The Theory Behind Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in the search engine marketing field. Through the detective work of dissecting your market’s keyword demand, you learn not only which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also more about your customers as a whole.

With keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that web searchers are already actively seeking. In the history of marketing, there has never been such a low barrier to entry in understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually every niche.

Every search phrase that’s typed into an engine is recorded in one way or another, and keyword research tools such as the ones we discuss in this chapter allow you to retrieve this information. However, those tools cannot show you (directly) how valuable or important it might be to rank for and receive traffic from those searches. To understand the value of a keyword, you need to research further, make some hypotheses, test, and iterate—the classic web marketing formula. This chapter seeks to expose the details of this process and the tools that can best assist.

Understanding the Long Tail of the Keyword Demand Curve

It is wonderful to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches per day, or even 500 searches per day, but in reality these “popular” search terms actually comprise less than 30% of the overall searches ...

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