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Here’s What You Need to Know About SEO Keyword Research

So, you’re interested in starting a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign and want to know more about SEO keyword research. How can you find out what search keywords will be most effective for SEO and PPC advertising? What’s the difference between SEO and PPC?

keyword research

The difference between SEO and PPC lies in the distinction between organic and paid traffic. To find effective keywords for your SEM campaigns, you’re going to need to learn about SEO keyword research for driving traffic and advertising. Find out how to come up with the right search keywords and how to use SEO and PPC to drive traffic to your website.

How Are SEO and PPC Advertising Different?

SEO is the art and science of using search keywords to boost your website in search engine rankings. If you have good SEO, when a potential customer searches for a keyword relevant to your products or services, your website will appear in the first five search returns for that keyword. That’s where most websites get the bulk of their search traffic.

This traffic is known as organic traffic, because it happens naturally. It’s not something you can pay for — no amount of money will get your website into the top of the search rankings for its relevant keywords. Only strong SEO can do that. If you’ve got good SEO, you’ll see a consistent flow of traffic from search returns, but it may not translate to a high conversion rate.

PPC advertising is a service that you pay for — that’s why they call it “pay per click.” PPC results appear as a series of sponsored links at the top of and in the right sidebar of a search results page. If you quit paying for PPC ads, you’ll quit getting traffic from them, but you could get much better conversion rates from these returns than from organic traffic. People who click on PPC ads usually intend to buy the product or service they’ve searched for.

How Do You Decide What Keywords to Use?

A quality SEM campaign uses both SEO and PPC to increase brand awareness while boosting sales. You’ll use the same keywords for both, but you’re going to need to do keyword research first to find the best ones.

Start by brainstorming some keywords that your potential customers might use to find your products and services online. Forget about the words you think your customers ought to use, or the words you would like them to use. Think about the search terms your customers will really use. How would a customer describe your product or service if he or she was looking for your business online? Don’t forget to add seasonal or local modifiers, like “holiday sales” or “Ashland, Oregon.” Include any other modifiers that apply, like “free” or “buy one get one.”

Once you’ve brainstormed a list, find a keyword tool. Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a popular free option, but there are many paid services too. You need a keyword tool to search for relevant keywords that will get you a decent amount of traffic. A keyword tool gives you insight into the search terms your customer base actually uses and how popular they are. Try to find keywords that are as specific as possible to the services or products you provide while still remaining attractive to a fairly high level of traffic. Look at local monthly searches to find out what the people in your area — your potential customers — are searching for.

Search the Terms

Once you’ve chosen some keywords, search them to make sure they’re the right terms to lead customers to what you’re selling. It might seem like a search term is relevant to your business, but you’ll never know for sure until you plug it into a search engine and see what comes back. Discard any keywords that provide irrelevant results — they won’t get you anywhere.

SEO keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEM campaign. You’ll need high-performing keywords for both your PPC advertisements and your website’s SEO. When you learn how to do keyword research the right way, you’ll find that your SEM campaigns meet with more success.

About the Author: Contributing blogger Lorie Marvin has been working in content and media management since 2002.


  1. Jamar Schlotzhauer

    if anybody who is experienced in SEO, then can you please give me some tips to get good links, or some other tips to make my site come up!! Or any good mail format for sending request for getting links… please i really need all seo’s solution who ever read this… I m doing free directories, bookmark, blogs… other than this..

  2. i know some seo tips. but howmay tips of SEO? is this field is good?

  3. Should you add a lot of key phrases will the internet search engine decrease your site’s ranking?

  4. Ive heard the greater the greater, however i also heard people just state that which means you make use of a LOT then you definitely get bad search engine optimization (helping them). Studies have proven me to think 3-5 words for primary page, the other good keyword for one another page. Help

  5. Im carrying out a research study for Search engine optimization and keyword positions. I’ve dedciated the website to South African Airways. Are you aware if your website like YAHOO Solutions and posting an issue here have influence by yourself website? Whenever you publish an issue here now you ask , indexed and put into the SERP quite rapidly ( Ive had an hour positions). What I wish to determine if anybody knows in the event that ultimately come with an influence in your web site using the similar keyword ie SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS?? Even though you are permitted a hyperlink in YAHOO Solutions for your domain, I am unable to find any record of this getting any effect whatsoever?? Help and suggestions GREATLY received and APRECIATED.

  6. No Spammy Search engine optimization please.

    I’m looking for an response to what goes on if all key phrases on the planet would go out and there’s only competition left. Could it be even feasible for all niches to become full of competition at the same time? Quite simply, later on, wouldn’t there be only competition because all of the key phrases are adopted? Would everybody stop marketing then? Hmmmm… so how exactly does all of this work?

    I’m also still trying to puzzle out precisely what I’m said to be searching for when looking for key phrases.

    I made use of google’s Keyword Planner to create related keyword ideas concerning the subject of “weight reductionInch

    They’ve the “competition” and “avg monthly searches”, and “recommended bid”. “Ad impr. share” – I’ve not seen anything with this, it stays at constantly.

    I Quickly type most key phrases in the search engines and obtain leads to the millions. Does which means that that individuals key phrases aren’t worthwhile? I attempted using “allintitle:” and also the quotes around most of the key phrases, but many of them still were built with a large number of results.

    I purchased Market Samarai a couple of days ago, and i’m using both Google Keyword Planner and Market Samarai for market and keyword research. Certainly one of my books recommended while using SEOTC and SEOT like a valid indicator of the good keyword. I additionally installed Search engine optimization for Chrome and Search engine optimization for Opera right now to discover the PageRank for that top links. Certainly one of my books explained to automate Y! Links, PR, and Alexa Ratings – but there is no Y! Links with Search engine optimization Opera. There is only PR and Alexa, and a lot of others.

    I am reading through Mike Omar’s book “How to earn money Online -learn how to earn money at home with my step-by-step intend to develop a $5000 monthly passive earnings website portfolio (of 10… each)”. He states that the PageRank of greater than 4 isn’t worth competing for. Searching in the search engine results, I observe that those sites using the pr aren’t so as. Such as the first lead to Google includes a PR of four and also the second link includes a PR of 5. Should not all of them maintain order?

    I am confused….

  7. Trenton Tibolla

    assist with tools, techniques and statistics would really be greatly appreciated!

    thanks to any or all

  8. what’s the best search engine optimization software to advertise my sites

  9. I wish to obtain the details about my websitea s along with my competetor websites regarding top key phrases. i believed how do i have this data? i would like an internet application with this so api will be a better option, which to make use of adwords pr statistics?

    in adwords i have to send my qualifications in each and every request and so i just question how do i get my competetor qualifications to do this? Any suggestions here?

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