is the study of the search queries that are most beneficial for a given business to rank for on search engine results pages.(“Rank for” means that when someone searches for a given phrase in Google, your website is the first result a user sees.)
Keyword research takes into account the amount of times people search for a keyword or phrase, the amount of competition vying for the top rankings, and the relevance to the keyphaase to the business.
For example, Alex’s Pizzeria wants to find out which search terms would help them sell the most pizzas. They start off by compiling some basic ideas: pizza, pizza delivery, chicago pizza.
Once this preliminary keyword research is complete, the terms that have been compiled can be researched using a number of tools, one of my favorites being the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Once you input the keyphrases you’ve compiled, the tools will help provide you with an understanding of the amount of traffic a given phrase gets and a general understanding of how much competition there is.
Over the course of their keyword research, Alex’s Pizzeria finds out that though there are 246,000 searches for “Chicago Pizza” there are also 98,000,000 results for this phrase. As Alex’s Pizzeria only delivers within a 5-mile radius, there are even fewer searches of those 246,000 that are likely to be sales for their Michigan Avenue shop.
In this example, a term that is more geographically relevant would be the way to go, since most of the business of the pizzeria is walk in traffic. A term like “Michigan Avenue Pizza” would be a great one, since it is geographically relevant to the company.