The Importance of Keyword Research for Link Building:



Last week I began the exciting process of developing a brand new SEO campaign for a new client. For this particular client the focus of my attention will be mostly on off – page SEO processes, mainly in the form of Link Building. In today’s post I will take you through a quick introduction into the process of Keyword Research and cover some of the reasons why this process is is so vital to a Link Building Campaign.

You should never underestimate just how important the process of conducting keyword research is when it comes to embarking on any SEO link building campaign. The concept of keyword research is similar to building a house whereby first and foremost you have to ensure there is a solid structure and foundation in place before proceeding to build your walls, ceilings and your roof etc.


If you conduct a very well-executed keyword research and analysis process, the foundation for a successful link building campaign will have been laid bare. On the other hand if you put little or no thought and planning into this crucial process nine times out of ten you will end up wasting precious hours days weeks and months implementing the rest of your link building strategy.


Choosing the right keywords for your campaign is not as easy as just plucking the first couple of words that come into your head. A lot more planning and preparation is required when it comes to selecting the best possible keywords to drive traffic to your website.

The process of keyword research is required to investigate further which keywords are the most attractive, the most targeted and the most relevant words and phrases that people are searching on in their attempt to find your product or service. Getting this right will have a huge impact on the volume of traffic you will receive to your website as a result of the ongoing link building you are engaging in.

In order to conduct proper keyword research and analysis you should follow the following systematic approach:


Develop a Comprehensive List of Keywords:

Some good techniques to use when developing your initial list could include brainstorming with colleagues / clients, paying close attention to the terminology they use to describe their business product and service. Use singular, plural, location variants e.g. legal service, legal services, legal services Dublin.

Use a combination of keyword research tools such as Google’s keyword research tool, Google Traffic Estimator, Kewords Analyzer,and or WordTracker.

How much is enough? 50 – 100 – 200 words and phrases? When developing your initial list you shouldn’t limit yourself too much. You want to be able to analyse a good broad scope of keywords at first and then be able to separate the wheat from the chaff later. Once you have compiled what you feel is a fairly comprehensive keyword list the next step will be to refine that list.


Refining Your Keyword List

This can be done by selecting the most relevant keywords for your service or product. Choosing keywords that are not relevant is a criminal mistake and this type of action will always lead to a poor conversion rate. For example it would be a major mistake to optimise for “Business Legal Services” when the company in questions core service caters for Family Legal Services. So with this you need to strike “Business Legal Services” from your list as well as all the other non relevant keywords as you continue to refine your list.

Using your keyword research tools start eliminating the keywords on the list that people are simply not searching for i.e. the ones that have extremely low search volume, (the chaff).

Analyse how competitive the remaining keywords are on your list. You can do this by using the various keyword tools coupled with some back-link analysis on the top 10 or 20 websites for the given keywords that you suspect are genuine contenders to make-up your final selection. You can also gage your current position and estimate how strong your competitive back-links are by using such tools as Google Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO.


Final Selection

When it comes to choosing your final keywords and phrases fit is really important to select the ones that are the right fit in terms of your Link Building goals. Knowing just how difficult or competitive a keyword your going to target is important as you can then adjust your optimizing efforts accordingly.

One of the best strategies to use if you are starting an SEO campaign for the first time is to select the longer tail keywords first. Theses are the ones that typically have 3-5 words contained in a phrase. Focus at becoming the dominant force in the market for theses keywords first before moving onto subsequent Link Building Campaigns which focus on narrower more competitive keywords i.e. 1-2 & 2-3 keyword phrases. You need to learn to crawl before you walk and learn to walk before you run. In general the same principal should apply to your SEO and Link Building efforts.

Also another important factor to keep in mind is that keyword research is never a fully completed process. Just like there are changes in demand for a traditional product or service so there are too for keywords and key phrases. The phrases and terms that people are entering into a search engine are constantly evolving. A continuous keyword research process will enable us to keep up with those ever changing trends.

In my next article I will talk more in depth about some common mistakes that people make with their keyword selections.

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  1. Carrieann says:

    Well I guess I don’t have to spend the weekend figuinrg this one out!

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