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What is Keyword Research in SEO?

What is keyword research in SEO?
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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Everyone wants better search rankings, right?

But getting better search rankings for the wrong keywords is worthless! It’s a big waste of time, effort and resources.

In this Search Engine Optimization Frequently Asked Questions (SEO FAQs) video blog, I address the question, What is keyword research in SEO?

(The article below is a summary of the video, but you’ll get more details and examples if you watch the video.)

What is Keyword Research in SEO?

Many people think they know what keywords they want to rank better for in the search engines. However, more often than not, those assumptions are way off the mark. The last thing you want to do is invest your valuable time, energy, and resources into optimizing a website for the wrong keywords.

So, let’s explore what keyword research entails and how it can help you avoid such pitfalls.

1. Popularity: Our first stop on the keyword research journey is to gauge popularity. After all, there’s no point in targeting a keyword that no one is searching for, right? Assess the number of monthly searches for each keyword under consideration, and factor that into the decision-making process.

2. Competition or Difficulty: The next factor to scrutinize is competition or keyword difficulty. If there’s fierce competition for a keyword, especially from websites with high authority and loads of backlinks, it will be impossible to get into the top 10. It’s like trying to win a race against Usain Bolt when you’ve just learned to walk.

3. Relevance: Of course, it’s essential that the keywords you choose are highly relevant to your organization and its objectives. After all, what’s the point of ranking for keywords that don’t align with who you are and what you do?

4. Authority: The next think to consider is the current authority of your website, which is mostly determine by links. This is closely related to #2 Competition, because you need to know how the authority of your website compares to the authority of the websites already ranking in the top 10. If they authority of your website is much lower than your competitors, then it’s better to target other keywords for now while also building the authority of your website so it can rank for more competitive keywords down the road.

5. Current Rankings: Last but not least, a website’s current rankings can give a good idea of what keywords to target . If a website is hovering just outside the top ten for a specific keyword, it might not take much to push it into the coveted top ten. And if a site is already in the top 10, getting it to #1 could result in a dramatic increase in visitors.

So, there you have it… 5 things to consider when doing SEO keyword research.

The bottom line is…

Keyword research is the compass pointing your SEO in the right direction. -Paul Steinbrueck

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Keyword research is one of the first things we do when onboarding a new SEO client.  Gotta make sure they’re headed in the right direction. 🙂

If you’d like to discuss church SEO or Christian SEO for your business, school or ministry, with one of our SEO experts, fill out the consultation request form below.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.