SEO How-to, Part 4: Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of analyzing the search-engine queries of real people. That data — a window into the desires of searchers — is a gold mine for search engine optimization.

This post is the fourth installment in my “SEO How-to” series. “Part 1: Why Use It?” addresses the importance of search engine optimization to ecommerce. “Part 2: Understanding Search Engines” covers the basics of how search engines function. “Part 3: Strategy and Planning” explains how to set up your SEO program for success.

Keyword research is the SEO foundation for all of the content on your site. We can mine keyword data and then analyze it to understand how to fulfill searchers’ needs.

Keyword data consists of a word and a number. The example below, from Google Keyword Planner, shows how many times per month people search for keywords that are related to “book store.” The data pairs a specific word or phrase (such as “book store near me”) with a number (“301,000”), showing the average number of monthly U.S. searches in the last year.

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