Keywords are the bread and butter of any SEO campaign, the modern-day equivalent of market research. Keyword research can and should be used at every stage of a business’s life cycle. For example, if you’re just starting up and you aim to sell online, you need to know how people search for your products, what the volumes of those searches are, as well as when and where those searches happen.

This is incredibly powerful data that may inform every aspect of your business; from the brand name to the logo. If you already have an established business or brand, keyword research can be used to overhaul the way you speak about your products. If you sell white sneakers, but people are only searching for ‘white trainers’ online, that potentially presents a huge opportunity for you to drive additional sales.

Equally, if you have an established business, but are looking to sell a new product online, keyword research should be used to determine how you refer to the new product, to ensure you’re speaking the same language as your potential customers.

Keyword research can benefit business of all types and sizes, with varying different goals, in most industries. Since trends over time, as well as the ways in which people refer to products, keyword research is something that should be monitored and refreshed on a regular basis. If you don’t know where to start with keyword research, or want some guidance, get in contact with me.


The type and scale of keyword research required depends on the scope of the project, the size and structure of the site, and the current SEO performance. I’ve yet to work on a site however that hasn’t been able to benefit from some degree of keyword refinement, whether that means changing a word or two in a page title or restructuring the entire website.

There are many different tools available to use for keyword research, Google’s own data (from the keyword planner) is generally considered as the defacto source, and is used as the data source for many different 3rd party tools. Keyword data can be used to highlight three main areas;

  1. Size of the Opportunity: How many people are searching for a particular keyword? More people searching for a keyword means more opportunity to get traffic for that keyword if you optimise your site (or page) around it. More volume means more competition, however; for some start-ups and SMEs, ranking from very high volume keywords is unrealistic. The size of the business and authority of the site should be considered when deciding which keywords are the best ones to pursue
  • When Do People Search?: Some keywords are popular all year round, while others peak at certain times. For example, traffic for retail sites generally tends to peak around Christmas because that’s the point in the year when people search for retail keywords the most. This seasonality should be considered when deciding which keywords to optimise for. Do search trends change with the seasons? Do people use dates at certain times of the year, for example [summer holidays 2020]? All this should be considered in a keyword research project.
  • Synonyms Google are getting better at natural language processing as time goes on, and one of the things this results in is its ability understand synonyms (words that mean the same thing), this means that you need be aware in what situation you can use a single page to target multiple synonyms (e.g. [home insurance] and [house insurance]) and in which cases having different pages to target different keywords would be more optimal.