One thing has remained consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search: keyword research.

Well, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn’t.

How does keyword research work?

In keyword research, people find and analyze search terms they have entered into search engines, in order to analyze these search terms and use them for advertising or SEO. Researching keywords can give you insights into popular queries, ranking difficulty, and more.

What is the importance of keyword research?

Your target audience’s search queries are revealed when you conduct keyword research. These actual search terms can help you with your content strategy and your marketing strategy. However, keywords may not be as important as you think for SEO.

The SEO world has changed a great deal in the last decade, and our ability to rank well for the kinds of searches people do has become less and less dependent on keywords themselves.

This may be true; however, using keywords that match a person’s search is no longer the most important ranking factor in the eyes of SEO professionals. Intent is far more important than a keyword alone, and whether a piece of content solves for that intent (we’ll talk more about intent in a moment).

But that doesn’t mean keyword research is obsolete. Let me explain.

Keyword research reveals what topics people care about, and assuming you use the right SEO tool, you can find out how popular those topics actually are with your audience. 

By researching keywords that are receiving a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and sort your content into topics you want to write about. 

Next, you can use these topics to narrow down which keywords you target and look for.

How Much Should I Pay For a Keyword Report

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can tackle the questions that most people in your audience want answers to.

You can build a keyword report yourself – or find an SEO professional who can take on the work of the research and report preparation for a fee – this fee can be anywhere from $50 to $2500 depending on the complexity of your site and industry as well as how much detail you would like to go into. The report is an essential requirement for new businesses wanting to perform well at SEO.

The right keywords also help with a other forms of content marketing – see blogger outreach best practices as well as email templates