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Keyword Research and Its Importance in Internet Marketing

Last Updated: 09-Aug-2013

Use facts not gut feel - keyword research is not only about choosing high frequency keywords to direct traffic to your website but to draw web traffic seeking to buy your products using relevant keywords. SEO and Pay per click campaigns extensively use keyword research for increasing effectiveness of a campaign.
Keyword Research - What is it?
Keyword research involves analyzing and using the historical data of keywords used by web surfers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Internet marketing. Every month about 18 billion searches are carried out by Internet users in US to find products/services, to research them or to purchase them. The key aspect of Internet marketing is keyword research. Selecting and using keywords for a website is an art and a science.
Keyword Research - Why is it important?
It is important that your customers are able to find your website using keywords most relevant to the business or product. Keyword selection is the first step towards successful Internet Marketing. It is also an area where most business people and marketers go wrong. You may encounter situations where you may achieve high search engine rankings but you may not achieve Internet sales, if you select the wrong keywords.
The goal of Internet marketing is not about directing huge traffic to your website but to draw those people who are interested in your products and services. Using keywords that attract your prospective customers will help achieve your marketing objectives even if your traffic is lower. The ultimate aim is to increase your sales and not to attract any web visitors.
Keyword Research - Where to start?
As with traditional marketing, the first step in online marketing is to identify your target audience. Then it is to research the keywords that target audience may most likely query the search engines to locate a site like yours. If you choose a keyword that is not used by the people searching for your product, you won't get much Internet sales.
Keyword Research - Common errors
A common error is to initiate website optimization with a set of "gut-feel" keywords. Many websites often come up with keywords, which look relevant to them but the buyers may not use these keywords to search for their products or services. Often the site owners use trade-specific terms, but the customers most likely use generic terms.
You need to put yourself into the shoes of your customers while choosing the keywords. Today, several companies offer paid services to actually see the number of times a keyword has been used in a given time period. These services remove the guesswork from Internet marketing and make this type of marketing a science rather than an art.
Keyword Research - Its importance in SEO
The most important aspect of any search engine optimization campaign is the one involving keyword selection. A website can only be optimized for a limited number of keywords. Plus, in search engine optimization there is a time lag before an SEO campaign can start generating results after it is implemented. These two aspects make it very important to choose the right keywords as early as possible. No wonder keyword research to identify the best keywords is the first step in any search engine optimization program.
Don't optimize your website for only one keyword. Use different keywords that may most frequently be used by your target audience. Initially, this first set of keywords may require judgment based on awareness of your product and your target audience.
Once the campaign gets underway, web analytics will be able to identify the keywords that are bringing in the most sales. Sometimes, there are a few unanticipated keywords that turn into real "gems." As much as a marketer can use judgment, a continuous monitoring of the campaign is the best way to "discover" good keywords.
You will have a competitive advantage when your target keywords are popular with your customer base and not known to most of your competitors. The more the number of people targeting a particular keyword for SEO, the tougher it becomes to get results. To put it in another way, it may increase your investment and the time required for search engine optimization. A good Internet marketer will be able to find the best keyword opportunities for Search Engine Optimization given a particular budget.
Keyword Research - Its importance in Pay Per Click campaigns:
The advantage of Pay Per Click (PPC) over SEO is that it can target an almost unlimited number of keywords to drive traffic to a website. On the flipside, whenever an unrelated audience clicks on your ad, the cost of that click represents wastage of your marketing budget. In TV advertising, it would be like spending on advertisements at 3 am in the morning when hardly anyone is watching television.
Making sure you are bidding on keywords that your target audience is using to search for your products is critical to the success of a pay per click advertising campaign. Also, over time your competition will be focusing on a few keywords for PPC and driving up the bid for those keywords. At some point of time, the cost of the click is no longer providing a good ROI on your marketing investment.
A good Internet marketer will constantly strive to find new keywords with lower bid price to ensure you are getting the most clicks from the target audience for your PPC investment. One advantage of PPC is that unlike SEO any mistakes can be corrected almost instantaneously. The disadvantage is that the market is fast moving and needs continuous monitoring of keywords.
The advantage of pay per click campaigns is that (after a campaign goes live) continued keyword research along with web analytics can further improve the initial effectiveness of the campaign. Thus, leading to a list of keywords that are most likely to convert a visit into a sale and at cheapest cost. This list of keywords can be key weapon to successfully compete with your competition in the online world.
Keyword Research - Conclusions
Keyword research strategy is not about choosing the most frequently used keywords but to select the most popular keywords used by your target audience to find your product. Poorly performed keyword research increases the cost of your marketing campaign by focusing on keywords which are difficult to optimize for SEO or require high bid price for PPC. Also, a poorly performed keyword analysis can cause wastage of your budget by focusing on irrelevant keywords.
By Marvist Consulting SEO Team
Marvist is an Internet marketing firm providing professional SEO, pay per click management and web analytic services to help companies to increase online sales and improve their profitability. Marvist was founded in 2005 and has been rapidly growing since then and has helped many clients achieve their marketing goals.
*Pay per click (PPC) advertisements are usually text ads placed along with the search results;   when a site visitor clicks on the advertisement, the advertiser is charged a small amount. Pay per   click is also known as Cost Per Click (CPC).
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