Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword research is one of the foundational elements of SEO services. When businesses focus on keywords, they target their customer’s desires, fears, and goals. Ultimately, keyword research helps search engines connect customer queries to websites that meet their needs. Understanding the different types of keywords and how SEO strategy can incorporate them is crucial to success. SEO is about much more than a search; it’s about building connections. Read on to explore market-defining keywords, customer-defining terms and phrases, product keywords, connecting to industry thought leaders, geo-targeted keywords, and more.


Your audience uses a variety of terms or phrases when discussing your business. These tend to be broad, generic, and hard to rank, but still very important for on-page SEO. Add these terms throughout your site, framing them in broad questions for use in content creation. Make use of the terms to search for links or community-building opportunities and discover other great sites in your field to potentially partner with. Manual link-building is hardly exciting in today’s market; however, it remains more effective than most other methods.


Customers use certain words and phrases to define themselves. You need to know what your customers call themselves, alone and in groups, to identify these potentially powerful keywords. Making use of these words and phrases gives you the ability to find others who connect to your target audience, either directly or in a connected niche. Regardless, you will gain an insight into how your customer-base speaks, allowing you to frame your conversation with them in terms with which they readily identify, and encouraging them to interact with your site.


These terms describe what you are selling and must be specific. Combine these with brand names when possible (e.g., Epson printer, Surface Pro, etc.) because this gives you the chance to discover prospects in very specific niches inside your target clientele. This tends to reveal small groups devoted to specific brands, styles, or types of products or who are product enthusiasts (e.g., Apple or Android users). Use this knowledge to create targeted content for your site.

Industry Thought Leaders

Well-known, respected, and tone-setting individuals or groups in your market are thought leaders. Everyone knows them or should know them, and their names are extremely helpful in outreach activities, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter. These terms help you discover unique opportunities to attract traffic. Connecting on social media to join their conversation creates a place for you to add value to your brand and learn from them.

Competing Company Names

Studying company names is helpful in revealing how others discuss companies like yours. These won’t be used for on-site optimization, but to see who has talked about your competition on other sites and media types. Digging into reviews gives you a better idea of what they are doing.

Related Vertical

These terms within your target ecosystem range from suppliers to customer industries, but have an obvious connection to your audience. You can use them to “cross-pollinate” your outreach and community-building work. Tapping into connected niches expands your message to potential interested parties that have yet to discover you. Using this information will allow you to create content and a place to bring the disparate communities together.


These are key to local rankings, with a high turnover rate of searches leading to store visits that help your brand’s reach grow in your backyard, crucial to brick-and-mortar stores. Defining these terms helps you target local customers and find events your company can engage with. These allow you to subdivide your efforts into neighborhoods or suburbs, allowing a more refined and targeted approach along a broader spectrum of potential customers.

Finding, organizing, and using keywords requires patience and persistence. You will find more the longer you do it, enabling you to optimize your site and focus outreach efforts. This will lead to a community that rallies around your brand, taking your marketing efforts to the next level.

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