Anyone involved with internet marketing or web site design and development must be aware of the necessity of keyword research. A keyword is the word or phrase that an individual types into the search bar in order to find the most relevant web pages. It is possible to have to allocate an hour or more for keyword research, depending upon the depth of keyword research the marketer, designer or developer wants to achieve. It can prove to be a time-consuming and harrowing experience, indeed.

There seems to be no exactly correct way to perform keyword research. Recommendations on how to do keyword research vary immensely, depending upon which “expert” you choose to consult. The primary consideration is what the marketer, designer or developer wants to accomplish with the keyword. Usually, it is for the purpose of search engine optimization (SEO). But again, the best way to achieve keyword SEO is different from so-called pro to so-called pro.

Numerous tools are available that can assist with the keyword research aspect of an internet project. Some of these tools are free of charge, others can cost up to a couple of hundred dollars. Most authorities will admit profuse use of the Google keyword research tool, a free tool available to everyone. The major drawback is that the statistics reflected with the Google tool relate to ad placement and are not necessarily useful to a marketer or site designer. The tool will, however, give the user sufficient information on the number of searches performed for a specific keyword in order that keyword research begins SOMEWHERE.

The Google keyword tool is easy for even a novice to use. The researcher need only type in the niche of his project, a keyword idea or the URL of a specific website. The tool will search Google’s database and provide the results. A good practice is to write down the top ten long-tail keywords that appear, ignoring the competition column. A long-tail keyword is a keyword that consists of 3 or more words (more like a keyword phrase). Then write down the top ten LSI (latent search indexing) keywords. The LSI keywords are the top 10 keywords that appear from the search, regardless of length, in order of relevance. It is a good practice to not only use ONE primary keyword to a density of at least 2%, but to utilize LSI keywords in the content to avoid keyword spamming while accomplishing improved results.

The next step in keyword research is to determine the amount of competition for each of the 10 long-tail keywords that were selected. To accomplish this, the researcher must individually type the keywords into the Google search bar and perform a search of the relevant web pages himself. He should write down the number of competing pages (the total number of results returned from the search) and also make note of the sites that appear on the first page. Since the objective of keyword research is usually to rank on Google’s first page, the page rank of the sites that already appear on page one must be taken into consideration.

The software tools that can be purchased can cut research time dramatically. Most are equipped with complex algorithms that will not only find the most relevant keywords, but also weigh the competition to determine what will be the most profitable keywords – all in a matter of minutes. Though some of these tools may be expensive, the money that can be saved because of the cost of time-spent may make the investment worthwhile, if the marketer, designer or developer has the intention of performing keyword research on a regular basis.

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