Keyword research is a very important part of building a high traffic website. You should always write for the human reader, but you need to be picky about how you choose your words or you will end up getting little or no organic traffic. Some people never do research while others research every topic in-depth. I am going to list the advantages and disadvantages of both. I personally prefer to do my keyword research, but that doesn’t mean that I always have the time to do so.
Lets say you are going to spend every bit of 3 hours writing a post for your blog. You write a draft then do some editing etc. Once you feel your article is internet ready then you publish. How much time did you spend on your title? If you just jotted down words so that it has a title you may have wasted all of your time writing the article.
What happens is that major search engines like Google are going to refer back to you title to see what it is your article is about. This will be the most relevant terms for the search engine to index your article by. Remember some terms are harder than others to rank for. If you wanted to make your title “search engines” you will have a hard time getting that article to rank on the first page. There needs to be a balance between a relevant title and something you can rank for.
If your site is newer let’s say less than a year old and lower than a pagerank 2, you need to be targeting long tail keywords. If your site is an older more authoritative site then you can start to target the more competitive terms. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Anyways back onto the topic of effective keyword research. If you wrote an article about search engines and titled it search engines you probably would rank on page 10+. After the second page you really don’t see much traffic no matter what you term is. Even though your article is about search engines you still want to write a title that will bring you in some traffic. An example would be “Ways To Use Search Engines To Find What You Want” the longer and more descriptive the title the better. But how do you know what titles are low competition and at least some traffic? The answer is keyword research.
The first title would have got you almost no traffic at all. The second title may not have as much as if you ranked on the first page for search engines, but it would have you on the first page for some of those terms bringing in a constant 10 people per day. Even though 10 people per day isn’t much it will build from there.
To do the keyword research you need some tools. My favorite free tool is Google keyword tool. Whats you are looking for is terms with some traffic and low competition. Think of creative ways to re title your articles so that they would be exactly what people are typing into search. Remember to think outside the box but still stay relevant to the article. Spend at least 10 minutes per title and watch your traffic grow. Good Luck!