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FREE online SEO course: Keyword Research 


8 lessons


What is Keyword Research?

Hey, I'm Greg Gifford. In this lesson, the first in the keyword research course, we're going to be talking about what keyword research is - and why it's important.

Keyword research is arguably one of the most important elements of SEO. Without keyword research, your entire SEO effort is effectively stumbling around in the dark.

For those of you who are super new to SEO, keyword research is the process of… researching keywords! BOOM! Thanks for watching this lesson…

I'm kidding. Seriously though, keyword research is the process of discovering the keyword phrases related to your business that users type into search engines.

In other words, it's figuring out how people will potentially find you online.

Why is Keyword Research Important?

Your entire SEO strategy grows from the foundation of solid keyword research. You can't write relevant content if you don't know the phrases that people will use to discover it – or the phrases that Google associates with worthy content. You can't optimize your pages without knowing which phrases you should optimize for.

In the early days of SEO, when Google's algorithm matched keywords entered in the search phrase to the same keywords on a web page, it was infinitely more important to create content that included exact match phrases.

Now that Google's algorithm has evolved to entity-based search, you don't have to worry about exactly matching search phrases – instead, you need to match the intent behind the search – the main concept of what the searcher is looking for.

Which means, of course, when you're doing your keyword research, it's not just about finding the words people use to find a business like yours – it's figuring out the intent that searchers have when looking for you.

The Importance of Finding the Right Keywords

Keyword research helps you to understand the concepts that resonate with potential visitors – the things they're looking for and the things they care about. Keyword phrases are scored based on popularity – there might be a hundred ways to search for the widget you sell, but there will be two or three phrases that are used far more often than the others.

Once you've done your research, compiled your list of keywords, and ranked them in order of importance or popularity, you know exactly how to create content that will resonate with your potential users – and that's also seen as relevant by Google's algorithm.

So, basically, you're doing keyword research to find out what your audience is looking for.

Keyword Research: Lesson Summary

So that's it for lesson 1 of the Keyword Research course, we hope you learned something awesome. If you've got any questions, feel free to tweet them to me directly at @greggifford or the awesome team of pros over at the SEMrush Academy at @semrushacademy.

Don't forget to check out the next lesson, and when you think you're ready, head over to the SEMrush Academy page and take the test for this course so you can get officially SEMrush certified.