Most business owners and marketers recognize the value of search engine optimization when it comes to growing their business and expanding their reach. If you want to use SEO to take your bottom line to new heights, setting a solid foundation is vital. You must discover the right keywords if you wish to succeed over the long run. Start by looking for keywords that indicate buyer intent so that you don’t waste your time on terms that won’t convert. You will then research the search volume and competitiveness of each term before taking action, and doing so can provide you with impressive results.

Your prospects use Google and the other search engines at all stages of the buying process, and you want to catch them toward the end, which is when they are ready to take action. Phrases containing the words “best” and “review” are great ones to target because the buyer is close to making a decision. Enter some of those terms into Google, and the search engine will give you additional keyword ideas at the bottom of the page. Rather than trying to remember every keyword you want to use, write them down in a text document for easy reference. This small step can save you a lot of trouble as you move toward your goal.

Now that you have a handful of keywords that show buyer intent, it’s time to research the search volume of each keyword you want to target. Many premium tools are on the market that promise to give you the information you need, but you can use Google’s Keyword Planner. If you don’t already have one, create an AdWords account to get access to it. Enter the terms you are considering into the Keyword Planner, and Google will show you the number of people who search for those terms each month. Eliminate the keywords that don’t generate enough traffic to justify the time and effort required to rank them.

The final step in keyword research is to determine how much competition you will need to overcome to rank for your targeted keywords. Search for each term in Google and pay attention to the first few pages that show up. If you see well-known news sites or government domains, trying to rank for that term would be a waste of energy. On the other hand, keywords that return regular websites and blogs can be profitable. Also, the age and reputation of your domain will determine how hard it is for you to rank for specific terms.

With the right approach, SEO can work wonders for your business, sending plenty of targeted visitors to your website or blog. One of the most vital steps, though, is keyword research. Knowing the search volume and competitiveness of each term, you plan to rank is a good step in the right direction. You will follow the steps and filter out keywords that are not worth targeting, which will save you time and effort over the long run. If you give it your best shot and refuse to take shortcuts, you will find a range of profitable keywords that will improve your profit and increase your exposure.

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