SEO is a somewhat complex topic to a lot of people. It involves a lot of moving parts, and some aspects of SEO are completely out of your control. With that being said, choosing your keywords is something that you have full control over. Your choice of keywords is a determinant of your ranking success for a variety of reasons, including competition and intent.
Choosing your keywords will depend on what you find when you do keyword research. The importance of keyword research cannot be understated, because without it, you’re likely to find yourself focusing on keywords that won’t help you get traffic.
The Importance of Keyword Research
It’s needed to find the most relevant people
Helps you find people with the right intent
First comes relevance, then comes intent. When they’re searching for a given keyword, what do they likely want to do? Keywords can sometimes indicate what a person plans to do with the information they get from your site. There’s a difference between someone looking for “pad thai recipe” and “pad thai near me”. Although both of them may be hungry for pad thai, only one of them is looking to order some (either now or later).
Keyword research allows you to take a look at the various keywords and assess the intent behind them. From there, you can decide which pages should be optimized for which keyword. Blog articles, for example, should be focused on keywords that don’t have buying intent. Instead, they should be focused on keywords with intent to learn.
Helps you figure out what it will take to rank for certain keywords
Keyword research doesn’t just mean making a list of possible relevant keywords. It also means assessing how you currently rank for them, the amount of traffic they get, and who is currently ranking for them. Some keywords are more competitive than others, meaning that more businesses are trying to rank for them.
Because of this, more effort needs to be taken to rank for highly competitive keywords. It won’t be as simple as optimizing a page for SEO: you’ll need to put concerted effort toward building links and gaining authority.