What is Keyword Research? And why does it matter for SEO?

Digital Marketing

Keyword research Definition

Keyword research is an important part of content marketing for SEO because it will help you understand the words and phrases your customers are typing into Google in order to find answers to their problems.

While good content will always get found online, solid keyword research and an SEO architecture built around your content strategy will make it much easier for Google to crawl and rank your content in search, and for people to find you.

Why is keyword research important?

Keyword Research is the foundation of any content marketing or SEO content strategy and is the strongest way to gauge what your customers are looking for. Keyword research is needed to optimise your content for potential customers so that they are more likely to visit your website and therefore convert on your website.

Not only does keyword research assist you in tailoring your content marketing to suit your customers’ searches, but also allows you to understand the market that your local business operates in.

Keyword research lets you identify the search volume of particular phrases, as well as how competitive the market is for particular key phrases. In turn, you can adapt content and target certain words and phrases in different periods ensuring your Local SEO is better than your competition.

For example, if you’re a smaller company looking to compete with bigger competition. Keyword research can show you opportunities to rank for particular phrases that customers are using, so you can compete against bigger competition.

The aim of every E-commerce business is to gain more conversions and to do so, the more people seeing your product the better.

There are varying SEO methods that increase the number of visitors to your website including PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing. All of these avenues begin with keyword research, supporting its necessity if looking to make more sales for your online E-commerce business.

What is search intent?

On thing to keep in mind when it comes to SEO and keyword research, is search intent.

Search intent is basically the intent your prospect or customer has when putting a particular word or phrase into Google. Understanding search intent can help guide your content creation by targeting keywords and phrases with less competition, but with higher chances of conversion.

Short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords are those typically searches involving one, maybe two, words.

“Running shoes” is a typical example of a short-tail keyword used in search.

What you have to consider is that this is a pretty broad search term. Yes, it will have a high search volume, but the competition will be huge and unless you have the website authority of a Nike or Adidas, chances are you’ll struggle to rank for this term.

Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are searches typically involving four or more words, “best women’s running shoes for marathons” for example.

While these searches normally have far less search volume than short-tail keywords, they usually have much less competition, and (importantly for an E-commerce business in particular, much higher conversion rates).

This is because someone searching for something more specific is more likely further down the buyers journey, and closer to being ready to make a purchase.


There are typically three types of search to be aware of:

  • Transactional (buy, subscribe etc)
  • Informational (how to etc)
  • Navigational (log in)


By mapping search intent, the customer journey and your SEO content strategy together you can make sure you are creating content to match your prospects’ needs and create content you’ll need to keep pushing your leads through the buyer journey.


Keyword research is just one part of your overall SEO content strategy. To see how it fits into the wider picture, click here

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