Of all the aspects of Internet marketing, keyword research remains the most mysterious and least understood. Keyword research can be fairly technical and confusing. It is a blend of art and science.
For years keyword research was largely the domain of search engine optimization (SEO) experts and firms who would engage in a fair amount of on-page tinkering in order to help their companies or clients rank higher in search results.
And why not? It wasn’t until relatively recently that SEOs could game the Google algorithm to obtain better results. But those days are over.
Thanks to recent Google updates, SEO trickery has been rendered all but obsolete. It no longer pays to try and outwit the search engines. In fact, you can now get penalized in your rankings for that approach.
So is keyword research still necessary? Absolutely. Keyword research remains central to getting found online by the right traffic, and it always will.
But rather than being something done after a website is built to gin up more traffic, keyword research should be performed continuously as part of an effective Internet marketing effort. That’s why, to borrow a medical analogy, SEO is now more like internal medicine than plastic surgery.
The changing role of SEO and keyword research is best summarized by Duane Forrester:
To demystify keyword research, Brian Dean of Backlinko has produced Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide. It is an easy to understand, step by step guide to understanding keyword research that debunks long-held myths about the practice.
The guide is great for newcomers to keyword research as well as seasoned veterans who could use a refresher on the latest tools and approaches.
It is also a great primer if you hire professionals to do keyword research. Spending an hour with this interactive guide will give you an appreciation for the art and science that goes into keyword research. It will also help you to more meaningfully contribute to smarter, more effective keyword research, even if you’re not the one actually doing it.
Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide includes images from the tools it covers to make the directions easy to understand. And it includes links to every tool that it recommends or reviews.
The guide has 7 chapters:
If you spend one hour with Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide, you’ll be able to cut through the smoke and mirrors of SEO and be on your way to becoming a keyword research superhero!