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Keyword research in SEO

What is keyword research in SEO and why is it important?

If you have ever wondered about this, you are not alone. 

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing keywords, and using them for specific purposes like SEO (search engine optimization) or other marketing efforts. Keyword research can help us find out the search queries our target audience is looking for, the volume of the queries, their popularity, ranking difficulties and much more.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of making a webpage more attractive and easier to find by the search engine and your target audience. When search bots (or spiders) crawl a webpage, they index and store the details of the page such that it is easier to retrieve and match with to a query (or search terms as typed by the human searchers).

The importance of keyword research in SEO

To understand the importance of keyword research, let us first understand how the search engine behaves when a person types in the search terms (or queries) in a browser. 
Imagine you have just moved to New York City and want to have donuts. Who do you ask? Our trusty friend, Google comes to the rescue. You type the query 'where can I buy donuts in NYC'. 

The query 'where can I buy donuts in NYC' is called your search query. Once you type this sentence in the search window and hit enter, the search engine bots look through their list of indexed webpages (it is a database of webpages) to find a webpage with the closest match to the search terms. The web page that shows the list of relevant websites is called the SERP (search engine result page).
The first website shown on this page is a list of 20 places that sell donuts in NYC. It is called 20 Best Donuts in NYC to Eat With Your Coffee This Morning. The search engine has decided that this website is the most relevant to your query, and hence shows it at the first place on the SERP.

Using Google Trends for Keyword Research

Google Trends is a free tool by Google that allows you to analyze the popularity of search queries typed in Google Search in various regions and languages. To access this tool, type in your browser. 
For people in US, you will see 

Let us type in the search query Donuts in NYC in the search window

Once you hit enter, you can a graph showing the volume of daily searches for that search query for the past year in the United States. 

You can also find the regions where this search query is used the most. In the above case, it is the New York State.

Another important bit of information we get from Google Trends is Related Topics. This is important for keyword research as it gives us information and approximate volume of searches for related topics. 

This above example is for users in the United states. For audiences in other countries, google trends can be used in similar ways. 


Let us sum up this article. We have talked about keyword research and why is it important in SEO. We also learned how to use a free tool like Google Trends to perform keyword research. One of the things to remember about using keyword on your webpage is to always make sure that the webpage remains readable by humans. In other words, do not engage in practices like keyword stuffing. 

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