What is Keyword Research?

TLDR: Keyword Research is important. I can help.

Talk Your Customer’s Keyword Language

Keyword Research is understanding the relationship between the words you use in your content and the words your potential customers use when searching for products and services.

It’s a broad topic that is often mis-understood.

I also believe it’s the fundamental starting point for any form of Search Engine Optimisation.

Keyword Research & Analysis

The reason I believe that keyword research & analysis is so fundamental is because anything else is just guesswork.

For instance, we can discuss the topic of “garden furniture“. You or I might have a strong opinion about what words people might use when searching online, but what is the truth? Do people search for garden furniture sets, garden chairs, sun loungers or something else?

A factor to keep in mind is that the further down the list you are for a keyword, the more irrelevant you become in that search.

Keyword Research Services

Using some keyword research services will enable you to get accurate statistics about which words might perform for you. It will also help you identify possible opportunities in exploiting your presence on the web. Your efforts are targeted, not random.

This involves being a little smarter. For instance, if you sell “Garden Furniture”, you might think that’s the phrase to go for.

At the time of writing, that search produces 2,270,000,000 results.

That’s 2.27 billion. You probably have more chance of winning the lottery than being number one for that phrase.

Another approach is needed.

Long-Tail Keywords

What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords get their name from being towards the end of the keyword distribution graph.

As you can see on the graph below, the popular terms have a high (but competitive) search volume, whereas towards the tail of the graph, there are alternative phrases which are typically more words and get less searches.

Why on Earth Would I Want Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords might get fewer searches, but they are also less competitive. They are also more specific and can have a more defined intent. This is where you might have a better chance of, literally, carving a niche for yourself.

Let’s be honest, as much as you might want to rank number one for a really short keyword like above, I’m not convinced you could handle 2 billion customers.

The competition for short keywords will be intense, and a factor to keep in mind is that the further down the page you are for a keyword, the more irrelevant you become in that particular search.

Click-Through Rates (C.T.R.)

Keyword Click-Through Rates.

According to Advanced Webranking, in February 2022 (on desktop searches in the UK), the average click-through rate for the number 1 position was 31.62%. For position 10 it was 0.95%.

Of course, these are average stats, but this means that if a keyword has 1000 searches per month, being number 1 might get you 316 clicks. Being number 10 might get you 9.5 clicks.

Being Specific on Keywords.

The answer is to win at something, rather than competing on the most obvious short keyword.

If you’re not on page one for a term, you’re unlikely to see much in the way of traffic. Think of it like this: Would you prefer 20% of a small something or 0% of a massive thing? One is ego. The other is business.

Of course, the best strategy is to go after a mix of both, so that as your online presence grows you can start to own my competitive keywords too.

Do Your (Keyword) Research

Research, Segment and Optimise.

To win at keywords, it’s about choosing your battles. Know all the possibilities. Know all the difficulties. Know where you might win.

The answer is to research all of the keywords (sometimes thousands) that might work for your business.  By building a target list, understanding intent and how to segment them, you’ll have a much better chance of creating content that ranks.

Keyword Intent

Keyword intent is a big deal for Google. It’s about the motivation behind a search. It’s sometimes called semantic search. Let’s say I search the word, “weather”. Do I want a forecast or to know about meteorology? That’s search intent. Also, there are words that demonstrate the searcher to be further down the sales funnel.

Keyword Competitor Research.

There is also the small matter of competition. Your success isn’t just down to what you do. It’s also about what your competitors are doing.

Researching your competitor’s keywords can also show you how and why they’re succeeding.


In almost every aspect of business life, you rely on market research to understand your customer. Keyword research is essentially that but on the web.

Oh, and you probably know this already, but if a company contacts you promising they can guarantee you the number one position on Google, run! They are lying. It’s a snake oil sales tactic.