaign. Let’s talk about keyword research and its benefits.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research includes analyzing words and phrases that resonate with your target audience or that you think they would be searching for on the internet. Keywords are related to queries, which are asked by users in search engines. If you run a dog training business, some of your keywords might be:

  • Dog trainers near me
  • Dog training company
  • Dog trainer + whatever state your company is in

Ask yourself questions like this when considering what keywords to target:

  • What is my audience searching for?
  • How many people are searching for it?
  • How would they like to receive the information? (Through content, social media, videos, charts, etc.)

A lot of the time finding keywords is obvious, but there is definitely a strategic way to use them.

How to perform keyword research

You might already have an idea of the keywords you would like to rank for, such as any products or services that you want to stand out, so this is a great place to start. You can then plug those keywords into Google’s Free keyword research tool to discover the search volume of each keyword, meaning how many people are searching for that term. Google will generate any related keywords and even questions that you could then implement into your content.

It’s important to note that websites, in general, don’t normally rank for keywords, but pages do. Many websites will receive organic traffic leading to other pages on a website other than the homepage. So, it’s critical to point high-ranking keywords to various pages on your website.

Long tail vs. short tail keywords

When considering keywords, there are a few different types that can trigger searches. Long-tail keywords are 3 or more words and are more specific leading to more targeted searches. Because of how specific these are, you might not bring in as much traffic using them, but the traffic they do bring in is exactly the audience you’re looking for. Some examples of long-tail keywords are:

  • Anxious puppy dog trainers near me
  • Vegan and gluten-free food near me
  • Black designer backpack bag

Short-tail keywords are 3 words or less. These are typically the first 3 words that someone thinks of before searching for what they are interested in on the internet. Examples of short-tail keywords are:

  • Nail salons
  • Pizza delivery
  • Sub shop
  • Dog trainer

Competitor keyword research

You will gather a decent amount of keywords when doing research, and it’s essential to prioritize the right ones. A good place to start is by identifying any competitor keywords that you aren’t currently ranking for. It is also a good idea to consider any high-volume keywords that your competitors aren’t ranking for, this could push you ahead of your competitors and make your site more visible on search engines.

Local keyword research

If you run a local business and are interested in targeting local keywords, then local keyword research can benefit your business. You can narrow down your keywords to cities, towns, and counties relative to your company.

Drive visitors to your website using keyword research

Keyword research is the backbone of any successful SEO campaign, so it’s important to prioritize and maintain strategic keywords throughout your website’s blogs, services pages, and any other relevant pages on your website. It’s also important to reevaluate the keywords you have used and make sure they are still performing well and relevant to your audience. As you gain more power in the search engines, you will be able to add more keywords while maintaining your current ones.

Amanda Filippone
Amanda Filippone is a copywriter for JSMT Media in Keyport, NJ. JSMT Media is a web design company that offers custom Wordpress websites, SEO, and Google Ads management.