I understand what the concept of keyword research is - looking up profitable keywords and search trends, writing a blog post or page about it and then ranking #1 for the SERPS. However is this really needed? Can't you just anticipate what people search for and then write content accordingly?
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Well i guess the net is a lot like the stock market,if you have been around for like 100 years and know what people think and need at each moment...like Big Brother ups i mean Google then you dont have to do research,but if you are a mere mortal like the rest of us around here...then its probably a good idea to do research
it is hard to gamble on keywords just by guessing. You are going to optimize it for a long time then at the end you;ll realize, "oh, this is not the right keyword blah blah...." what a waste of time.
You must know the real figures before you start your optimization routines...
In this post, I listed a variety of ways to utilize SEO to gain traffic for your website or blog.
This is the top of my list: 1. Keyword Research
To help stress the importance, I wrote a tutorial on How to Choose the Right SEO Keywords
As Will mentioned above, just taking a guess on popular keywords is difficult. Plus, you don't know, unless you're omniscient, how many searches a keyword gets, whether or not it's worth covering, if more people are searching for your desired keyword, or a slight variation, etc.
Let's say for example you want to write about dog toys. That's fantastic, but good luck simply targeting 'dog toys' -- You'll need to do heavy keyword research to identify several other less-competitive, high volume, long-tail keywords to work with instead. This is the best way to make a profitable site.
Not to long ago I won the first netbuilders contest, the post inquestion can be found on my blog Keywords – Think Outside the Box | Making Money Blogging - Blog Stew
Kritical Keywords - Think Outside the Box
It pretty much outlines how you can determine the next major keyword buz by keeping ontop of current events for example. You still need to do research that much is Kritical
Agree that you have to do some serious research before starting a new blogging venture.
However, when it comes to domaining as well, sometimes I'd like to take a little gamble. For instance, yesterday I was reading a business magazine article about how 'Bedside Terminals' (a multimedia system for hospital clients) are becoming popular here in my country. The plural .com was taken but I didn't have to think long to decide to register the singular even though the keywords have low search volumes at the moment.
Kovich (5 April, 2010)
Keyword research is the most important SEO task. You need to know what you want. Focus your potential customers and think from their perspective. Keyword research has to be done accurately. It helps you improve your page rank and web traffic.
You can of course use your social media outlets to get an idea what people might be interested in. If you are highly social, you might actually find out some keywords no tool will suggest you.
I personally have noticed through Twitter that the quickest conversion I have received from terms not even including my main keyterms, but something so targeted, that there was virtually no competition and everyone who typed in it seemed to want to register with us immediately.
You can still get great traffic if you think outside the box and test before you target.
Since Google is not that advanced with social signals, it is an opportunity for you to get an edge before they catch on and make it harder for you to advance with the terms that your competition doesn't understand potential clients may use to find you.
I am also a writer for Serpholic Media. You can find some of my articles here: Serpholic Media Blog
Through using keyword-suggestion tools, you will be able to find the relevant terms and then can begin optimizing your contents and also building new links. The main issue is finding the top terms that are used by real customers, are not very competitive and can convert well.
Choosing long-tail keywords is a good strategy, especially for the newly launched websites. They usually are less competitive than very short phrases, then you need to write contents to cover those terms, produce contents in a natural way, that are user friendly also.